by Juan Robin II
It’s no secret that getting onto the first or second page of Google results can create a massive surge in your business. Yet, businesses languish in relative obscurity off of those first two pages of results.
It’s a basic logical relationship. If your page doesn’t rank well, no one will see your website. If no one ever sees your website, you won’t generate much business from it.
Fortunately, improving your rank on search engines isn’t a matter of luck. There are lots of steps you can take that will make search engines like your site more and rank it better. The field that specializes in these steps is search engine optimization.
Of course, if you’re just starting out, you probably lack the means to hire a full-time SEO company. That doesn’t put out of the game yet. Keep reading and we’ll give you some simple SEO tips and tricks that will help push up your Google rank.
1. Site Speed
How fast should your site load? As it turns out, you get about 3 seconds before you lose around 40% of visitors. Granted, there are other factors that influence this number.
For example, regular visitors will probably cut you some slack if your load time runs a little long. Someone who really wants your services or product, specifically, will also wait it out.
For casual visitors, though, you only get those 3 seconds before attrition sets in.
Uncompressed images are one of the biggest offenders in terms of site loading speed. High-def images soak up a lot of bandwidth because they are huge compared with most of the other content on your site.
Replace your images with compressed versions and you’ll see an almost immediate load speed improvement. Faster sites rank better.
2. Use Responsive Design
Speaking of speed, don’t forget about how your site performs on mobile devices. Google uses mobile readiness and mobile load speeds as part of its overall scoring.
That means you need a responsive design. For one, it improves load speed times on mobile devices. It also makes your site adaptable for all the different screen sizes you see on tablets and smartphones.
3. Keyword Focus
A good website focuses on one or two controlling topics. For example, a computer scientist’s website might focus on creating algorithms. A general contractor’s site, by contrast, will probably focus on home building.
Of course, general terms of phrases like “algorithm” or “home building” make for lousy keywords. Lots of other sites already use those terms.
You need to pick out one or two keywords or keyword phrases with less intense competition.
Let’s say you offer general contracting services for high-end homes in Dayton, OH. Rather than use “general contracting” or even “general contracting in Dayton,” you want a longtail keyword that focuses in on an affluent neighborhood. You might use a keyword phrase like “general contracting in Pheasant Hill.”
By focusing in on that keyword, you get targeted traffic that’s much more likely to bring in the exact customers you want.
No matter what you do on the technical side of SEO, your site still needs quality content. Even more importantly, it needs a steady stream of quality content.
Quality content must achieve several ends, including:
- relevant to your site’s focus
- useful to your audience
- free of typos and major grammar errors
Content that doesn’t accomplish those three things won’t help your site much.
The simplest way websites can meet the need for quality content is through blogging. It’s comparatively economical, even if you outsource it. It also lets you build a reputation for expertise.
Other options include video content, podcasting, and infographics.
5. Use Internal Linking
Ever click on a link in a blog post and end up at another post on the same website? Or, maybe you click on a link and end up on a product page on the same site.
That is internal linking in a nutshell. You link from one place on your site to related content somewhere else on your site. It’s a very straightforward way you can tell search engines that your site focuses on a specific topic area.
6. Improve On-Site User Experience
As websites overall have improved on the technical side, Google now focuses some of its attention on user experience. Think of on-site user experience as how easily your site moves visitors from page to page.
Make sure that your menu makes it simple for visitors to find major site areas, such as your blog, product page, and contact information.
Your website faces a lot of potential threats. You can learn about some of the more common security threats over at LINC Project.
Converting your site over to HTTPS is one of the fastest and simplest ways you can protect your site. Without diving into the technical aspects of it, HTTPS essentially encrypts data moving to and from your site.
This makes your site and visitors’ computers more secure. Plus, Google strongly prefers HTTPS site over regular HTTP sites.
8. Quality Outbound Links
Another thing that Google likes is outbound links from your site to other high domain authority sites.
For example, say you write an article about managing stress as a startup founder. You might pick out an article from an established business website or medical website that supports your points.
These kinds of quality links help show Google what topic you focus on and that you provide good information.
Parting Thoughts on SEO Tips and Tricks
You can make use of a number of SEO tips and tricks to get your website ranked in 2019.
A few areas you should focus on include load speeds, responsive design, and links. Make sure that you publish quality content on your site that adheres to your keyword focus.
Take steps to improve site security, such as converting over to HTTPS. Also, take time to make sure your user experience is as smooth as possible.
Looking for ways you can take your SEO game to the next level? Check out our post on taking an integrated approach with SEO.