Customers should be able to easily find you online, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about getting your site to rank higher in search engine results. After all, over 25% of Google searchers click on the first organic search result alone, with that number significantly reducing as the results continue.
Luckily, there are ways to help search engines notice your website. By following the suggestions below, you can optimize your website for a better chance at improving your search engine results rank.
Your website will stay relevant with regularly updated, high-quality content.
This doesn’t just mean updating existing content every few years, but rather creating new pages full of fresh content. Blog posts are one of the most common ways of adding additional content to a site. Regularly adding these posts provides useful information for your visitors, new information for search engines, and more opportunities for boosting SEO.
KEYWORDS AND USER INTENT
Keywords are important! Keywords best describe the topic of your business, product, or service so searchers can easily find information they’re looking for. However, it is also important to understand your audience before you begin trying to stuff keywords into your content.
To understand your audience, you’ll need to focus on user intent.
Think of user intent as identifying what your customers want when they use a search engine. What was the customer looking to find when they entered their search query? How can you fulfill their need for information? Combining keywords with context and quality content is crucial to providing customers with relevant information.
For example, a livestock business that specializes in cattle branding may dedicate a webpage to their branding services. Incorporating ‘branding’ as a keyword into the content won’t be enough to reach their target audience. ‘Branding’ as a search query can also display results for logo development services and marketing agencies. The context and content used around branding irons and livestock branding will lead customers to their goal.
Mobile-friendly websites are prioritized in search engine rankings.
Your website should be optimized with responsive design to adapt to every screen size and viewing device while still maintaining readability. A website that is not optimized for the numerous combinations of devices, platforms, and browsers is costing you a higher rank in search engine results.
With the amount of people using mobile devices, a responsive website is no longer just a benefit – it’s a must have. A mobile-friendly website not only reaches a much larger audience, it also improves user experience. Your website should be designed for user experience by prominently displaying call-to-actions, avoid overlaying buttons and the user should not have to pinch and pull to view your website. The fonts should also be easy to read and not too big or too small. Finally, your website should be easy to navigate and scroll through.
If you would like to test the mobile responsiveness of your website, check out Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Image format, size, and data all contribute to the SEO of your website. Photos that are too large and not optimized greatly affect the load time of your web pages. As you’ll learn a little later in this blog post, page speed is a huge contributor to retaining customers on your site.
Resizing and compressing images for web quality not only increases page speed, it also increases the likelihood of the image appearing higher in image results. Including descriptive keywords in the titles and alt tags of your images also increases the overall rank of your site and photos. An image file name like IMG_8767 prevents Google from categorizing it, thus blocking beneficial SEO. Take time to describe your images in the file names, and explain what your images show in the alt tags.
Link building improves page authority and trust in your website by building credible inbound links to your website. Your website needs to be visible, and acquiring hyperlinks from trustworthy online sources will direct more viewers right to it.
Outreach is a huge factor in a successful link building strategy. However, before you begin the outreach, you’ll need to analyze the content on site or in your blog post. Your content is a lot more likely to receive a high-quality backlink if it is relevant, helpful, and appealing to the target consumer. Once you’ve finished crafting or updating impressive content, it’s time to promote it for links.
First, reach out to your partners. Ask them to share your content on social media or link to it on their website somewhere. In order to successfully link build, you’ll need to be direct. Don’t be pushy, but be straightforward in your ask.
Second, ask for social media shares. Do you have a blog post that will help a lot of people? Post it to social media and ask others to share the link, too.
Finally, don’t be afraid to reach out to owners of other websites. Be polite and explain why your content would be beneficial to their audience. Be picky in your choices, though, and stick to websites that are credible and trustworthy.
When it comes to page speed, it is important to have a need for speed.
Page speed determines the amount of time it takes for content on a webpage to load. The quicker the page speed, the higher the search engine rank.
In fact, a page’s bounce rate significantly increases when the content takes longer to load. Users want instant-gratification in the information they consume, and people don’t have time to wait longer than three seconds for a page to load.
So what contributes to slow page speed?
Media file size, caching issues, high-resolution images, server connection, and excessive html code are all factors affecting how quickly the pages of your site load. Plugins can also contribute to slower load times. Online tools, like PageSpeed Insights, provide a page speed diagnostics of your site to determine where the issues are so you can work on fixing them. If a lot of issues are present, working on all of them can be time-consuming, so be prepared to put in the work of making your website a success.
It is important to identify where your site has trouble and fix it as soon as possible. Slow page speed could be costing you potential customers.
Search engines prioritize user experience. The above suggestions all contribute to the overall experience of your audience, but you should also make sure to include:
- Content that is broken up into sections and paragraphs so that it is easier for the eye to follow
- Bold heading titles that explain what each section covers
- Multi-media elements such as images, videos, and graphics
- Simple navigation bars and easy-to-use buttons
- HTTPS or an SSL Certificate to ensure the security of your website
Pushing your site higher in search engine results may seem time-consuming, but it is well worth the effort. It is important to remember that a successful SEO strategy is a marathon event, not a sprint. It is also not a one-and-done type of strategy. You need to stay updated on your rank and continuously work toward improving your site.
Overwhelmed? Let us help you! Our SEO experts will develop a strategy that generates results and drives traffic to your site. We will keep you updated along the way and provide you with comprehensive SEO reports. Contact us today by calling (217) 222-1451 or filling out our contact form!