5 Ways to Optimize Your Site’s SEO

Today’s digital landscape is ever changing, but one constant that you should never underestimate is the power of search engines. According to Internet Live Stats, there are 3.5 billion searches a day on Google. If you had the opportunity to ensure that your website was the first hit on a Google search, wouldn’t you? Well you can by optimizing your website’s search engine optimization (SEO), and here are 5 ways to help you.

1. Optimize Keywords

The first piece of the puzzle for optimizing your website is to determine the right keywords to use in your page titles and content. If the process feels daunting, let AdWords Keywords Planner or Keyword Tool help you out.

Page Titles

Using keywords in your page titles and headings will help Google (and other search engines) understand what the page is about. It also helps search engines determine page rankings. If your page is about Corporate Branding, but you title the page Employers in the Workplace, even a “smart” search engine may not recognize the connection. Your page title can have a huge impact on your rankings, so make sure it’s optimized accordingly.

Content

Search engines don’t stop with your page titles. Your body text will drive higher page rankings with better use of keywords throughout your content. This includes using keywords in your headings, body text and alt text for images. However, it’s important not to overuse keywords. You don’t have to use your keywords 20 times for it to rank. You just need to ensure it’s appropriately used throughout the content.

2. Improve Your Page Speed

If your web pages don’t feel like they’re loading instantaneously, many people (especially millennials) won’t wait. People are impatient. They want what they want when they want it, and they want it now.

So, how slow is too slow? HubSpot recommends an ideal page load time of less than 1.5 seconds. Likewise, Google found that 53% of visits are abandoned if a mobile site takes longer than 3 seconds to load. But the same study found that it takes an average of 22 seconds to fully load a mobile landing page! Which means that a lot of sites aren’t getting the traffic they could because visitors leave (or bounce) before the page loads.

So, what does this have to do with SEO? For search engines, a better bounce rate translates to a healthy website that is appealing to customers. This is why it’s so important to maintain a speedy site.

Check your site’s speed with PageSpeed Insights. It will tell you how quickly (or slowly) your pages are loading – as well as what you need to improve to get your pages loading faster.

3. Create a Great User Experience

Search engines are judged by their ability to provide the best results to users, which goes hand-in-hand with the overall user experience.

Mobile Responsive

It’s no secret that we do just about everything on our mobile devices, so you want to make sure that your website is responsive in case someone goes to your site from their mobile device or tablet. In fact, one of the top reasons that visitors immediately leave a website is because the site is not designed to be mobile responsive. And this means more than a desktop site that also functions on a mobile device. You must make sure your site has a responsive layout and readable font that feels intuitive and comfortable on mobile devices.

Page Layout

Another reason visitors might be leaving your website after finding it on a search engine is poor page layout/navigation. Once again, people are impatient (think about it – you are, too). People are not going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to navigate your website; it’s on you to make it easy for them. If you got the visitor there using the keyword “fashionable fall boots”, you want to make sure that they can easily navigate away from that and continue shopping. Again, use those heading tags to break up text and make it easy to follow. You also can include call-to-action buttons to make it easy for visitors to take the actions you want them to take.

4. Use Headings

I briefly mentioned headings in tips #1 and #3 – and that’s because headings are a critical component of your SEO strategy. There are six heading tags ranging from the largest, <h1>, to the smallest, <h6>. They tell search engines the importance of different titles on your blog page, which Google uses to index each page. Use a logical hierarchy and don’t make the mistake of thinking that “more <h1> is better.” There should only be one <h1> tag – the page header or blog title.

5. Link Building

As Moz puts it, “link building is an art.” Internal links and backlinks are both important in your site’s SEO strategy. Keep in mind that the type of solution that works best for you will depend on the type of website you’re running, but generally speaking, the following strategies can help you create links that make a difference to your SEO.

Backlinks

Backlinks are created when one website links to another. The link between the two websites is the backlink. Backlinks work as a way to validate your content. One of the easiest ways to generate backlinks is by guest posting – especially because it benefits both parties. It provides fresh and valuable content to their audience, while also giving you the opportunity to get your brand out there by including a backlink to your website. Think about your own expertise as it relates to your own website and reach out to like-minded businesses, blogs, or even clients that could benefit from a ‘guest post’ written by you.

Link Reclamation

Link reclamation is the process of finding sites that have mentioned you but haven’t linked to you, and requesting or suggesting a link. After all, if someone has written a great article about you or your business but hasn’t linked to your site, you’re missing out on a great opportunity to improve your SEO. In some cases, sites may have tried linking to you but the link is broken because of a misspelled domain or obsolete page. Search for your business online and you may be surprised with how many link reclamation opportunities you have.

As marketers, we’re always trying to figure out how to get our message in front of the right audience and using these SEO tips is one of the most effective ways to accomplish this.


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