Search engine optimization (SEO) helps your website rank better in search engine results. For instance, if users search for a product or content available on your website, good SEO can ensure that your site is among the first results. Such visibility can translate into increased web traffic.
A marketing report by HubSpot reveals that SEO helps companies improve their conversion rate. Marketers agree that SEO activities contribute to high organic traffic (traffic arising from unpaid results in search engines). Websites appearing on the first page of Google Search results pages or search engine results pages (SERP) are more likely to receive clicks than those on the 10th page. These case studies on the benefits of SEO are just the tip of the iceberg; several others connect SEO to online success.
In summary, improving SEO can help you deliver an excellent user experience to clients, boost brand awareness, and lower your digital marketing budget since it’s inexpensive to implement.
We will review some of the top tips to improve your SEO practices.
- 1. Align your content with search intent
- 2. Create compelling title tags and meta descriptions
- 3. Improve your page speed
- 4. Aim for featured snippets
- 5. Focus on user experience
- 6. Learn from your metrics
- 7. Structure your content well
- 8. Earn backlinks
- 9. Perform a technical audit
- 10. Learn from your competitors
1. Align your content with search intent
Always ensure that your website content matches the target users’ search intent. In this context, search intent is the particular thing the user is seeking. For example, if your website provides movie reviews, the content should focus mainly on movies. Failure to match your content with the search intent may cause visitors to quickly leave your website (a high bounce rate).
The three major types of search intent are informational, transactional, and navigational.
- Informational intent. In this intent, individuals seek information about a particular product, topic, or area. Develop content like step-by-step tutorials, checklists, FAQ pages, articles, and blog posts to take advantage of informational search intent. The content should address users’ questions. Remember to use keywords like who, what, why, how to, and when to boost your ranking.
- Navigational intent. This is when searchers already know the website they want to visit. They may search the site’s name or any other term related to the site. To take advantage of navigational intent, ensure that your content clearly highlights your brand. Place keywords in your meta description to improve your ranking. If you have a good marketing budget, consider Paid Per Click (PPC) ads to boost your website’s visibility on the internet.
- Transactional intent. This search intent shows that users are willing to perform a particular action, such as purchasing a product, booking an appointment, or downloading something from the internet. To get more traffic, ensure that your content has a clear call to action. Add buy now or add to cart buttons on your product pages. Avoid distractions like unnecessary pop-ups and irrelevant content that might divert searchers’ attention. Other keywords related to transactional intent include shop now, book an appointment, schedule, discount, deal, and subscribe.
SEO and good content are strongly connected. Therefore, it’s highly advisable to invest in content marketing resources. If you’re having trouble with SEO, you can find professional keyword research services on Ndiwano.com.
2. Create compelling title tags and meta descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions are important concepts when it comes to SEO. The title tag presents a summary of what a web page contains.
For example, if a web page contains sportswear, the title can read “sportswear.” The title is usually displayed in the browser tab, as shown below.
You can also see the title tag in search engine results.
The title tag helps search engines determine what a web page contains, as well as its relevance to the user’s search.
Below are some of the rules for writing great title tags.
- The title tag should be 60 characters or fewer. Most search engines usually cut off long title tags. This means that the title tag may fail to convey information and value after it’s cut off.
- Ensure your web pages have unique title tags. Duplicate title tags confuse search engines and make it harder for your pages to show up in relevant results.
- Place keywords at the beginning of a title tag.
The meta description tag provides a summary of what a web page contains. This tag seeks to convince users to click the link in the search engine results.
The meta description tag is just below the title in search engine results.
Here are some tips for creating proper meta description tags.
- Limit meta descriptions to 155 characters. Search engines usually cut off text after that limit.
- Include keywords in the meta description. Ensure that the words blend with the other content in the description to showcase your message perfectly. Remember to bold certain keywords on your site. Search engine crawlers scour websites for italicized or bolded words to understand the page’s importance, which can have a positive effect on your SEO and click-through rate (CTR). Watch out for keywords that are bolded in SERPs. The highlighted terms are basically synonyms of the primary keywords. Therefore, incorporating these bolded words in your website can help it rank even higher.
