So, you have built a website already or you’re thinking of building one and you know that it’s a big project. There’s lots to do from choosing a domain name to choosing a platform or hosting and getting your messaging right. You need to source images, write content, and build your pages so they look beautiful. If you’ve gone through this process before, you know that it’s a lot of work.
The real challenge lies in ensuring your beautifully designed website doesn’t disappear in the vast expanse of the internet, and this can be accomplished through the magic of SEO – Search Engine Optimization.
If you are building a DIY website yourself and are enrolled in the Toto Coaching course where we teach you to build a website from start to finish that search engines and visitors love, you will be building the website all along with this concept in mind: Build it so that they will come and stay!
If you are not enrolled in the Toto Coaching course, you may not have built your website with this concept in mind from the beginning, and you begin to think about this when you are all done building your site. This way of building a website can be a bit backwards and you end up doing more work because you need to re-do some things after you have just finished all this work!!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Now, what is SEO and why should you be concerned about it? Simply put, SEO is the process of enhancing your website in ways that make it stand out to search engines, particularly Google. It involves tweaking various aspects of your website so that search engines consider it an ideal match for users’ search queries. SEO is the bridge that connects your website with potential visitors, and if this bridge is broken or weak, your website might end up being a solitary island in the vast ocean of the internet.
How can you ensure your website is a search engine darling? Toto Coaching, with its wealth of knowledge and expertise in SEO, is here to guide you through this intricate process.
You’ve done all this work to build an amazing website now let’s make sure that Google loves it and that it gets found.
Seeing from Google’s Lens
To effectively court Google’s attention, you need to step into its shoes. Let’s think about this for a minute from Google’s perspective. Understanding Google’s primary objective is critical: it strives to provide its users with the most relevant and high-quality content. If Google constantly directs users to poor-quality websites or websites that take ages to load, users might become frustrated and start favoring other search engines. So it’s in their best interest for Google to deliver the fastest and the best websites possible so that people continue to use their platform.
Thus, you should align your website with Google’s mission of delivering the fastest, most relevant, and best quality websites to its users.
That being said, there are a couple of things that you need to pay attention to so that Google continues to deliver YOUR site when people are searching for something online.
So, what do you need to do in order to build a website that search engines love?
There are a ton of things you can do yourself to make sure that your website is set up so that search engines love it. Let’s go over a few of the low-hanging fruit now.
Build a Lightning-Fast Website
In the digital world, speed is everything. Search engines, just like users, appreciate websites that load at lightning speed. A sluggish website translates into a dismal user experience, resulting in lost potential customers. They would get irritated and they would not wait around for the websites to load.
If Google were to return websites that were super slow what would happen to all of the searchers online? Take yourself for example. Have you ever tried to load a web page that was taking forever to download? In general, we don’t have time or patience to wait around for a web page to load.
There are a few factors that play into how fast a website loads but I’ll give you the top few things to look at.
Where is your website hosted? If you have your website hosted on inexpensive, shared hosting, your website might not load too fast. This could be because of the server technology, or it could also be because you are your website is located on the same server as a website that is getting a ton of traffic or maybe infected with a virus. All the websites hosted on shared hosting share the same resources of the server, and if one or more websites is using a lot of resources, there won’t be any left for your website to download.
Take a look at your hosting. Make sure you are paying for good hosting. If your website is built on the WordPress platform, there are a lot of great options for WordPress only hosts which are fast and optimized to deliver WordPress sites, such as Flywheel, WP Engine and Kinsta.
Optimization of Assets
The next thing you want to look at when it comes to speed of your website, is the assets you have on each page. This means your images, videos and other items that appear on your page. Have you optimized your images on your website? How big are the images that appear on your website? Do you have any that are over 1 MB in size? If you do you need to optimize those images and make them smaller. This will make your website download faster to a user’s device. We go over this in the Toto Coaching course so that all of your images and assets are small and download quickly!
As far as video goes, if you have a video that is playing on your website, you want to make sure that you either host the video at a proper video host such as Vimeo, Wistia, or YouTube. If you must host the video on your hosting instead of at a proper video host, you want to make sure the video is so small that it downloads very fast.
Slow websites can also be caused by the coding of your website which is a little more technical than this article can go into, but you may need to look at how the website is built technically to fix any speed issues.
Implementing Robust Security with SSL Certificates
Another key factor that can propel your website to the top of Google’s list is robust security. An SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate is no longer a luxury; it’s a necessity. SSL certificates encrypt the data transmitted between a user’s browser and your website, thus safeguarding sensitive user information. A small lock symbol next to your website’s URL indicates the presence of an SSL certificate, assuring users and search engines alike that your site is secure.
