Have you ever wondered why your website is not showing up on search engines? This is a fairly common question among website owners. Indeed, given the popularity of Google, or other platforms like Bing, reassuring yourself of having a certain visibility can help increase your clientele. If your website is not appearing on search engines, there are two options:
- a configuration blocks search engines (The website does not appear at all).
- Your website is not optimized enough for search engines
1- A configuration blocks search engines;
There is usually a file in the main website directory called robots.txt. This file gives directives to search engines regarding the pages or directories you want to index. A bad configuration can block your website. If you are using content managers, it is also possible that you have enabled the 'Nofollow' index in the configuration. This would have added a directive in the header of your website to restrict indexing.
To fix such a problem…
- Be sure to validate your robots.txt file. This Moz article might shed some more light on setting up your robots.txt file.
- Look in the configuration of your website (if you use a content manager).
- Create a Google Search Console account where you must submit your sitemap and then test your robots.txt file
You can also work with experts to help you make the necessary configurations. Contact us if you need assistance.
2 – Your website is not optimized enough for search engines
There are nearly 1.7 billion websites online. This shows you how saturated the web world is. This is why you need to improve your website to stand out from the competition. When on page optimization we usually refer to:
- your website. The structure, the quality of your content, accessibility and security.
- External parameters (references and what customers think of your services or products).
It is usually very easy to optimize the quality of a website compared to having external links or referrals. Indeed, to improve the quality of your website, you usually have to work to respect a set of search engine recommendations. However, in the second case, it is usually a relationship of trust that you establish over time. We are going below some important points that you need to optimize.
11 elements to optimize to improve your positioning on Google and Bing
There is a huge correlation between website optimization and improving the quality of your website (page SEO). Your natural positioning on search engines also depends on what others think of you (external SEO or outside your website). Today, we look together at 11 elements to optimize if you want to improve your natural positioning on search engines. We will give practical examples and some reference tools that can help you.
What is optimization for a better positioning of your site (SEO)?
In general, search engine optimization (SEO) can be defined as any technique used to improve the natural visibility of its site on search engines. When alluding to natural visibility, we sometimes speak of two parameters. To know :
- The optimization of the pages of the site (On-page SEO). This will consist of applying a set of web development and marketing techniques to make your site better than those of competitors.
- External optimization (Off-page SEO). It consists, among other things, of displaying your site on local business directories, getting customers or other companies to talk about your site. Or be present online.
On-page optimization is occasionally very easy. Indeed, if you follow the suggestions and recommendations, you will be able to improve your site. At the same time, external optimization is a recurring job that requires a certain level of trust from customers and visitors.
The optimization of the pages of the site (On-page SEO).
To optimize the pages or the quality of your website, you must adapt the best practices during development. Combined with best practices, you should consider recommendations from search engines such as Google. When we talk about good practices, we refer in particular to:
- The performance of your website
- The adaptability of your site to all types of screens
- The security of your website
- The relevance of your content.
There are several search engine recommendations aside from best practices. We can cite among others:
- Create a website plan
- Configure a robots file
- submit your site to Google Search Console
- Configure error pages and make good redirects
We won't go into more depth on the aspect of page and site optimization later in this article.
External optimization (Off-page SEO)
To do external optimization, you must work on the relevance of your content and the relationship with customers or visitors. Indeed, it consists of encouraging people to talk about you positively. According to the logic of search engines, if the world is talking about you, it means that you have something good to offer. There are several ways to achieve this:
- Submit your website to online directories. Directories are a great way to increase your online visibility. The more you are visible in the directories, the more chance you have of increasing your online positioning.
- Ask for feedback from customers or visitors. When you provide a service to customers, you can, for example, ask them for their opinion on your products or services. Positive reviews will encourage other people to contact you. Other search engines will want to refer you more visitors.
- Post as guest. Guest posting on external websites can help you gain some credibility.
- be present on social media. Your presence on search engines and your popularity rating can also improve your visibility rate.
All the work around the external optimization to increase your trust rating with search engine. This popularity rating can be characterized by what is commonly called the authority of your domain name. A domain name with a higher rating has more visibility than domain names with a lower rating. That said, a company with a higher rating than yours would love you to increase yours if they were talking about your website.
