When you want your business or organization to be found online, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – done right – is what will get you there. There are more than 3.5 billion Google searches executed every day. In order to rank high enough for potential visitors to come across your content, you have to play by Google’s rules. And one of the main ways to make optimal use of your content is by enhancing your SEO efforts. In this article, we will be providing a comprehensive guide on how to improve SEO.
Consider that 93 percent of experiences on the Internet begin with a search engine. So, if you want to be noticed by potential new customers online, you have to rank high on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). If your website lands on the second page on Google, you’ll likely not get found in the numbers you need to replenish your potential new customer pool.
Companies that strive to improve SEO will rank higher on search engines and have a better chance of outranking their competitors.
Whereas, the top result on Google has a 33 percent chance of being clicked. If you are not number one on the search page, you missed out on a third of potential traffic. What’s also important to know is that 75 percent of people will not even click on the second page of the search results.
There are actions you can take that will improve SEO.
Ways to Improve SEO
Here are some recommendations for boosting your SEO and improving the chances of receiving a greater share of organic website traffic:
- Improve Your Page Loading Speed
- Optimize Your Images
- Create High-Quality Website Content
- Use Outbound & Inbound Links
- Create Other Content That is not Text
- Begin Blogging
- Fix Broken Links
- Have Your Site be Readable
- Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices
- Correctly Format Your Page
- Encourage Social Media Sharing
- Always Use Keywords
- Create Unique and Relevant Meta Descriptions for Every Pag
Improve Your Page Loading Speed
Here is why your page loading time is critical for SEO: if your speed is slow, Google will recognize that and it will negatively impact your ranking.
In order to give you some perspective on how slow is too slow, consider this – research indicates that 40 percent of visitors will leave your website if the page takes longer than just
3 seconds to load. And 80 percent of visitors will not go back to that website.
This is very detrimental to your website and your business. Poor loading time will greatly suppress organic traffic to your site.
However, fast loading time will encourage people to return to your site. Google’s algorithm will acknowledge your website’s popularity and modify your search ranking for the better.
That is why you should regularly optimize your page speed and server response time.
Optimize Your Images
As you probably already know, pictures and images serve a wonderful function for your website. However, they only work for you if your photographs and images are optimized properly so they enhance your SEO ranking. What is relevant here is file format and size.
Be aware that large images have the potential for slowing down your page loading time. That reduces your ranking.
Resolve this issue by resizing or compressing your images to optimize them. A helpful trick is using images to put in keywords by naming them accordingly. For instance, what if you have a website that sells skin care products? Instead of naming an image “moisturizer”, you could name it “best moisturizer for your skin.”
Consider tactically using keywords in the title of your image and in the caption or description. This way you are optimizing your photos to enhance your SEO.
Create High Quality Website Content
If you don’t at least periodically, and ideally regularly, update the content on your website, your ranking on Google will drop precipitously. You need to entice visitors and persuade them to return to your website by producing exceptional quality content. The keys for your content when it comes to SEO are high quality, recent, and relevant.
An additional factor that affects your SEO ranking is what is known as dwell time, or how long people spend on your website for each visit. You inspire visitors to remain on your site longer with compelling, eye-catching, relevant, and fresh content, thus improving your dwell time.
Also think about this: Google Chrome controls almost 45 percent of the Internet browser market share, meaning it is the most used browser worldwide. When users bookmark your website from a Google Chrome browser, it will raise your SEO ranking.
It all comes down to generating compelling, attractive content on your website!
Use Outbound & Inbound Links
When it comes to boosting your SEO, utilizing outbound and inbound links will accomplish this for you. But you need to be sure that links coming from your site and going to external websites lead visitors to trustworthy and authoritative sources. Again, only link to authoritative sites and be sure the information there is timely and relevant.
Internal links benefit your SEO as they send visitors to various pages on your site, increasing their “dwell time.” These internal links motivate visitors to dig deeper into your site, increasing their exposure to your products or services. The longer people stay on your website, the better the chances of them purchasing what you’re selling.
Create Other Content That is not Text
Your website should consist of more that just marketing copy.
Aside from text and photographs and images, consider adding to your website multimedia elements like slideshows, audio, and videos. This type of content will improve SEO and the user experience, for starters, because people browsing the Web are innately drawn to videos.
Remember the axiom that people would rather watch something than read about it. Your SEO ranking will benefit significantly when you upload videos to your site. Why? Because videos and other multi-media elements inspire visitors to spend more time getting familiar with your products and services.
Again, the longer visitors browse your website the greater the chances of converting them into customers.
Blogging offers several profound benefits for your business.
Blogs on your website build your stature and authority within your industry. You can showcase various products or services in your blog content and write about the latest developments and trends in your niche. Blogs add value to your brand!
