If you are building a website you may have heard the term “SEO-Ready” or “SEO-Friendly”, and may be wondering what that actually means and how it can help your business.
It is an important aspect to consider for your website, therefore I am taking the time to give you an understanding of what it means.
In a nutshell, a website is considered to be SEO ready (or SEO friendly) if it is built in a way that it is capable of easily going through the process of SEO. This means, it should have the basic tools already in place to carry out the relevant activities, and best practices should be followed when creating the website.
Below I’ll cover what some of these tools and best practices are, but first, let’s take a look at the term SEO.
What is SEO?
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation, which simply refers to the process of getting your website to show up in search engines like Google, as much as possible when a user on the web searches for something related to what you have to offer.
SEO is a way to bring in organic visitor traffic to your website by implementing various tools and processes to meet the requirements of Google, and to improve your website user experience so that you can show up more in the search results.
Ideally you want to get on the first page of Google for the typical search terms that people use as that is where you will beg more traffic. The higher you rank (show up on the results page) the better the chances of your page being clicked on by the user.
What does your website need to be SEO-Ready?
Let me run through some of what I consider to be the most important things to implement in order to set up your website, ready for SEO.
I will be covering this from the perspective of WordPress websites, but the principles apply to any other website.
1 – Plan your website properly
It all starts with planning as if you don’t get your objectives and goals right, your website will lack focus and structure. This is important for SEO as Google will need to be able to easily identify what your website is really about and users will have a much better experience. User experience also matters to Google as it sends the signal that you are a viable and credible source because of how users interact with your website.
2 – Build your website lean
Google loves fast loading websites. Only include what is necessary on your webpages and on the backend of your site and optimise images by reducing their file size before uploading them.
Also avoid using too many heavy plugins or extensions in WordPress This will ensure good performance in terms of load speed and also improve user experience.
3 – Use unique page titles and descriptions
The title of each page should be relevant to the page content and formatted in a way that is easy to understand. Ensure that correct page descriptions are included as these will show up in search results along with the title.
Make sure the tile and descriptions are not too long ast they may be cut off in search resultss. In WordPress you may use an SEO plugin to help you tweak these as they show what the search engine result will look like. Yoast or Rank Math are two great plugins to use for this.
4 – Set up Google Search Console and Google Analytics
Once your website is launched, you’ll want to track some key metrics in terms of traffic sources and how users navigate and use your website.
Both Search Console and Analytics are free tools provided by Google to help you do these and more. You can use an existing Google account to connect your website and start getting insights so that you can continue to improve what you do with SEO.
The subject of SEO is very broad and there are a lot of things that need to be done in order to see the benefits. Being SEO ready just means having the very basics in place on your website, but in order to do proper SEO a full strategy will need to be implemented.
If you are not planning to do full SEO now, that’s OK. But, at least ensure that you lay some of the foundation so that it is easier when you are ready. Besides, just applying the basics now, will still be beneficial to the website performance and user experience.