Many times you hear the term “SEO” or “Search Engine Optimization" but what does this really mean and why do you need one? How can a SEO friendly website help your business grow?
These are the questions we will try to answer in this section always having in mind that beginners to SEO may be reading it so we will try to avoid technical terms or advanced SEO practices and theories.
A SEO friendly website has those configurations and features so it’s easy for search engines to crawl (read) and understand what the particular website is all about. The most important characteristics of a SEO friendly website are:
Each page of the website (including the home page) has a unique title and description. The titles are between 60-65 characters and the descriptions are aprx 150 characters. Titles and descriptions describe accurately what the page is about without being keyword stuffed.
Permanent links (that’s the url of a webpage) are descriptive, all lower case and separated by dashes.
Neither people nor search engines want websites that are slow to load. On the contrary 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.
Search engines prefer text that’s the truth, but you also need to have images to your pages because people like it, it makes your content more interesting, easier to read, sharable etc. When you do so, make sure that the images are optimized for size (tools like smushit can help you reduce image file size without losing quality) and also that you set a meaningful image filename and ALT text.