You can hire the best designer in the world and still never get a single visit to your site. While a beautiful and animated website enhances users' experience, SEO gets them to your site. And getting visitors to your site is usually the hardest part. In this article, we show you how to break the noise and rank high on Google!
How Google drives organic visitors to your page
Google is constantly changing the algorithms that index websites on the internet and impact their ranking. In the early days of the internet, you staffed your website with a specific keyword and ranked #1 on Google. Another famous strategy was to hire a link farm to generate thousands of backlinks to your site.
This doesn't work anymore. Google fought back hard with a series of algorithms and continues to do so today, to make the internet a more personalized experience. To rank on the first page of Google today, you need to understand what they care for. Here are the main 3 things:
Before we dive into relevance, you need to understand what SERP is and why it matters. SERP is the result you get when you type something in Google. Search intent is the main goal of a user and Google cares about it a lot!
Google will crawl your page to inspect if the content is relevant to the user or search intent. So for example, if you type in "how to make sushi", it will inspect all pages with this keyword and try to get you the best result possible. And to become the #1 result, you actually have to create quality content that will answer the user intent.
You can actually help Google with indexing your page and make it more relevant for users. Include the target keyword in your slug, headline, meta description and throughout your content.
The next thing that Google puts a lot of emphasis on is authority. The more reputable the website is, the higher it will rank. This is called domain authority developed by Moz.
Its scores range from 1 to 100, and the greater the score the better the chance of a good ranking. The score is based on website popularity, engagement, and the number of other websites linking to it. You can learn more about domain authority on their website.
The third very important factor that Google considers is how long visitors stay on your page. Are they scanning through your content and taking time consuming it? Or do they leave your page in a split second after visiting?
All this gives Google signals if you are meeting user intent. The longer they stay on the page, the better the ranking. Google wants to show users the best content, so if you focus on creating good content that serves your readers, organic growth will come.
Pick the right keywords
In the world of search engine optimization, you will be in a constant battle for ranking high on Google. To achieve this you will have to rank for the right keywords. SEO keywords are phrases that internet users type in the search engine to find particular information.
If you are a Webflow agency and want users to discover you, you will have to rank for the keyword "Webflow agency".
It's important to notice that any term typed in the search engine is considered a keyword. Whether that's a single word or more. There are two types of keywords we know:
- Short-tail keywords that consist of a single word. An example would be "Webflow".
- Long-tail keywords that consist of more than one word. An example would be "The best Webflow agency".
Keywords are a foundation of a good SEO strategy and will be responsible for driving organic traffic to your page. Without SEO ranking, your page will not be discoverable no matter how great it looks. Once you have your list of keywords that you want to rank for figured out, you can start optimizing your Webflow page for:
- Landing pages.
- Blog posts and other content.
- Product descriptions.
- Finding your niche audience.
Creating a list of keywords will be the foundation of your SEO strategy. To rank high on Google, you will have to find keywords that don't already have a ton of competition. Competing with websites that rank for those keywords will be more or less mission impossible. At least at the beginning of establishing your online presence. Luckily there are a few tools and tricks that can help you pick out the right keywords to build content around:
- Google Suggest or better known as Google Autocomplete. It gets you a list of long-tail keyword suggestions when you type in a single-word phrase in the search engine.
- Answer the public helps you see frequently asked questions on the internet. You can then form question-based keywords based on your research.
- Ubersuggest helps you find keyword ideas, understand the competition and help you see how your competitors are ranking. It even offers a free Chrome extension to help you see search volume for a specific keyword.
There are many more free tools that can help you kickstart your SEO strategy, as well as many professional ones. One of the most famous SEO tools is Moz. It's an SEO software that helps you audit your site, track ranking, do competition analysis, etc.
Add SEO titles and meta descriptions to all pages
In the previous step, you created your SEO strategy and picked the keywords you want to rank for. To rank #1 on Google, it is not enough to include the keyword solely in the content of your page.
You will have to create a meta title and meta description with your keyword. You will see both meta title and description after you type in your search query in Google. It is the text you see before entering the actual website.
The meta title acts as a name tag in the HTML and helps Google understand what your page is really about. Strong meta titles are key to an effective SEO strategy since web crawlers analyze those titles to rank your page accordingly.
To create a strong meta title, keep in mind to:
- Stick to a 55-character limit.
- Be specific but concise.
- Make the keyword obvious.
- Be engaging.
A good practice is to also include a brand name in your meta title. This helps you build authority and encourage visitors to click on your page if you are a trusted brand.
The same goes for the meta description, only this is not a title tag of your page, but a brief description. Here is the definition of meta description by Moz:
"A meta description is an HTML element that provides a brief summary of a web page. A page's meta description tag is displayed as part of the search snippet in a search engine results page (SERP) and is meant to give the user an idea of the content that exists within the page and how it relates to their search query."
To create the best meta description possible, follow those guidelines:
- Keep it up to 155 characters.
- Use active voice and make it actionable.
- Include a call to action.
- Use your focus keyword.
- Show specifications where possible.
- Make sure it matches the content of the page.
- Make it unique.
Design responsive and with a clean code
This one doesn't have so much with writing content, but more on how clean code and design can help you stand out. Since Webflow was built for responsive design it should be pretty easy.
