SEO is an ever-changing goalpost based on invisible parameters. Despite that, what you do has a directly and measurable impact on your site ranking. There are lots of expensive and complex things you can do to improve it, but equally as many simple and straightforward steps that need to be taken first. Setting up a good foundation makes everything else easier to build from there.
Before you jump into email marketing strategies, VoIP call buttons, or social media marketing, make sure you’ve gotten the basics set up on your website itself.
If you need a few tips to quickly make your SEO better and improve your search results, try some of these strategies:
Increase Page Load Speeds
People are not patient. If a website takes too long to load, most people will just close it and try the next result. It’s not likely that people will patiently sit and wait for your website to load. When people click away too quickly, that increases your bounce rate. If you have a high bounce rate, meaning a high number of people click away from your site quickly, it can affect your ranking.
Increasing page load speed can have an immediate impact on your SEO. If page load speed is too slow, it doesn’t matter how good your content is, people won’t wait around to view it. Compress images and videos (this doesn’t necessarily mean reducing their quality), reduce the amount of clutter on the page, remove unnecessary elements from the site and most importantly – look for online tips and tricks related to image SEO. Use a page load speed tester to track your progress.
Optimize Website Content
Optimize means a lot of different things in SEO. While some people might take this as an excuse to load up on the keywords, that’s not a useful tactic anymore. Previously, keywords were the secret sauce in SEO, but now they play a much smaller role in the overall picture. Today, usability and user-friendly content make a bigger difference, with some keywords sprinkled on top for relevance.
You can optimize your content for usability by making sure it’s structured well and it’s easy to read. Format content to include a relevant H1 tag at the beginning, H2 headers breaking content into smaller sections, shorter paragraphs, appropriate lists, and other elements that add to the set structure and readability of the content.
The purpose of all of this is to make content simpler for people to interact with. You want things to be easy to read and navigate. If someone comes to a post of yours and finds a giant block of text with no paragraph breaks or titled sections, they may not take the time to read through it.
Start a Blog
Content marketing is a huge part of SEO. Having content related to your business or industry can bring people to your individual pages and improve your overall site authority. You don’t have to have a huge content library or to post constantly. All you need is a few useful pieces of content to get started. Add to it is you can, but you don’t need to be posting content continuously to get attention.
Clean Up Your Site
Sometimes we’re guilty of making our websites overly complex. It’s usually an accident, but that doesn’t matter to Google. In general, you should be able to reach any piece of content on your site within 3 clicks, but this is not a hard and fast rule. The point of it is that people visiting the site for the first time should be able to clearly see how to navigate through the different pages.
Simplicity is the name of the game. You want menus to be easily readable, precisely named, and to direct to the appropriate web pages. People shouldn’t have to guess where to find different pieces of content. Create a website that makes sense and get rid of anything that adds to the confusion.
Fix Your Links
Broken, missing, or misleading links are bad news for SEO. With usability as a big measure for SEO, bad site links can do a lot of damage. If people are consistently getting an error 404 message clicking on your links or if they’re redirected too many times, you could get penalized by Google. Links should be simple, relevant to the content within the page, and they should be working.
If something happens and you need to change the page link, create a re-direct from the last page to the new one. Make sure the content in a page is relevant to the link that leads people there.
The other step with this is to make sure links to and from your website are not broken. Check to see if any internal or external links to your site are broken, and also if you have any links in your content that aren’t working anymore. Bad links in your content or leading to your content will have negative results for your SEO, so fixing these can have a quick impact.
Make Your Site Responsive
Today’s online users are using mobile more than ever. If your site is not optimized to work on mobile devices, you risk being penalized by Google. You won’t rank well on mobile device search results if your site isn’t responsive (meaning it adjusts to fit screens of any size). Making your site responsive is simple enough, so you don’t really have a reason to avoid it.
Most WordPress themes today are responsive by default. If your website isn’t responsive, consider updating it to make it work well on devices of all shapes and sizes. With a growing section of people accessing the internet from a mobile device, you can’t afford to ignore mobile responsiveness. This alone could have an immediate impact on your SEO, as you could regain ranking in mobile search.
While SEO is complex, there is a logic behind it. Right now, that logic is that search engines want to promote content that they deem to be most useful for people searching keywords or phrases. All these tips mentioned focus on making your site more user-friendly, relevant, and readable. These are some of the first things you should do for SEO, and they can make a huge impact on your ranking even without a lot of other background work.