Improving websites for search engines

User Experience Optimization (UXO)
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has only one goal: to improve the discoverability of online media. In addition to functionality and user experience, discoverability is a sub-goal of many websites. Without findability, new customers are not likely to arrive. So it is usually important to pay attention to how you can improve website findability.

Where to begin?

Improving website findability is a smart choice. Because why else did you have created a website? Not so that no one uses it. You want to be found by keywords that are relevant to you. The only problem, however, is that improving website findability already takes place when you push one of the thousands of buttons. How do you know if you're in the right place? Where do you start?

The crawlers

Search engines use so-called crawlers to “index” your website. As soon as you are online (in other words: as soon as you can navigate to your domain with the browser and your website appears), we give a call to the most well-known search engines to let you know: “here's something new to see”.

In fact, the crawlers are not entities, but simply simple scripts that are programmed to search and store. In fact, they do nothing more than go to your website to see what content there is, what links are on it, and then they go off those links to do the same thing.

Google variables

There are a huge number of variables that all influence each other. Think of it as if you've received a recipe from someone: even if you have all the ingredients, you'll have to put them in the right composition to make it work! Salt or pepper is good, but not if you use too much of it. The same goes for your website: it can look super nice, but if it isn't fast enough, people will drop out. Vice versa.

Website findability is a choice. Especially when you know what variables are involved. So let's talk about the ingredients for improving discoverability:

What contributes to better findability?

Let's take a closer look at the factors that contribute to a significant improvement in your findability.

Factors that contribute to better findability of your website:

  1. quickness: speed is very important. And not only because Google has this high on the priority list. Especially because it gives the user a better experience. If the user has to wait a long time, staying is less enjoyable and then the risk of 'a bounce' increases. Someone who just leaves without interacting... That's an indication to Google that it's not what it needed after all.
  2. Contents: so your speed is ok? Great, take a look at the content on the website. Because that's what you'll ultimately get out of in the long term. It can take as little as 9-12 months for traffic to build up in a legitimate organic way. A process that can be shortened to 3-6 months with a little help and guidance.
  3. Hierarchical structure: the findability of your website depends on how much information can be linked to each other by search engines. Good categorization helps search engines understand it all and see it in context. Remember: search engines are not people; they interpret our texts based on the relationship between the words, in other words, titles and content elsewhere on the site.
  4. Interactions: Interactions include clicks on elements, scrolling down, mouse movements, forms being entered, and in the near future eye movements. These interactions, as we briefly mentioned at number 1 in this list - provide an indication for Google to know if your website is serves content that matches the search or not.
    Are there few interactions? Time to improve this, because those interactions - for example, someone tapped a link to download a brochure, for example - are a valuable signal for algorithms like Google's.
  5. Good fame (left): A domain builds long-term authority. So your domain can naturally be found better over the years. This helps you accelerate by improving your network of online relationships. This, in turn, is easy by letting others post a link. The so-called backlink to your website. What's important here, however, is that you can do your very best to get as many people as possible to link to your website - but if they all come from websites with a bad or even bad reputation, you will achieve the opposite: less easy to find in the long term.
    Good links are harder to find, which is why it is necessary to “work yourself up” in terms of link profile.

How much return do you get from website findability?

The return on investment in “organic website traffic” can be enormous. This depends very much on what strategy you use, how much money you have invested in it and how your target audience is willing to convert via websites. We are receptive to your call to contribute to website findability. It is easy for our team to indicate where opportunities lie and what the expected return is. If you have any questions, please contact us!

Over de auteur
Steven Maas

Steven is eigenaar van Rootsteps, wordt enthousiast van nieuwe technieken, houdt zich bezig met klantcontact, content-creatie, user experience design en Search Engine Marketing.