How to Optimize Your Website for Search Engines

Optimize your website for search engines to improve your site traffic. More traffic means more leads and opportunities to convert potential clients.

Okay, before we go through the optimization part, let’s have a basic knowledge about the search engines first.

A search engine is a software system that is designed to help people find information via web searches. They are able to return results quickly by continuously scanning the internet and indexing every page they find.

As a user, you only need to enter the keywords or key phrases into a search engine to receive a list of content that matches your search query.

If you’re a business owner, you really need to be part of search engine results. So that, whenever users type certain keywords, they find your website as part of the list. Especially for the keywords or key phrases with buying intent.

This type of traffic can be incredibly important to your business’s growth. Their search terms give them a better chance of becoming your customer.

So the real question is, how are you gonna be part of the search engine results?

One of the ways is to optimize your site for SEO.

What is SEO?

SEO or search engine optimization is the process of optimizing web pages and content to be easily discoverable in search engine results.

To be more specific, it helps your website become more discoverable when certain search terms that are related to your brand or services were used in search engines.

Imagine you provide digital marketing services. Then you talk about the benefit of digital marketing on your website. For example:

“How digital marketing can help improve sales?”
“Why do you need digital marketing services to support your business?”
“How to create good content for business and etc.”

With good SEO practices, your articles will get a proper chance to show up on the search engine result. So, when someone searches for a keyword related to the niche, they might have a better chance of finding your article.

That someone could be a business owner or company staff who is interested in copywriting services. That is the power of SEO, it helps you reach your specific audience.

optimize website for search engines

Optimize Your Site for Search Engines

There are a lot of steps and things to track if you want to optimize your site for search engines. But the first thing I want to emphasize is no matter how much you want to improve your ranking, always build a website that benefits your users and makes the user experience better.

Keep in mind that your users come first before search engines. So do not over-optimize your site solely for search engines. Please avoid things like keyword stuffing, duplicate/spun content, cloaking, link spamming, hidden text or links, etc.

These are unethical optimization practices that will attract penalties and bring down your site to the search engine’s graveyard.

To avoid the mistake, I will share common ethical methods that you can practice when you want to optimize your site for search engines.

1# Optimize your site URLs

Use SEO-friendly URLs on your site. Clear, simple, easy-to-read, and include keywords that describe the content on a web page are considered SEO-friendly URLs. It should be readable to a human and make sense.

For example, if you’re searching for information about blogging tutorials, a URL like will have more influence on you to click on that link.

Meanwhile, a URL like might look suspicious to most of us. It does not clearly explain what the destination page is about and also can be misleading.

So for the best user experience, optimize your URL with descriptive keywords that provide a clear understanding of the page content. Your site URLs do provide additional value to your targeting keywords. I have tested this myself and it works really well for low competition keywords.

2# Publish high-quality content

Having quality content on your site can definitely improve your search engine rankings. But it must be done properly and regularly.

Do some research before you write the content. Identify your target keywords or keyword phrases, understand your user search terms, and create content based on that.

Be authoritative, add more value, and strategically link to relevant sources for additional information both within the website and to the other websites that are useful. Another same advice from me, always writes for the user, not for the search engine.

And don’t forget to update your content regularly to keep your site fresh.

3# Use heading elements to break up content

Heading elements or tags (H1, H2, H3) are no longer a ranking factor, thus it is not mandatory to add your keyword in the headings. However, this practice is still very powerful because it helps you organize your web content.

If you have a long text of content, heading tags can be beneficial in explaining what the content is about. When you help users understand the content, you’re also helping search engines understand the same content.

4# Optimize your meta description

A meta description is an HTML tag that is used to provide a brief summary of a web page. It is displayed as part of the search snippet on the search engine results page (SERP) to give the user an idea about the content that exists on the page.

Here is what it looks like in the SERP:

As you can see, the meta description appears below the page title and page URL. Try to keep your important description between 140 to 160 characters so that Google can display your entire message.

I think most of you are already aware that meta description doesn’t affect rankings. But, it does affect your Click Through Rate (CTR). This is my personal opinion, I think when you’re already on the first page of SERP, your page description is very important.

Usually, when the users didn’t get the information they’re looking for from the first result. They will start reading the meta description to get an overview of the other pages. So, don’t ignore this section, try to optimize it as well.

5# Optimize your images

Yes, your web image!

Usually, people who’re new to their website tend to upload everything without editing their images first. So, some of their images might be bigger than 5MB. If you think that size is normal, my answer is no, it is not.

Larger images make your site slower and search engines hate that. So take note, always check your image size before you upload it on your site. My rule of thumb is always to keep the image size below 1MB, the lower the better.

In terms of image width, I try to keep it below 2000 pixels width. It is even lower if I use that image in a blog post. If you think your image is still quite big even after you resize the pixel size, maybe you can use free online tools like TinyPNG to resize the image.

And here is another great article that you can refer to if you want to optimize images for search engines.

Lastly, don’t forget about your image alt tags. Search engines can’t see the image, which is why we should use alt tags to provide written information about the image. To do this, you can use keywords related to the content on your image alt tags.

6# Improve page loading speed

Page load time or page speed is a measurement of how fast the content loads to fully display on a specific page. You can always evaluate your page speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights.

Page speed not only enhances the user experience but also boosts your search engine rankings. So, in terms of the site’s performance, page speed is of utmost importance. That is why it is essential for your web pages to load quickly and seamlessly.

However, improving your page speed can be considered difficult unless you understand how the metric and the factors that influence it works.

To name a few, you need to know about file compression, minify CSS, javascript, HTML, leverage browser caching, etc. Choosing a good hosting provider also plays a major role in your website’s performance.

That is why I write this article. Having a good, fast, and powerful hosting provider is a blessing. They can improve your page loading times and your site’s overall performance.

Here I linked a good article from Hubspot if you want to improve your page loading speed.

7# Get referrals

According to the Google document on optimizing your site for search engines, they stated that your site needs to get referrals.

Have your site mentioned in useful places online. See if you can get into your local online news sites, or in any other appropriate resources.

If you’re an SEO person, you know that this is all about quality backlinks. However, if you’re not, please read my explanation down below.

When you have a new product or a new business, it is good to get the word out. One of the ways is to reach out to your local newspaper site, media, and influencer to mention your business, services, or products.

Let’s say they write an article about your business or services and link back to you, your site might have a huge boost in terms of SEO. That is why it is important to get referrals to your site.