SEO is a complicated business. If you want to succeed with search engine rankings and get noticed, it takes time and effort to put in a range of strategies. Most SEO takes months, if not years, to deliver a full impact.
There are, however, certain steps you can take to improve your SEO ranking and increase your chances of showing up on page 1 of the Google rankings, especially for local searches.
Here’s our quick guide to 5 brilliant SEO wins:
Speed Up Your Website
Most people think their website downloads quickly. That’s because they are checking it out on their mobile or laptop which is primed to deliver the pages fast. The truth is, especially if you are using an off the shelf website design, you will probably find your site is downloading much slower for your users than you think.
You can check download speed with several free tools including Google Insights.
If it’s too slow, how do you put it right? Simple steps you can take here are to optimize images, compress large files and even change your hosting package to something more responsive.
Review Your Keyword Choices
Keywords are still important when it comes to SEO but how you choose them and how you use them is essential. It’s not just a matter of running a keyword tool and throwing in the most popular.
Look at the world from your customer’s point of view. What would they type into a search engine to find what they are looking for?
A lot will depend on what your business does, how competitive rankings are and whether you are trying to reach a local, national or international audience. Once you have a selection of keywords, put them into Google and see what comes up. Can you write something better? If so, focus on that keyword.
Check out this informative article on keyword strategy by Yoast
Write Better Content
Search engines, particularly Google, began to focus on good content a few years back. In the past, it was easy enough for marketers to simply bang as many keywords into their content to get rankings. Unfortunately, this led to a huge amount of spam service pages and blogs.
Nowadays, search engines reward good and useful content. Pages that answer a question fully are more likely to rank than those that just brush over the subject. Readability is also a factor – you should keep your sentence structure as short as possible and use simple words, break up the text with visuals and include little tricks like bulleted lists.
Check out this guide from the Search Engine Journal for writing better, SEO friendly content
Get the Technical Things Right
Behind the scenes of any website, a whole lot is going on with coding, various scripts and the structure of your pages. Many different technical attributes can affect your search ranking in various ways. These include:
- Whether your site loads on HTTP or HTTPS which is a lot more secure (Google is starting to warn users if a listing shows up for an unsecured HTTP site).
- Get rid of broken links, bad backlinks and 404 pages.
- Remove duplicate content.
- Create an XML sitemap and submit it to Google.
Optimise for Mobile
Finally, having a mobile-first approach is essential. Many of us nowadays access websites and other information on our smartphones and tablets and that’s set to increase over the next few years.
Ensuring that your pages render properly for these devices is often taken for granted. Unfortunately, particularly with off the shelf designs, this is not always the case.
Google has been using mobile readiness as a ranking factor since 2015. If your current web design doesn’t render well on mobile, then it is time to change. It could make a significant difference to your SEO.
If you want to join me for a quick catch-up on SEO then please do get in touch.