It’s more important than ever to have an effective website. Millions of people use the Internet each day to gather information. By getting these people to visit your website, you can then pitch your products and services, and hopefully convert your leads into a sale.
But how do you get these people to your website in the first place? There are many strategies you can use, but one of the most effective is SEO. SEO – or Search Engine Optimization – is the act of knowing what factors search engines use when determining the order of their results, and then optimizing your website to fit these factors.
If you want to improve your website’s ranking within search engines, here are three things you can do to instantly give yourself a boost.
Speed Up Your Website
One of the first things you should focus on is speeding up your website. This is because not only can it greatly improve your search engine rankings, but in many cases it’s easy to do. But before we get into how to speed up your website, let’s focus on the why.
Humans have a custom of growing used to the technology available to them very quickly. It wasn’t that long ago that if you told someone they could find information on anything in the world in just a matter of minutes, they would have been amazed. Now, if this search takes more than a couple of seconds, we’re more likely to move onto something else or try another source.
Studies have shown that if a website takes too long to load, the visitor is likely to just leave rather than wait. This means that you need to do everything you can to ensure your website runs quickly. But doing this is about more than improving your visitor’s experience.
Search engines now factor in page speed as well. They know the people using their search engines want fast-loading websites, so they rank sites lower if they are slow. By improving your website speed you can now not only make your visitors happier, but also search engines.
So, how do you improve your website’s speed? There are a few options you can try. For starters, you’ll want to look at the server that is running your website. Server speed plays a large role in determining page load speed, so you may want to consider an upgrade. Many hosting providers provide private and shared hosting. Shared hosting is the option a lot of newer websites go for, as it’s cheaper. But if your site is slow, you may want to consider upgrading to a private server.
After that, look at reducing the size of your website. If you have a lot of large images or videos on your pages, these will slow down your page. You don’t have to reduce your website to just text however -look at reducing the file size of your images first.
With your site running at the highest possible speed, now it’s time to look at the keywords you’re using on the site. Keywords are an essential part of any SEO strategy, so it’s important that you pay close attention to them.
Search engines use keywords to determine what a website or webpage is about, then compare them against what a user is searching for. When we use search engines, we often don’t search in regular English. Instead of typing “I need a plumber in New York City”, someone will type “Plumber in NYC”. For your website, you’ll want to make sure you are focusing on keywords that represent your site, are commonly searched, have relatively little competition, and are being used in the correct places.
To start, you’ll need to do some keyword research. Both Google and Moz offer some great free tools that you can try out to get started. Play around with a bunch of combinations of words that closely describe your business. From these tools, you’ll be able to find out how many other websites are trying to rank for that keyword, how often it’s searched, and even get recommendations for similar keywords. After playing around with these tools for a while, you should have a good list of keywords that you can focus on.
Once you know your keywords, now it’s time to start using them on your site. The main place you’ll want them is in your title tags. The title tag is the text that appears at the top of your web browser. You should also try to include your keywords in subheadings, image alt texts, and throughout the text of the page. However, don’t overdo it. Three or four times in a page is enough.
There’s a lot that goes into finding the best keywords for SEO and keyword strategy beyond this. Take some time to learn all you can about it. You may find that simply switching which keywords you target or how you’re using them can instantly boost your SEO success.
Get High-Quality Backlinks
Finally, you’ll want to focus on the other major factor of search engine rankings – backlinks. Search engines like Google place a large emphasis on how many other prominent sites are linking to yours. The more links you can get from these high-quality sources, the better.
So how do you do this? There are a few proven methods you can try. For starters, try writing an exceptional blog post related to your niche. Answer a question in depth that a lot of people have, provide a ton of related resources, or conduct an interview with someone prominent in your niche. If this blog post provides a lot of value, other popular blogs will want to link to it.
Besides creating blog posts, you can also create other types of media. Some examples are:
If the things you create are useful or fun, other websites will want to share and post them.
The third thing you can do, if you’re a local business, is claim your business listings. Sites like Yelp and Google My Business are large business directories that provide users with information about local businesses. By claiming your listing on these sites not only can you provide detailed information, but you can get a link back to your own site. It’s an easy way to score a quick high-quality backlink.
Making SEO a Priority
Search Engine Optimization is not something you can do once and then move on. To truly get the most out of it, it should be something you think about all the time. What new keywords can you try? How can you go about getting more backlinks? Is there a way you can speed up your site further?
The higher priority you place on SEO, the better you’ll do. Hopefully, the above tips will help to give you a boost, but the key is you need to stick with it. Always look for ways to improve, and soon you’ll find that your website is not only climbing to the top of the search results, but it’s staying there.