- Make your meta description tag interesting. Such details can entice customers to learn more and increase traffic to your website. You can add a summary of what your website contains and the value visitors will derive from it in your description. However, avoid making your description too clickbait-y. Searchers may feel cheated if they visit the web page and fail to find what you promised in the meta description.
3. Improve your page speed
Page speed is an essential SEO ranking factor. Google Search prioritizes pages that load faster over those with slow speeds.
A website’s loading speed can affect conversion rates. In fact, the conversion rate of a website that loads in one second is three times higher than a site that loads in five seconds. In other words, page speed significantly impacts the user experience. Individuals prefer websites that load and present information quickly.
You can analyze your website’s page speed using Google’s PageSpeed Insights. Enter your website’s URL in the provided text field and click the Analyze button.
Google PageSpeed will check how your website performs on various devices and give detailed results (like those below).
If your results are below 49, your website has poor page speed. You can improve your page speed using the following tricks.
- Allow compression. Compress large files and serve them only when needed. Compressing files can reduce the size of different assets and web pages and significantly increase loading speed.
- Check your image quality. High-quality images may take longer to load, so consider replacing them with those of medium quality. You should also optimize images on your landing or homepage to improve speed.
- Take advantage of browser caching. This involves storing certain data on the browser using tools like cookies, local storage, and session storage. Users don’t need to load the entire website when they revisit it because data can be retrieved from the browser’s cache.
- Minimize redirects. Bad redirects can result in a bad user experience, infinite redirects, and crawl and speed issues. Therefore, only redirect users when it’s absolutely necessary and ensure that you use correct links.
4. Aim for featured snippets
A featured snippet is a Google Search feature that provides a summary or answer about the search topic, as highlighted in the image below.
Featured snippets are beneficial because they allow your website to receive high organic traffic. Featured snippets are top-ranking and take a lot of visual real estate. This means users are more likely to see and click them.
Featured snippets also enable your website to appear more authoritative than other sites. Searchers will believe that the site holds truthful and relevant information, making them more likely to visit it.
You can aim for featured snippets by:
- Researching keywords. You need to perform intensive research to determine the type of search queries and keywords that will likely show in featured snippets. You can incorporate the identified keywords into your content.
- Analyzing your competitors’ SEO practices. Identify the keywords your competitors are using to appear in featured snippets or rank higher and include them in your SEO.
- Understanding search intent. Try to predict what customers may search for and provide detailed or relevant answers to their queries. Understanding search intent can also allow you to optimize your content more effectively.
5. Focus on user experience
User experience is a vital component of SEO. For example, Google looks at different aspects of user experience. Core Web Vitals are usability metrics introduced by Google in 2021 that focus on visual stability, interactivity, and loading experience. (Note that they’re also a ranking factor.)
Implement the following tips to improve user experience and SEO.
- Improve loading speed. As discussed, slow websites contribute to low dwell time (the time readers spend on your website) and a high bounce rate (the percentage of users who exit a website before accessing other pages). You can boost your page speed by optimizing images and code and removing unnecessary files, libraries, and scripts.
- Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. In the first quarter of 2022, mobile devices accounted for 58.99% of global web traffic. Since people use unique mediums to access the internet, your website should adapt well to devices with different screen configurations. Utilize components like drop-down menus to provide a smooth user experience on mobile devices.
- Use proper dimensions. For visual stability, ensure that you define the proper height and width for your images, videos, and other multimedia content. This measure ensures that the page layout doesn’t shift, especially when viewed from different devices.
6. Learn from your metrics
SEO metrics are also good sources of information. Use these SEO tools to identify areas that are not performing well and implement appropriate solutions.
Google Analytics and the Google Search Console are some of the best places to start.
The Google Search Console page will direct you to the following window to add your website’s URL.
Note: You will need to verify that you own the domain before performing a search.
If you verified your website successfully, Google Search Console will direct you to the following dashboard showing the total clicks, impressions, and average CTR.
You can use the results in Google Search Console to determine search queries that will likely bring more traffic to your website. You can also receive regular updates on issues impacting your site’s SEO performance.
If you’re having trouble with your on-page SEO services, you can find and hire SEO experts on Ndiwano.com.
