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29.5.2021seo, search engine optimization, google

Website Search Engine Op­ti­miza­tion (SEO)

We are often asked, es­pe­cial­ly when the client's website is in its early stages, how to get their website to appear on Google and, on the other hand, how to improve the search engine vis­i­bil­i­ty. In this article, I will dive into the secrets of search engine op­ti­miza­tion (SEO).

Search engine optimization is a long term process. If you have just started creating a new website, please note that it can take weeks (and in very rare cases even months) for Google to analyze and add your website to google (in another words for google bot to crawl your website). Thus, for search engine optimization (SEO), it is good if you create some content for your website as soon as possible and publish it. In this article, I also suggest how you can try to speed up the crawling process. It’s also good to note that when you make changes, it can take up to  weeks for google to notice the changes. Past is also no guarantee of the future, so if your website at the moment shows up well on Google, that doesn’t mean a competitor couldn’t overtake you some day. Thus, it is worth working constantly for SEO.


If you want your website to appear quickly in search results, then you can implement Google Ads (paid service). It allows you to place ads in the search results. Below is a little tip on how you can try to speed up the process of the Google bot crawling your website and thus make your website results appear faster on Google.

SEO in Colorful Alphabets

How to speed up the Website appearing on Google searches?

Google provides a handy tool called the Google search console (formerly known as Google Webmaster Tools). The Google search console is a free tool that lets you manage the visibility of your website on Google's search engine. In practice, you can receive important notifications, for example, if the Google search engine fails to crawl your website or there is some other error. With the help of the search console, you can also try to speed up when Google crawls your site.


Your website visibility on search engines is affected by at least the following:

  • Speed
  • Content
  • Images (alt text and file names)
  • Meta title and description
  • Domain and url
  • Links (link description)
  • Mobile

Website speed and Google

(if you are using Oidom for your website, you can skip the parts of speeding up your website as these are automatically taken care of by Oidom )


Google doesn’t tell you exactly what are the things which affect search engine visibility. However, a Google employee has said that the loading speed of the website matters. Loading speed is more important than ever as many use mobile devices and the connection quality varies.


Factors that affect the speed of websites:

  • Image Sizes
  • Database vs. Static Homepages
  • Code
  • CDN
  • Server capacity and Image Cache

Image size

To speed up your website, remove the things that slow them down. For example, if you have made your website with some content management system or even yourself, it may well be that you have unnecessarily large images that could be reduced in terms of file size. The aim is thus to keep the size of the image in megabytes as small as possible without compromising the visual appearance. This speeds up website load times while reducing unnecessary bandwidth consumption. 


Oidom does image optimization for you, so you don't have to worry about this when using Oidom. As you upload images to Oidom, Oidom creates multiple versions of the images for different sized screens. What you can do is try to make sure you only add quality images so that Oidom can create the best possible sizes automatically for different screen sizes.

Website code and database vs. static websites

The code part in a website matters. It can make the site load very poorly or extremely fast. Many websites are made using PHP. Usually newer versions of PHP are faster than their predecessors. So it makes sense (also for security reasons) to update the PHP version to the latest. How well the code is written is also important. Especially for content management systems, it is worth noting that many add-ons in WordPress, for example, can be poorly coded and can therefore cause websites to slow down. In addition, you should use add-ons as little as possible so that they do not slow down the site. 


Many websites also use a database, such as WordPress. Databases can slow down your site. So it makes sense to reduce database queries. If possible, you should consider if your website could be static. Static websites are faster because they do not perform database queries.


Websites made with Oidom are always static so they are very fast compared to websites using PHP and a database. In addition, the internal  links in Oidom website are pre-loaded, so when the user clicks a link, the next page opens immediately. In addition, we optimize code so the user does not have to worry about it.

CDN (CONTENT DELIVERY NETWORK)

A CDN, or content distribution network, is a geographically distributed network in which services are provided close to the user for speed and reliability. In another words you will improve download times by enabling CDN. This is a particularly useful feature, if your website is global so people visit the site from all over the world.


In Oidom, all user-created websites are automatically added to the CDN, so Oidom websites work quickly everywhere

Server resources and cache

One way to speed up your website is to increase server resources. In particular, a server with high load can cause your site to slow down. At this point, however, it is important to note that websites should be optimized as much as possible to minimize server load. This also makes the server or servers more resilient to high loads. Also caching can be very helpful if you have a database. 


Websites created with Oidom are static, so no cache is required in Oidom. In addition, our system uses several servers to ensure that the home pages load quickly.

Testing website speed

There are several tools online for testing the speed of websites. Very popular ones are Pingdom, Pagespeed and GTmetrix

1622095184071_google-pagespeed-oidom-hd-me.png

Content (keywords, search terms) and the vis­i­bil­i­ty in search engines

Content is gold. The quantity and quality of the content matters. It is therefore worthwhile to produce quality content for your website. It is important to use suitable keywords in the content, but avoid keyword stuffing. By keywords, I mean words which a user is likely to use when searching on Google.

Headings (H1, H2, H3…)

Try to use keywords in the headings. Headlines are the most prominent text in the content of your website and thus also relevant to the search engine.


Example:

A restaurant called “Pizzeria Margherita” in Berlin could write in the title:

“Berlin’s best pizzas from Pizzeria Margherita.”. The good thing about this would be that the search engine would probably find searches related to the city, Berlin. There is also the name of the company and product “pizza” mentioned.

Images

I  mentioned previously that it is a good idea to optimize the size of your images, if it is not done automatically like in Oidom. In addition, you should use descriptive file names and meta descriptions in your images.


Although computers today allow the use of special characters and even spaces in filenames, you should avoid them. Instead of generic filenames like image1.png, you should use something that tells you what's in the image. For example in the case of the pizzeria: pizza-salami.png.


