Improve SEO Rankings
Your website has done its job if targeted audience can find it. SEO (search engine optimisation) is a collection of tactics website owners can use to increase your ranking in the search engine results. This is one of the best ways to make sure your audience can find you.
Many website owners struggle with the question of how to improve SEO for their websites especially on-page SEO which is challenging.
The search engines and Google are fairly hush hush about how the algorithms that determine how search engine rankings work.
We have a pretty good understanding of how to improve Google search results between the information shared by search engines and analysis carried out by SEO experts.
Improving SEO involves a mix of things you can do on your own website (on site SEO) and offsite (off page SEO) strategies.
How to Improve SEO on Your Website
On-site SEO mainly consists of two things: making sure Google can tell what your website is about and ensuring the site has a good user experience for users.
There are ten main steps you should take to ensure the above. This are in no order of imporatnce but all of them are equally are.
1. Review website analytics.
If you already have a website then your first step is to review your website analytics to better understand how people find and interact with your website.
If you have not set up Google Analytics for your website do that now! You will not have any data to review at the beginning but you can come back to this step once you do.
In Google Analytics you will learn how much traffic you are getting and what share of it is coming from Google explained as Organic Search.
The Acquisition section gives you an easy snapshot of how often people are finding you through Google.
You can also find a list of any keywords you rank for and what your average ranking is.
Click on Acquisition, Search Console and then Queries.
This will give you a better understanding of where you are now, setting you goals for were you want to be and work out a strategic SEO plan to get there.
Any relevant keywords you rank for now even though you are not on page one is good. This will be your starting point for optimisation efforts since you already have a head start.
2. Identify your keywords.
Before you can do any of the other steps involved in SEO you need to know what keywords to target since keyword research is the cornerstone of SEO.
Take a look at the components of the Google ranking algorithm:
Keywords play a major role in this formula. You want to include words people will search for throughout your content.
Take a minute, sit down and write every word or phrase you believe that is relevant to your business and products.
Once completed, use keyword tools to figure out how valuable the terms on your list are and start building out your list further.
Google’s free Keyword Planner provides sufficient data on the average number of searches a keyword has and how competitive it is.
It also provides suggestions for long-tail keywords relevant to your website and to build out your list further. Start by plugging in your URL or a starter list of your main keywords into the tool to generate new ideas.
You can export the list of long-tail keywords suggested in terms of relevance, popularity and competitiveness. Using these keywords throughout your website or a blog post will help to drive organic traffic.
Although Google’s tool may provide you with sufficient information, many businesses will use paid SEO tools that provide more detailed keyword information.
Paid SEO tools provide you with what keywords your competitors are ranking for. It provides more analysis on the value of a keyword based on Search Engine Results Page (SERP) features, level of competitiveness and the number of clicks the top results are likely to get.
Once you know what keywords to target then you are ready to get to work on your website.
Determine the most relevant keyword from your list you want to rank for on every page and blog post on your website.
Look for natural ways to include the selected keywords to optimise in these parts of the page:
- The URL – Always edit your URL so it uses your primary keywords and is relevant to the content of the page.
- Heading tags – Using headings and subheadings break up your page copy for readability and provide more opportunities to get your keywords onto the page. In HTML these will look like <h1>, <h2>, etc.
- Image names and alt tags – Before loading an image to a page always give it a name that includes your keyword. Then add an alt tag that includes it as well.
- Title tag – Write a short title for each page around 50 to 60 characters that uses your primary keyword.
- Meta description – The meta description is what shows up underneath your link on the SERP. Like your title tag they do not affect rankings but they can increase your click-through rate (CTR).
- Write a meta description for each page describing what is it about under 150 characters. This should include your keyword and a call to action to prompt users to click.
- The page copy – Seek for opportunities to use your keyword on the page where it makes sense naturally.
Google wants to deliver relevant results for every search. All the above will assist Google in signalling what the page is about with all the relevant keywords. This makes sense for it to show up for.
4. Create relevant content.
Creating and publishing valuable and relevant content on your website accomplishes a few important things for SEO:
- Fresh valuable relevant website content signals to Google that your website is current and active since they do not want to show outdated results.
- It gives you a chance to create more pages optimised for more of the keywords on your list.
- It gives visitors a reason to stick around and time on site is a metric that signals to Google that people like what they see when they visit your site.
- When you publish valuable relevant content on your site this gives other websites a reason to link back to you.
Creating high-quality relevant content for your audience is an important part of good SEO. Use your keyword research list to help guide your content strategy.
Knowing what topics your target audiences are searching for is an important indicator to create that valuable relevant high quality content.
Conduct some research to learn what is on the SERP now. Knowing what is ranking there now shows you what Google likes for that keyword and what you need to beat.
If there are rich results on the SERP for a term then you want to know how you can optimise your content to claim them.
This is an opportunity that many people skip but a regular content audit can be really valuable for improving your SEO. Always make it a point to return to your old content to update it periodically.
Google and other search engines like content that is fresh valuable and up to date.
By changing outdated information you can make sure the search engines and your target audiences will see an old piece of content as valuable and relevant.
6. Use internal linking.
An internal link is any link on a page that goes to another page on the same website. Google’s algorithm factors a link’s anchor text into its analysis of what a page is about.
The anchor texts are words that usually show up in blue with an underline and hyperlinked.
