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Better SEO

Basic Tips for
Better SEO
(Search Engine Optimization)

by Frida Nyvall

We have collected a few simple and basic tips for anyone who wants to improve their website Search Engine Optimization, SEO.

Read more about what SEO is in our web development and web design glossary.

There are a lot of different ways of manipulating how well a website will be indexed and ranked by search engines. Some methods might seem effective in a short time perspective, but may get punished later on.

The advice below are examples of actions that will work to improve the website’s SEO long-term.


Content is King

Text

Make sure there is text on the website that contains your most important message to your visitors. If you want people to find you by searching for your type of business and geographical position, make sure to mention this in writing somewhere on your website.

If you want to brand yourself within a certain field or topic, make sure to publish texts on the subject. The better quality of your text material, the higher are the chances of the website doing well in search result ranking.

Search engines are becoming increasingly better at determining if content is useful or not, and will probably become even better at making those distinctions in the future. Therefore, it is important that the text material maintains a certain measure of quality.

Headlines

The headlines of your article are extra important. Unfortunately, the most witty or interesting headline might not always be the one that is best for SEO purposes (in other words, the most SEO friendly).

Images

Remember that text or words that are part of images are not getting indexed by search engines. Read more about this in the next section.


Publishing Images

Writing in Images

Seach engines can not read or index text that is part of an image. Therefore, try to avoid having text only present as part of an image. If you have an image with important text in it, use the HTML element <figcaption> to describe the image.

Below: <figcaption>Letters forming the word SEO.</figcaption>

Letters forming the word SEO.

Letters forming the word SEO.

Another way to inform search engines about the image’s contents is through a description in a so-called alt tag.

Alt Tags

When you add images, make sure to also describe what they look like. The description is used by for example screen readers that people with sight-impairments use to access content on the web. Search engines rank websites with image alt tag descriptions higher.

Add your description to the image alt tag:
<img src=”/my-pretty-image.jpg” alt=”A bouquet of red roses in a crystal vase.” width=”100%” height=”auto”/>

Relevant Links

If you link to other websites, make sure they contain information that is relevant to the context.

Search engines are generally positive to links, but only if they are considered relevant to the context. This is because search engines want to prevent websites from getting a better ranking by containing a lot of pointless content.

Performance

Measure how fast your website loads. Google, among others, punishes websites with low performance scores with lower search ranking scores. Read more about performance in our glossary.

Examples of free performance tests are: Pingdom and WebPageTest.

Images are often the largest files of a website. Read more about what you can do to optimize website images in our article “Guide to Publishing Images on the Web”.

Tips

!

You can also do a more comprehensive test for both performance as well as SEO via the Google Developer Console. In Chrome, open the DevTools panel by pressing F12 (on Windows) or by right clicking anywhere on a web page and choose “Inspect”. In DevTools, you will find the tests under the tab “Audits”.


Responsiveness

Make sure your website is responsive and fully functional on all screen sizes, in particular smaller ones (tablets and mobiles). Google takes this into account, and gives better ranking to websites that are responsive.

Read more about responsive websites in our glossary.

SEO Plugins

There are a lot of things to remember and keep up with, especially since changes are continuously happening when search engines update their algorithms and technology. If you are using a CMS (read more about what this is in our glossary), you can use a SEO plugin to help not miss anything important.

One popular plugin for WordPress is Yoast. Using the plugin, the administrator of the website gets tips on what can be improved and what might be missing to make the websites as effective as possible from a SEO perspective.

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