Why improve your site for search engines
Natural optimization for positioning your site on search engines offers several advantages. Below are some benefits of SEO.
Improving the user experience
All website optimization rules tend to improve the quality of your website; and therefore the user experience. So, if you improve your site, you will see a marked difference in your stats and the time customers spend on your site. SEO rules such as:
- The adaptation of its website to all types of screens.
- Reduced page load time
- Reinforcement of the security of its site
- Testing the site on different browsers
Are SEO rules that can impact user experience quite quickly.
Increased chances of making more sales
When you improve your website for a better customer experience, we increase the chances of making more sales. Indeed, the more customers want to stay on your site, the more they could buy. And, in most cases, visitors who come to your website naturally are more or less interested in your content. For example, you could use tools such as:
- Google Search Console to constantly submit your XML sitemap to increase the number of indexed pages.
- Keywords recorded through Google Analytics to optimize your content regularly.
Become a leader in your industry
One of the rules of SEO is to improve its content to better position itself against the competitor. If your content is much more relevant than that of competitors, you will have a better chance of being at the top of the page and therefore a reference.
Grow your brand online
With search engine optimization, you can grow your brand online. Indeed, your content and the fact of appearing easily at the top of the page, conveys a positive image of your company.
How to optimize the positioning of your website (On-page SEO)?
There are several parameters to improve for website optimization. Here we will list eleven that can help you. At the same time, we will give you some tips for applying them to your website.
1 – Add text in the Title Tag
The title tag is one of the most important in search engine optimization. Indeed, net robots generally use it to display the titles of your page on the web. The content of this tag appears at the top of the browser when your pages are accessed. If you do a Google search, you'll see results with minus three parameters. Among these parameters, you have the information taken from the title tag (if it is available on the site).
How to add information in the title tag?
Basically, adding information in the title tag will simply consist of modifying the header of the code there on your pages. If you have access to the source code, you can easily replace the text in the <title></title> tag. The procedure highly depends on the solution you are using.
- On an HTML site, open the HTML document corresponding to the page and modify the site header.
- With content managers (example: Magento, Drupal, Joomla …), you must locate the section corresponding to the given meta.
- For custom dynamic solutions, you always have the option to create rules that show you custom data.
Recommendations for Title Tag Optimization
To better optimize your title tag, you can follow the following recommendations:
- Write text of 50 to 70 characters. If you put more character, search engines like Google show you the first 50 to 70.
- Be sure to include the page's main keyword in the title. If you are a restaurant and have created a page talking about sandwiches, you can, for example, include the word sandwich in the title.
- A title pattern recommended by several experts such as MOZ is: “Primary keyword — Secondary keyword | Company name”.
For example, let's say you are a car repair shop offering wheel changes called Garage Expert Inc. An example of a title could be “Car Repair Shop — Wheel Changes | GarageExpert Inc”. In the code, we will have the following form:
<head> <title>Car garage — Changing wheels | Garage Expert Inc</title> </head>
2 – Optimize the meta-description;
Write meta descriptions for your pages. It's like a summary of your page. For example, search engines most often use your meta title and meta description information to redirect a visitor to your website. However, you need to make sure that your information on your meta title, your meta description and your content are linked. Otherwise, search engines will end up penalizing your website. Meta descriptions contain 70 to 160 characters (including spaces).
<meta name="description" content="">
Like the title tag, the meta description is in the header of the site. It represents the summary of the page. Indeed, search engines generally use it to display a brief summary of your page. When you do a search on Google, you will sometimes see the latter right after the title. So, if you want to improve your online presence, you need to optimize the meta description tag.
How to add the information in the meta-description tag
The approach is similar to the title tag. You have several options that may depend on the technology you are using.
- On an HTML site, open the HTML document corresponding to the page and modify the site header. You need to replace/add the content in the tag
- With content managers (example: Magento, Drupal, Joomla …), you must locate the section corresponding to the given meta. Add text in the meta description form.
- For custom dynamic solutions, you always have the option to create rules that show you custom data.
