What makes your text SEO-friendly?
The simplest answer to “What is SEO?” is: it’s an art of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic on your website mostly, by making your website informative and interesting. (If this definition is not enough for you, we have written an article explaining SEO in simple words: How does SEO work?)
Your website should be useful mostly for your users, but it also should look useful for bots.
What are bots? They are pieces of code that scan your website and then decide if it’s good enough to put it high in Google search results (which is a Holy Grail of every SEO specialist).
The Google bots evaluate websites based on what they see in the code. What are their criteria? No one really knows them precisely, but there are guidelines. Google’s algorithms orchestrating search results (in other words: bots’ criteria) can change even several times a day, but the main big rules stay pretty much the same.
Definitely the older domains have the upper hand. Texts that are conveniently divided into paragraphs with headers are something that they like too. Websites with a lot of text are more attractive to the bots – and that’s why it’s important to have a blog on your website.
It all makes sense, because Google wants to bring the best matching results from reliable, informative websites to the users’ query – and that’s why Wikipedia often takes the first place in search results page (also known as SERP).
Here are some tips to make your text more appealing not only to your readers, but also to Google bots:
- Make it long enough. It’s safe to say that 1000+ words is a good minimum length of the text.
- Interlink your texts. If your website covers a specific group of topics, bots may see it as expert content.
- Optimize your images. Use the “alt” attribute (a short text description of an image) wherever you can – it makes using your website easier not only for bots, but also for visually impaired people, who use audio screen readers.
- Optimize the size of your image. Another factor that is important is the speed of your website. Big images slow it down, so make sure your pictures and photographs are not too big!
- Readability matters. Long sentences are not very user- (or bot-) friendly. Make sure you stick to under 25 words per sentence, when it’s possible. Occasional two or three longer sentences won’t hurt, but keep your text simple. There are free online readability checkers, like readable.com that will help you check how readable your text is.
- Use headers and paragraphs. Neatly divided text is always easier to digest than a wall of text – this is reflected in your website’s code and bots can see it.
- Use your keywords wisely. If you write your content with a specific keyword in mind (as you should), don’t overuse it. Overusing a keyword can be seen as a way to trick Google bots and therefore it’s penalized. Make your text sound natural, use synonyms if possible and just enough of your keyword of choice.
These are very basic rules, yet very important to follow. Taking proper care of your SEO is an effective and budget-friendly way to make yourself visible in Google search results.
Now, after reading this article can you guess what I could have done better in this text?