What is an SEO-Friendly Website [and How to Create One]

You can think about SEO traffic as a gift from Google. You get this gift when you deliver helpful content when the customer searches for it. If you want to benefit from purchase-ready traffic, your site needs to be user-friendly, technically sound, and customer-focused. Read on to learn about what an SEO-friendly website is and the steps in building it.

published: December 21, 2022
updated: April 10, 2023

What is an SEO-friendly website?

An SEO-friendly website is a website that has been built to rank on search engines.

It’s optimized to specific technical guidelines, and all the content has been planned precisely to rank on search engines. An SEO-friendly website is optimized to be fast, accessible for search engines, and contains high-quality, unique content that the customer wants to read.

Your website needs to be found by Google, crawled, and indexed. There are many elements involved in achieving this. You may lose search engine rankings because of poor website design, lack of relevant content, or a slow page load time.

Why do companies need an SEO-friendly website?

An SEO-friendly website will increase your traffic. Most people select the first five results on a Google results page on a full screen, and over a quarter click on the first search result. Your customers are less likely to find you if you're not there. Most people don't scroll past the third result when using their phone, so it's even more critical to ensure your mobile site is Google-friendly. Usually, a website that is good at SEO also has a good user experience. SEO can drive targeted traffic without spending money on PPC or other online advertising.

A mistake a lot of companies make is to create a website and then look at improving its SEO.

A website requires SEO to be part of the strategy from day one.

Steps to create a Google-friendly website: overview

Here, we delve into a step-by-step guide on how to create a Google-friendly website. For ease, we will separate them into subcategories. They are strategic, technical, UX & SEO On-Page, and Reputation.

Steps to create a Google-friendly website


Without a strategy, it’s hard to know where you are now, where you want to be and how to get there. Pages need to target keywords.

For an SEO-friendly website, you need to create a website structure to rank for the keywords. You need to create a specific page for each group of keywords.

For example. If we want to rank for "tech pr" and "tech pr agency," we need to create specific pages for them. We suggest combining the information from a competitor analysis with the information from keyword research to create a strategy.

With this information, you can create a website structure. For PRLab, the website structure we created was services pages, locations pages, industry sector pages, and the blog.


Competitor analysis

You'll want to know how you compare with your competitors. To conduct a competitive analysis, you must identify your competitors.

To do this:

  • Work out what keyword you want to be known for
  • Type this into Google
  • Note the top few competitors. You should compare your website with theirs

Select pages from their site to compare. Use tools such as Similarweb or SemRush to understand how much traffic they receive and to work out the website's ranking for specific keywords. What content do they have? Who is linking to them? How is the website structured? How is their content accessed and engaged?

How to do competitor analysis on Semrush

1. Add your competitor domain to the domain overview.

Step 1 for competitor analysis, useful for SEO-friendly websites.

2. Choose a country and click on keywords

Step 2 for competitor analysis, useful for SEO-ready websites.

3. See the keywords that generate the most organic traffic on the list.

Step 3 for competitor analysis, useful for SEO-optimized websites.

By analyzing your competitors' content, you can create better content. Content quality drives Google's algorithm, which is extremely valuable. Your website's design dramatically influences how people perceive your company. A poor web design may mean losing customers from your website. This leads to a high bounce rate. A high bounce rate will adversely affect your SEO performance. When analyzing competitors, look at their content. Is it user-friendly and appealing? Get ideas for your website from your competitors if theirs is visually appealing.


Keyword research

For keyword research, we also use tools like Google Ads Keyword Planner or Ubersuggest. ​​We need to use the keywords we want to rank for and find related keywords. You can create custom content or incorporate it into your pages to address these gaps.

By analyzing keyword gaps, you'll be able to attract new traffic and generate valuable leads.

The goal of this step is to find keywords that are interesting for our company. A dentist in New York, for example, would likely want to rank not only on "dentist in New York", but also on "dentist for kids in New York" or "orthodontist in New York".


Keyword mapping

The keyword mapping process is one of the most important elements of on-page optimization, which helps Google determine a page's relevance and ultimately provide the information that users are looking for.

Keyword mapping is defined as matching which page should target which keywords. The ultimate purpose of keyword mapping is to build content optimally and attract more traffic. If you don't go through this process, your strategy will be less structured, and you won't get as much traffic.


Website structure

Keep important pages within two or three clicks of your homepage.

