How to Improve Search Engine Rankings
There’s no doubt about it – search engines represent the bedrock of the digital world. Around 68% of online experiences start with a search engine query, meaning businesses must do everything they can to push their websites to the top of Google’s results pages.
As you’re probably well aware, search engine optimization (SEO) is a fundamental part of any successful digital marketing strategy. If you want to boost brand visibility and grow your audience base, you’ll need to learn a thing or two about satisfying search engine algorithms.
Fortunately, SEO isn’t rocket science. While it’s true that SEO trends come and go, learning just a few fundamentals will help you boost your web traffic and drive leads and conversions. Here are our top tips to get you started:
Focus on keywords
Keyword research is vital to SEO success, as it helps search engines understand how to match queries to web pages. Start by considering what kind of search terms your audience is likely to use. If you’re struggling, keyword research tools such as SEMRush or Moz can point you toward trending topics and phrases. Once you’ve come up with a few searchable terms, carefully weave them throughout your web copy while ensuring the words flow naturally.
Add title tags
Title tags (or meta titles) are the blue links that appear on search engine results pages. While they may not seem particularly important, search engine algorithms use them to determine what pages are about and whether they’re relevant to users. As such, your title tag should be informative, concise, and contain a keyword or two. If you run a small local business, adding your location could significantly improve your ranking.
Publish content regularly
Around 62% of companies with over 5,000 employees publish daily content. Why? High-quality content represents the foundation of SEO and helps to drive business growth. Simply setting up a blog section on your website could significantly improve your search engine ranking and boost leads and conversions.
Before you start churning out new website articles, it is important to note that quality should take precedence over quantity. Search engines algorithms favor sites within genuinely useful content enriched with a few carefully selected keywords. If you’re struggling to come up with topics, think about your audience’s primary interests, concerns, or pain points and write articles that address them.
Don’t ignore your URL
Search engines tend to favor URLs containing keywords, a fact often overlooked by digital marketers. If you’ve already published a page and want to update the URL with keywords, don’t forget to redirect visitors away from the old page!
Add ALT tags to your images
ALT tags are used to improve site accessibility by describing images to users who cannot see them and helping search engine algorithms learn more about the types of content on your page. Good ALT text should be as descriptive as possible, enriched with keywords, and relatively short. We recommend keeping your image tags under 125 characters and avoiding unnecessary words such as ‘picture of’ or ‘image of’.
Add internal links
Internal links are hyperlinks that lead to other areas of your site. If you’re writing a blog post about a topic related to your company offerings, for example, you may wish to add reference links to certain goods or services.
Search engines crawl these links and use them to assess the credibility and relevance of a site. In this way, it is a good idea to sprinkle a few throughout your landing pages and blog posts. Try to use hyperlinks containing keywords, as this will enhance your SEO score even further.
Ensure your site is mobile-friendly
Around 80% of top-ranked sites are mobile-friendly as search engine algorithms favor websites that are easy to use across a range of devices. To maximize the user experience for your visitors, optimize your images and coding to ensure each page loads quickly. This will reduce bounce rates and satisfy demanding algorithms. You should also build your website according to responsive design techniques, as this will ensure your site is well-formatted on any device.
Try not to duplicate content
Search engines favor unique content, so it is a good idea to scan your site for duplicate articles or web pages. If you have created a lot of blog content and find two posts that significantly overlap, try to rework some of the content or simply delete one of the posts.
Use HTML header tags on your pages
Header tags help to organize your page and allow readers to skim your content more easily. Search engines also rank sites with well-organized subheadings higher than those without digestible content. Your first HTML should be the H1 tag at the top of the page, which you can then populate with a number of H2, H3, or even H4 tags.
Create an XML sitemap
XML sitemaps are lists of pages that help search engines read, organize, and index website information more easily. As such, creating a detailed sitemap will boost your chances of ranking highly. To make a sitemap, you should try the following steps:
If this all sounds a little complex, don’t fret! Why not outsource your SEO and web development tasks to make life a little easier?
Eliminate broken links or URL errors
Broken links will damage your SEO score and send your site tumbling down the rankings. Make sure to monitor errors regularly using a broken link checker and create redirects if necessary.
Did you know we offer Technical SEO audit services? Drop us a line and we can provide you with a comprehensive technical audit.
We even can even provide a freebie!
Need Help with Your SEO?
If you’ve read this far, you know that SEO can be a complex, time-consuming feat. We take the stress out of SEO and give your team precious time back.
For over 5 years, we’ve been dedicated to helping local businesses increase their rankings and have a competitive edge with our Cincinnati SEO services.
Reach out to us for a quote and one of our team members will be happy to assist with setting up a time to present a proposal.