In the beginning, there was the web, and it all started with a single website. Hard to imagine that was all the way back in 1991! While we’ve come a very long way since that first website, some things haven’t changed quite as much. Search engine optimization is a prime example of this. In 1997, SEO first saw its major usage in relation to getting websites more easily found on any number of the web directories that were popular during that time (back when Yahoo was still a directory rather than a news source).
From almost as soon it began, we started hearing rumblings and rumors of the “death of SEO” and that’s its time was short. Fast forward just a few years… well, twenty-two whole years later. There’s no shortage of doom and gloom when it comes to search engine optimization.
Naysayers continue to lament the perception that it has run its course, or that it only favors those with the money to game the system. This raises the question, does SEO actually matter when it comes to the web today?
Well, yeah. It does matter. To understand why you need to understand what SEO truly means. At face value, search engine optimization sounds like it involves changing search engines so that they can better find your site. Fortunately, it’s something much better. SEO involves making your site as search engine friendly as possible. Some of the requirements for this have changed over time, but for the most part, if you make sure to address the following you will have a much easier time of optimizing your site for the web.
Keeping it Friendly, Mobile Friendly
One of the biggest changes to take place when it comes to SEO is the increased focus on mobile-friendly design. With more and more visitors hitting websites from their mobile devices, responsive design is a must. Creating your mobile-friendly website will include using stylesheets and layouts that take into account the various sizes of devices that visitors will use to browse the site.
Some other things to consider:
- Use flexible, high res images that include proper alt text.
- Any buttons should be a minimum of 44×44 px.
- Use standard fonts, and no smaller than 14px font.
- Avoid having Flash on the site.
- Utilize media queries.
- Prioritize your content. Make sure that most all of your important info is located toward the top of the site in order to reduce the amount of scrolling needed.
- Test, test, test… and then test once more. Make sure that you use the Google Mobile-Friendly Test as well.
It’s An Inside Job
Many of the steps you will use to SEO your site will be made behind the scenes. Most of these all boil down to speed. How fast can your site load, how fast can it serve content to visitors, how fast can it process file requests. What sort of speed does your site have to offer?
The following are all parts of ensuring that your site is as blazing fast as it can be.
- Use browser caching in order to speed up load times for visitors.
- Store images and downloadable files on a CDN (content distribution network).
- Photographs should be stored and uploaded in JPEG format, while graphics should be stored as PNGs. Also, make sure they are the smallest size possible without losing quality.
- Minimize your server load time by reducing the number of slow queries.
- Avoid redirects if possible. Redirects are a quick way to end up increasing your page load time.
A Quick Breather
Now, before your head explodes with all the stuff we’ve mentioned, let’s stop there. If you work on the above items you will be in much better shape. If you find yourself in need of professional assistance, we can help.
We will pick up on our next discussion on whether SEO is important in today’s world. Until then, have fun, good luck, and happy SEO’ing!