For internal links you get to choose the anchor text. That gives you another opportunity to use your primary keyword and signal to Google what keywords to associate with your page.
7. Make your website mobile friendly.
Although Google keeps a lot of the details about its algorithm under lock and key, one of the things they have been upfront in telling people is that mobile matters.
In fact, over 60% of Google searches come from mobile devices. Obviously Google recognises this and ranks sites accordingly. Your website needs to be optimised for mobile users. There is no way around this.
For the sake of both SEO and your target audience many of whom will be visiting your website on a mobile device—make your website mobile friendly.
8. Improve website speed.
A slow website will also impact the way your website visitors engage with your pages. As a result those negative interactions will hurt your ranking too.
Look at how abandonment rates increase for websites with long page loading times:
How slow is too slow? Research shows 40% of visitors will abandon websites if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
What is even more shocking is that 80% of those visitors would not return to that website. This is terrible for your SEO ranking because it ultimately kills traffic to your site.
Code is good but you know what they say about having too much of a good thing.
Your code should be as lightweight as possible. This will also help your page load time and a faster load time means better SEO.
10. Add more pictures and videos
The content on your website should not only be written in words. Pictures are great and there is more you can add to improve your SEO ranking.
Consider adding other multimedia elements such as videos, slideshows or audio to your site. All of this can help improve the user experience for your target audience.
Why? Consumers want to see more videos. It is much easier to watch something than read about it.
There is a direct correlation between videos and other multimedia sources on your website and SEO ranking.
These features can dramatically improve the amount of time someone spends on your website.
Depending on the length of your videos people could be on your page for several minutes. And if that happens, it will definitely boost your search ranking.
How to Improve Off-page SEO
Most of the steps involved in on page optimisation require a lot of work but the harder part of SEO happens offsite. To determine a web page’s value Google pays attention to how often other websites link to it and this is called backlinks.
A link is seen as an endorsement of what is on the page. When a number of websites with authority link to a particular page this indicates that whatever is on that page to be useful and relevant.
Building backlinks is challenging because you cannot control the decisions other people make about what they put on their websites. However there are a few strategies you can use to encourage other websites to link to yours.
1. Promote your content.
Publishing great valuable relevant content is only worth if you get target audience to read it. Make promotion part of your content strategy. Share your pieces on social media.
Send them to your email list. Highlight industry influencers in your content and let them know when it is up. Consider paid promotion like pay-per-click (PPC) or social ads if you need that extra boost.
2. Sign up for relevant directories.
This is the easiest ways to build links and it is important not to abuse it. Add your business information to sites like Yelp and Google My Business.
Research industry organisations that have member directories and consider joining local organisations like your Chamber of Commerce that have one.
Only sign up for directories that are legitimate and relevant to your business. A lot of links from low-quality directories will look spammy and could hurt rather than help you.
3. Guest post.
A guest post on a blog in your industry is a good way to bring awareness of your brand to a new audience and gain a backlink to your site at the same time.
Brainstorm topic ideas that are in line with what they cover but have not been written about on the site before.
This will provide you with an opportunity to link back to a page on your own site. Then send a pitch that follows their guidelines.
Not every pitch you send will get you a Yes but as long as some do you will be able to build a number of links this way.
You do have to be willing to put in the work here to write a really good guest post that is up to the standards of the blog you are writing for.
Identify blogs that cover topics relevant to your business that accept guest posts and start pitching. It takes time but it can pay off in both links and new traffic.
4. Become a source expert.
Whatever your business does you are an expert on it. When a blogger or journalist is writing a topic that relates to your expertise providing a quote or interview will often result in a link back to your site.
5. Develop industry awards.
Businesses and people love getting awards. The recognition feels good and is something they are likely to talk about on their own website.
Handing out awards for your industry is therefore a good strategy for earning more links. It is one employed by successful internet businesses like TripAdvisor, Trust Pilot and many more.
Figure out what categories to include in your awards. Research businesses doing good work in each of them or open them up to nominations.
When you have decided on nominees and winners alert them to the award.
Create a badge they can share on their website to encourage them to post about it with a link back to the awards page on the website.
6. Creating relevant certification program.
This requires hard work but is a great way to position your business as an ultimate expert on what you do whilst building a strong link strategy.
Anyone who completes your certification program will want to let others know they have done so. Similar to awards create a badge people can add to their websites to show they are certified.
7. Rectify broken links.
Some paid SEO tools will help you find links around the web with your target keywords in the anchor text that no longer work. These are a link-building opportunities.
If you contact the webmaster you can alert them that there is a broken link on their website that needs fixing and propose the content you have on the topic as a replacement.
Since you are helping them to fix their problem of broken links you are asking them to replace it with your content that is updated, relevant and fresh.
This increases your chances of getting your desired response.
Wrapping Up - Improve SEO with Less Work
SEO is difficult and time consuming and since you want better SEO results – there is no good shortcut to getting better Google search results.
Reading over a list like this can be daunting and you may be feeling helpless but someone has to do the work and that someone does not have to be you.
You can hire our skilled SEO professionals at Best-Digital Marketing. We know how to implement all these SEO strategies and more to get your website to start showing up for your target keywords.
It will save you lots of time and work and will also net better results. Contact us now to learn how Best- Digital Marketing specialist with creative knowledge and experience can help you improve your SEO on Google search results.
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