3 Easy Ways to Boost Your SEO Ranking
SEO: the acronym that sits at the back of every developer’s mind. It can do so much, or so little for your site depending on how you utilise it.
With the online scape forever evolving (and the algorithm forever changing!), SEO Technicians and company owners alike are evaluating and reforming SEO strategies to fit with the new rules outlined by search engines. Just as they feel as though they’re finally on top of the new ranking factors, there are more to replace them.
We could all just give up and forget about SEO, close up shop and hand out flyers into the mailboxes around our brick and motor stores, but to ignore the sheer power of high quality SEO tactics would be ignorant.
Why is SEO necessary?
Think about how you currently gather your information. From something as simple as the day’s weather forecast, to the first 100 digits of Pi, the internet is a realm of discovery. If you want to find a landscaper in your area, you merely have to type ‘Landscaper in <suburb>’ into a search engine and a plethora of pages relating to your search will appear to answer your query. But, how often do you sift through the 40+ pages of results that are given to you?
This is where SEO comes in, and whilst it may be difficult to stay ahead of those ranking factors, it is vital to rank on page one (or two) of key search term results. When SEO is carried out correctly, it can help your website get to the “holy grail” for major search terms related to your products or services. Although it may take a bit of time to prove your site ‘worthy of a page one rank, there are certain ways that you can speed up the process – and many circle around the point of website usability.
What is Website Usability?
Undoubtedly, website usability effects the conversion of your website (and, of course, its overall success in search engines). If your website hinders a user’s ability to discover information relevant to their search, then your rankings will be affected. SEO and website usability work hand in hand because, if your website isn’t effective or efficient in answering the question posed by a user, you shouldn’t be ranking for that query.
Search engines, like Google or Yahoo, tend to reward sites (through rank) that are user friendly. These sites generate high user engagement through reaching the 5 quality components pictured above. Having a useable website as a foundation is one of the best ways to improve your SEO ranking. It’s all about what’s called ‘best practice’, and whilst web usability plays a vital role in the ranking of your website, it isn’t the only factor that affects your ranking.
How to Improve Your SEO
Now that you know the root elements that contribute to website usability, it is time to implement tactics that will help you get from page #79 to that coveted page #1.
- Stay Relevant
When it comes to rankings, there is nothing that harms your business more than ranking for something that has nothing to do with what you sell or do. Directing the wrong traffic to your page is likely to generate a reduced ‘dwell time’, the amount of time a user spends on your site, which is a significant ranking factor. Providing useful, relevant content that benefits users and speaks to your target audience will likely increase the time the users spend on the site, and therefore positively impact the ‘dwell’ time.
Content can come in many forms, such as informative videos, infographics, case studies or blogs. If you are going down the written path, it is said the highest generating content is often 2,000 to 2,500 words. Although word count isn’t everything, providing longer content often proves to be the most valuable for your audience, simply because you can let them gain a more in-depth understanding of the topic you are approaching. Not only that, but it is easier to naturally increase keyword clusters used in longer form content, and weave in more outbound links.
- Keywords are the Key
With the landscape as competitive as ever, it is important to remain on top of your keyword strategy. The digital industry is stepping away from the previous methods of just using the most common words searched, and instead are expanding formations.
This is all because of voice search. Short tail keywords, whilst they are still useful, aren’t the only aspect that you need to consider. Instead, including to-the-point phrases within your site can prove useful in boosting your website up the Google ranks. Find the balance between these two keyword types, and you could become a force to be reckoned with.
One thing to keep in mind is not to shift the focus away from what your users would (or should) be looking for when searching for products. This is what should remain at the core of your SEO strategy and can often get lost in the deeper process. At the base of it, your goal is to appear in the majority of the searches your target audience make. So, what are they searching? If you don’t think your users are using words from your current keywords, maybe consider freshening up your approach and using new words within your strategy.
- Remain Fast-Paced
Our final tip for you all is to focus on your site itself, as it definitely has an impact on your ranking ability. One of the most detrimental elements that will work against your Google rank is your page’s speed, especially as the internet itself is all about generating quick answers to quick questions.
Search engines are vastly different to what they were 10 years ago. They have functionalities that allow them to read the overall impact your site has on a user and, no matter how good your keywords are, you can still fail to rank in that top position. Ensure that your SEO efforts are also merging with your UX efforts in order to reap the best reward. This means focussing on faster load times, better customer journey experiences and higher quality content, as well as sharply optimised keywords.
Another easy way to boost your SEO rankings is by moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS. This ‘S’ shows your users, and search engines like Google, that your site is secure, meaning that any information passed from the user to your business is encrypted and safe. Although there is a cost to updating your security certificate, it has an incredible pay-off in the long run.