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How to optimize your website for SEO

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In 1860 George Eliot first used the famous expression “don’t judge a book by its cover”, and while that idiom is still widely-used today, in 2022 we can easily update this to say “don’t judge a website by its homepage”.

Practically every business has a website these days, especially as the pandemic accelerated the shift to e-commerce and online marketing for many companies out of necessity. But just because a website looks slick doesn’t mean it actually performs well!

In this post we’ll explore 7 areas that can improve the search engine results for your website.

1. Page size is too big

Large hero banner images or dynamic video and animations on a website can be visually appealing and make an impactful statement for your target audience, but too often these files are not compressed enough and make the page file size too big. HubSpot recommends setting up web pages so that they don’t exceed 3 MB. This helps overall performance and specifically the next point on this list, page speed.

2. Page speed is too slow

Similar to the page size, page speed is generally low performing if images and other content on the site are taking too long to load. That’s why it is important to compress this type of content wherever possible. Ideally a web page should be able to properly load in less than 6 seconds, but many websites take much longer than that. For example, even well-known websites such as www.cbc.ca or www.tsn.ca take over 25 seconds to fully load (verified on March 29, 2022)! This impacts overall site performance.

3. Meta descriptions missing

Meta descriptions are short snippets of text that provide context for the pages on your website. They are simple to set up, but are frequently overlooked. Missing meta descriptions can negatively impact your website’s SEO efforts, so be sure to include them and stick to the recommended length limits.

4. Keyword strategy

The effective use of keywords on your website cannot be underestimated. There are free tools available such as Google’s keyword planner that can help identify what to focus on for your website optimization. Improving the use of keywords on your site can increase the amount of relevant traffic you’ll get when people are searching for those terms online. Longer tail keywords can also be effective to match searcher intent, so you should try to include a wide (but relevant) range for this.

5. Descriptive link text missing

Gone are the days when you could simply use a CTA such as ‘click here’. These redirect links now need to be more descriptive to generate a better ranking with Google’s algorithms. You should try to give the reader a sense of what they will be linking to by making the link text more descriptive. For example, instead of saying ‘click here’, use ‘go to the order page’.

6. Mobile-first indexing

On July 1, 2019 Google made significant changes to their search algorithm and has since been giving preference to indexing websites that are designed as ‘mobile-first’. With so many people going online with their phones to browse, shop and connect, the overall traffic stemming from mobile devices has been steadily increasing for years. Read more on mobile-first indexing in our detailed blog post on the topic.

7. Quality link-building

High quality links to your website are extremely valuable for your site’s overall ranking. The more quality links you have, the higher your website tends to rank in search engines because it shows that your site is an authoritative and trusted source of information.

Want to improve your website?

We’re here to help. Get in touch with us today to book a personalized website consultation. Our marketing consultants will conduct a free audit of your website and discuss the results with you at a time that suits your schedule. We look forward to hearing from you!

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