Recommendations for optimizing the meta-description tag
The meta description is usually the summary of the page. For better optimization, you should:
- You reassure to have text below 170 characters
- Include the main keyword in its description
- be specific in your description
Using the example above, an example description could be:
<meta name="description" content="Automotive garage based in Montreal specializing in wheel changes. Contact Garage Expert Inc for a free consultation">
3 – Make its URL clean and easy to read;
The format of your URL link can have an impact on the natural positioning of your site on search engines. Indeed, well-structured URLs have many more clicks and visibility. So, if you have a dynamic website (or many constantly changing pages), improving your links is a huge advantage. There are several approaches to make a clean URL among which we have:
- The .htaccess file as supported by your server.
- The options of your application (example CMS or Framework)
- Extensions or applications that you can install on your site.
Below is an example of URL with parameter:
The link below can be structured like this:
Why have a well-structured Hyperlink
Well-structured links offer several advantages, namely:
- They remember easily – In the example below, it would become much easier for a person to remember Montreal/restaurant than to remember its equivalence with the parameters.
- A well-structured link is much more secure. Indeed, hyperlinks with question marks have parameters that cybercriminals can exploit to target your site. For example, page=Montreal, indicates the page variable that a web expert to access data from your website.
- Search engines can easily rank your content when the link is easy to read.
Recommendation regarding URLs
To further facilitate the indexing of your pages by search engines, you can follow the recommendations below:
- Please include the keyword in your URL. This will help search engines rank your content.
- Avoid too long a link. It's easier to remember when it's short.
- Be sure not to include special characters
Example of an optimized URL: Assuming you have a restaurant offering pizza, a link for your page talking about pizza could be
4 – Give a title/min description to your images with the ALT tag
The Alternate attribute is an HTML element used to specify alternate text that displays when the image fails to load. In addition, visually impaired users using screen readers will be able to understand the subject of the photo thanks to the alternative description.
<img src="" alt="">
The Alt tag allows text to be displayed if for some reason the visitor is unable to see the image. For this reason, it is therefore important to offer a description that illustrates the image in question. If you have an image that illustrates it, a car, giving the name motorcycle could be confusing. Example of using the Alt tag:
<img src="https://www.prositeweb.ca/technologies/shopify/.jpg" alt="Shopify development">
Recommendations on the use of the ALT tag
Here are some recommendations that can help you better optimize your ALT tag:
- Add descriptive content.
- Make sure that your page's keyword appears at least once in one of the alternative texts
5 – Use at most one h1 in each page;
H heading tags are HTML elements such as h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6. When you use h heading tags, they appear on the webpage as headings or subheadings. Usually, search engines will use the h1 for search results if the page lacks a meta title tag. Use your keywords in the headings then make sure the first level (H1) includes your most important keywords. Never duplicate content from your title tag in your header tag. In case it is crucial to make sure every page has an H1 tag, never include more than one per page. Instead, use multiple H2 — H6 tags.
The h1 tag is used for the most important title of your page. Search engines use it as an alternative if the Title tag exists on the page.
Recommendations for using the h1 tag
- Include h1 only once on the site.
- Make sure that its content contains the keyword of the page
- Avoid a title that is too long.
How to use
Let's say your page is about website development and your main keyword is WordPress website. An example of an h1 title could be:
<h1>Expert in WordPress website creation in Montreal</h1>
6. Create a sitemap for your website
The sitemap is an XML file that contains an enriched list of URLs. It provides the search engine with information about the nature of a site's internal URLs. The purpose of this article is to provide you with useful information regarding the sitemap and how you can use it to improve your SEO.
What form is this file in?
Literally, the XML map is a file that lists the addresses of all the pages on your site. It is a very structured file generated automatically by certain software. A good structure of your XML file is important insofar as it allows you to better index your website. The website map is usually accompanied by the robot.txt file which defines the rules for what is allowed or not.
Why is a sitemap useful for website optimization?
It is very useful for search robots, useful for improving your natural referencing.
What web tool would this file be useful for?
The sitemap is useful for SEO because it allows search engines to easily and efficiently trace/find the pages of your website. The XML file usually contains a list of pages from your website that you have chosen to show to other search engines. This is because search sites use your plan to index the pages available on your website. The structure of your website also contains information on each page. This speeds up the process of indexing your pages. Your site's XML file is a very essential tool, but not necessary for SEO.
How does the XML file promote SEO?
