We are at the start of the year again, that time when resolutions are made and everything restarts after the festive break. Now is an excellent time to review your SEO strategy and improve your search engine ranking for the coming year. Below are some of the best ways to optimize your website and improve its performance.
Identify Your Keywords
Keywords are the most relevant words used on your website that relate to your business. They are also the words users search for when they enter a query into the search engine. The closer your keywords are to the search query the higher your chances are of receiving a high organic search ranking and user click through.
This is why it’s so important to do thorough keyword research, you need to find the keywords users generally search for that are related to your business or blog. For conventional keywords you may need to have a high quality website with a good ranking and lots of traffic to complete; most other websites vary the keyword to make it more relevant to them. These are called long-tail keywords.
You can find effective keywords in several ways. The easiest way is to type the search term into the search engine to see what related terms come up. These are high volume keywords. If you’re a little more professional, however, you might try software tools such as Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, Google Trends, Answer the Public, and Google Search Console.
Optimize Your Website for Keywords
Once you have identified the keywords that are best suited to your product or service, it’s time to optimize your website with them so the search engine knows you are a quality resource for any given topic. Search engines such as Google and Bing are constantly scanning the Internet in search of new content, you can influence your search ranking by optimising the content on your website.
This practice is called On-Page SEO. It is the practice of integrating your most effective keywords onto the website page in a way that makes it easy for search engines to identify and rank your webpage. The bots and spiders that scan are looking for “relevance,” does the keyword in the page’s title align with keywords in the content? And “quality,” is the webpage a quality resource in comparison to others ranked in the index.
To optimize for On-Page SEO, first make sure your Page Title is clearly relevant to the page’s content. Also make sure the title is less than 60 characters so it doesn’t get chopped off in the search results. Next, include a Meta Description. It’s no longer a ranking factor but does play a supporting role. The Meta Description should be under 160 characters. Finally, use H1 headings throughout your article and incorporate keywords into them.
Monitor Your Keywords
Shortly after you’ve optimized your website you should see an improvement in your ranking, but it won’t last forever. Over time new content gets published that is either more relevant or higher quality. So unless you keep track of your SEO and update regularly, you will see a deterioration in your initial SEO efforts.
Regularly check and optimize your SEO to maintain your high position. One way of doing this is by using the Google Search Console. This console gives you the average ranking for the website as a whole along with the performance of particular keywords. Other rank trackers are also useful, such as STAT. Enter your keywords and click “run.” The tracker will give you the performance of your keywords over a time period.
If you find your SEO is consistently underperforming it might be useful to perform an SEO audit to source the issue. This can be done through robots.txt, site maps, or third party solutions. A technical SEO audit will give you a detailed outline of any issues that may be affecting your rank.
Optimize for User Experience
Although user experience doesn’t directly affect your search engine ranking, it can influence your ranking, especially if the search engine sees that your website is popular. This would contribute to its “relevance” criteria and result in a higher ranking. But how do you make your website user-friendly?
These days customers expect a website to be simple to navigate, easy to read on all devices, and to have straightforward payment methods without any glitches. Today’s customers and Internet users have a very low tolerance for inefficiency, and their expectations are well known. You must ensure all aspects of your website work together in concert and provide users with a slick experience.
You can use click testing software to identify any website issues relating to performance. Until there is the best way to optimize it for performance is to use the website yourself and ask colleagues and third parties for feedback. It may also be useful to perform an online survey or marketing suit to find out how users are responding to your website and what can be done to improve it.
Improve Your Organic Search Results
If you want to improve your search engine ranking for your website or business there’s an easy way to do it. Try some paid Google Ads. They have an efficient system to put your website in front of your target audience without wasting your budget on unlikely customers. Although it can be effective occasionally when you’re campaigning, the Google paid Ads are not a long term solution.
To maintain your position at the top of the rankings you need to develop your website so it ranks well in the organic results. To do this you need quality content, effective keywords, good traffic, and excellent backlinks. Backlinks are one of Google primary factors these days because it provides evidence of quality content on the Internet if other websites choose to link to you.
Some ways you can improve your organic search ranking is by writing longer content that’s integrated with relevant keywords, this will keep users on your page for longer and allow you to include more keywords. You might also reach out to other like-minded websites – you can offer to produce content for them in return for a backlink.