SEO is crucial for businesses big and small.
A high ranking on the first page of the Google search engine is the crock of gold that is chased by all digital marketers, content strategists and content writers.
If you do not figure here, you are probably out with your smarter competitors enjoying more visibility and more business.
SEO is not a rocket science. Nor is it very easy.
It requires consistent and continuous efforts over time to achieve good ranking and visibility. Using keywords is just one factor that affects rankings.
The Google algorithm considers many other factors to arrive at the rankings. The fact that Google keeps revising the factors and their relative weights also keeps content strategists on their toes.
What do smart content strategists do? It is best to keep the fundamentals in mind at the first stage of designing the site.
A good beginning is a job half done.
Here are some tried and tested ways to improve your SEO.
1. Quality Content
Content is king. High quality content makes a huge impact on SEO rankings.
Do visitors find the content relevant, useful and interesting?
Quality content that is absorbing ensures more dwell time as visitors spend more time on the site.
Unique and useful content ensures that they visit again and again. Both these are great for improving SEO ranking.
2. Good design and layout
Use the principles of great design, layouts and formats.
Use space for relief. Fonts should be easy on the eye.
The paragraphs and line spacing should be comfortable. The copy should be easy to understand with suitable headings.
3. Use header tags with keywords
Using header tags can help enhance the ranking. No one likes to wade through endless text without headers.
Use keywords in header tags as it helps raise SEO ranking.
4. Easy navigation
Make your site easy to navigate. Help visitors to find the information that they are looking for quickly and easily.
No one has the patience to ponder around a difficult and crowded site.
A site that is easy to use will hold the visitor’s attention longer and help improve search ranking.
5. Pages should load quickly
Pages that take ages to load tend to have higher bounce rates.
Impatient visitors switch off and go to competitive sites. Clean coding, fewer redirects, a minimum number of plug-ins and optimized images are a few ways to get faster page loads.
6. Errors prove costly
Search engines look at errors as a sign of poor execution and poor maintenance.
Avoid errors such as broken links. Links that lead to wrong places or nowhere are the most frustrating.
7. Advantage of social media
Always include social media sharing buttons.
Scheduling your postings to social media networks regularly is good discipline.
Also have a good distribution strategy for your blogs and whitepapers.
8. Be mobile and tablet friendly
Make your site mobile friendly.
With more than half the world going mobile, you’ll only lose customers and business at an alarming rate if your site in not mobile and tablet friendly.
9. Make calls to action and transactions easy
Remove all barriers to the completion of successful transactions on your site.
Complex or cumbersome procedures for call to action do not result in successful conversions. This affects SEO ranking adversely.
10. Use outbound links
Use outbound links that lead to respected sites with unique and relevant content.
This can help increase visitors to your own site. Do not give too many links as this can distract visitors.
11. Create great user experiences
Use impactful video and lively visuals to demonstrate how your solution solves a pressing customer problem.
Pictures speak a thousand words and require almost no effort to follow.
Video is great for putting across drama and a variety of emotions.
The greater the experience created, the more is the dwell time of visitors on your site.
12. Include voice-search capabilities
Including voice-search capabilities for text search makes it easier to find your keywords.
This is important as more and more people are multi-tasking today –at home, at work and even while driving or shopping.
13. Have live-chat
Including live-chat on your website can help increase conversion rates.
Visitors can get answers to their questions, clarify doubts and get all the information they need to making a quicker purchase decision.
14. Leverage search queries for your website content
Creating content on the basis of questions asked by visitors can lead to great content.
15. Repeat visitors help to boost your ranking
Entice visitors who have moved away from your site to return. Having a domain name that is memorable and easy to remember is one way to try and achieve this goal.
16. Optimize title tags
A simple idea with big SEO payoffs is optimizing title tags on your website pages.
17. Optimize images
Optimize the file format and sizing of the images on your website.
Use relevant keywords to name the captions, file names and descriptions of these images.
The result will be faster page loads and more visitors.
19. Avoid inconsistencies in your online listings
Inconsistencies in online listings tend to confuse search engines. Be consistent.
20. Go hyper-local
When the target area is small and your business model allows it, go for a specific local market.
21. Have a well designed ‘Contact Us’ page
A contact page that has been thought through in terms of information and design increases new business opportunities and helps generate new leads.
Companies that give good contact information are considered more trustworthy.
So what are you waiting for. If you fall back in your SEO rankings then start implementing all the above tips and very soon you can see very good improvement in your SEO rankings.
All the best.
Please mention your comments below. Also mention any other SEO tips which you feel might be useful and not discussed here, so that we all can learn from each other.