To improve your positioning on engines like Google … it is very useful to create its XML file. Below are some advantages:
- Gives search engines priority over pages, and therefore robots.
- Provides information from Google Webmaster Central.
- Helps get your pages indexed.
- Attracts attention when the right words are searched for
How to generate and install your XML sitemap?
There are several online tools available to generate the sitemap XML file. One of the software of great renown is pro-sitemaps.com which allows to generate a structured plan and also informs you of the files not found on your site (Error 404). So you can program your XML file yourself. Indeed, if you have in mind the list of all web pages, you can use the structure of our website to generate your own file. You can, for example, use your text editor and the code above to list all your URLs. Once this is done, you will only have to save it in an XML format. If you use extensions like Yoast, you don't have to create a sitemap. Yoast generates a sitemap that you can submit to search engines.
7. Include a robots.txt file in your root directory
A robots.txt file helps control what kind of robots can crawl your website. It is essential to use the robots.txt file to block spammers who may want to scan your website for emails or other relevant information. Thanks to the robots.txt file, you can, for example, define:
- What kind of file do you want to give access to?
- The folders you allow access to net robots.
- What kind of robots are not allowed to access your website?
How to create the robots.txt file
To create the robots.txt file, you have two options:
- Create yourself (with minimal knowledge of what you need to include)
- Use online solutions.
To create it yourself, you simply need to create a file on your computer with the txt extension. Next, you need to place the file in the main directory of your website. If however, you want to use the tools available online, we recommend ryte . It's easy to understand and use. You will simply have to fill out the form and generate your file.
8. Find and replace broken links (404). Create a redirect.
Broken links (404) can affect your visibility and user experience on your website. It is therefore essential to, could you find and replace the links that lead to the error page. To find broken links on your website, you can use Pro-sitemaps which will provide you with a sitemap with the list of all broken links on your website. You can then browse the list and make adjustments on your website. In order to inform search engines or avoid losing your visitors, you should create a 301 or 302 redirect to push visitors to the new page. In marketing or web development jargon,
- The 301 code corresponds to a permanent redirect — It is a way of informing search engines that the page no longer exists and is irrevocably transferred to the new page.
- The 302 code – corresponds to a temporary redirect — With the 302 code, you inform search engines that you have temporarily redirected the page.
Fixing links that no longer exist is therefore essential for website optimization.
9. Identify your performance issues and fix them
The performance of your website affects the loading time and therefore increases the bounce rate. In fact, with a high number of websites out there these days, people are losing patience with a slow site more and more. This is the reason why you need to invest a little effort to improve your website loading time. Loading time plays an essential role in conversion and search engine positioning. Indeed, with billions of websites on the Internet and a huge number of people offering the same services, people no longer have time to wait. If your site takes too long to display, they will go to the competitor. We recommend this article which explains how to optimize your website . Optimizing your website in terms of performance will consist, among other things, of:
- Opt for a high-performance host
- Minimize the weight of the resources present in your web pages
- Install and properly configure a caching module
- Use a performance analysis tool
- Monitor performance
10. Improve your website's responsiveness
As you probably already know, the use of mobile devices and tablets has reached 70% of all Internet users. In other words, a website that is not responsive loses more than 70% of its potential customers. To improve the responsiveness of your website, I will recommend primer , which is a powerful HTML, CSS then js framework for the mobile site. With this framework, you don't need to create many websites for each size screen. If used correctly, your website will automatically resize according to the device your visitor is using.
11. Secure your site with an SSL certificate
Using an SSL certificate has multiple advantages. First, it will increase your ranking on search engines. Second, it reassures your customers that you care about their data. Finally, you protect your data against attackers. The cost of an SSL certificate is not that expensive. For starters, you can get one for less than $20.
Some recommendations to Optimize the performance of a website in a few steps
Loading time plays an essential role in conversion and search engine positioning. If your site takes too long to display, they will go to the competitor. In this article, we explain the impact of loading time and how to improve it.
A little research from Think with Google
According to a study by Think with Google on mobile devices, your bounce rate could go up to 106% if the loading time is over 6s. In other words, you won't be able to attract customers using mobile devices or tablets.
