Search Engine Optimization
Simple But Effective Tips
If you run a business that requires a website, as most businesses do nowadays, it is important to ensure that this site is visible to search engines. This is what search engine optimization is all about-giving visibility to your site, so that people can find you when they make searches related to your field of business. Whether you are doing the optimization yourself, or hiring someone else to do it for you, there are several simple but effective tips you can make use of.
1. Research Your Keywords
Some people opt to guess which keywords to use in their optimization based on their understanding of their industry. While this might work, the best way to do it is to make use of the numerous online tools that allow you to conduct due diligence on your keywords. This will allow you to find the best keywords that suit your audience.
2. Resize Your Graphics
For most people, resizing the graphics on a website means reducing the width and height attributes. The end result of this will be that there will be smaller-looking graphics on your site. This however does nothing for the loading speeds of your site, as the graphic hasn’t actually been resized. The best way to go about this is to work on the size and resolution of your graphic first, and then upload that to your site.
3. Maximize Your Homepage’s Link Authority
Your homepage is likely to receive a lot more visitors than any other page on your site. You should not let visitors turn back at the homepage; instead, include links to other pages that your audience would find useful. Such pages include primary product pages, frequently asked questions, glossary of terms etc. The homepage is your elevator pitch- it should help you sell your other pages within 118 seconds of your audience visiting it.
4. Excessive Repetition In Your Title Tags Is Counterproductive
Start each title tag and heading of your site’s pages with an original and well-researched term. Repeating the same words in your title tags will not do much for your search engine ranking. If you must include your company’s name in every page, do it towards the end of the Title on the far left. It doesn’t make sense to optimize your homepage and forget about the other pages, considering how useful Title Tags can be when search engines are trawling the web looking for URLs to rank.
5. Work On Your Content
Optimizing your site to make sure it can be seen by search engines is the easy part of the job. The harder part is retaining your visitors so that they keep coming back for more. For this, you will need to ensure that your audience finds new content every time they visit your site. Content is king, and keeping it fresh will ensure that your visitors bring more visitors when they share your informative articles and blog posts. Search engines will also rank you better if your keep churning fresh and optimized content on a regular basis.
6. Is UX a ranking factor?
Even though Google doesn’t say outright if UX is a ranking factor, most SEO experts can agree that sites which provide the best user experience are often favored by Google crawlers. This is not to say that your web pages will never rank if the UX is not exceptional. Certainly not. However, you need to try your best to give user’s the best experience. Search engines are very smart and they understand what users’ intentions are in every query.
One UX ranking factor that we’re all too familiar with is the preference on mobile-friendly websites. Search engines are looking to give their customers the best results for each query. This means not only providing quality and relevant information but also making sure users can get to it. Therefore, you may not regard UX as a ranking factor but it is one of the best practices needed for your site to perform well on popular search engines.
7. Work on UX to enhance conversion rates
When you think of a good reason to improve your UX, think of how it will affect your conversion rates. Perform tests and make changes based on actual data. Simple UX improvements can actually help you to enhance organic traffic on Google. If you’re driving users to your website to complete a commercial task such as buy a product or sign up for a service, you can witness an increase in completed tasks simply by making adjustments to your UX. Furthermore, a better UX makes users feel more welcome on your website which also helps to increase the number of returning visitors.
8. What needs to be changed and how to get it done
First things first, you need to review your Google Analytics data to have a better idea of what needs to be changed and why. Review all UX metrics for organic traffic. You can start with the most important pages such as the service/product pages. Look for signs of trouble such as high bounce rate and lowest average time spent on page. Both could be an indication that the UX needs a major adjustment. You may even find out that your users are clicking on places they aren’t supposed to and you end up losing them as a result.
9. Get valuable feedback from your users
The best people to let you know what kind of UX issues your website has are its users. You can use the feedback tools available online to ask users relevant questions which will help you improve UX. For instance, ask your website visitors if they have found what they’re looking for and give them an option to explain why they haven’t.
10. A\B Testing to enhance user experience
As soon as you have an idea of what UX issues your site presents, work with a SEO company Toronto to run A/B tests to get an idea of what your users want. Among the metrics that you can use to understand what page elements give users the best experience include bounce rate, time spent on site, number of clicks to link and exit rate.
11. Optimize Your Database
Most websites rely on databases to store information. This is especially true if the site has a blog, news site or online store or other feature which might require an internal search.
Simply by adding an index to your database can greatly improve the overall speed of your site. For example, when you conduct a search on your website, the website must search the database to find what you are looking for. The more files you have, the longer it could take to find.
By adding an index, your search is narrowed down considerably and the time it takes to find what you are looking for is much less.
12. Limit Tracking Codes, Video Embeds and Share Buttons
Tracking your traffic and social media activity can be as fun as it is useful. But overdo it and you’ll slow your website down considerably.
It’s important to be selective – there is no reason to have fifteen different tracking codes on a single page. When you do use them, be sure to put them at the bottom of the page. This way people can still see the rest of your website even if the tracking codes haven’t loaded yet.
Video embeds can help to make a website more dynamic, but these too must be used with caution. Video sites such as YouTube use something called an iFrame to embed videos into other websites. iFrames can seriously slow down load times.
The same is true for share buttons and other social media widgets. As a marketer, these things may be important to you, but you need to be selective and balance them with page speed.
13. Use Caching When Possible
The first time that you visit a website, the browser must request all of your images and content from your website’s server. These are stored in your browser’s cache. Using a caching program or plugin will help to greatly include your site’s speed.
14. Content Delivery Networks
Even though your site is “on the web” it still must be stored physically on a server somewhere. If your site is stored on a server in Toronto then it will likely be fairly quick for users in Toronto to load. On the other hand, if you have users in Vancouver trying to access your site in Toronto, they may experience lag time because the site has to “travel” a greater distance stopping at various routers on the way.
But if a copy of your site also existed on a server in Vancouver, your Vancouver users could view your site without any lag time at all.
This is the concept behind Content Delivery Networks (CND). It essentially allows you to have copies of your site all over the world.
Using a CND service is a great option for a business that wishes to attract customers around the globe.
15. PageSpeed Insights
PageSpeed Insights is a Google tool that allows you to analyse the speed of your website. Using Google tools is always recommended for improving your SEO because Google also uses Google tools so you are using the same criteria for measuring.
PageSpeed Insights both measures the speed of your website and provides tips on how to make it faster. Webmasters who ignore this important tool, do so at their own peril.
Remember page speed matters – both for your customers and for SEO. Use these simple tips and speed ahead of your competition.