On search engines, top-level pages can also rank well with keyword optimization. Your top-level pages can increase the odds of that if you optimize them for keywords with high search demand. Links within a page are a ranking factor and can encourage search engines to crawl certain pages more frequently. You can give them an additional SEO boost by placing your essential pages correctly in the URL structure and linking them in the site navigation.

All elements of the above should be combined. We suggest mixing the information obtained from a competitor analysis with the information obtained from keyword research. With this information, you can create a website structure with keyword mapping.

Steps to create a Google-friendly website: technical

Steps to create a Google-friendly website: Technical

Make your site indexable

Indexability refers to the ability of the search engine to analyze and index a page. In general, Google may be unable to index all the pages on a site, even if it can crawl it. This is generally because indexability issues are present. Many factors can influence a page's indexability.

But how do you make sure that pages are accessible by Google?

To ensure that your website is indexable, it's important to set up your robots.txt, your sitemap.xml, and the meta robots tag (index, no index).

A good tip would be to use Google Search Console’s report.


Create a Sitemap.xml

Sitemaps are lists of URLs on your site that crawlers can use to discover your content.

Creating a document that meets Google's standards and submitting it through Google Search Console is the easiest way to ensure Google finds your highest-priority pages. While submitting a sitemap doesn't replace the need for good site navigation, it can help crawlers follow a path to your important pages.

Include only URLs you want to be accessed by search engines, and give crawlers consistent directions. If you have blocked a URL via robots.txt or have duplicate URLs in your sitemap, don't include those URLs. It's not guaranteed they'll include a submitted URL, but it's worth a try! In Google Search Console, you can submit your XML sitemap even if no other sites link to yours.

In summary, sitemaps tell search engines where to find essential content on your website.

Additionally, it can provide information about the content, such as the video's running time or publication date. Your site will be crawled more efficiently by search engines as a result of all this information. Most search engines (at least Google) do not require sitemaps because they rely on internal links and internal links from external links instead. However, if your site is large and there are isolated pages, or if there are few or no links from other websites, you should create and submit an XML.


Create a robots.txt file

Doing this can improve the reachability of your site. Robots.txt tells search engines which URLs on your site they can access. The main purpose of this feature is to prevent requests to your site from overloading it.


Make sure you're using HTTPS

HTTP (without the S) is nonsecure. It does not encrypt data. This means you would leave your customers exposed if they, for instance, enter credit card details. HTTPS is a secure version of HTTP. Providing users with certain pages is just as important to Google as providing valuable pages. Your hosting provider can provide SSL certificates.

A website encrypted with HTTPS receives a boost in search engine rankings over one encrypted with HTTP.

This is based on Google rewarding websites with enhanced security makes sites more user-friendly. Google's Chrome browser also displays a warning before users visit non-HTTPS websites.


Choose a good domain

A domain name's length, keywords, and extension are all crucial SEO factors. Trustworthy, focused, and simple domain names are more likely to be favored by search engines. The SEO of a domain affects content, landing pages, and even products. A domain name allows you to identify yourself, your services, and how you appear in the marketplace. A short domain with the right keywords plays an important role in SEO. Ranking a good domain is becoming increasingly competitive. SEO-friendly domain names are more important than ever. Poor domain names can make a website look like a scam.


Give your website one domain only to avoid duplicate content

www.example.com and example.com will cause duplicate content. Also, http://www.example.com and https://www.example.com will cause duplication. Here the domain name is the same.

If you have separate versions of a site at "www.site.com" and "site.com" (without "www"), and the same content appears on both versions, you have duplicated it.

It applies to both http:// and https:// versions of a website. There may be a duplicate content problem if both page versions are live and visible to search engines. It is here that we need to be careful to avoid duplicate content.

You can get caught out by duplicate content in several other ways.

Content that appears on the internet more than once is considered same content.

Search engines need help deciding if content is more relevant for a given search query when there are multiple versions. Although duplicate content doesn't create an SEO penalty, it can still impact search engine rankings.

Duplicate content can harm a site's ranking and traffic. Two main factors cause these losses. Search engines rarely show multiple versions of the same content to provide the best search experience, so they select the most appropriate arrangement.

How to fix duplicate content issues?

Duplicate content issues can be resolved by specifying which duplicate is the "correct" one. For search engines, content on a site should have a canonical tag whenever it can be found at multiple URLs.

There are three ways to do this: using a 301 redirect, the rel=canonical attribute, or the Google Search Console's parameter handling tool.

A 301 redirect from a duplicate page is often the best way to combat duplicate content. Multiplying pages with potential ranking potential into one page eliminates competition and creates a stronger relevancy and popularity signal. The "correct" page will rank better as a result of this.


