As technology advances, users’ expectations of websites increase and their patience decreases. To stay competitive, websites must strive to improve speed and efficiency, become more intuitive and address any arising issues automatically. This impatience implies that sites that don’t appear on the first page of a Google search are unlikely to be accessed by casual searchers. This emphasizes the importance of Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
In other words, what exactly is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website’s ranking on search engine results pages such as Google and Bing. By optimizing a website, it can become more visible to users who are searching for terms related to the products or services that the website offers. SEO can help to increase a website’s visibility and improve its chances of being found by potential customers.
Google, along with other search engines, utilise robots to explore a website and compile an overview of the content. The information is then indexed, making it discoverable to users who search for relevant query phrases. The search engine evaluates how accurately the results match the user’s query and assigns them a ranking based on the indexes.
Search engine algorithms consider a range of factors when determining how to rank websites in their index. These factors include, but are not limited to:
- Pages and content with organic keyword use, as opposed to keyword stuffing.
- Excellent material that is often updated
- Tags for search engines
- Informational Abstracts
- Correct headings for each page
- Time lag between the first input and the output
- When a page loads (also known as Largest Contentful Paint)
- Mobile quickness
- Gradual Redesign
It is essential to optimise a website’s key elements in order to ensure that it is visible to search engine bots, as without this it may never be seen by human users. This checklist may appear to be lengthy, but it is necessary to ensure the best possible search result position.
The purpose of these elements is not only to increase a website’s search engine rankings, but also to enhance conversion rates and customer satisfaction, both of which are essential to a company’s growth.
The Most Important Aspects of a Website and How to Boost Them
The success or failure of a website’s position in search engine results relies on three “core” criteria, in addition to the aforementioned.
- It is important to note that Google takes into account the Largest Contentful Paint (LCP) when indexing websites. The LCP measures the time taken for the largest content item to load when a user visits the page. If a website takes longer than five seconds to load, users may opt for an alternative resource.
It is essential that the initial image presented to a potential customer is professional. Slow page loading times can have a detrimental impact on the user experience and may put them off from engaging further. There are many factors which can influence page loading times, such as plugins, hosting, unoptimized images, etc. The best practice is for the Largest Contentful Paint to take no more than 2.5 seconds, however Google has yet to provide the optimal loading time.
- It is not uncommon for a website visitor to experience a delay when attempting to activate a feature on a website. Google’s First Input Delay metric is designed to measure the time taken to complete an action on a website, taking into account any delays that may be encountered.
The sluggish response of an online store’s cart when a customer clicks the “Add to Cart” button is an apt example of this issue. It is likely that if they press the button multiple times without any response, they will assume that the website is not functioning correctly and abandon their attempt to purchase the item.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS) is a metric which measures the stability of a website’s layout over time. In simpler terms, it is what happens when a user scrolls down a webpage, pauses, and then the webpage shifts to reposition itself. With the high proportion of users now accessing websites exclusively on their mobile devices, this can be an incredibly frustrating issue for visitors.
When Google indexes this data, it takes into account both the extent of the alteration and the user’s response to it. As a user scrolls through a webpage, the content and advertising may adjust positions due to a lag in one or more of the page’s components loading.
It is important to take into account that seemingly minor concerns during development may have a major impact on a company’s search engine rankings in the future. This could potentially lead to a loss of clients and income in comparison to competitors.