Bounce rate is the percentage of users who come to your website and leave without clicking to another page. This does not necessarily mean that the user has not ordered or filled out a form. In most cases, that means they didn't want to stay on the site. Alternatively, he might have found the solution to his problem on the first page.
Some tips to improve the loading time of your website
There are many ways to improve the loading time of a website. The easiest approach will be to analyze your pages and understand what you need to improve. Various online tools like GTmetrix and Google PageSpeed Insights can help you achieve this goal.
How to use online tools to analyze page speed?
The way of using online tools is almost similar:
- Visit the platform. Example — GTmetrix
- Enter its URL
- Click Analyze
In each case, you will receive a report with recommendations for improvements. Some of these tools will give you the option to download the report for proper analysis.
Common settings to check to improve your loading time
If you use the online tools, you will usually get recommendations like the one we provide below
- Properly resize your images for mobile devices. It is not necessary to use an image with a size of 2000px*2000px on mobile devices.
- If you use JPG and PNG on your platform, it will be better to use PNG for logos and places where you want to keep the predominant background color. While JPG will be better for other images on the website. The reason is that JPG generally becomes less dense than PNG.
- Avoid using too many extensions on your website. Although they can help you add more functionality, they have a performance impact. An alternative might be to do some custom programming for some of your site's features.
- Check server speed or specs
Some tools you can use to improve your loading time
It is difficult to always analyze all the pages of our website. To avoid errors, you can use some existing tools to continuously analyze your loading time. Some of these tools are:
- GTmetrix – This tool is a powerful tool for analyzing your website's performance. It will be. For example, tell you which images to optimize or which function you need to adjust
- prositweb.ca/seo – This will help you analyze and solve your SEO issues instantly. This includes recommendations on loading time.
- Smush – (for WordPress users). This plugin will help you optimize and resize your images.
How to optimize the performance of a website?
Optimize the performance of a website, a mandatory ability for any developer. You have just designed or put your website online. Hello ! You have a strange feeling that your pages are loading slowly. If you are in this situation, then there is a good chance that the performance of your website is not optimized. Indeed, performance factors such as the weight and speed of a web page are very often neglected by budding webmasters, and even sometimes by professionals. However, if the ergonomics and design of your web pages form the beautiful body that seduces your visitors, the performance of your site will be the engine that will make their experience pleasant.
Why optimize the performance of a website?
Do you get angry when the phone company puts you on hold? Do you feel this lack of interest when the page you want to consult is not displayed in full? In both of these situations, you are subject to what is called a bad user experience . Nowadays, internet users are more and more impatient. They expect the web page they're viewing to provide the information they're asking for the instant they click. You will never receive accolades if your site performs so well that it reacts to the thought of your visitors, however you will always receive negative feedback if the pages of your site load slowly. The user experience is therefore a point that simultaneously promotes interest in your content and the loyalty of Internet users. This mainly depends on three factors:
- The ease of manipulation of web page elements by the browser
- The loading time of the elements of a page
- The speed of displaying a page (according to statistics, a display delay of more than three seconds would be strongly discouraged).
You then understand that the user experience is quite poor on non-optimized websites. In addition, Google likes less and less websites considered slow. A performance optimization will thus favor the SEO referencing of your website.
How to optimize the performance of a website?
We may have started our remarks with a serious tone, but rest assured! There are many methods to make a website more efficient. We recommend, for example, some steps you can take to improve the performance of your website.
1- Opt for a high-performance host;
You will absolutely have to choose a host, whether you decide to create or migrate a website. The choice and qualification of a "good" host very often depends on several criteria. Most of the time, the type of project and the financing of the project determine this choice. Learn about the different packages that different servers offer, with a particular interest in the technical details. You can, for example, check the availability of servers and their connection speeds. You will want to find an offer that offers good performance management for your site, while staying within your budget. Be aware that a host does not earn his reputation in a trivial way, and that your site hosted on a shared hosting offer will have different performances than on a dedicated hosting offer.
2- Minimize the weight of the resources present in your web pages;
The weight of resources (images, videos, codes, etc.) greatly influences the loading speed of your web pages. You can, for example, compress images and videos (keeping an acceptable resolution) to optimize them for the web. Also consider the "embed" function offered by some social networks. This function allows you to store your videos rather on the social network and to lighten your file at your host. Prioritize the content to load while minimizing your code, HTTP requests and redirects.
