SEO Best Practices
There are many Search Engine Optimization (SEO) best practices in building and designing a website. In this report, we will cover the latest trend on on-page SEO as it is the most relevant for website development.
We will explain what each SEO best practice means and how it helps the website get higher rank in search engine. We will also provide at least one detailed example for each to illustrate the impact of implementing such practice.
USER-FRIENDLY WEBSITE STRUCTURE
Search engines, such as Google, use robots (also called spiders) to crawl the internet, find a website, and index it so internet users can find the information when they search. These spiders need to be able to go to every page on a website and understand the contents of each page (texts, images, videos and others) in a way that they can index.
Websites with good page structure (navigation) will make it easier for the spiders to crawl and will rank higher. This practice will make it easier for internet users to find information on those websites.
One company which has implemented this practice with successful results is Complete Plumbing Source (CPS). CPS wanted to expand their operation online and build an e-commerce site. It has many products to showcase and needs a user-friendly website so customers can easily find what they are looking for.
CPS hired an SEO company to help with this task and build a website where CPS can easily add new products to the page. CPS built five categories with sub-categories underneath so people can easily browse their products. This has increased organic traffic to CPS website, and its sales increased by more than 2000 percent in two years.
KEYWORD RESEARCH AND ON-PAGE IMPLEMENTATION
When internet users run a search on a search engine, they often use terms that contains keywords. When building a website page, we need to understand the words or phrases used by these searchers.
We then need to implement these keywords into the page elements, such as page titles, headings, meta description, and content. Pages with keywords that match those used by searchers will appear towards the top of the search result.
3M implemented this practice across its five businesses spanning across 100 countries and 6000 websites. It found inconsistencies of content between countries and many of its websites were built without SEO consideration.
After running several tests, 3M identified high-value keywords and developed landing pages using these keywords. As a result, the organic traffic coming to 3M websites grew by 20 percent year-on-year for three consecutive years.
INTERNAL LINKS AND TOPIC CLUSTERS
An internal link is a link from one page to another page on the same domain, according to Orbit Media Studios. This can be in the form of website navigation or links in the content of the pages.
Internal links help pass authority from one page to another. A popular page with high authority that links to a less popular page can help boost the rank of the latter page, for example.
One way to create internal links is by creating a topic cluster where a single “pillar” page serves as the hub of several relevant content pages. These content pages are linked to this hub, and they will signal that the hub page has high authority. This is also a way to better organize pages within a website to make it easier for users to navigate.
Amazon's website is a good example of the use of internal links to not only rank better on the search engine but also to better organize its massive content. Its inner pages are linked as categories on its sidebar, as anchor texts in the main body, and as links in the footer. This internal linking strategy has made Amazon appear at the top of online purchase searches.
KEYWORDS USED IN VOICE SEARCH
Although voice search itself is not directly related to on-site SEO, paying close attention to the words used in voice search can help boost website ranking. More than 20 percent of search on mobile devices use voice capabilities, such as Alexa, Siri and Cortana. This means that website developers need to know what natural words people use in voice search and incorporate these keywords on their web pages.
L’Oréal approached voice search using the 5Ws: who, what, when, where and why, as well as the how. It found that users often ask for a how-to question in their search, so it designed its content to capture this.
L’Oréal claimed that it had seen growth since implementing this strategy.
Search engine optimization should be aimed towards improving user experience as this will help improve the website’s rank. Four best practices identified in this report are user-friendly website structure, keyword research and implementation, internal links and topic clusters, and keywords used in voice search.