What part does your website’s functionality play in effective SEO?
Search engine optimisation, or SEO, refers to the process of generating more visitors to a website by improving the website’s ranking position in organic search engine results pages (SERPs).
There are two sides to implementing SEO successfully; off site and on site optimisation.
Off site optimisation
This is the process of improving a website’s trust in the eyes of the search engine (e.g. Google). This is usually achieved by obtaining high quality backlinks from trusted, related websites. Positive social signals and great reviews from independent review websites such as Trustpilot also help Google to trust you.
On site optimisation
On site optimisation is even more important. This is the process of ensuring that your website itself sends the right message to Google. This is achieved by placing the keyword(s) that you want to rank for strategically within meta data, header tags and page content. Essentially, your aim is to show Google that your site is relevant to the keyword term(s) that you want to rank for.
So why is it that some sites with great backlinks and exceptional content aren’t ranking as well as they should be for their chosen keywords?
The answer is almost always that the website lacks functionality.
The importance of website functionality
In this day and age, Google is placing increased value on a website’s functionality within its on page ranking factors. Previously, Google’s priority was to look at the search term and then rank the most relevant and trusted websites at the top of their SERPs. These days, Google not only want to rank related and trusted websites; they also want to rank websites that deliver a great customer experience.
That means websites that are slow to load, unresponsive (do not render correctly on different devices such as mobile phones or tablets), have hidden navigation or a poor dynamic URL structure (website addresses with symbols rather than words) will struggle to rank as well as they should, even if the website is trusted and sends out all the right messages within its content.
To summarise, if you’re looking to get found in Google, not only does your online marketing need to be correct in terms of keyword selection, content and backlink strategy; you also need to ensure that your website’s code is up to scratch. A great starting point is ensuring your website is responsive, quick to load and easy to navigate.