Improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a fundamental aspect in digital marketing today. SEO is also a concept most thought about by every business owner. The reason for this is that a large number of consumers use search engines to locate everything on the web. Three out four searches start on Google to find things from brands, products & services that they might need. The first few results that pop up end up with a huge percentage of the clicks. Improving SEO helps you maximize your product or service visibility to anyone who may be searching for your specific niche product.
SEO is a long-term game. You need good strategy and a follow through on execution. You also need a lot of patience. Nothing happens overnight.
There are many different factors that affect your search engine rankings. Below are a few simple tips on improving SEO.
The first thing I would recommend is to start with an SEO site audit. Before you can begin to improve or fix anything, you need to know what is going on with your site currently in that department. It will expose your site’s strengths and weaknesses.
Site audit involves looking at the site structure, information structure and the existing content. This audit itself will not have a huge impact in improving SEO, but it is a crucial first step In knowing what things require more attention.
A search engine’s goal is to ensure that the best and most accurate search results are provided to users. Because of this, sites that give an exceptional user experience are oftentimes rewarded by search engines. When users get on your site and cannot easily locate what they are looking for, they leave immediately. As a result, this directly impacts your bounce rate, time spent on your site and the number of pages viewed per user journey. These directly impact your search engine rankings.
A clean and user-friendly site structure will be the first fix to improving SEO. Once users can find what they are looking for, you are golden. A popular unwritten rule is that any page you’re looking for in a site should not be more than 3 clicks away.
Work on your site navigation.
Content quality is the number one driver of your search engine ranking. There is absolutely no substitute for great content. Good content that is targeted to the right audience greatly improves your site authority and relevance.
- To do this, more time needs to be spent on keyword research and its relevance to your content.
On each page, think about target keywords and phrases that not only directly match and describe your products & services, but what your target audience may use on search engines to get to your content. This has to be done on every page of your website to improve rankings.
It is very difficult for one page to rank for more than one keyword or phrase. If you want to rank for multiple keywords or keyword phrases, it is important to create separate pages for each term that you are targeting.
- The next thing to consider is placement of these keywords. Try to answer and implement these things
- Can I use keyword or phrase in my page URL?
- Can I use keyword or phrase in my title?
- Can I use keyword or phrase in headings and subheadings?
Solving these above listed questions and implementing them will lead to an improved search engine ranking and will pull your site up when relevant search terms are logged into any search engine.
- Update your content regularly! Fresh, relevant and up to date content is a key factor that also helps to improve your rankings. Audit your site content on a bi-quarterly schedule and make any relevant updates as needed. Search engines feel strongly about this because it is a direct representation of what the user is looking for.
Fix Duplicate Content:
Duplicate content can negatively affect any SEO efforts you may be making. Search engines want to reward sites that have fresh, new content. As a result, sites with duplicate content are actively penalized.
- A common duplicate content issue is multiple active versions of the same page. It is important to either delete the less relevant content or set up the right redirect rule. This can easily be done by your site administrator or web designer.
- Another common situation is similar content. You may work in an industry or a niche market where a specific keyword or phrase is specifically used, it is important to create alternative versions of this content.
In this day and age, waiting for a page to load is a pet peeve. No one on the internet has that patience. Personally, if what I am looking for isn’t brand specific, I will click back to Google and try my luck somewhere else.
Page speed is definitely an important ranking factor. In simple terms, slow pages are bad for business and SEO.
To improve on this, you have to check the page load speed of each page. In situations where the site has so many pages, the goal will be to prioritize the pages most frequently visited first. You can easily find these pages with Google Analytics.
Quick things you can do when improving page speed.
- Enable browser caching: this allows users to load your page without having to send out another HTTP request to your server on their return visit
- Image size: reduce image size without sacrificing quality. Image size directly impacts page load speed.
When designing your site, each page has <head> tags to insert data or information about the contents on your page. It is important for you to review and update metadata as your site develops and changes over time.
Key focus points:
- Title metadata: The title marks what the page title is displayed at the top of the browser and as the headline within search results. It is the most important metadata on your page.
- Description metadata: The description is important because it shows up on the SERP and tells users what the page is about. Create a clear and accurate description of the page that’s brief while still emphasizing chosen keywords.
- Alt Tags: Alternative text descriptions, or alt tags, are used to describe any images, videos, or visual media that you use on your pages. This not only tells Google what your images are about but helps search engines determine when to deliver this content in its image search results.
Get in the habit of following these best practices for each and every new page or blog post that you publish. Though these take a little extra time to create, they are essential in improving SEO.
The goal here is constant maintenance. Nothing with SEO will happen overnight. Following some of these best practices will help you grow and improve your search rankings gradually.
If you need help with your search engine optimization and working through some tactics to improve SEO results, feel free to contact us and sign up for our newsletter or follow us on Twitter for updates and information.