To anyone in the digital business ‘SEO friendly’ is a term we all use both internally and for clients, but for the latter, what does it actually mean?
In Layman’s terms, ‘SEO friendly’ is what we call a website that Google (& others) will like.
Crafted in a way that encourages search engines to navigate, understand and rank the site.
The term could also be used specifically to sum up the onsite or offsite friendliness.
Onsite: What does ‘SEO friendly’ mean
Onsite search engine optimisation is anything that effects rankings and is contained within the website.
This includes things like navigation, headings, meta information and the page content.
Effectively your website should be structured like a recipe book, divided in to keyword silos containing only relevant recipes under the correct chapter.
For example a book about roast dinners, there will be a chapter for chicken, lamb, beef etc.
Under those chapters will be recipes about those meats only.
If your website lays out content within dedicated areas for only that subject, has individual pages dedicated to the services you provide (like recipes) then you’ll be on the right track.
Offsite: What does ‘SEO friendly’ mean
Some use the term to describe offsite activity too, though not as common the principals are the same but the practices are different.
As you’ve probably guessed, offsite SEO is anything that effects rankings that isn’t contained physically on the website.
The majority of SEO that happens off the website is link building.
Link building is a popularity contest, Google uses links from one website to another (yours in this case) to gauge how popular the website is in your market.
It’s a great gauge to see how reliable, informative and useful a website is – if others like it and link to it then it must be good right?
Generally if you have lots of friends who link to you, your website will rank better, the opposite is also true.
Be careful though as there are lots of metrics that can skew this, i.e thousands of links from poor, ‘spammy’ sources will not help you.
On the other hand, one mention from the BBC may see your rankings skyrocket.
A very basic conclusion
Your website being ‘SEO friendly’ effectively means search engines will be able to navigate, understand and index it without any issues.
Note that just having a friendly website does not mean that it will rank on search engines.
To rank for your actual services you’ll need to look at growing your offsite SEO to a level that Google loves even more.