You have a great website with everything in place. The next step is to make people visit it; which means your website needs to be visible on search engines. This requires SEO- search engine optimization. With so many websites online, it is a huge challenge to get yours on top of the listing. Luckily, there are a few things you can do to improve your chances of having a higher ranking.
Here are 5 simple ways to improve your website’s search engine ranking:
1. Relevant and consistent content
The amount of time a visitor stays on your website affects its SEO ranking- called dwell time. To make a visitor stay on your website longer, you need to provide relevant and valuable content. Another aspect that search engines such as Google take into account, is the consistency of information across your website. Make sure that your content doesn’t contradict itself anywhere on the website. This will be a red flag for search engines.
2. Keyword search
Identify keywords for every piece of content in your website and make sure to use it on each page.
How do you identify keywords? Here’s an example. If the page is explaining the services you provide as real estate firm operating in Ohio; think about what phrase any user would normally use to search for that service- “properties in Ohio for sale/for rent”, would probably be the most common. This phrase needs to be used multiple times throughout the page for the search engine to take note of it. Eventually, when someone searches using those keywords, your page will turn up on search.
However, it is important to ensure that the repetitions are not overdone. If it looks out of place or unnatural, it is not going to work out. Make sure it fits seamlessly so your writing has a good flow and quality.
3. Page Load Speed
Remember that your users’ patience is low. If your page takes too long to load, chances of them leaving the site is high. The same applies to search engines. They take into account page load speed in their website ranking algorithm so there’s all the more reason to make sure that every page on your website loads instantly. One of the most common reasons for slow loading of pages is images. Images that are large in size take longer to load so it is important to properly optimise images before uploading them on your website (while doing so, do not sacrifice substantially on the quality). Other ways to decrease loading time is to reduce the number of plug-ins and redirects on pages.
4. Formatting and structuring
Good formatting using header tags, legible font sizes, bold, italics, bullet points, spaces and paragraphs breaks down your content into clear sections and improves readability. This increases chances of visitors staying on your page for longer, which not only provides a better experience to the readers but also improves that page’s SEO ranking. Search engines weigh keywords on header tags more heavily so your ranking against those keywords improve considerably.
It is important to maintain a low bounce rate, high dwell time and high repeat visits. A basic way to achieve this is to have a clean and simple site architecture. A clear navigation is vital for visitors to find the information they’re looking for without any hassle, and perhaps come back again for more. A concise structure not only makes it easier for users but also for search engines to find information on your website.
5. Contact and share options
Websites that have sufficient contact information are considered more trust-worthy by search engines such as Google. Having more than one mode in your contact information and a contact form can also result in potential leads, and improve user experience.
Along with your contact information, having social media handles improves shareablity of content. The number of mentions, shares and tweets can greatly affect your visibility online and influence your ranking. Therefore, simply having social media handles on your website won’t cut it. It is necessary to run social media campaigns from time to time and keep the accounts active with interesting content.
While the above tips will help you improve your website’s ranking; it is smarter to aim at improving user experience than merely focusing on SEO ranking. This is because, traffic from search engines may give you higher conversions in the short run but in the long run (with the ultimate goal of revenue in mind), a great user experience is what results in maintaining your website’s ranking and higher conversions.