5 Essentials of Website Optimization for SEO in 2020
by Mike Khorev
The New Year provides new opportunities to take your business to the next level. This is the perfect time to take a deep look at your website and marketing strategy.
Most businesses have a website by this point, but many don’t invest a real effort into it. A website isn’t a static entity that you can set and forget. You need to make sure it is optimized and ready to deliver good results.
In 2020, you need to implement some strategies to make sure your website ranks high on search engine results pages. These strategies are mentioned below:
1. Mobile First
Mobile has truly overtaken the world. Almost everyone who uses the internet has a mobile phone. Around 40% of all eCommerce sale happened through the mobile platform.
Google has taken note of this and now prioritizes mobile over all other platforms.
Last year, it introduced the mobile-first index. According to it, if your website has a mobile and a desktop version, Google will choose the mobile version to rank.
This means you need to make sure your mobile website lives up to established Google standards. This often means things like:
- Quick load times
- Better appearance and navigation on mobile phones
- Better site structure
- Optimized images
- Clickable links
As long as your website delivers a great mobile experience, you will rank high on SERPs.
2. Page Speed
Page Speed is a very important factor to consider while optimizing your website. People online are very impatient and have short attention spans.
A recent survey by Google revealed that people expect a website to load in just 2 to 3 seconds. 53% of people admitted they would abandon a website if it took more than 3 seconds to load.
This means you need to make sure your website loads well. The website speed usually depends on three factors:
- The website structure and construction
- Hosting service that houses the website
- Optimizing for mobile
if your website isn’t constructed well or isn’t hosted on a good-quality server, you might run into problems.
There are many tools available online that will help you assess the speed of a website. You can also determine the speed by navigating the website from the user’s perspective.
You will experience a vast improvement in your traffic if you optimize the website speed. Good speed leads to lower bounce rates, higher session times, and better user experience overall.
3. Long-Form Content
Google is strictly against thin content. These pieces are short-form articles that provide little to no value to the user. The search engine giant recommends more than 300 words per page to ensure the website can be indexed.
But 300 words isn’t enough to get you a high rank on search engine results pages. In fact, content pieces ranging from 300 to 500 words will leave you trailing behind the others in the content marketing game.
Studies conducted show that the average word count of first page results is 1890. Most popular first-page content pieces have word counts ranging from 3,000 to 10,000.
These pieces provide solid information and real value to the search engine users, which is why they’re ranked so high in the results pages.
If you want to rank high on search engine results pages, it is important to make sure your content is long-form and informative. There are several ways you can go about this:
- Find a good topic that provides you room to research and create long-form content. You can’t write 3,000 or more words on generic shallow topics. That won’t provide any value to your readers.
- Use original research and information wherever possible. This will draw more links and help you rank high on search engine result pages.
- Make sure the content is well-written and there is no repetition of information. It is easy to repeat information in long-form content because you want to reach the high word count.
These tips will help you create the best content and rank high on search engine results pages. It will also help you stay ahead of the SEO game.
4. Focus on User Intent
Search engines have become very sophisticated. They no longer find results based on exact match keywords. They consider things like user search history, demographics, location (that’s why local SEO is so important), etc., and provide intuitive results.
Google algorithm upgrades like Rank Brain have introduced Machine Learning and AI capabilities into the search engine. This means that many of the old SEO tactics have become obsolete.
This doesn’t mean you can’t optimize your website for these sophisticated search engines. It just means that you will need to use different tactics to get good results.
Optimizing a website for user intent requires an in-depth understanding of your user base. You need to develop an audience or buyer persona to ensure you understand your users well.
Once you have a buyer persona, it is easier to create a website that appeals to them and understands their requirements.
A good strategy to optimize for user intent is to include keywords that focus on this aspect of search. Make sure you have long-form, intent-based keywords in your content for best results.
5. Focus on User Experience
User experience is the most important factor to consider when designing or optimizing a website. If your visitors aren’t satisfied with the quality of your website, they might leave without exploring your products or services.
SEO is all about user experience. Google has created 200+ ranking factors just to ensure search engine users are satisfied with the quality of their results.
Fortunately, it isn’t too difficult to nail user experience. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure the website loads smoothly on all devices.
- Keep the navigation simple and straightforward.
- Make sure the design is clean and there’s no clutter on the page.
- Don’t use any black hat or deceptive SEO or website design techniques.
A good user experience won’t just improve your rankings but will also help improve your reputation.
By implementing these strategies in 2020, you can stay ahead of the SEO game and capture the traffic you need.
Justin Kemp is working as a Jr. content writer and blogger with Ranking By SEO. He can be seen blogging about digital marketing, SEO, SMO, PPC, etc.
April 30, 2021