In terms of accessibility and search engine, it is also a good idea to use alt texts with images. They can be used to describe what is shown in the image. Following the previous example, the alt text could even be from the pizza image “Delicious Salami Pizza”.


How to edit image name and alt text in Oidom.

Oidom Manage Media with pizza image

Number of words per page

For regular pages and blog posts, a good minimum number of words is at least 300 words. For very good pages, such as expert articles, the recommendation is more than 900 words. 


Note that it is good to use subheadings in the text to make it easier to read. Also, note that the content should be unique. Direct copying of content from other websites is likely to be punished by Google, so it is not worth it.

Bold text

Bold text was useful for search engine results. Nowadays not that much as search engines noticed that people were trying to fool them with bold texts. Still bold texts can make it easier for people to quickly browse the text and find the information they want so they still are useful. However, do not use too much bold.

Old and new content and links

Google appreciates your website the more old and new content there is. For example a blog is a great way to create useful content. You can also make a blog conveniently in Oidom. You can find it in the blue bar on the left under Articles. People on social media may notice your blog articles and then link to your website.

Blog in Oidom

Links

Links on other people's websites which lead to your website i.e. which bring visitors from other people's websites to your own website are very useful. You get then direct visitors through the links and Google also appreciates your website more.


Links from your own website to other websites are something that many avoid because basically links take people away from your website. However, they should not always be avoided. As an example, blog posts where outbound links can be very useful to the reader will not hurt the search engine results either, but will make your post better for the visitor. However, on the main pages of the website, I would use discretion with external links.


Text links should describe the destination to which the link leads. Thus, for search engines, it is better to use, for example, the link “Delicious pizza recipe” instead of the general “Learn more” link.

Keyword in a domain or URL

I remember the times back in the day when it was useful to have a keyword in a domain.  Google says nowadays that there is no advantage of it. However, what can be useful is to put keywords in the URL. An example of such a domain is for example domain.fi. Thus, if you put the keyword in the URL, then it could be like domain.fi/keyword or even domain.fi/keyword1-keyword2. Even if there wouldn’t be big  advantage, that address will appear in the search results and therefor is more user friendly for the visitor.


Editing URL in Oidom.

Meta de­scrip­tion and title

Meta description is an essential part of search engine optimization. There used to be meta keywords as well, but meta keywords no longer matter to modern search engines (again because the feature was misused at the time). A meta title is often the title that a search engine utilizes in a search engine as a title.


A Meta Description is text that a search engine often utilizes in the text of a search result. Still keep in mind that Google will decide what to show in the search results, meaning that in some cases meta description and search result text may look different from each other.

Meta Title and Description in Google search result

Write a separate meta title and description for each page. The search engine doesn’t like duplicate content in general, but not specifically in meta. So it’s important that the meta description is unique on each page, telling you specifically what’s on that page.


Example of a meta title: "Oidom Website Builder - Create fast static websites"

Example of a meta description: "Oidom is the easiest way to build fast static websites! Create your website with any device. Start using Oidom for free."


Do not make the meta description very long: a maximum of 50-160 characters, Google may well shorten the lengthy descriptions. It’s also good to remember that Google is the one deciding whether to use meta description in the search results or not.


How to add Meta Title and Meta Description in Oidom.

Websites must work well with mobile phones and tablets like iPad

The importance of mobile phones and tablets like iPad (so all mobile devices), have grown tremendously on the internet and will continue growing as there are more and more mobile users. Google is also aware that mobile users leave websites about 5 times more easily and therefore search engines also value more websites, which work well on mobile devices. Also Google provides a service called Google PageSpeed, which first shows the results of a mobile device and then additionally you can also view the desktop results.


Our websitebuilder Oidom optimizes images and text directly for all screen sizes, so you don't have to worry about mobile optimization. If you don’t use Oidom, you should check whether the different pages on your website work on all different screens and also if the pages load quickly.

Tracking Results (Google Analytics)

Many things will not evolve if progress is not followed. The same is true for websites. You can use analytics tools to track your visitors. The most used analytic tool  is probably Google Analytics. With Analytics you can see how the website traffic develops and see how long visitors spend their time on the website on average. You can grow the numbers by creating more quality content to your website.


It's also a good idea to track the success of different keywords, or search terms. There are many different tracking tools available for this as well. One good one is Wincher (fees apply, starting at € 10 / month). In practice, in Wincher, you can track how your website ranks for certain keywords. In order for your website to be found, it is important to rank on the first page of the search engine so among the first ten search results. 

Social media and videos (Youtube)

Social media is important for visibility. You can gain visitors to your website and you can see faster the results than in SEO. Social media does not directly affect search engine visibility, but it does have an indirect effect, for example, it allows you to get links to your website, which increases the value of the website.


Youtube videos have virtually the same benefits as social media. You can also there get people to link to your website. Providing quality content will also improve your brand visibility. There have been old studies where websites with video at the top of the page were found to rank better than other websites. For today’s search engines, however, video is probably only a part of the whole picture, but it can still play a very important part.

Keep your domain

You should try to keep your domain. You have worked hard in getting your SEO in shape. You can lose a lot of that work by changing your domain.

Con­clu­sions

Search engine optimization can be balancing between what words you should use and where. Today, however, content and its quality are more important than gimmicks, so quality content should be your priority. Google strives to provide quality content to its users so it will mean that so should you.

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Jussi Kolhinoja

The author is one of the founders of Oidom. He has previously co-founded Finland's most successful hosting companies, which have hosted tens of thousands of  websites. Jussi has more than ten years of experience in the hosting industry and now he focuses on Oidom. Through Oidom, Jussi wants to help customers with online visibility.