Google cares more about the experience of those searching for results than it does about the keywords you want to rank for. Optimising your website for search engines obviously involves optimising your blog posts, but that’s only half of the recipe for SEO success.

As any five-minute discussion with a programmer will show, the opportunities to improve your site are practically limitless and if you wanted to you could spend all your time going deeper and deeper into site architecture. But for those of us who would rather have their eyes ripped out and rammed down their throats, here are the basic elements you should improve to make Google happy.

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1. Images

Page speed is incredibly important. Every experiment we have run that involves long-form, quality content on sites that take longer than three seconds to load, results in disastrous SEO results, even over an extended period of time. The worst culprit is images – those amazing shots that you spent hours improving in Photoshop need to go…or at least be reduced.

If you use HubSpot, you won’t be able to upload massive images onto your site, and the tool will assist in reducing those images. If you use WordPress, there are numerous minification tools such as Imagify, a tool which also enables you to upload individual images to the application. With images, the main thing is to experiment with reducing the size impacts on what your website looks like. The best rule of thumb is to use as few images as you need to, at least above the fold.

Oh, speaking of which –

2. Less Above the Fold

The term, “above the fold” refers to anything that you see when a page opens up. So if you scroll down to something, that something is below the fold. Simply put, if you have a lot of, “stuff” going on above the fold, then the page will take longer to load, and the user experience will be lessened. Google doesn’t like that.
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This goes back to how your site is designed – don’t try sell everything in the title, just give your audience a taste of where they need to go. Treat your homepage as an engagement and navigational tool rather than a sales and reputational advertisement. The practicalities of this are smaller images, fewer plug-ins, and from a coding point of view, less CSS and JavaScript, which results in faster load times.

All those clever tools and widgets – banish them to below the fold and your user experience will improve.

3. Be Responsive

Whether you like it or not, the world is going mobile, and Google likes this. Your site must be able to respond to all mobile platforms – including tablets – in order to be considered SEO optimised. The same goes for different browsers such as Safari, Chrome and Firefox. The search engines don’t just look at your site from one perspective – they consider how your page will appear on every conceivable screen.

If you are on HubSpot, don’t worry, you are already taken care of. Otherwise, grab your smartphone and see whether your full desktop website appears (or tries to appear) on the screen of your phone. If so, your site is not responsible for mobile. Now download some different browsers onto your computer and do the same thing. If the results are less than perfect, you may need to consider a rebuild or downloading a different theme if you are on WordPress. You must ask the developer for a fully responsive site, or check the theme details to make sure it offers responsiveness.

If your goal is to create content that ranks on the search engines, then optimising your website for SEO is mandatory. It will become more important as mobile tools continue to develop and tablets begin to replace desktops. Again, website optimisation is a rabbit hole, don’t get caught up in it just make sure the basics are done correctly and keep Google happy.