SEO: When Should I Optimize My Website?

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SEO: When Should I Optimize My Website?

Ideally, your website should be optimized when it is being built. This will result in the least amount of work, saving time and money.

What should I think about as I build my website?

  • Load time – Users want pages that load quickly and Google likes websites that have low load times. Pages that take too long to load are often closed and Google knows that long load times or inactive sites result in a lower user-satisfaction rating. Look at your page speed and identify any large files or slow plugins that are hindering performance. Minimize HTTP requests and compress images to improve load times.
  • Folders and site map – It should be clear how your site is organized so that Google and your users know what to expect. Your sitemap should be uploaded to Google to help the search engine understand your pages. 
  • Navigation – Navigation should be intuitive. This means pages should be appropriately named and organized in an understandable and seamless way. To do this, simplify your navigation and organize content, then test the design across multiple platforms and devices to ensure consistent and uniform access.
  • Security – Take measures to secure your website. Test for malware and virus threats and make sure that passwords are strong and regularly updated, not just for you but people visiting your website.

How do I optimize my website?

Here are some things to absolutely remember when optimizing your website:

Types of content – Your content should be developed with the end user in mind. Quality content can range from informative and educational pieces such as tutorials and articles, to visual and interactive pieces like infographics and videos. To ensure that content is effective, it should be original and up-to-date with accurate information, be written in an easy-to-read and engaging style, be focused on a specific purpose and clearly target the intended audience, and use good keywords for effective search engine optimization. Above all, quality content should add value to the website, helping it reach its goals.

Meta descriptions – Meta descriptions are snippets of text that summarize the content of a page on a website. These descriptions appear below the title in search engine results and are used by search engines to understand what the page is about. They are also used to help entice readers to click through to the page from the search engine results. They should be concise and informative and accurately describe the content of the page.

Keywords – To use keywords effectively, you need to move away from matching keywords to Google’s algorithms, to understanding which keywords are important to your audience and including those keywords throughout your website. Once you understand what is important to your audience, then you can incorporate that into your page URLs, meta descriptions and alt-text images. Additionally, be sure to use keyword-rich anchor text for internal and external links, as this will further emphasize your keywords. 

As you build your site, focusing on optimization can help you create a successful web page that is ready to perform from the moment you launch it. Remember that SEO is an ongoing project, and will continue to require modifications and adjustments as algorithms change, competitors come into the market and best practices change. Keeping these ideas in mind, however, will get you started on the important path of ranking well and reaching customers.

Related: SERP Basics