Seven Attributes of SEO-Ready Digital Products
Here at Xfive we design, develop, deliver, and maintain digital products: websites, applications, e-commerce solutions, and more. Although SEO services don’t belong to our primary list of services, we do deliver SEO-ready products to our clients.
What does the client expect?
“SEO” is a buzzword that shouldn’t be one in 2020. In contrast to its primary meaning, it is recognized as a set of activities that magically result in a website or app reaching the Top 3 search results on Google.
Hundreds of apps and thousands of companies are offering easy success in this area which will significantly help to boost sales.
With such common knowledge spread throughout the digital world, even experienced professionals fall into the trap of relying on automation and the perceived magic that “SEO tools” provide.
Having that in mind we only recommend legal and trusted solutions, named “white hat” practices. However, sometimes what we provide and implement doesn’t bring the immediate results that are desired. But at the end of the day, our clients still remain successful and more importantly safeguarded against a load of other negative issues.
Best SEO Practices and Solutions Xfive provide
What we believe to be the best practices to follow in every project requires a little bit of a descriptive explanation. So here’s a simple checklist we run through on each of our client’s websites and apps that positively impact how search engines and users perceive their products.
Although “SEO” is usually meant as a combination of algorithms, robots, and in general, the technical part of the web presence, you will see below, that in fact, all the elements are user-centric features.
The loading time of your website is crucial for how search engines and users perceive your website. Humanity is impatient and even a few seconds can feel like forever. A lightning-fast website, both on desktop and mobile, will have an advantage over those with slow loading times. It’s not only the optimized code that matters but the small details which can have a large impact as well. Even a well-coded website can change into a blotted one when you use improper picture formats, forget about the correct use of caching or use too many 3rd party scripts.Xfive cares about website performance by using the following performance optimization techniques:
- testing projects with Google Lighthouse, WebpageTest, and other testing tools
- using responsive images, next-gen formats like WebP, and lazy loading offscreen images
- using Content Delivery Networks
- using an effective caching mechanism on a server and using the correct browser caching settings
- optimizing the loading of web fonts
Mobile optimization When over 70% of the global population now uses a mobile device, it is crucial to have your website properly optimized for various screen sizes. Although more and more websites are responsive and an increasing number of designers use the “mobile-first” approach, passing Google’s mobile-friendly test is a must. Without it, you can forget about gaining any significant position in search results. All Xfive’s designs are made with the plethora of devices in mind and our coding practices secure mobile optimization.
Accessibility, H and alt tags & perfect UX
The lesser-known fact about Google search is the search engine is one of the most sight-impaired users on the Internet. Google’s indexing algorithms work very similar to screen readers used by visually impaired users. This is why proper UX and the way you structure your website content is crucial for both the users and Google’s indexing robots.
It’s not only important to have the proper structure of H tags, but also to structure the content where it provides the most important information correctly. Another factor that boosts your “SEO” and is crucial for screen readers is the proper usage of alt tags. Website admins usually forget about filling them out, but we advise and recommend to our clients not to ignore this small yet important element that increases the visibility of images in search results.
In addition, Xfive developers are trained and certified for maintaining accessibility standards in our designs. Thanks to this your website will not only be perfectly optimized for SEO but also built for the most demanding users.
Title, Description, and Open Graph Tags
So-called “meta tags” were the most crucial element of “SEO” years ago. With “keywords” you had the holy trinity of what was the standard for optimizing projects for search engines. When the “keywords” tag lost its significance, page title and description are the only ones left to give you an edge with search algorithms. Title and description are the first bit of information a user reads in search results and is the first and most important moment they interact with your website before visiting it.
Currently, you can also notice similar importance of “Open Graph” tags. With them, you get control over the way the content is displayed to your users while sharing your website on social media. While auditing our clients’ pages and during the development process we take care to implement proper tags to optimize this important content distribution method.
One of the arguments that cause ⅓ of websites in the world to use WordPress is the fact that this CMS solution is impressively optimized for search engines. The core functions, as well as the most popular plugins (either Yoast or All-in-One SEO), give you ease of control over your tags, sitemaps, links, descriptions, readability, and everything mentioned above. How creative you are regarding the content is up to you. Everything else you have auto-configured and optimized for success.
There is no optimization without analytics. With a completed website we recommend our clients set up Google Search Console and an Analytics account to have insights into traffic, backlinks, and the most crucial information about what’s happening with their online presence. You can expect to have all the necessary tracking codes properly installed and we can also help with the proper configuration of your analytics tools.
Although we are not an SEO agency, we’re here to help you. Our clients sometimes ask us for recommendations regarding their “SEO” and in these cases, we can perform a site audit and prepare a useful report with recommendations for optimization. Reports contain information about the technical aspects of the website, as well as the recommendations regarding the content and further improvements.
Infinite work in progress
When receiving completed files from Xfive a client gains what can be considered an “SEO Ready” product. However, with either a WordPress website, a web or mobile application, small business or enterprise-level e-commerce product, all of these require constant improvements and updates to maintain its optimization.
The only way you can attract visitors to your product is by creating unique value. This will ensure that users will continue to use your site or product but even more importantly, recommend it to other users.
It’s not only important to monitor trends and meet them but also create them yourself. Constantly analyzing your users’ needs and behaviors, adapting to changing situations in your market and adjusting to search engine algorithm updates will help you maintain your position in the marketplace.
We at Xfive can help you with our technical expertise gained through the thousands of products we have delivered during the past 15 years. We can advise you with selecting the most effective solutions, advise and implement UX improvements, and ensure you’re safeguarded with a tailored maintenance package.
We believe that one can’t be an expert in everything, so let’s leave the copywriting and marketing part of the project to a person who knows it best: you.
If you don’t feel comfortable with these activities or prefer to hand it over to SEO, marketing, or content professionals, we’re happy to connect you with one of our long-term partners. We can confidently vouch for their experience in helping companies achieve success in the global market.