No one can deny the fact that in order to get business from a website, it is necessary to achieve top page rankings on search engines. At the same time, many people will agree that it is not so easy to get on top of search engines.
There are a few questions that knock every webmaster’s mind who failed to get their website on top positions even after spending hundreds of dollars and an unlimited number of hours on their SEO project. These questions could be “What exactly do search engines want?” or “What kind of websites do search engines love?”
In this blog post, I have outlined a few characteristics a website should have in order to win the love of search engines.
#1 Rich Content
Content is King! This statement is as true and valid for search engines as it was several years ago and should exist in foreseeable future as well. Having said this, I want to emphasize that if a website has rich, unique, and informative content for the users, search engines will not have any other option; except to love this kind of website.
#2 No Flash Please
There is no doubt that flash elements attract users with their animation & presentation style but the websites which have flash objects pass almost “unseen” by search engines, which index, exclusively, the text content in HTML format. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a website shouldn’t have flash objects, especially on the homepage and targeted landing pages.
#3 Great Download Speed
Who likes to wait in the long queue of airports, pizzerias, or banks? No one.Not even those people who have patience. The same applies to the websites as well. Having hundreds of options available & a lack of time, web users don’t feel like waiting for a particular website to get downloaded in minutes because they know that they could probably find a couple of more options in less than a minute.
According to various studies, an ideal time for a website to get downloaded is about 5-8 seconds. It is worth learning here that a website’s download speed is one of the several signals of search engines to rank it on the top pages of search results. Therefore, this matter must be considered seriously and appropriate measures must be taken to Fix the Slow Downloading Speed Issue if required.
#4 Clean Codes
A website having unnecessary pieces of code all over the place hinders the search engine’s ability to index pages and therefore it is very important for every webmaster to check with their web developers in order to make sure that all the codes of a website are in compliance with the standard coding format.
#5 Easy Navigation
Since all search engines (especially Google) love websites that are user-friendly, navigation plays an important role to win the trust of search engines. Having clean navigation on a website not only provides the users with a great browsing experience but also enables search engines to crawl & index the web pages quickly and efficiently.
Mobile Responsive is one of the new signals that Google has added recently to the list of their ranking criteria. Search engines would love those websites that are responsive in other words if a website fails to cater to the needs of device users, the search engines especially Google will not consider that website worth ranking up on the top pages of search results.
#7 Proper Meta Tags
In my experience as SEO Consultant in Singapore, I came across many webmasters who would not care about the usage of meta tags on all of their web pages. They would rather underestimate the importance of meta tags like title tags & meta description tags. I would like to mention here that using meta tags for each page of your website is as important as any other SEO activity. Search engines always determine a web page’s gist with the title tag & description used on it. So if you have not optimized your meta tags well, you may lose an opportunity to help search engines to understand & learn about your web pages.
#8 H1/H2 Tags
As we all know that using proper meta tags is very important to win the love of search engines, similarly implementation of H1 & H2 tags is also useful to help search engines learn about the information you want to share with the users. So, you must make sure that your H1 & H2 tags should have appropriate keywords in them.
#9 Optimized Images
Using images on your website is not really a bad practice but forgetting to optimize those images would really be a bad idea. Since search engines can’t read the images well, we must help their crawlers/spiders to learn about the objective of using images. This can be done through the usage of alt tags and alt text. When it comes to image optimization, it doesn’t only mean using tags for your images but it also includes the size optimization of your images.
The more an image is heavier, the more time your webpage would take to download and as we have already read above, search engines don’t love websites that fail to download quickly. Therefore, you must make sure to optimize the images for their sizes in order to make sure that the users and search engine crawlers should not need to wait longer to see your web pages.
#10 URL Structure
I am sure that you must have come across several websites that have URLs like www.websitename.com/index.php?id=4&sid7. Of course, using these kinds of URL structures doesn’t even help us (human beings) to understand the theme/gist of a webpage; let alone how search engine crawlers would know about them. Therefore, it is always advisable for all webmasters to make sure that their web developers must use SEO-friendly URLs which are easily understood by both users and search engines. An example of SEO friendly URL could be www.websitename.com/category-name/product-name/
#11 No Broken Links
Having broken links on a website would not affect only users’ surfing experience badly but it would also leave a negative impression about the website among search engines’ crawlers. There are several free tools available that can be used to find out all the broken links on any given website. The issue of broken links must be considered very seriously by all webmasters and they must act immediately on to resolve these issues with the help of their web developers. Search engines would generally love those websites which would not have any broken links on any of their web pages.
Adding a sitemap on the website makes it easier for search engine crawlers to learn about all the links present on a website. I am sure that you would also want that all of your important web pages should be visited by search engine crawlers each time they come across your website. Therefore, you must have a sitemap on your website which should list all the pages in a proper format.