Search engine optimization is one of several factors used to rate a website, together with how long the site has been live and the volume of traffic it receives. Knowing how to improve SEO can transform a site’s performance in Google or Bing results, and our insider tips are well worth knowing about…
Deploy keywords in moderation. A decade ago, using keywords or long tails (three or more words) could incrementally improve SEO with every repetition. Today, keyword stuffing is a practice penalized by Google and Bing. Instead, aim to naturally incorporate a particular keyword a few times on each page. This article contains the phrase “improve SEO” four times, and therefore performs strongly in searches for that term. Conversely, failing to use terms your customers regularly search for will lower the likelihood of your site ranking strongly. Which leads to the next point:
Investigate which terms you should be using. It’s easy to make assumptions on what your customers are looking for, yet the reality might be very different. Use a platform like Moz or Kissmetrics to identify common words and phrases in search results, and prioritize your energies around high-performing terms. If you sell vintage ornaments, there’s no point putting all your energies into ranking highly for the word “refurbished” when “vintage” and “ornament” would clearly work better.
Restrict advertising budgets. It’s easy to blow your entire annual ad budget on a single month’s promotion with Google Adwords or Bing Ads. These campaigns enable you to position a small ad at the top of search results, which only incur a cost when someone clicks through to your site. And while a pay-per-click campaign doesn’t benefit SEO in itself, additional traffic makes your site seem more authoritative –impacting positively on SEO. Set a maximum price per click, and don’t be tempted to stretch it for a particular keyword. Minimum fees for a first-page position escalate over time.
Seek out every opportunity to add SEO value to your site. Every time you post a news story or blog entry, add relevant keyword tags to give Google and Bing more clarity about its content. Ensure images have relevant titles and captions, rather than simply being called DSC_0002.jpg with no description beneath. Free platforms like Yoast are great for identifying missed potential and seeing how to improve SEO, but common sense goes a long way, too.
Design for mobile. With most web traffic and emails viewed on mobile devices nowadays, search engines prefer fast-loading sites that don’t place too many compromises on mobile audiences. A responsive site design will automatically adjust itself to suit individual screens, but you still need to ensure images display correctly, and that menus remain easy to navigate. An iPhone user shouldn’t suffer in comparison to a MacBook user, for example. And, one of the most important factors in a mobile-friendly website is how quickly it displays…