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Best ways to improve your website’s SEO

In today’s digital world, search engine optimizations seems to be a topic that’s on every business owner’s mind. That’s because the majority of consumers are using search engines like Google, Bing, to find brands, products, and services that they are interested in. But how can you increase the search engine visibility of your business?

There are many different factors that are involved when it comes to search engine rankings, and improving your ranking is no easy task.

That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide on how to improve your website’s SEO.

A general question that is being asked a lot is how long does it take to improve your website’s SEO ranking? – this is great questions because time is money, right?

It really depends on a lot of factors such as:

  • Your skill – do you have an in-house SEO expert that knows his way around websites and knows how to improve SEO results? Skill does play an important role when it comes to improving Google rankings
  • Your current site – how long has your site been in its current state? How old is the domain name? The more work you have to do to improve your website’s SEO rankings, the longer it might take you to see changes in Google rankings.
  • Budget – What kind of budget are you working with? Obviously, the larger the budget, the more you can do up-front to increase search engine optimization results. If you are working with a limited budget, then you will have to be more strategic about which steps you have to take.
  • Competition – The more competitors you have in your industry and area, the more difficult it will be to get higher up in the rankings.

Keep these factors in mind, no matter where you are in the SEO optimization process. Seeing changes in your SERP rankings will take time, unfortunately it’s not something that can happen overnight.

Ahrefts did a study and found that on average, pages that rank in the top 10 results of Google search were over 2 years old with the average age of number 1 ranking pages being 3 years old.  This study also discovered that 6% of the pages were able to reach the top 10 from nowhere in about 2 to 6 months.

Ways to improve your website’s SEO

Like we mentioned above, it takes time to improve your website’s SEO ranking and that the results depend on a number of factors. However, there are a couple of actions that you can take today to improve your chances of ranking higher on the SERP

Create an SEO website audit

This is the first and most important step, first, you have got to figure out what is wrong with your website in terms of SEO in order to fix it, right? An audit will help you identify your site’s strengths and weaknesses.

This way you will be able to play to your strengths while strategically improving your weaknesses.

What does an SEO website audit involve? An SEO audit involves looking at the following aspects of your website:

  • Website structure
  • Information architecture
  • Site speed
  • Existing content
  • Mobile responsiveness
  • Use of keywords
  • Backlinks

The point of the audit is to identify areas that need attention so that you can develop a plan for improvement. You can get a more detailed audit when using specialized tools that scan your website and help identify weaknesses and technical issues that might affect your site’s SEO. The average business doesn’t have access to these types of tools or the experience in-house to run them and interpret the results.

For this reason, these companies choose to work with agencies that have experience in the domain and can help them with a complete SEO audit and offer strategic recommendations based on what they find.

Check your XML sitemap

improve your website’s SEO with sitemap

And XML Sitemap lists a website’s important pages, making sure that Google can find and crawl the, all, also helping it understand your website structure. You should have your XML Sitemap registered with Google Search Console to help Google properly analyze your site.

Check robots.txt

robots.txt example

Robots.txt is a file webmasters create to instruct web robots (typically SEO bots) how to crawl pages on their website.  In practice, it indicates which bot can or cannot crawl parts of your website. These crawl instructions are specified by “allowing” or “disallowing” the behavior of certain bots.

Improve site navigation

Google wants to provide the best possible search and browsing experience for its users. For this reason, the search engine rewards sites that provide a positive user experience – and part of offering a great user experience is making sure that your site is easy to navigate.

If site visitors cannot find what they are looking for, they will most likely leave your website, resulting in a “bounce”. This will directly impact your “bounce rate”, the time visitors spend on your website and the number of pages they view, all in term will impact your search engine rankings.

This is why developing a clear navigational structure is a vital first step when it comes to helping visitors find what they are looking for on your website. The key rule for navigation is to never make a page more than 3 clicks away. This means that every page on your site, even at the deepest of levels, should be reachable in just 3 clicks.

Optimize site speed

website caching speed

The loading speed of your website is yet another key factor when it comes to your SERP ranking. The longer it takes for your site to load, the more frustrated the customer becomes and this may cause them to simply leave your site and go to your competitor.

If your site takes more than 3 seconds to load, you could be losing more than 50% of your site visitors.

Here are a couple of factors that can impact your site’s load speed:

  • Image file size – Larger images take more time to load, impacting your site’s speed. To help improve speed, you will have to compress and optimize your image files so that they don’t drag down your load times.
  • Browser caching – browser caching happens when a browser loads a website and store some of the site’s resources locally on the user’s computer, meaning that the next time they navigate to that page the content will be pre-loaded. Be sure to have a caching plugin that helps speed up your website.
  • Script handling – the scripts that make up your website can take some time to load, thus impacting your site’s speed, so make sure that they are well optimized.

How can you improve your site’s loading speed even more? Find out in our blog post about improving your website’s loading speed.

Optimize your website for mobile

mobile responsiveness to improve your website’s SEO

Mobile site optimization is no longer an option. As of 2015, Google now penalizes sites that are not mobile optimized.

Why? Because over 60% of all searches come from mobile devices, so make sure that your site is built with mobile users in mind. If your site has been around for a while, you’ll want to consult with a web design agency to see if your web design is mobile-friendly. If not, use their services to ensure that your site is mobile responsive before you lose any more valuable mobile traffic.

Need help improving your website’s SEO?

 

If you want to increase your search engine optimization rankings, you will have to keep an eye on all of the moving pieces that impact your SEO. As we previously mentioned, SEO is an ongoing process that takes skill, attention, and continuous effort – best to be handled by a professional.

If you don’t have time to learn all the tricks when it comes to SEO or you don’t have an in-house SEO expert, you can always contact us for assistance.

Our team offers both on-page SEO services as ongoing work to help your business and brand consistently rank on Google.

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