Boosting search ranking is a top priority for the majority of online businesses and it’s no wonder. At the time of writing there’s over 65,000 Google searches per second. With millions of websites online, it’s clear that you need to make SEO a priority if you want to see results. Is your website performing well when it comes to Google search engine rankings? Or are your competitors consistently beating you to the top spot? Despite Google updating their algorithms every few months, there are many effective ways to climb the search engine rankings. Here are 5 proven tactics to improve your SEO and boost organic search traffic:
1. Conduct a Website SEO Audit
An SEO audit means you’re closely examining your overall site performance, setting new goals based on what you find, and implementing tactics to reach those goals. When looking to increase search traffic, the first task on your list should be to conduct a site framework audit. Even though it sounds daunting, a framework audit is simply an evaluation of how optimized your website is. Nothing to fear here, this process can actually be a game-changer when it comes to your search engine ranking.
Going through this auditing process is essential as it will help you find the reason you’re seeing average or disappointing traffic to your site. According to Search Engine Journal’s 2016 State of Marketing Report, 77% of marketers believe businesses ought to perform full SEO audits every six months.
You can perform a basic website audit yourself. With a quick Google search you’ll find plenty of YouTube videos and articles that will show you how to do it. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a more extensive and thorough analysis, you can hire a web-marketing agency to conduct an audit for you.
The basics of an SEO audit can be broken down into four parts:
- technical analysis
- on-page analysis
- off-page analysis
- competitive analysis and keyword research
Whether you go for a DIY approach, or decide to bring in the professionals, by the end of it you’ll have a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips. With this new information you will be able to decide on new goals and design a strategy to improve your SEO. Taking the time to conduct a full website audit, and to then act upon any necessary improvements that were highlighted during the audit process, will inevitably see an improvement in your traffic figures as more new customers are attracted to your website.
2. Optimize Your Content
An easy way to rise in the rankings is to be consistently creating and publishing new content, After all, Google loves fresh high-quality content, just take a look at their tips. Following these tips and being consistent in publishing, will improve your position in SERPs. Most tech-savvy website owners are aware that new blog posts are good for web marketing, however, many of them forget to optimize their content for search engines.
There are a few extremely simple tasks, that if completed each and every time you publish a blog post, will have a great effect on your rankings. The following simple steps are just a couple of ways that you can easily optimize your posts to gain more organic traffic:
- Post Title, URL & Metadata – The title of your blog post or page is the first thing searchers read and it’s also an important factor in the ranking algorithm. You may have never given it a second thought before, but make sure that your title and URL include your keyword. The same goes for your meta description – don’t just leave it blank! Take the time to craft a catchy description that draws the human eye, and remember to sprinkle in a few relevant keywords for the search engines.
- Images – Most people don’t bother optimizing the images they use in their content, but this is a missed opportunity. Images that have keyword-focused metadata such as alt text, titles and even file names, not only rank higher in image search, but they also help your post rank higher in text based searches as well.
If this is all too much to remember, there are great SEO tools available if you use a content management system (CMS) like WordPress. The WordPress plugin SEO by Yoast is an effective option, which will help you to complete these important optimizations every time you publish on your website.
3. Quality Backlinks
Building backlinks is still crucial for good rankings. There’s no doubt that back-links improve your search ranking as publishers have been using this tactic for years. Web marketers across the globe finally got confirmation of this as fact in 2016 when Andrey Lipattsev, Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, stated that “High quality content and link building are the two most important signals used by Google to rank your website for search”
It’s a tried, tested and proven way to boost your search traffic. But, how do you utilize this information in your SEO strategy?
- Write Great Content – It all starts with creating useful and valuable content that readers will want to share and link back to naturally. When writing or creating content to publish online, always remember to keep your target audience in mind and try to provide as much value for them as possible – then, you can’t go wrong.
- Be a guest on a niche podcast or featured on a popular blog – Podcasts and blogs give business owners a huge opportunity for exposure. Pod casters and Bloggers who produce interview-based content are constantly on the lookout for guests. They’re under pressure from their publishing schedules and audiences to have new and fresh interviewees on a regular basis. Being a guest on a podcast is useful, as not only will it introduce you to a new audience, it will also work wonders for SEO. Usually podcasts are uploaded along with ‘show notes’ – you can use this opportunity to link back to your most valuable content. The same can apply when featured on blogs and websites.
One thing to bear in mind is that it’s not the number of backlinks you get, it’s the quality of the link that counts.
4. Optimize Your Website for Mobile Devices
Web marketers have been shouting about the benefits of mobile responsive web design for years, and they’re absolutely right. Recent studies have shown that mobile and tablet internet usage is now exceeding desktop for the first time worldwide.People are spending more and more time browsing the internet via mobile devices, so it’s even more important than ever to ensure your website is responsive.
Mobile optimization takes a look at your site design, page speed, site structure, and more to make sure that you’re not accidentally turning mobile visitors away. Here are a few ways you can optimize your website for users browsing on mobile devices.
- Responsive Design – Many websites still aren’t designed for different screen sizes. Avoid this pitfall by using responsive web design. This is also true for the content that you post on your website, make sure it’s formatted for mobile – will people be able to read the info graphics used? Should your written content be broken down into smaller sections?
- Website Speed – Speed is a user experience point that usually doesn’t come to mind when thinking about how to increase your traffic and SERP rank. Over the past few years Google and other search engines have been putting more weight on user experience. Google says that “Faster sites create happy users” . Ultimately, Google knows that if a website is slow to load then a user will find a faster alternative. The golden rule here is to make sure your website is quick to load.
5. Leverage Social Media Platforms
By leveraging big social media platforms, you can increase your SERP ranking as well as the amount of organic search traffic. New businesses may find it challenging to rise to the top in Google’s ranks, but by leveraging social platforms, you’ll be able to make progress towards your traffic goals. Here are a few steps to follow if you’re interested in using social platforms to boost your SEO.
- Explore trending topics. – When creating a content strategy for your website, look for topics that are popular and trending. When you’ve selected your topic, take the key points from the theme to create outstanding content which can be used for publishing on your website and social media accounts.
- Images & video – People these days are more interested in rich content like photographs, infographics and videos. They’re simply more attractive and interesting, and in fact, a Backlinks study reported that using a single image within content will increase search engine rankings. So, make sure you include supporting images in your content.
- Be focused – There are so many social platforms to choose from and there are new platforms springing-up all the time. So where do you start? Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snap-chat or Pinter est. All of these channels can increase and improve your SEO. However, It’s best to begin small and targeted – don’t try and take on too much too soon. Focus on the one or two channels that make the most sense for your business and then build from there. Using social media to improve your SEO is an ongoing task which requires constant effort.
SEO is rapidly changing from one year to the next—even from one month to the next. Business owners and marketers have to adapt quickly, but it’s still possible to give your business website the edge on your competition. These days, the best way to increase your search engine rank, is to get feedback on your current web presence, and to then use that feedback to focus on any key areas where you are under performing, By carrying out these optimizations, you should see a clear improvement in traffic to your site. Follow our top five tips and you’re website will be at the top of the Google rankings in no time.
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Which of the SEO techniques from today’s post are you going to try first? Feel free to comment and discuss below.