Making your website responsive will ensure you to:
- Get the crucial "mobile-friendly" tag in the search.
- Provide a better experience for every user on any device or platform that lands on your site.
- Improve the time spent on-site and reduce the bounce rate.
Webflow does a great job of always allowing you to preview the site you are building on mobile! This allows you to always have an idea of how the site will look on different screens.
Another thing Webflow is great at is creating a clean and semantic code under your designs. This is a key contributor to improving your search engine ranking. As mentioned many times in this article, Google crawls your site to index it. The bot that is crawling your site goes through fundamental information such as headers, sub-headers, any metadata, the types of media and sizes, etc.
The more semantic this information is in your code, the faster and easier it is for the bot to crawl your site.
Take care of your 301 redirects
Like websites are no longer static by design, they are not static by the content on them. If you want to create a highly ranked website, you will have to put in work all the time. This means content, different URLs and design will change along the way.
When you build and develop your website, the existing pages are often no longer relevant and thus deleted. Sometimes they are not deleted and only change the location on the page.
In both scenarios, 301 redirects are here to save our day. 301 signals are a permanent redirect from one URL to another. This means that every user that tries to access the old URL will be automatically sent to the new one.
Let's take a more tangible example. You have created a blog post with the URL: "/blog-post-2021", but then change this URL to "/blog-post-2022". Your old blog now lives on the new URL but some users don't know that. When they will be looking for the blog post, 301 redirects will automatically send them to the new URL.
301 redirects are especially important to let the Google engines know where your content is. This allows Google to keep its index up to date.
Doing 301 redirects on Webflow is super easy!
- Open Project settings > hosting > 301 redirects.
- Add the old URL in the “Old Path” field and the new URL in the “Redirect to Page” field.
- Add a redirect and publish your site.
- Test the redirect to see if it works and you are done!
Build a helpful 404 page
No matter how much effort you put in monitoring errors on your website, 404 errors happen from time to time. A 404 occurs when the user is trying to access a page on your website that doesn't exist. On those occasions, the 404 error page pops up trying to redirect the user to the right place.
While you can't prevent every 404 error, you can make this event more pleasant for the users. What works best is to make the content on this page funny and relatable. What else can make a stressful situation better than a bit of laughter? To get some inspiration check out this list of 50 creative 404 pages.
But, the joke won't cut it if you then don't provide clear guidance on what happened and how the user can get from here. Important thing is to let people know something went wrong and offer them a solution to get out.
Creating a 404 page in Webflow is easy as a piece of cake. Just create the new page and name the URL /404. This is it, your 404 Error page is created. All there is to do now is for you is to make it pretty and functional.
Add alt tags to all visual elements
Adding alt tags to your visual elements like photos is a much-underrated asset in enhancing SEO optimization. Did you know that Google Image searches account for almost 23% of all searches? This means image SEO can be a huge contribution to driving traffic to your site. Optimized images can increase your chance of ranking in Google images and are an important part of on-page SEO.
Alt tags are written descriptions of your texts and tell Google what the image shows. They also enhance the site experience when the image can't be properly loaded.
Here is how to optimize your images for SEO when using Webflow:
- Upload your images to tinypng.com to compress their size. This will improve the site loading speed and thus improve the user experience.
- Use a descriptive image file name when you upload it in Webflow. Search engines rely on file names to better understand the content. An example would be red_sports_car.jpg.
- Add all text to every image, and explain what is the content of the image. Keep those texts short and sweet.
Optimize your URLs
“URLs with words that are relevant to your site’s content and structure are friendlier for visitors navigating your site.” - Google.
The last thing to consider in this article is to create a good URL structure. A good is short and includes your keyword. The best practice is to mimic your page title by dropping some filler words.
Short and direct URLs are easy to remember, so there is no need in putting the whole title in there. Web crawlers also love short ULRs, since they can crawl them faster and with higher accuracy.
Here is an example.
We created a blog post with the full title: Best Practices for SEO in Webflow
The URL is not the full title but only: /blog/webflow-seo-best-practices
You can see that the URL is short, keyword-rich, and still gives you a great indicator of what the blog post is about. Changing the URL in Webflow is easy, just go to the Pages panel and change the slug. That’s literally it.
As you can see from this article, a beautiful website enhance the user experience and keep visitors stay on your page. But no matter how great the website looks, only SEO can bring visitors to your website and make you discoverable on the internet.
To rank high and become #1 on Google you will have to create a good SEO strategy. This means that you will have to optimize both your content and the technical side of your website. Once you start executing your strategy, it is a good idea to connect your website with Google Search Console and Google Analytics. This will help you track organic search, bounce rate, user demographics, keyword performance, etc.
Now the only thing left to do is for you to create engaging content, provide value and start you path to becoming #1 on Google. But remember! SEO is not a sprint, is a marathon. To start getting SEO juice and rank high will take time, important thing is to stay consistent and don't give up.
Which is the best free SEO tool?
While it is hard to rank the best SEO tools, some of the most famous ones are AnswerThePublic, Woorank’s SEO & Website Analysis Tool, Animalz Revive, CanIRank, etc.
Why SEO is important?
SEO is important because it helps your site rank higher on Google and become visible to more users.
What are the 4 types of SEO?
4 types of SEO are local SEO, on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.