Install Google analytics

With Google Analytics, you can gather invaluable information about your website and visitors. Google Analytics provides information that can be useful to anyone. Using it, you can track your site's visitors. It includes information on traffic to your site, what websites it comes from, what pages visitors visit, their demographics, and whether they visit your site from a desktop or mobile device.

An SEO analytics program collects, tracks, and analyzes your marketing data to increase organic traffic to your website.

Doing this allows you to identify improvement opportunities, gain a deeper understanding of your website's data, and ultimately maximize return on investment. Google Analytics is a commonly used free SEO analytics tools. Using Google Analytics Reporting, you can share that data with your team or client. Google Analytics and other analytics and SEO tools provide advanced statistics and essential analytical tools for optimizing and marketing websites. A must-have tool in any marketer's SEO toolkit, Google Analytics provides valuable insights into website performance. In addition to SEO, Google Analytics is commonly used for improving marketing campaigns as it captures customer behavior data. Combining Google Analytics with other tools will give you the best results.


Install Google Search Console

Google Search Console will let you track organic search performance of your website on Google’s search engine. It helps find website errors and improves UX. You can also check the ranking positions and see what keywords you rank for. They also allow you to send a sitemap. Search engines use sitemaps to find essential content on your website.

Google Search Console (previously Google Webmaster Tools) is a free service from Google that helps you monitor and troubleshoot your website’s appearance in their search results.

Use to find and remedy technical errors, submit sitemaps, see backlinks, and more.


Install Bing webmasters tools

Google and Bing offer SEO services called webmaster tools. Free software helps you understand what's going on with your website. It's an equivalent to Google Analytics (GA) but more focused on the technical side of your website: it's less concerned with marketing or business. It is also the world's second-largest search engine.


Set up hreflang

An HTML attribute called hreflang specifies a webpage's language and geographical targeting. Understanding and using the hreflang attribute on your website is essential if your content is in multiple languages.

To let search engines like Google know about many versions of the same page in different languages, use the hreflang tag.

They can then serve their users the correct version.

With the hreflang attribute, you can indicate the relationship between web pages in alternate languages to search engines. Hreflang signals to search engines that a user is querying in language "x". With the hreflang attribute (also known as rel="alternate" hreflang="x"), Google knows which language is used on a specific page, so it can serve to users searching in that language. This is useful when you create content tailored to a local audience. An English-language homepage created in Spanish can be tagged as "Español" by using hreflang="es".

If you create content specific to this Spanish-speaking audience, you can use this tag to serve that content in Spanish instead of English for searchers whose IP address is in a Spanish-speaking country. By ensuring your target audience lands on the most appropriate version of your page, you can decrease your bounce rate and increase conversions.

Hreflang can also be used to target variants of a single language.

If that is the case, you can extend the hreflang attribute with annotations that indicate which region the content is localized to, such as hreflang="es-es" for Spain and hreflang="es-mx" for Mexico. The method is particularly useful for geotargeting.


Improve for User Experience

UX compromises factors such as ease of use and visual attractiveness. How intuitive and easy to find are your ‘buy now’ buttons? How easy is it to see the ‘contact us’ page? SEO and user experience (UX) go together when creating high-ranking websites. Good UX design helps engagement, site traffic, and, eventually, rankings.

UX optimization is a branch of design focusing on the user after they get to your website.

This type of UX is onsite and is different from the offsite user experience, which happens away from your website and is mainly called customer experience. Website UX encompasses everything from the design and layout of a site to how the user interacts with it.

Before UX played an essential role in SEO, most web designers focused on creating sites for search engines rather than users. Seamlessly adding keywords, quality content, and backlinks to a webpage was plenty for search engines to boost your site to the top. Today, search engines, mainly Google, focus on user behavior to offer users the best search results. Search engines collect user and website data to improve their understanding of users. They look at how users interact with a website; if they don't like the data, you can bet your ranking will suffer. Keeping your website's SEO and UX up-to-date is one of the best ways to improve it. Making smart decisions when optimizing your site will be easier if you understand how UX and SEO work together. To provide your users with a great experience, continue improving these areas of your site.

UX and SEO are now intertwined.

A positive user experience will complement your SEO if you want solid rankings for your website.

Website builders offer non-coders the ability to build quality sites with great UX design already built into templates. You should have a huge head start if you leverage these tips above.


