Activities carried out by positioners can be divided into those that change the appearance of the website noticeably and those that deserve to be described as more discreet. For understandable reasons, this first category of modification arouses much more interest from our customers. It is therefore worth presenting popular changes made by positioners in terms of how they affect the appearance of the site and to what extent they are noticeable by website visitors. SEO optimization is not only gouging in the code of the page.
SEO optimization and website appearance
When working with websites, we are well aware that their owners have a specific vision of how their website should look. Usually, website designs are done without taking into account the issue of SEO and it is simply a statement of fact, not a criticism of people doing website. The ideal situation is one in which the site has been created from the beginning with the assumption that it will be an SEO-friendly site. If a positioning decision is made with respect to an already completed website, then an SEO specialist will probably recommend making changes so that the site is attractive to web robots. These changes may interfere with the design of the site to varying degrees and be visible to people entering the website. At Paraphrase-Online.com, we follow the principle that visible and eye-catching changes to a website must be approved by our client before implementation. Therefore, in the description of the modification, we indicate whether the given change is associated with such acceptance. The following list of activities does not exhaust the catalog of positioners’ work, it simply concerns those aspects that our clients ask relatively often.
1. Changes to the website
address and website URLs
This point is about address redirection, which eliminates duplicate homepage or duplicate subpages. These changes are imperceptible to website visitors, which is why they are implemented without consulting the customer. We consult with the client regarding changes in the introduction of keywords to the URLs of subpages to make sure that the use of the keyword is in line with the client’s intentions (although this is a change that visitors to the page do not notice).
2. Introducing new content
on the site or extending existing content
This is a modification that we absolutely consult with our clients.
First, the addition of new content changes the appearance of the webpage visibly to the naked eye. Secondly, we want to make sure that the texts developed by our SEO copywriters are not only optimized for positioning (our specialists will take care of it), but also faithfully and correctly reflect the specificity of the client’s offer.
Acceptance on the part of the client confirms our belief that he likes the content we propose. Acceptance of content includes texts that are posted on the site (this applies to the home page and subpages), go to the customer’s blog associated with his website, and are also sponsored texts posted on external portals.
In the context of adding new content to a website, it is worth raising the issue of their placement. The location and availability of content are important for the positioning process. The ideal solution is the text placed at the top of the page (e.g. above products assigned to a given category) and immediately visible. If for some reason such an idea does not gain acceptance from the client (usually it means that it bites with his idea of the appearance of subpages), then a kind of compromise is placing e.g. parts at the top of the page, and the rest at the bottom or using “read more” (or related) button. These are not ideal solutions in terms of SEO (especially those requiring the client to expand the text), but still better than completely rejecting the addition of new content to a given subpage.
You can also mention here as a curiosity about a very archaic “method” of positioning, the use of which more than one website caused a painful punishment from Google. we are talking here about hidden text, i.e. introduction to the website of content in the background color or very similar to it, often in very small font. This is text that is visible in the page’s code and is available to web robots, but the person visiting the page has no special opportunity to read it. Since Google does not like such tricks and other messages for web robots and for people, the use of hidden text was often associated with unpleasant consequences. This method is hardly ever found today.
3. Friendly addresses of
In the case of some CMS, e.g. WordPress, setting friendly sub-site addresses is a matter of enabling the appropriate setting. We do not consult such a change, but instead let us know after its implementation that we have implemented it. There are no arguments for leaving hostile addresses – friendly addresses are better perceived by web robots and by site visitors who, thanks to such URLs, are easier to find in the content of the page. This is also important e.g. in the context of URL sharing.
4. Adding new subpages
It is also a change, the implementation of which depends on customer acceptance – including because of its visibility with the naked eye. Our clients receive a proposal to introduce a new subpage with information about what we would see on this subpage, we determine what graphics would complement the content, and our copywriters write them. The client receives them for approval, and then ready subpages for inspection. We want him to enjoy the development of his site.
5. Rebuilding the menu
This is partly related to the previous point and also means that we need to consult this idea with the customer. This is a noticeable and important modification of the website. It happens that the client accepts the idea of adding new subpages, however, he puts the condition that the current menu layout will not change. In this situation, it is acceptable to add, for example, an additional menu at the bottom of the page, which will be less conspicuous and at the same time fulfill its function.
6. Changes recommended by
The changes indicated by this tool relate to a large extent to the code of the page (recommendations are individual for each website tested) and are not noticed by visitors to the website. For very slow pages, implementing the recommended changes can give you the perceptible feeling that the page is running faster, but not every optimization in line with PageSpeed Insight’s recommendations will produce such a clear feeling (even if the test result is better after implementing the changes). In a situation in which PageSpeed Insight recommends optimizing graphics – slimming them, it is not about lightness at the expense of quality, but a compromise between these aspects. SEO optimization is not always exact science.
7. Changes to facilitate
indexing of the site by web robots
I’m talking about activities related to the robots.txt file, robots meta tag and canonicals. These are changes that are visible in the code of the website and as such do not require acceptance by the customer, because they do not affect the appearance of the website. However, they strongly influence the SEO optimization process.
8. Changes in meta tags:
title and description
These are also changes that website visitors cannot see, so as such they are not forwarded to our clients for review and approval. If our client has a desire to see them, then we see no reason why we should hide them (the meta tags are visible in the page code, they are not hidden in any way). In the case of meta tags, the field for modification is definitely smaller than the texts on the page. The limited number of characters available plus the need to use keywords determine the discipline in writing them.
In the topic of meta tags – title and description – there is sometimes a question from our clients, whether it is possible that depending on the entered query different variants of the meta tags that are assigned to one subpage or home page, as it is the case in Google Ads context. It is not possible. The home page and each subpage should have their own unique meta title and description, but it has only one displayed meta title and meta description, visible in the page code.
The introduction of long values – longer than assumed by the positioner – meta title and meta description will also not bring additional benefits for positioning, and e.g. longer meta descriptions will not be fully visible in search results.
9. Redirects of dead pages –
We also do not consult this optimization activity with the customer. In this case, the visitor sees the effect of this redirect in the form of reaching a working subpage within the website. Such activities encourages you to stay on the website and look for something interesting in its offer.
SEO optimization – why is it worth agreeing to the positioner’s suggestions?
The changes proposed by SEO specialists can have a positive impact not only on the positioning process, but can also bring more benefits. A good example can be the changes recommended so often that the content on the page is expanded. The valuable text on the page provides additional information that can speed up the customer’s decision or decide that he will use the services of this and not another company. This applies to e.g. categories or product descriptions posted on the online store or content on the company blog.
Ascetic in terms of content, the site deprives itself of this advantage – in the end we want to know what we are buying. That is why it is worth taking care of unique and informative descriptions and supplementing relevant structural data for the products available in the offer.
It is similar in the case of expanding the site with new subpages. More detailed grouping of products or services makes it easier to reach them, which can translate into the number of conversions. There is also no point in keeping permanently empty product categories on your store.