When it comes to SEO, blogs are a powerful tool for lead generation. They engage readers and keep them on your site longer. What is most important about blogs is that they boost your SEO rankings.
How do blogs do this?
Blogs are a repository for fresh, updated, and relevant content that will send people to your website. Readers will be inspired to stay on your site longer because they want to read your latest blog post. This is why when you post blogs you should be predictable in terms of how often and when you do so. This will entice viewers to your site because they will anticipate your upcoming blog articles and this will drive more people to your site. This translates into robust SEO!
In time, you accumulate loyal readers to your blog, and this markedly boosts traffic to your site, and on a regular basis. You provide visitors with a huge motivation to explore your site more after they have read your blog articles. Think of blog articles serving as a magnet to draw more people to your website.
You can even leverage blogs to build in links and keywords. These will also bolster your search ranking.
Fix Broken Links
Generally speaking, you should not run into the problem of encountering broken links if you link to authoritative and trusted websites. Nonetheless, they can still occur.
Consider using tools such as Broken Link Checker to search for broken links and fix them. This tool will sweep your entire website, as well as any specific pages.
Have Your Site be Readable
This is where you need to keep in mind that your marketing copy should be presented in lay terminology and be easy for the vast majority of people to understand. The last thing you want is an obstacle getting in the way of visitors exploring your site.
So be sure that the content on your site can be quickly and easily assimilated so potential new customers can grasp the essence of your brand and what you have to offer. Remember, your content should motivate readers of your site to take action, and that action should not be to leave because they can’t comprehend or make sense of your content.
Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices
More and more consumers on the Internet access websites and do their shopping from mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablet computers, a smartwatch, and iPads. What’s more, at least 60 percent of Google searches are conducted on mobile devices.
Because Google acknowledges this, they rank accordingly.
That is why your website must be maximized for mobile users.
If your site does not present well and function intuitively on mobile devices, then consumers will become frustrated and leave your site. Problems that could arise from a site that is not optimized for mobile includes cramped navigation icons, scrunched copy, difficulty viewing images and photographs, unending scrolling to adequately determine what a website is advertising.
You always want to give people reasons to stay on your website, not leave, especially leaving frustrated.
Correctly Format Your Page
This is where you want to be very deliberate and thoughtful in how you organize the layout of your website. Good design precepts are being clear, organized, and practicing simplicity. You want the Web page layout to be attractive and easy to read, allowing your visitors to scan for the most relevant and helpful information about your brand.
Your layout should be neat and clean so readers can quickly and easily learn the essence of your products and services, motivating them to make a purchase. Be thoughtful about content elements such as font size and typography. Also be sparing with the use of colored text, and font enhancements like bold and italics.
Break up the copy with bulleted items, checklists, and graphics. This makes it easier for readers to scan your content and be impressed. Don’t overwhelm your readers with too many pictures and advertisements and with overuse of Flash animation. Keep it simple and clean, and you will improve SEO.
Encourage Social Media Sharing
If you want to widen your sphere of influence and reach new potential customers where they are, you should be present on the most popular social media channels. Doing so will improve your SEO, as well. That’s right. When people share your content links to your website on social media, that will boost your SEO ranking.
That is why you should invite people to share your content and links as a regular part of your SEO campaigns. You definitely want to make sure you provide social sharing icons on your website where they can be easily seen by visitors. Frequently include links on your social media posts to various pages on your website, especially, when appropriate, to product pages to heighten interest among prequalified new potential customers and existing customers!
Always Use Keywords
It should be a priority to weave keywords into your content that people use to find your website. However, be mindful of getting carried away with this as search engines will penalize you over stuffing your website copy with too many keywords.
These well thought out keywords should flow naturally within your marketing copy.
You can also include keywords in your header tags and in your image captions.
It is a good idea to utilize long-tail keywords, and these are three-to four-word phrases that can be found in a search. For example, people won’t just search for the word “hardware” when they are looking for something. However, they might type in the phrase “needle point pliers” to get better search results.
When your keywords precisely correspond to their search, your business has a much better chance of ranking higher on search engines.
Create Unique and Relevant Meta Descriptions for Every Page
By thoughtfully crafting meta descriptions you will do a lot to improve SEO ranking. The meta description is the initial section that people see when Google delivers your page to search users.
Google does not want to duplicate content. So you want to make sure you don’t duplicate your meta descriptions. Doing so tarnishes the user experience. For example, you should not have the same meta description for a page that talks about e-commerce and a page that addresses website analytics. You want the meta descriptions to clearly communicate the distinctions between these two Web pages.
Strong SEO is Key to Getting Found on the Web
Constantly looking for ways to improve SEO will reward your business with a steady flow of new customers, while reinforcing brand loyalty with existing customers. Be vigilant in the production and maintenance of your website to ensure you are always optimizing SEO for your business.
Your bottom line might just depend on it.
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