Make sure your website is mobile-friendly

Google uses mobile-first indexing. Mobile versions of webpages are indexed and ranked based on their mobile versions. In Google's documentation, it is strongly recommended to have a mobile-friendly website. Ensure that your website's pages are responsive, no matter what device you use to access them. To maintain your website's SEO health, you must fix any discrepancies in its responsiveness. You can use Google's mobile-friendly test tool or GSC's Mobile Usability report to determine that your website is mobile-friendly.

Responsive web design involves creating web pages that render well across various devices and screen sizes.

This way, web designers can create a website experience that accommodates how people access and interact with it.

Mobile accounts for nearly half of all web traffic worldwide. This makes it essential for owners to have websites accessible and easy to navigate, even on small screens (such as a tablet or smartphone).


Make sure your pages load fast

The last thing anyone wants is to open a website that takes too long to load. Your website must be audited to determine how to improve the loading speed of your pages to make them SEO-friendly. Google's policy is still to promote the most relevant content in its database, but Google may rank the faster page higher when everything else is equal. You can improve your website's ranking algorithms by increasing page loading speed with activities like image optimization. Use Google Page Speed Insights to improve the load time of your pages.

Example of the performance of an SEO-friendly website

Core web vitals

To improve a webpage's overall user experience, Google considers a set of specific factors called Core Web Vitals.

The Core Web Vitals are based on three particular measurements: Loading (largest contentful paint), interactivity (first input delay), and visual stability (cumulative layout shift).

Largest contentful paint (LCP) is the time it takes from clicking on a link until most of the content appears on the screen.

Input delay (FID) refers to the time it takes for users to interact with your page. Examples are choosing an option from a menu, clicking a link in the site's navigation, entering your email into a field, or opening Accordion text on a mobile device.

Cumulative layout shift (CLS) refers to how stable a page is as it loads (also known as "visual stability"). You would have a high CLS if your page elements move around as it loads. This is a bad thing. Your page elements should be reasonably stable as they load. By doing this, users can learn where links, images, and fields are located when the page is fully loaded.

Core Web Vitals measure user experience. As long as the content is relevant, Google will promote it. However, Google may rank the faster page higher when everything else is equal or similar.


Customise your ‘not found pages’

You can customize your 'not found' page by adding links to important pages on your site, a search function, and even contact information. This should make it less likely that visitors will bounce off.


Avoid intrusive interstitials

An intrusive interstitial is a webpage pop-up that makes it hard for users to access the content they want. Google gave examples of intrusive interstitials. They can be a pop-up that covers the main content after a person navigates to a webpage from the search results or while looking at the page or a standalone interstitial a person has to dismiss before accessing the main content.


Create a proper content structure

The structure of your website plays a major role in making it easy for search engines to index it.

These elements should be included in the general structure of your website:

  • The H1 tag or title of the page. Normally there is only one H1 on the page. It is generally the same or similar content to the page title
  • Subheadings (H1, H2, H3... tags for well-structured content distribution)
  • Biographical information about the author, sharing options
  • The footer navigation

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Improve for SEO On Page

1. Create unique titles and descriptions on all pages

The title of a page can be compared to the title of a book, and they appear in search engine results, bookmarks, and tabs in your browser. Typically, they are a short description of the page.

Optimizing page titles for SEO increases the chances that they will be clicked, resulting in more website traffic.

Google designs its search engine results pages (SERPs) around how people respond to metadata. Like the blurb on the back of a book, meta descriptions are short descriptions of a page. When you click on a page link in a search engine's results page, they summarize its content.

To provide its users with the best information, Google updates the SERPs multiple times a day (based on the query searched for). There are thousands of changes in the design and algorithm of the SERPs, including how big images are in the SERPs, how much of the page is dedicated to Featured Snippets (the Holy Grail for SEOs), and how much time is allocated to Featured Snippets.

Results can be displayed in different ways by Google. Google's algorithm delivers different results based on what it thinks the searcher wants to see. Titles are crucial for search engine indexing since they provide visitors with a clear understanding of the webpage.

Titles and descriptions should be unique on each web page. Make them eye-catching, an accurate description of the content, and 50-60 characters long; descriptions can be up to 155 characters long.

Learn more about title tags

2. Optimize headings

Make use of headings. Headings help search engines understand what your site is about and interpret its content. Use headings to identify content, use keywords, and boost SEO. A user looks at headings first to see if the site offers an answer to their search.

Make sense of the heading tags as needed.

Only one H1 tag should be used per page. To help organize the content on the page, H2 through H6 tags can be used multiple times.

3. Optimize your images

ALT text

Use alt text to describe images, if is possible to use the keyword you want to rank for, is always a plus.

