10 Steps to SEO Success
SEO (Search engine optimisation) has become one of the most crucial marketing methods of recent years. Strategically orchestrating your ranking on search engines will mean more views and ultimately sales if done correctly.
So we talk you through the ten steps to SEO success. We would never recommend quick fix solutions as although they can provide fast results, in the long run they can damage your reputation. A fantastic user experience will ultimately be what gets you the results.
SEO & Usability
For your site to be appealing to search engines, first and foremost your website has to have great usability. Many aspects of your site factor into this such as effectiveness, efficiency, learnability, memorability and error prevention.
Is your landing page effective in meeting your viewer’s needs? Is it operating fast enough for them? Is it easy to navigate? Will they be able to remember how to find the site again? And is your 404 error page in check? All these questions need to be addressed if you want a seamless user experience which in turn will mean a much better chance at achieving SEO.
Search engines will more likely rank you higher if your site is user friendly, rich in keywords and has lots of user engagement. The more people that use your site and the longer they stay on it will indicate user friendliness and help with that SEO boost. So here’s some of our top tips!
1. Informative, entertaining & engaging content
Providing content that your users genuinely want to read is a great way of encouraging them to ‘dwell’ longer on your site. Blogging is fantastic way of racking up a word count that is rich in keywords, has outbound links and most importantly is engaging for your audience therefore encouraging them to revisit the site. Site re-visits are also a factor in your overall search ranking so great content is an absolute must. Not to mention the fact that useful content often gets bookmarked on Chrome and this is also a factor that will boost your SEO.
2. Loading time
Google and Bing take page-loading speed into consideration in their SEO ranking algorithm. Delayed loading can aggravate viewers and prevent them going any further with your site, therefore reducing dwell time and in turn search rankings.
3. Image optimization
There are methods in which you can use to aid the optimisation of the images on your site to help improve your overall SEO.
Besides image file format and sizing, you can use keywords for your image file name, alt tag, title, description and caption.
Good formatting is essential as nobody is going to be compelled to read a whole chunk of text. It will improve the user experience tremendously and encourage users to re-visit the site which will let the search engines know just how relevant you are. Using header tags can be an easy way to break up text to make it that bit more digestible for your readers.
Top tip: Search engines also rate keywords in header tags more heavily. By including relevant terms in your header tags, you are also boosting your SEO ranking against those keywords.
5. Outbound links
To make your content more useful and relevant, you can link out to authority sites for more in-depth information your readers can use.
Linking out to well-respected authority sites will not only increase the relevancy of your content and time readers spend on your site, but it is also believed to send trust signals to Google and improve SEO ranking. However, more is not necessarily better. Too many outbound links can be distracting and make the content hard to get through.
Images, videos, slideshows and audio can help enrich the user experience and allow you to deliver information in a way that is most suited to your ideal site visitors.
They also act as a signal of quality content to search engines… after all, you have put in the work to make your content look good and interactive!
Video marketing has become an increasingly integral element in driving user engagement and conversion. It’s found that websites using videos can achieve a 4.8% higher conversion rate, compared to a 2.9% average on websites that don’t use videos.
7. Broken links
Who wants to get a 404 page after clicking on a link? Broken links make for bad usability.
Not only that, search engines consider a large number of broken links as a signal of an old, neglected site and this can impact your SEO ranking.
Thankfully, you don’t have to go through every single page on your website and test the links manually. There are many tools and apps to help ensure that your site is free of broken links, such as: Screaming Frog SEO Spider and Google Webmaster Tool.
9. Contact us page
Having a contact page on your website adds an immediate sense of legitimacy and trust worthiness and this is something Google most definitely considers when calculating rankings. A well-designed contact form is said to increase engagement online and generate new business opportunities. Including the contact link in the navigation of the site also makes for good usability and some potential SEO juice.
10. Mobile optimization
Sites that are not optimized for mobile have become penalized by search engines in recent times and those sites that aren’t responsive have been knocked down the ranks. Mobile has fast become the most popular platform to search on so not being mobile ready is going to affect your user experience and ultimately your sales.
If it’s been a while since your site has had a re-vamp, then it is an absolute must that you check it is responsive to mobile and tablet devices so that your site can have the best chance of ruling the roost in your search engine rankings.