Web sustainability is a huge topic and covers a lot of aspects, from design principles to many technical details. Did you know that SEO can actually lower your website’s impact on the web’s carbon footprint? If you want to know more about sustainable website growth and how SEO can help you, then read on!
What impact can SEO have on sustainability?
You probably use the internet every day. This means you also use search engines, for example when you’re looking for a good place to eat. It’s not uncommon to spend five minutes searching for the right result. But when the result you need only requires a minute to read and digest, it’s a shame you wasted five minutes looking for it.
Five minutes may not sound like much, but remember that this is a common occurrence. It affects millions of people, multiple times a day, on a global scale. Those five minutes add up and represent a huge waste of electricity: all the pages you visit until you find the desired result, the energy spent by all the data centers involved in your requests, the energy our ISP (internet service provider) wastes to serve the data, and the energy our devices consume to show them. Doing some simple math: if one million people spend five minutes looking for your website in a single day, it’s equivalent to the energy a server would burn in ten years. And that’s just a fraction of the traffic and energy we’re talking about!
By making it easier for people to find your website, you save your visitors valuable time and help the environment by lowering the web’s carbon footprint. The result: your website will be more sustainable. But how do you make your website easier to find? By using a holistic SEO approach!
How can you improve your website’s sustainability using SEO?
Search engines are pretty smart. They usually understand what a piece of content is about. However, they are not (yet) smart enough to understand the linguistic nuances that we use on a daily basis. That’s why it is important to make sure your content is easy to understand. We compiled a few tips for you below!
Avoid using very long sentences
It’s easy to get lost when a text has a lot of long sentences. If possible, try to split a long sentence into multiple shorter ones. It will make your content easier to understand. Our Yoast SEO Readability analysis tools can help you with this. It highlights long sentences, so you can review and possibly rewrite them. If your audience understands your content, search engines probably will too. The result: your website will rank higher for that topic.
Avoid using passive voice
Using passive voice is an essential grammatical construct. However, it also makes content harder to understand and digest. While using passive voice gives variety to your sentences, it could make your content harder to understand. People with cognitive disorders may find your blogs confusing. And search engines will find it harder to extract the meaning of your content and direct visitors to your site.
If possible, avoid using the passive voice when you write. Need more tips? We have a dedicated post to help you out! Read more about the passive voice and how to avoid it.
Write focused content
Unless you’re writing an essay, it’s usually better to write shorter and more focused content. By keeping your content focused on a single topic, your readers will be able to digest that content faster and easier. In addition, it will be easier for them to find what they’re looking for because they don’t have to read a ten-page post in order to find the two paragraphs that brought them to your content in the first place. It will help you create a more sustainable website with (less and) more focused content.
Try to think like a visitor and not a content writer when you write. Readers will be more inclined to read something short. Instead of writing one ten-page post, why not try to write ten short posts? Your visitors will not only be able to quickly find what they’re looking for but they might also be inclined to visit your site more frequently. And finally: short posts also have the added benefit of creating more points of reference to your website, which is useful for search engines.
Use a proper keyphrase
Remember that your audience is your visitors and not a search engine. A search engine is just a way for visitors to find your website, so don’t write content with the sole purpose of getting more visits. Write content that adds value and answers questions your audience might have. Avoid using misleading key phrases, and don’t stuff your content with “keywords”. Not only does this make your content harder to read, but search engines don’t like it either. They may be nothing but algorithms, but search engines are still pretty smart. And they keep improving.
Using a proper keyphrase can go a long way to make your content easier to find. But what is a good keyphrase? A good key phrase reflects your content and adds value to your visitors. You want visitors to say: “This is what I was looking for!”
Use social media to share your content and make it easier to discover
Social media is an important aspect of almost everyone’s life. A proper social media strategy can improve the discoverability of your content and decrease the time people search for your content. For example, if your Instagram is really popular and helps your brand grow, it could ultimately lead to improving your website’s SEO and sustainability. To learn more about social media strategies, we have a dedicated post on how to set up a social media strategy.
Learn more about how to write SEO-optimized content
In conclusion: a good SEO strategy will improve your website’s sustainability and growth. If you want to learn more about this topic, we’ve got you covered. Our academy has an entire series about copywriting! It covers everything from research, preparation, content strategy, and writing styles to editorial advice, content maintenance and optimization. Be sure to check it out and lots of luck with the optimization of your sustainable website!