An easy to find website
The best website is one that is easy to find. Do you have a good findable website? Is it easy to find through search engines? Is the content of your website optimised for search engines on certain keywords? Do you make it easy for search engines to index your website?
An easy to find website
An easy to find website is optimized for search engines. With Search Engine Optimization (SEO) you optimise your content on the keywords on which you want to be found. And with Search Engine Friendly (SEF) you make it easier for search engines to index your website.
Search engines value fast websites better than slow websites. Mobile websites score better in the search results of visitors who surf the internet from their mobile phone. And secure websites, i.e. websites that work via https (http "secure" ), score higher than non-secure websites (via the old http protocol).
Do you have a website that is easy to find? How well is your website indexed? You can check this with the Google machine by using site + domain name as keyword. So for example:
Search engine optimisation (SEO)
On which keywords do you want to be found? In a search engine optimised website those keywords are used in a smart way so that the pages score better in the search results. An easily findable website makes good use of SEO techniques.
How are the pages of your website structured? Do you use a good semantic structure? A good text quickly makes it clear what it is all about. For both visitors and search engines.
By a good construction you grab the attention of your visitor. You make it easier for them to understand the text. And you invite them to continue reading.
The semantic structure of a page of a website that is easy to find consists of:
- page title (browser title) indicates what the page is about.
- article title - indicates what the text is about
- introduction text - "teaser" which informs the reader what the text is about and invites him/her to continue reading.
- body - the rest of the text is divided into logical paragraphs. The text is provided with intermediate headings that quickly make it clear what a section of text is about.
- call to action - invites the reader to take action. For example, link to contact form. Or a link to other pages to read additional information. Or a "buy now" button to add something to a shopping basket.
The HTML structure
The HTML structure is used by the design. And it gives search engines a structure with which they can better understand the page and index it:
- Page title (browser <title>) is the most important part of the page. Search engines display it at the top of each search result
article title (<h1>) indicates what the article is about.
- Intermediate headings (<h2>, <h3>, etc) indicate what pieces of text are about. Make sure there is a good structure. With the
- Webdeveloper Browser Tool you can easily analyse the structure of a page.
The design makes your pages attractive to read. The design makes it quickly clear what your text is about. A good design allows the reader to better distinguish between the main and side issues.
- the title is slightly larger than the rest
- intermediate headings are slightly larger than the text
- white space between paragraphs
- Photographs support the text
A well-known slogan in the SEO world is "Content is king". Make sure you use unique texts on your website. Make sure every page on your website is unique. If your texts are also on other pages or websites, they are less unique. Search engines rate such "duplicate content" negatively. And visitors will appreciate unique content better and refer to it sooner. With a tool like Copyscape you can see how unique your content is. And whether your content is not used on another page. Use unique content to have a website that is easy to find.
Search engine friendly (SEF)
Is your website easily indexable by search engines? Make it easier for search engines: turn your website into an easily indexable website!
A sitemap is an overview of all the pages on your website. You can include an HTML version to show your visitors a complete overview of your website. An XML version is made available to search engines so that they can easily index all pages. An easily findable website uses such an XML sitemap.
Let search engines know via robots.txt which pages should not be indexed. Robots.txt is a file that many search engines consult before indexing a website. A website that is easy to find tells search engines which files and folders should and should not be indexed. In a Content Management System, for example, the system files do not need to be indexed.
The URL structure is the address of a page in the browser's address bar. A good URL structure makes it clear what a requested page belongs to.
The closer a page is to the domain name in the URL structure, the more important the page is. The further away a page is from the domain name in the URL structure, the more specific the content. For example:
This page deals with a broad topic, namely computers.
It is an important page because it is close to the domain name.
This page is about very specific subject: a joystick for a Commodore C64 computer.
A website optimised for search engines has a clear URL structure. Search engines use it for indexing.
Search engines use artificial intelligence to determine what the text on a page is about. You can make it even easier for search engines by adding metadata about the content. On the website schema.org you will find all kinds of microdata schemes and how to use them on your website.
People can easily recognise an address in your text. For search engines this is a lot more complicated. An easily findable website provides the content with metadata so that the context is more easily recognised. You can provide your address with microdata that indicates that the address is a physical address, and what each part of the address represents: street, postal code, city. And your opening hours.