Much ado has been made about on-site SEO. Some of the techniques out there are extremely technical, involving split-testing and other ways to split the hairs on a website, and some techniques are extremely easy to implement.
At any rate, Internet marketers of all levels can utilize some of the basic techniques to improve their site. The essential rule to good onsite SEO is that it’s all about making your site more user-friendly without forgetting that it must be easy for search engines to navigate as well. Here are just a few ways you can improve usability and SEO on your website.
SEO Rule 1: Make Your Site Easy to Read
Most visitors make a snap judgment once they reach your homepage and are easily overwhelmed by huge blocks of text, clusters of ads and randomly scattered images and videos.
There are just some of the essential problems that can make a visitor hit the back button. When most of us visit a website, we know just what we are looking for and if we don’t see it in the first few seconds; we navigate onto the next search query result.
With the implementation of Google +1 on query results, visitors who decide that a site is poorly placed in search results may see a penalty over time. Aside from that, you will experience a high bounce-rate and the chance of receiving return visitors is very slim.
*How do You Clear the Clutter?
Website clutter happens when elements that are supposed to support the message in the content overwhelm the content. You want your visitor’s eyes to be drawn to your text, and this simply cannot be done when there are too many affiliate links, images and videos. Make sure that there is a huge contrast between your content and its background, and this will help immensely.
The text in your content should be broken up into as small paragraphs as possible. Even lists, bullet points and other grouping tactics can make the text easier to read. Large blocks of text are daunting to the average visitor, and they’re less likely to stay on your page to read the content if it’s not broken up into smaller pieces. Both of these elements of your website are important both to the visitor and the search engine spiders.
SEO Rule 2: Make Your Site Easy to Navigate
Ease of navigation is another huge part of making your site more user-friendly. Both your visitors and the search engine spiders will prefer being able to easily find the other pages on your site over having to hunt for the internal links. Again, don’t tempt the visitor to hit the back button –make your message noticeable to both spiders and readers alike.
One effective way to remedy the problem is by including a navigation menu bar at the top of each web page. If you allow a search bar on your site, you can also use tracking and analytics programs to see exactly what the visitors to your site are looking for. This in turn can give you great content ideas.
SEO Rule 3: Slash Your Page Loading Speed
This rule goes hand in hand with the rule about website clutter. Simply put, many “extra” elements that can be added to a website will make it take longer for the page to load. After waiting for so long for a page to load, many visitors will abandon the site.
Many website design programs include a page loading speed test. You will want your page to take less than five seconds to load. Avoid the temptation to use pop-ups, background music and anything else that needlessly slows down your loading speed. The landing page design should be purposed for usability and functionality, the goal should never be to just “make the site look good,” it should be designed with both search engines and actual viewers in mind.