Let’s face it - for any online business, bagging a top spot on Google’s search surrounding your relevant keywords is the holy grail. To be ranking highly without forking out a fortune and attracting potential customers searching for keywords related to your business or industry is the end goal, but getting there can be quite tricky indeed. Google is an ever-changing landscape that can be incredibly difficult to master, and even more difficult to hold on to your throne once you’ve climbed to the top of the search results. Thanks to constant algorithm updates and changes, you need to be an agile worker that’s on top of their game to keep your rankings strong. Having said that, there are a few tips that any online business can implement that should see a positive uplift in search results as well as providing an excellent user experience for your customers. Here’s 7 tips to help improve your search ranking.
- Think mobile first
A quick win to acquire organic search results is to ensure your website is totally mobile friendly. Even more so than that - you should be thinking of your mobile customers first and foremost, and considering mobile in every element from design to content. According to Search Engine Land, nearly 60% of all searches on the internet are coming from mobile devices, and with the near-constant development of smartphone devices, searches from mobile are only set to become more prevalent. If your website is mobile friendly, you have a better chance of ranking in mobile search results, which means you have a better chance of reaching 60% of users. Make your website design fully responsive so that it looks clean and slick on mobile. Optimise your text so that it’s easy to digest on a mobile screen - no huge blocks, seamless user experience an plenty of pictures to browse. Finally, make sure your page loads in a flash to avoid a high bounce rate.
- Local SEO is important
Google truly shines when you’re searching locally, bringing you a plethora of businesses that match your search for the local area, as well as pop out boxes with maps, star ratings and more information. If you want to attract local customers and strut your stuff on the Google stage, then working on your local SEO is absolutely key. Target your local area in your keywords - include your area in your about us page and let people know where you’re based or where they can find you if you have a physical location for customers to visit. Verify any local web listings, making sure that your address and contact number are correct in any directories or Google accounts. Set up your Google My Business account and get it verified. Get set up on services like Yelp, Yahoo! And Bing for Business to create a unified presence online and boost your local SEO.
- Get your niggly bits nailed
When it comes to SEO, sometimes the most simple jobs can be those that bring the most fruitful of rewards. Setting some time to outline the niggly SEO bits you need to nail could be the difference between a page 1 listing and a page 2 listing, and consequently could have an enormous impact on your click through rate and profit too. Start with images. Every image has an alt tag attached to it, and this creates an excellent opportunity for SEO. Describe each image with a keyword that’s relevant to your page and the image to get a few cheeky extra keywords into the code in a natural and seamless way. All images should have alt tags attached to them, and if you’re clever, then this presents great SEO opportunities too.
Make sure all of your meta descriptions are filled in and to the correct Google guidelines. Optimise your H1s and meta titles to include your keywords and an accurate and relevant description for each page. Be meticulous and do this for every page, and you should start to see results.
Similarly, checking your sitemap is on point, your links are all working and you’ve attributed the correct keywords to the correct landing pages could all give your rankings a little boost.
- Adopt HTTPS
Google’s updated internet browser Chrome 56 will make websites that start with http:// as opposed to https:// as not safe, leaving a little ‘not safe’ label for any users who visit your standard http website. To avoid this having a detrimental effect on your business, be sure to adopt https as quickly and seamlessly as possible and stay ahead of the curve. Not only will https help to stop put off potential visitors by ensuring them that they’re visiting a safe website, but it will also transmit any data securely through an encrypted connection, protecting your customers and building their trust with your brand. Install an SSL/TLS certificate to your website immediately and any ‘not secure’ warning will be replaced with a green padlock and a ‘secure’ sign, reassuring any users that your website is safe and will protect their information. It’s important to note that when you switch your website will need to be remapped, with any 301 redirects needing to pull through to the new website.
- Identify low-hanging fruit
Boosting your SEO performance across the board is the aim of the game for any website, but few people realise the potential that focusing on low-hanging fruit can wield. Use an SEO analysis tool like SEMrush or Ahrefs to identify which keywords are sitting towards the top of page 2, and are just a few rankings away from a first page placement. Focus your efforts on them, making sure the targeted page for each keyword is appropriately optimised, with full SEO integration, H1 tags and meta information. The simple uplift from a number of 11-20 keywords to 1-10 positions could have an enormous impact on your website, and this is an excellent tactic to ensure results.
- Get your website at peak performance
It has been indicated by the big Google itself that site speed is a performance indicator it measures in order to rank websites. That means, if your page speed is lagging, then it could be negatively impacting your results. As well as pleasing Google, getting your page speed up is incredibly important for user experience, so make sure you’re doing what you can to cut down that load time and get your customers going from click to browse in an instant. Enable image compression and make sure all images are compressed appropriately, minimise your redirects and improve your server response time to get speedy connections and happy customers. This could also improve your SEO too - win/win!
- Plan your content with a purpose
It can be difficult to stay on track and remember what’s important when it comes to SEO. We get so focused on keywords and technicalities that sometimes Google’s main objective can be forgotten - which is to provide users with the most relevant results for their searches. As such, putting the user at the heart of what you do could be the easiest way to improve your search ranking. Create your content with a purpose and focus. Research which questions are being searched surrounding your business or service and write articles or content that answers those questions. Analyse which keywords get the most traffic and incorporate them into your plan. Assess which types of content on your website gets the highest click through rate and strive to become an authority in this area. Act as a resource for your customers and seek to answer any question they might have, as well as being sneaky with blog titles and getting your keywords in. If you focus on creating content with a purpose for your target audience, you will see a positive uplift in search results.
So there you have it - some SEO tips and tricks which you can start working on in an instant. It’s important to remember that SEO is a long game, meaning it can take months to see a change in your results even when working tirelessly on an SEO campaign. Be persistent, do your research, keep your passion for it and you will see your hard work paying off. User experience is everything, and being as relevant as you can for customers will pay off in the search results. Implementing the aforementioned 7 tips is an excellent place to start and should see your website creeping up the organic search results in no time.Return back to Knowledge