In the last few weeks I’m investing some more time in search engine optimization or SEO as people call it. People often think SEO is about backlinks and some of it probably is but what I’m focusing about is optimizing the site itself.
In site optimization – Google cares about user experience.
It appears that there are countless details in optimizing a website and Google seems to care about all of them. The surprising thing is that most of what Google cares about is that you would give your users a good website experience. More so, this part of their algorithm is actually well communicated and Google is sharing a lot of information about how they want your website to be. They wouldn’t give you the weights in the algorithm but if you follow all their requests, you should be good. So I started following as much advice as I could and realized that I became a better blogger as a result – I want to share that with you.
Site speed – your website needs to load as fast as it can
This topic is well communicated and in fact, Google made a site speed test tool
available for this purpose alone. It’s not about your site obsolete load time, it’s more about how your site is actually loading compared to how well it could be loading. In other words – Google is telling us – “make a real effort to optimize your site”. Another side of that is that you will get penalized for improper HTML/CSS.
Use of headings in the content
One of the things that really surprised me is that Google cares about the headings in your page. I followed the advice I received and discovered that my posts became more readable as a result. The basic recommendation is simply to have headings in your post and make use of both H1 (once), H2 and H3. This tells Google what your post is about but Google already has many other ways to know. What it really does is it helps your users quickly understand what your post is about – that’s much more important.
Descriptive alt text for images
Many people ignore the alt text field for images. This field tells Google what the image is about and helps your images show up in Google image search. The recommendation here is to try and describe the image like you were telling a blind man what’s in it and what it stands for. Beyond helping Google, this really helps anyone that can see the images from whatever reason and it also automatically fills up the image description when that image is shared in Pinterest. Again – better blog leads to better SEO.
I can give you more examples and SEO tips but I’m really not an expert on SEO and that’s really not the purpose of this post. If you are serious about content marketing, however, get an SEO expert and ask him or her for in-site advice. Your blog will become Google friendly but more importantly it will become people friendly.