7. Structure your content well
Though we’ve discussed the importance of having relevant and high-quality content, you also need to know how to structure this information to provide the best value to readers and improve your SEO. Search engines can use your website structure to determine the most important pages.
Websites have a very short time to give a perfect impression, especially to new users. Visitors will likely exit a website if they believe it has a poor structure.
Apply different headings and subheadings to your content. Headings allow you to emphasize certain points or sections. In HTML, you can use heading levels from H1 for the title through H6.
You should utilize information architecture and page-level concepts to organize your web content effectively. Always ensure that you arrange your headers correctly rather than just placing H2s and H5s randomly. The way you arrange your content should allow the user to quickly find what they need. Searchers can easily become frustrated and impatient if they fail to find what they are looking for within the first few minutes of visiting your website. As a result, the site could experience a high bounce rate.
8. Earn backlinks
Backlinks allow you to link one website to another. Earning backlinks is a crucial part of off-page SEO since it helps improve your ranking. Backlinks enable search engine algorithms to regard your website as trustworthy and rank it higher.
You should strive to earn backlinks from authoritative websites (use this website to check if a particular site is authoritative). If you have a small business, encouraging your followers and influencers to share your links on social media can help improve your website’s appeal.
Here are other tips for earning backlinks:
- Create quality content. Invest in high-quality content that can convince other users to link to it.
- Use influencers and social media platforms. You can partner with influencers to mention your brand in their social media posts. Your website will receive more traffic and backlinks whenever users click on links included in the posts.
- Take advantage of contextual links. Some articles usually include a read more section at the bottom of their content. Reach out to such websites and ask if they can feature your content in the read more section.
Use Google Search Console to quickly and easily analyze your backlinks. This software is free and shows the number of backlinks to your website.
You will need a Google account to start using Google Search Console. If you already have a Google account, you can proceed to the Search Console dashboard.
You will need to add a website/property and verify that you own that domain to proceed.
After performing a search, you should see a window similar to the one below showing the total number of external links that your website has received, as well as the top linking sites.
Independent professionals on Ndiwano.com offer numerous off-page SEO services to improve your website content and earn more backlinks.
9. Perform a technical audit
Technical SEO helps identify problems with your website and implement fixes.
Engaging in technical SEO is beneficial for several reasons.
- Page speed. You can use technical SEO to identify specific components that are slowing down your website. Consider optimizing your code and images, as minifying certain files (like those containing CSS code) can boost your site speed.
- Linking practices. Technical SEO can help eliminate dead links. Having dead links on your website can affect its quality and speed. For instance, you may direct users to pages that take a long time to load or even fail to load entirely. Such actions can negatively impact the user experience.
- Crawlability. Technical SEO can ensure your website is more crawlable to search engines. In this context, crawlable means search engines can easily analyze web pages. Search engines use bots or crawlers to go through your site’s content. You can ease the crawling process by having a good internal link structure. Besides, including a Robots.txt file can also guide the bot on how to analyze the website.
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10. Learn from your competitors
SEO competitor analysis allows you to identify the SEO strategies your competitors are using to rank higher. Boost your SEO by mirroring these concepts in your own way.
- Backlinks. If your competitors have more credible links, they will likely outrank you in search engine results. Consider whether your competitors receive backlinks from authoritative and trustworthy sites. Next, identify the sites where most of their backlinks come from and determine if you can earn links from those sources.
- Keywords. You need to analyze the keywords your competitors use. What topics are they targeting? Can you compete for the same queries or discover others important to your site? If you find that some of their keywords are more popular, incorporate them into your SEO practice. Only focus on keywords with high returns or those that will lead to more web traffic.
- Content. How are competitors producing content? Can you target topics they’re missing or provide better content? To produce better content, consider adding the popular keywords that you identified from your competitors. Furthermore, it’s crucial that the content matches the search intent. In other words, it should address whatever action or information users in your target market are seeking.
- Technical. You need to identify the technical aspects your top competitors use to boost their SEO performance. Specifically, pay attention to the strategies your competitors are using to enhance their site.
Improve your SEO with expert help
Search engine optimization requires time and effort. Fortunately, you can make this process easier by finding and hiring SEO experts on Ndiwano.com. These professionals can perform SEO work to identify issues impacting your site and offer solutions.
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