Content has been hailed as king when it comes to SEO and digital marketing for the past several years. It is true that relevant content is the key to pushing your site’s visibility further. It is also the primary building block that you use for every facet of your online business – from marketing emails to link-building.
Despite this, you cannot neglect to prepare the essential foundations before you start laying the bricks.
You may have the best content in the world. However, if it is published in a sub-par website with a forgettable and confusing domain name, then it will all be for naught.
So before you focus on content, make sure you have established the following essential foundations for a search engine optimised website.
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The role of the domain names when it comes to search engine optimisation has changed over the years, but it remained a relevant factor nonetheless. To establish a strong SEO foundation for your site, you should remember the following domain name practices:
One of the most consistent factors in the search engine performance of domain names is the use of the ‘.com’ top-level domain (TLD). About 75% of all websites in the world use the .com extension. This being said, a large fraction of users will assume that a company’s official website has the .com extension.
Keep It Simple
Another rule that search engine marketers play by is to keep everything simple. Domain names that are shorter, more memorable, and are easier to spell tend to perform significantly better than overly-complicated ones. Remember that you want your site to be memorable and not to confuse to your visitors. This is why using up to two, easy-to-spell words is the best practice.
Finally, your domain name must be highly brandable. It should be a domain that will let your audience know what your company is about without having to click on your site.
Choosing a domain name should not be rushed, so it is important to take your time and explore every possible option. After coming up with the perfect domain name, the next step is to have it registered with a domain registration service such as NameCheap, Name.com, and 1&1.
It is true that lower pricing is more attractive for those who only want to have a site up and to run. However, for the SEO-conscious, a small price tag simply isn’t enough. Keep in mind that choosing a web hosting with SEO in mind boils down to the factors listed below.
Reliability: Uptime and Downtime
Crawlers, also known as “spiders”, may visit your site and follow its internal linking structure multiple times a day. This way, services – particularly search engines – can gain access to updated information about your site. This is a crucial process for indexing a site in SERPs.
The periods in which your site is accessible are measured as uptime. On the other hand, downtime measures the time in which your site is inaccessible. This is usually due to problems with the web host’s server. If spiders attempt to visit your site during downtimes, affected pages will be logged as inaccessible. Over time, your site is at risk of being marked as unreliable, thus hurting your search engine rankings.
In 2010, Google officially stated that page loading speed is an essential SEO factor since it directly affects user experience. 40% of web users will leave a site if it takes more than three seconds to load.
This is why it is important to choose a web host that’s reliable in terms of speed. Learn to check legitimate reviews for each host before committing. You can also use a tool such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights to monitor manually your page speed. Just be sure you’ve applied the necessary on-page optimisations to maximise speed to make sure you are not falsely accusing your host.
Shared, VPS, and Dedicated Hosting
Shared hosting means you’ll be sharing resources such as CPU, memory, disk space, and so on with other accounts on a server. VPS or Virtual Private Server hosting is quite similar, but you get to maintain and access a bigger space and bandwidth allocation. You may also configure anything within your VPS. You can customise your server’s configuration, install custom software, control user access, and so on.
Lastly, dedicated hosting means you get exclusive access to your very own server. You have full access to all the available resources and configurations. This is essential for websites that run resource-heavy applications. Some of the best web hosts that offer dedicated hosting plans include Temok, among others.
Content Management System
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After choosing the best domain name and hosting plan, you need to select the perfect Content Management System or CMS to put everything into place. A great CMS will allow you to optimise your pages, customise your layout, and publish your content in the best light possible.
Remember that a full-fledged CMS is different from website builders that offer limited customization options. These website builders include blogging platforms that are suited only for blogs and not business websites. Although they are capable of ranking decently with search engines, website builders will never offer the same level of flexibility and functionality as popular CMS platforms like WordPress and SquareSpace.
SEO is a very landscape that requires tremendous effort every step of the way. Although great content can propel awareness of your brand, you still need a great domain name, a reliable web host, and a comprehensive CMS to establish your online authority. Search engines simply love a brandable site that’s accessible and can offer a meaningful experience to users. Moreover, with these foundations checked, you can reap the maximum benefits of your content strategy.
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