When most brands think of SEO tactics, they spend a considerable amount of time thinking of keywords and optimizing their web content to rank for these phrases. Yet, that’s only part of the puzzle. You see, there are other elements that affect search engine optimization and will also better your website’s visibility.
Since every company needs SEO if they desire to reach their target audience from search and boost brand awareness, it’s critical to understand these factors so you can begin implementing them in your digital strategy.
The good news is there are simple steps you can take today to begin immediately improving your SEO ranking for tomorrow. Here are six quick yet valuable tips you can execute to increase traffic and exposure.
#1 Increase Page Load Speeds
Did you know a business loses roughly 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over 4 seconds to load (Source: Kissmetrics)? How time it takes for your content to load significantly influences SEO ranking, for the better or worse. If visitors have to wait, your dwell time (the amount of time people spend on your site) will suffer, few readers will engage in other pages on your site, and you’ll experience an increased bounce rate.
Each of these factors impact SEO for your site. In fact, search engines like Google and Bing take page-loading speed into account in their website ranking algorithm.
With that said, improve your speeds by using a caching plugin, making sure the code is clean and streamlined, optimizing image sizes (more on this later), reducing the number of plugins, and minimizing redirects.
#2 Bolster Website Usability
Your website should be easy for visitors to navigate through and locate what they’re looking for. Website usability is important to SEO ranking because search engines reward those that are user-friendly. This results in higher engagement levels which positively influences search optimization.
The following are ways that you can upgrade website usability:
- Google favors sites that are mobile optimized and penalize those that are not. Maximize on mobile traffic by ensuring your site is indeed mobile-ready
- A well-thought out site architecture which reflects clear navigation is vital to helping your visitors find what they want on your site. Make sure your content is simple to find
- Ensure your site is efficient in that visitors can easily complete a task (i.e. locate CTA buttons, order a product, contact form)
- Prevent errors like "404 Page Not Found" that not only affect user experience but also SEO ranking
#3 Optimize Your Images
Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without relevant images (Source: Hubspot). Adding visuals to your website certainly enriches user experience, having an incredible impact on visibility and engagement. The downside is that images tend to bog down page load speeds due to their fairly large size.
The solution is optimizing your images prior to uploading them onto your site. Either “save them for web” when using an image editing tool or install a plugin like WP Smush.it (if you have WordPress) that optimizes JPEG images.
#4 Move your website to HTTPS, a secure site
Google announced they were giving a boost in ranking to websites that are secure or have the URL that leads with HTTPS (https://example.com). The "S" in HTTPS stands for security. Your website will gain a slight advantage simply by adding this safeguard.
Every little bit helps with improving SEO so follow this simple how-to guide to moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS and be secured in 2017!
#5 Include Relevant Outbound Links
Studies continue to show that outgoing links have a positive effect on SEO, ranking content higher than those that did not include outbound links. The benefits to incorporating outbound links in your content include providing visitors additional (credible) resources to read, enhancing your brand messaging, and showing that you’re actively engaged in your niche. Outbound links build your credibility.
When linking other sources to your content, don’t overdo it. Have just enough where it augments your content yet doesn't distract people from easily flowing through your post.
#6 Maintain Blogging Consistency
The benefits to blogging are astonishing. Companies who blog consistently have 434% more indexed pages than companies who don’t. Also, small businesses that blog receive 126% more lead growth than those who fail to implement this in their content strategy. It simply pays to have a regularly blogging cadence where your marketing team is producing content that speaks to your target audience.
There are a plethora of editorial tools like CoSchedule and Google Calendar to help you blog efficiently and maintain a steady presence in the online space. Your fans are looking for more of you...your blog posts offers a way to show up and give the people what they want…value!
Implementing these tips will improve your website SEo and better position you to be found by your ideal customer. Execute them quickly, remain consistent in your blogging, and stay engaged with your audience to continue delivering experiences that resonate with their interests.
Want to learn how your website is doing in SEO? Take the Free SEO Analysis and gain valuable tips to help boost your traffic, capture quality leads, and improve revenue.