Many times you hear the term “SEO friendly” or “SEO friendly website” but what does this really mean and why do you need one? How can an SEO friendly website help your business grow?
Let’s start with SEO
SEO is short for search engine optimisation. By definition, ‘SEO is the art and science of persuading search engines such as Google, Bing, and Yahoo, to recommend your content to their users as the best solution to their problem.’ (Jason barnard, Semrush)
SEO is one of your greatest, free tools for marketing your business. It takes time and isn’t as instantly gratifying as pushing a huge budget behind Google Ads but in the long run, it’s hard to contest. Not only does it help your website be found organically but an SEO friendly website also ensures that your Ads are most effective.
What do we mean by a Search Engine Friendly Website?
What is an SEO Friendly website? A website is determined to be SEO friendly when it is user friendly, full of unique, relevant, optimised content and it’s easy for search engines to crawl and understand it’s structure and content.
In addition to providing you with some awesome great insight and assistance, this blog post is also being used to make our site even more SEO friendly.
The most important characteristics of a SEO friendly website have:
Unique titles and descriptions for all pages
Each page of the website (including the home page) needs to have a unique title and description.
Your titles should be between 60-65 characters and the descriptions are approximately 150 characters. Your titles and descriptions should accurately describe what the page is about without being keyword stuffed.
Well formatted URLs
Permanent links or slugs (that’s the URL of a webpage) are descriptive, all lower case and separated by dashes.
Speed, Speed, Speed
Neither people nor search engines want websites that are slow to load. Fast loading websites are SEO friendly (meaning they have an advantage in ranking algorithms over websites that are slower) and generate more user interactions (sales, newsletter signups, contact forms submissions etc).
Content on the website is not found anywhere else on the web, all pages have unique and useful content. This means a website cannot be SEO friendly if it has content copied from other web sites.
Images that are optimized for search engines
Search engines prefer text, that’s the truth, but you also need to have images on your pages because people like it, it makes your content more interesting, easier to read, shareable etc.
When you do so, make sure that the images are optimized for size and also that you set a meaningful image filename and ALT text.
Pages have a meaningful structure
A web page usually has the following elements:
- Breadcrumb menu
- Page Title (that’s the H1 tag – there is only one per page)
- Well formatted text – text is separated into a number of short paragraphs with subheadings(<h2>, <h3>, etc)
- Author information
There are of course many other characteristics that make a website SEO Friendly, you can download our SEO checklist here. (mailchimp signup form)
Why do you need a SEO friendly website?
Something that most CEOs, small business owners or new webmasters don’t easily understand is why you need an SEO friendly website. Why all the fuss?
There are many reasons to make your website seo friendly but those you need to know are:
- Increases your organic traffic (that is unpaid traffic from search engines).
As expected, an SEO friendly website will get you more free traffic from search engines as it is likely to run higher in the SERPS (search engine results pages).
If you take into account that the majority of people who use Google to search tend to select one of the first 5 results, you can understand how crucial SEO is.
- It will make your website user friendly.
SEO is not only good for search engines but good SEO also improves your all round user experience. Applying the principles of SEO to your website will make users happy, direct them through the user journey you want them to follow and prevent a high bounce rate. Thus, pleasing the Google Gods.
- It gives your brand that extra credibility
Users are more likely to trust websites (businesses) that are found in the first pages of Google, Bing or Yahoo and have a well thought out, pleasant website. This is good for both brand awareness and brand credibility.
- It is more cost effective in the long run
A well optimised website will drive targeted traffic 24×7 without you needing to spend money on paid clicks (PPC) or other forms of online advertising. Although it is more time consuming and the results aren’t as instant, the long term benefits are bigger.
- It helps you understand what your most important customers want
SEO drives more quality traffic to your site. By analyzing the behavior of those users and their user journey on your site is a great way to understand what your customers want and adjust your website or products to match their needs.
- SEO is even more important on mobile
Now, more than ever, mobile-friendly websites should be non negotiable. 9/10 times we find that the majority of a brand’s traffic is coming from mobile devices. Apart from that, a website that is mobile friendly and has good rankings on mobile search can get more customers and traffic than websites that are not mobile SEO friendly.
It is important to be on top of the search results otherwise you are losing customers to competition, especially those searching for local products or services.
What tools can you use to make your website more user friendly?
If you’re looking for a great, ‘freemium’ tool, to improve your posts’ SEO ranking, we would recommend Yoast SEO.
Needing helpful tools for keyword research? Try these great tools:
Stay tuned. We’ll explain these all more clearly in blog posts to come.
On the ladder of importance, optimising your website is second only to having an actual website, to begin with. The most important advantage of having an SEO friendly website is that you will get more targeted organic(FREE) traffic from search engines. Who doesn’t want that?
SEO can take time but once you’ve put in the work, it sticks.
Let us help you stick to that first page of Google.