3 – Install and correctly configure a caching module;
During his visit to your website, an Internet user is called upon to consult different pages. He often even consults the same page several times. Consequently, the elements of the page are reloaded by the host to respond to the requests of the visitor during his various consultations. The expectation of response from the host in this case is a factor that can influence the speed of your site. A cache module installed and above all correctly configured on your site will temporarily save the elements of a page consulted on the visitor's hard drive. Thus, these elements will load faster when the page is requested again and you will obtain an improvement in the loading speed of your web pages. If you use a content management system such as WordPress, you will easily find a plugin for cache module management. In case you have instead entrusted the development of your site to a professional agency, chances are that the agency has already integrated a cache module into the website during its construction.
4- Use a performance analysis tool;
Many free and paid tools can help you track your website's performance. Google offers, for example, two tools, PageSpeed Insights and Web.dev, for optimizing website performance. They offer several services, ranging from diagnosis to improving the user experience and then SEO.
How to improve the performance of your WordPress site?
Do you want to improve the performance of your WordPress website? In this article, we look at the steps to follow. WordPress is a great web design tool. However, if you don't take the time to optimize it, you might miss out on its benefits. We are going to talk about some analysis tools, then we will talk about extensions or configurations.
Validate the performance of your WordPress site
Before embarking on optimization, you must first validate if your website needs it. Indeed, your website is probably already optimized. To do validations, there are several options. We will see below some tools that you can use.
1- Performance validation with GTmetrix;
GTmetrix is a free platform that can help you analyze the performance of your website. The mode of use is as follows:
- Visit their website
- Enter your URL in the form
- Analyze the performance of your website.
The GTmetrix website will generate a report that will allow optimization.
2 – Using LightHouse available on the Chrome browser;
If you are a Chrome web browser user, you can use LightHouse to analyze your website. LightHouse provides several other information that can be useful if you want to perform a complete analysis of your website. Via LightHouse, you will have data such as:
- The performance of your website
- Best practices during development
- SEO (SEO)
3- Use of W3C Validator;
W3C Validator is a tool that you can mainly use to validate HTML syntaxes.
How to improve the performance of your WordPress site?
Having a site is a very good thing, but having a buggy site is the worst thing. The better your site performs, the more chances you have of improving the user experience, increasing the conversion rate and this will help you improve the site's SEO. If you've ever had to use WordPress , chances are you've found it easy to install and use in managing your website. But, most people who use WordPress often experience issues with site performance. Today in this article, we are going to offer you some elements or tools that you can use to be able to improve the performance of the WordPress website and increase the conversion rate of your site.
1. Use WordPress plugins
2. Optimize WordPress Site Pages
To improve the performance of your site, it is important not to overload the extensions on your site. If you have several extensions on the site, it is best to select those that are useful to you and delete the rest that are not useful to you. Because these extensions that are of no use to you can have an impact on the performance of the site. Therefore, to optimize the pages of the site, cache the pages to improve their display time. This will allow you to improve the performance of the site.
Some things to do to optimize the pages of a WordPress site?
1. Activate PHP7+ on your server
PHP7 is the programming language widely used on WordPress sites. This language is updated very regularly. It helps improve performance, security, and language functionality. If your WordPress site uses PHP7, it may load twice as fast.
2. Cache your site
The cache is an element of your site that helps to save the data necessary for the consultation of a website, in the form of temporary files. So, a visitor who constantly comes to your site will always have a site that loads very quickly thanks to caching mechanisms. Compress the images: to make your site attractive, you always tend to choose excellent quality images, which can be massive for the site and consequently, it can affect the loading time of your pages. To solve this problem, you can either compress the image or reduce the dimensions of the image. Manage extensions on your site: Some problems with your pages may be caused by extensions installed on your site. Be sure to install just the extensions you use to avoid having too many extensions on your site.
3. Validate the HTML syntaxes of the website
Sometimes codes that are not updated eventually cause a drop in site performance. So, by validating these codes, you will get a fairly precise idea of what should be removed or improved on the website. You must verify the correct HTML tags to avoid many display bugs that may degrade the user experience. The only reliable tool to check the syntax of your HTML code is the W3C validation service.