As a digital marketer today, you’ve got your work cut out when it comes to SEO. Just when you think you’re nailing it, a new update to the search engine’s algorithm means you’ve got to keep your strategy moving to keep up. An evolving SEO plan is the key to keeping your rankings sustainable for the long-term.
These 12 tips will improve organic traffic to your website, help it rank higher on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) and crack that elusive SEO code the quick way.
- Clean up your URLs
A URL is how a user and a search engine will find you, so you need to provide the clearest address possible. Your URL should be readable and add value by indicating exactly what the destination entails. A string of meaningless numbers, letters and characters look messy and does not indicate what the page is about, so keep them short and clear.
- Optimise your images
Google has an entire section dedicated to searching by image. This should indicate just how important your site imagery is for ranking. Don’t try to be clever and creative in the naming of your images, stick to the obvious. Since search engines can’t technically ‘see’ your image, it is imperative that you describe what your image is using the right keywords in its ALT text so that search engines can ‘read’ and find it.
- Make your website easy to crawl
Your website’s architecture should be structured clearly so that it is easy for a search engine to navigate, get found and indexed by crawlers. A visitor to your site, including a search engine, should be able to find what they’re looking for within 3 clicks. Too many redirects and an overcrowded site map will push you down the rankings on the SERP.
- Create high-quality content
Great content is and always will be your greatest asset in SEO. Create content that is relevant, shareworthy and engaging. Google, in particular, likes to see a longer ‘dwell time’ on your site. That is, how long people stay on your page. Use a mix of long-form content and blog posts that educate the reader, provide them with new information, discuss trending topics and then nudge them with a strong call-to-action to interact with it.
- Make content easy to read
Search engines now provide the answer to people’s questions right on the SERP. To ensure that your content gets featured, it needs to be to-the-point and digestible. Popular forms of content that search engines like include recipes, step by step how-tos, listicles (like this one!) and FAQs.
- Use keywords in the right places
Use plenty of keywords, but use them well. You need to write for humans first, and then search engines. Google and other search engines today have much smarter algorithms that can detect spammy over-stuffed content that is packed with keywords and don’t add value to the reader.
Use a mix of long-tail and short keywords, alongside secondary keywords and synonyms. Spread them out in the URL, HTML tags, headers and sub-headings, so they flow naturally.
- Nail those HTML tags
These are the back-end codes across all web pages and extremely important for SEO. Your title tag is the clickable headline the user sees on the SERP and is the most important section of your page. The description tag (or meta description) appears just under it and gives more information about what the page is about. Stick to character limits and use a reasonable number of keywords without being too sales-y.
- Check the speed
A slow site is never going to rank well on a search engine. Look for ways to keep your website running fast, smoothly and efficiently. Get rid of any plug-ins, sidebars, heavy imagery and widgets that are slowing down your site and you’ll quickly see results in your rank.
- Add internal links
Efficient internal linking will help with the smooth and accurate navigation within your website. Always remember to internally link any new pages you add to your site. An engaging and better user experience will inform search engines that your website is valuable.
- Improve your backlinks
All websites can benefit from healthy backlinks. This just means that authoritative sources across the web are linking to your page, which shows the search engines that they value your content. Keep an eye on all your backlinks and remove any pages that no longer work or are not relevant to you.
- Create a social media presence
Social media is a very popular and cost-effective method of improving your SEO ranking. You probably already have social media accounts for your business, so focus on engaging your audience there and use it to share links to your web pages.
- Make sure your website is responsive
Millions of searches across the world are conducted on mobile devices, so multi-platform and device responsiveness are crucial to your website’s ranking. Your pages need to be user-friendly, easy to navigate and visually appealing across all screen sizes and platforms.
Optimise for the long-term
Any SEO strategy should be undertaken with the future in mind – it usually takes months to see results and you need patience. But using a mix of these tips throughout the year will help boost your website in the SERP.
Read More: SEO Tips For Beginners