It's important that your website appear in search engine results related to your mission. Here are some website optimization basics that will put you at the top of the search results.
1. Determine Your Keywords
If you want to appear higher in search results, you first need to think about what your users are searching for. To develop a list of keywords, think about your own web search habits and ask colleagues how they would search for your organization. Also, be sure to include words and phrases people may be searching for related to your organization.
2. Quality Content
The foundation for any website is focused, quality content. Make it easy for visitors to quickly find what they are looking for and tailor it to your target audience. Make sure you are using your list of keywords throughout your content in a thoughtful, natural way.
3. Heading Optimization
Using hierarchy in your typography to break up long blocks of text is not only a great way to keep your readers engaged, but it is also important for SEO. Including words and phrases your audience may be searching for lets search engines know those keywords are important and related to the content. In addition, make sure you are using your website's "H1, H2" heading functionality rather than simply enlarging the text size or making it bold to create your headings; your CMS should allow you to easily select and assign a heading format to your text.
4. Internal Links and Anchors
Be sure to link body text to other pages on your site where it makes sense. You can also Include links within your body text that will "jump" visitors to related content on the page (called anchor text) which will help search engines know it is relevant content. These links will also help keep visitors on your site longer and allow them to deepen their understanding of your organization and its mission.
5. ALT Text
Search engines can't "see" the content of images, so it is important to use the ALT text functionality when adding an image to your site. Your ALT text should be descriptive of what the image contains and will be read by the search engine. Including keywords in your ALT text is also helpful. Further, ALT text is important for website ADA accessibility. Visitors who are visually impaired using a screen reader won't be able to see the image, but the screen reader will be read the ALT text for them.
6. Site Speed
Search engines favor sites that load quickly on both desktop and mobile. Google has a handy tool for assessing the speed of a page and providing insights on how it can be improved. More than half of website traffic comes from mobile devices, so approaching website design and load-times from a "mobile-friendly" perspective is crucial to providing a good user experience.
7. Check Your Analytics
Make sure you review your Google Analytics data frequently to see how your website is performing. Note the date of any edits that are made so you can track and monitor any changes in your data.
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