File name

Try to use the main keywords on the file name (it can be the keywords that you want to rank for on the page, but also keywords that describes the image).Descriptive image file names help Google to read and understand what they are. Google images can rank your page more highly using explanatory alt texts. Using alt tags is also good for disabled users that use screen readers. The screen reader can read out the alt tag to the user, improving the accessibility of the page.

Image format

There are formats that are lighter than others. Nowadays is better to use webp instead of JPG/PNG because it loads faster. While there are many image formats, for example, PNG and JPEG, you should choose the correct file type before adding images to your site. Compress your images before uploading them. The PNG format produces better-quality images but has a larger file size. You may lose image quality when using JPEG, but you can adjust the quality level to get a good balance. You can use Photoshop or TinyPNG can for this.

Image size

If the user will see an image that is 200x200 and your image is 1000x1000 you're loading a heavier image than you need. Image sizes that are too large can slow down your website's loading speed. You can optimize your images and include alt text so search engine crawlers can understand the image's purpose. Try compressing images using a plugin like ShortPixel or an image optimizer like Kraken to get around this

Image compression

You can use tools to compress the size of images by reducing the quality, like you mentioned. By compressing images, you should see improved website speed. It's a good idea to use Google's PageSpeed Insights tool if you need help determining how your images affect your page speed.

4. Create a clean URL structure

A clean URL sounds something like this www.shoeshop.com/shoes/hiking-shoes. There is no need for stop words like the, and, or, a, an, for. Make your URL shorter and easier to read by removing these words. Use hyphens to separate words for readability.

Steps to create a Google-friendly website: reputation

Google's ranking factors include backlinks from external websites. A greater number of backlinks from unique domains will result in higher rankings and more traffic. By making your content link-worthy, you can increase your chances of earning or building links. This means including valuable and interesting information bloggers, and journalists will want to link to. If you wanted to link to one, you'd link to a resource that included a graphic explaining long-tail keywords.

Use digital PR to build links

Public relations is about creating and maintaining an influential presence.

Public relations link building involves using public relations techniques such as creating and distributing press releases and media pitches to secure editorial links pointing to your website.

Digital PR strategies include SEO backlink building. By using PR tools such as media relations, pitching to journalists, and press release distribution, digital PR specialists, strive to earn, rather than buy, backlinks that align with their SEO strategy.

It's important to remember that just creating a link or influence is not the only goal. It must be sustainable, keeping its relevance and impact over time. The sustaining part of the definition is where ongoing SEO and digital link maintenance make a big difference. Link building is a vital component of any successful Digital PR SEO strategy. Google greatly favors backlinks from reputable and well-trafficked websites. Digital PR and link building are integral parts of a content marketing strategy.

Using an integrated, coordinated content campaign, Google can analyze and rank it in search based on a consistent theme. Backlinks are created when another site links to yours via a hyperlink in a story or copy. Backlinks that are relevant to SEO are not just any backlinks. You rank higher in search results based on a range of factors analyzed by Google's algorithm. The backlink must be relevant to the page it is linking to.

Getting a non-paid link from a highly authoritative site like Wall Street Journal or Forbes can take time. It must align with the writer's storyline and fit the story's context; otherwise, the journalist or editor will not want to include it since it dilutes its potential impact. A Digital PR Specialist who has done their homework and research can land a pitch in the sweet spot that grabs a journalist's attention, resulting in a high authority backlink that will continue to index and benefit your site for years to come. One of the benefits of digital publishing is that everything can be measured. The key to understanding the impact of PR link-building on your search rankings is to have key metrics in place and to update them regularly so you can monitor trends.

Lastly, domain authority is a reliable indicator of a site's authority, but it's essential to consider the page's relevance when evaluating whether a link is worthwhile.

Learn more about backlinks


Hopefully, you found these tips and examples useful for building an SEO-friendly website.

To conclude, well-optimized websites don't just happen by chance.

Consider SEO as part of your strategy in the planning stages.

Doing this will save you time, effort, and money and avoid future changes. There is a lot of competition to be on the first page of Google. It is essential to follow these basic approaches to rank higher and reach your audience.

Make your website more user-friendly, mobile-friendly, and faster. Make sure your content aligns with search intent, and play with title tags, meta descriptions, images, and URLs. Try adding a blog and internal links, and earn some backlinks to improve your authority. Also, stay on top of the latest SEO trends and practices. If you need professional help, reach out to learn more about how we can help you.

Learn more about SEO
December 21, 2022
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