You need to have an SSL certificate installed when you are collecting credit card numbers or users are entering in passwords so that the information passed from your browser to the website host is not viewable in plain text. It needs to be encrypted so that people don’t steal visitors’ passwords or credit card information.
Even if you do not collect credit card numbers or passwords, you must have an SSL certificate installed or search engines will demote your website; meaning they won’t return it in search.
You can tell if your website has an SSL certificate installed by going to your website with https at the beginning instead of http. You want to go to https on all pages.
You also want to make sure your SSL certificate is installed properly. You can have an SSL certificate installed, but when you go to particular pages, you may not see the lock symbol in the browser address bar which indicates that the SSL certificate the website is not fully loading encrypted. Normally this happens when one or more of your images on your page is referenced with HTTP instead of HTTPS. This is a pretty easy fix, but the point is you want to make sure all of your pages have a lock symbol next to the address and the URL bar when they load.
Creating Engaging, In-depth Content
Your website is like an open book where search engines are ardent readers. They are continually searching for websites that offer comprehensive, engaging, and enlightening content. A shallow, quickly-written article might not impress Google or your visitors. Your website should act as an in-depth guide on its chosen topic, offering users the full spectrum of knowledge they’re looking for.
If you think back to the beginning of this article, we mentioned that Google and other search engines are looking to return quality. In general, one could say that quality and complete content is longer than short content. Therefore, you want to aim for longer articles and longer page content.
Now this doesn’t mean just add some words for the sake of adding words.
Go deeper into a subject. Ge more specific. Add experiences you have had. Add things that can go wrong. Add things that can go right. Add new ideas.
The idea is to deliver complete content so that when someone reads your article or your page on your website, they understand the concept in full. Search engines love this.
Harnessing the Power of Keywords
Keywords are like the secret codes that unlock the potential of SEO. They are the phrases that users enter into search engines when looking for specific information. Keywords can be classified into two categories: short-tail and long-tail. Short-tail keywords comprise up to three words, while long-tail keywords consist of more than three words.
Long tail keywords are more descriptive and, in general, return a better list of web pages in search because they enable search engines to better understand a user’s search intent.
Search Intent is the concept that describes what the visitor is actually trying to achieve when they are using the search engine.
What does the visitor want to find out? Do they want to know how to do something? Do they want to know where to buy something? Do they want to see some photos of something are they doing research? What is the search intent of the searcher?
If the intent of the searcher lines up with your article, then your article is more likely to be returned in search. This happens when you write complete content and you include some keyword phrases and some long tail keywords on your page. When you include these words on your page it helps the search engine understand what your page is about and when they should return it to a user.
Finding the right keywords can be tricky and may take some trial and error. There are all different levels of competition for different keywords and certain phrases are typed in more than others in two search boxes. Doing some good keyword research well help search engines love your website, and will also help you match users search intent.
However, finding the right keywords and integrating them organically into your content requires strategic thinking and careful execution. Overuse of keywords, known as ‘keyword stuffing,’ can be detrimental to your SEO efforts.
Building an Online Reputation
Search engines, just like users, are attracted to popular websites. They determine how popular a website is in various ways.
One of the ways they measure how enjoyable a website is, they look at how long people stay on a website page.
Do visitors go to the website, and in less than a minute do they bounce off? Do they go to a website and stay on the page for three to four or more minutes? Do they visit another page on the same website after they click on this listing? These are all signals to search engines that let them know if this is a good website or not a good website.
You want visitors to come to your website and stay a long time and visit other pages. In Toto Coaching, we teach you to build your website so that you have engaging content on each page. In addition, look at each page and think, “If I was a visitor to this page and I had never been to this website before what information might I like to see next?” Then put links to those pieces of content on each page.
Another way search engines measure popularity is through backlinks. A backlink is simply a link to your website from another website. If you have a lot of links from spammy terrible websites, search engines well associate your website with those spammy terrible websites and will think your website is a terrible spammy website as well, and will not return it in search.
If your website is able to obtain links from popular and reputable websites such as news organizations, search engines will think that your website is reputable and popular, just like these news websites, and will be more likely to return your website in search.
Work on getting backlinks from reputable websites. In other words, work on your “Backlink Profile”.
In the vast digital universe, making your website visible and attractive to search engines requires a multi-faceted strategy. From boosting your website’s speed and securing it with SSL certificates to crafting comprehensive content and strategically incorporating suitable keywords, every aspect plays a crucial role in your website’s SEO success.
These are just a few of the items you should pay attention to when it comes to building a site that search engines like Google love.
With the expert guidance and support from Toto Coaching, you can effectively transform your website into a beacon for both search engines and potential customers, helping your online venture shine brightly in the digital cosmos.