How many times have you come across the term Search Engine Optimization or SEO? Probably, countless times, right? There is plenty of content online that focuses on the importance of SEO and encourages website owners to leverage it. One thing is for sure, SEO isn’t just a buzzword in the modern digital era.
It is no secret that almost every business today needs to adopt SEO strategies to make their presence known on the internet. However, the question arises what exactly is SEO and how does it affects digital markers? Simply put, SEO refers to a series of step that helps website owners to rank their sites higher on search engines and drive relevant traffic.
Launching a static website to promote your brand isn’t enough in the present digital age. Millions of websites exist on the internet presently. It is difficult for site owners to rank their web pages higher on search engines because of the tough competition. Therefore, you must implement the right SEO strategies and tactics to improve your site ranking on SERPs and increase your brand visibility. Developing perfect SEO strategies involves all three core areas; on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO. Make sure you are not overlooking any of these significant areas.
Are you feeling disappointed because your web pages aren’t getting a higher ranking even after many struggles and efforts? Chances are, you might not be optimizing your website correctly. Below is the breakdown of the list that can help you implement the white-hat SEO tactics to increase traffic and boost your site ranking:
- PAY ATTENTION TO SITE ARCHITECTURE
Picture this; you are searching for a particular service on a website. However, instead of landing on the relevant page, you end up navigating in the blind alley. You will, for sure, feel frustrated and leave the website. It may be because the website has a confusing site structure that misleads both users and search engines. For this reason, improving your website structure is essential to boost your ranking and enhance the user experience.
An accurate site structure makes it easy for Google crawlers to index your webpages against the search queries. With numerous web pages on the internet, it is difficult for Google to discover your page. That is where a sitemap comes in handy. Creating a sitemap from scratch might be an arduous task and take plenty of time. A better way is to use sitemap generator tools to design your site architecture for easy navigation. Be mindful, creating a sitemap not necessarily mean your site will get indexed quickly. However, it will save you from the struggle of never getting noticed and makes it easy for Google bots to crawl your web pages.
- TARGET THE RELEVANT KEYWORDS
Let’s admit it; proper keyword research and selection are the foundation of your SEO strategy. If you want to attract your target audience to your site, you need to perform extensive research to gain insights into your audience’s needs and demands. Doing so can help you target the right keywords and drive relevant traffic to your site. Try opting for the long-tail keywords since they have less competition. Long-tail keywords are the phrases that your target audience is searching for the search engine’s query, so targeting them can increase sales likelihood. Make sure not to do keyword stuffing as it could lead to a penalty from search engines. The more relevant your keywords are, the better chances your target customers to find you online.
- CREATE HIGH-QUALITY CONTENT
There is no denying that content is the crux of SEO. Therefore, creating the best-quality content can drive organic traffic to your site and boost your overall SEO performance. Your content quality helps build customers’ trust and increase your website authority. Make sure to add the relevant keyword in your content to improve your ranking. A pro tip is to write quality content for users and not for search engines since search engines rank those websites higher that focus on users’ intent. Publishing content frequently increases your site’s relevancy.
You can create content on evergreen or trendy topics to acquire quality links and drive more audiences. Make sure not to restrict your site to textual content only. Try including video, images, infographics, or podcast content to attract relevant traffic to your website. Moreover, don’t forget to remove any duplicate content as it negatively affects your site’s SEO.
- FOCUS ON TITLE AND META TAGS
No matter how much high-quality content you produce, your readers won’t read your content if you overlook title tags. The title is the first thing your audience would see before deciding on coming to your web page. The title helps search engines and site visitors understand your content. So make sure to create attractive and compelling titles to lure your customers into reading your content. You can also add appropriate keywords in the title to improve your search ranking. Google typically allows you to share your titles under 60 characters, so make sure to make the most of it.
Furthermore, pay special attention to the meta description that appears below your title in search results. Use 160 characters to write an excellent yet concise meta description. It is advisable to write two compelling sentences for your meta description that must include the relevant keywords.
- BUILD EFFECTIVE LINK STRATEGY
Your SEO is incomplete without a solid and effective linking strategy. The number of quality links determines the credibility and relevancy of your website. Search engines also rank the sites higher that have high-quality links. Gone are the days when digital marketers could buy spammy links and rank higher on SERPs. Today, Google has a strict policy for irrelevant links. So avoid purchasing spammy links as they might get you penalized. Instead, focus on building strategies to acquire natural links. Linking is the most time-consuming and challenging task, but the efforts are worth it.
Although external linking is crucial for SEO, however, internal linking is equally important. Internal link refers to the links from one page of your site to another web page. It is a great technique to keep your site audience retain on your website and reduce the bounce rate.
- ENSURE MOBILE-FRIENDLINESS
It is to note that Google favors mobile-friendly sites, thus making mobile-friendliness a crucial factor of SEO. Most users today use smartphones to search for any query, product, or service. So if your website isn’t mobile-friendly, there is a high possibility you might miss out on some potential opportunities. Optimizing your website for mobile SEO can help you improve your ranking and generate leads. One best practice is to make sure your site is responsive to all devices, be it mobile phones, tablets, etc. Keep in mind the following factors to ensure your site is mobile-friendly:
- Use thumb-friendly design to navigate your site easily
- Ensure that the call-to-action (CTA) buttons are easily visible on your webpage so that users can click on them
- Use readable fonts since mobile screens are small
- Remove the pop-ups that steal away your customers’ attention from taking any action
- OPTIMIZE PAGE LOAD SPEED
Your site loading speed is a vital element to retain your site visitors on your page. If your site is taking too much time to load, chances are your customers will lose interest in your services. They might even go to the competitors’ websites because of poor user experience. It will increase the bounce rate and hence negatively impact your overall SEO strategy. Thus, make sure your website loads within two seconds to reduce bounce rate and retain customers on your site. One of the significant issues as to why your website might be taking time to load is because you have included large-sized images. Hence, it is best to compress large-size visuals without compromising the picture quality to ensure that your website loads quickly.
Another way to improve your load time is by deferring your images. In this method, images might not download immediately. However, your users can view them with time. You can use different plugins to defer your images and increase site loading speed.
- ENSURE SECURE WEBSITE
It comes as no surprise that Google values its user and hence focuses on protecting their privacy. Almost every users’ main concern is their privacy on the internet. That is where the concepts of HTTP and HTTPS come into being. You might have visited some websites whose URL starts with HTTP while others have HTTPS. HTTP is an acronym for Hypertext Transport Protocol, whereas the “s” in HTTPS refers to security.
It implies that sites having HTTPS in their URL are secure. Today Google and users both want websites to be safe and secure. Therefore, now is the time to upgrade your site URL to HTTPS by acquiring an SSL certificate. Ensuring your website is protected can help you boost your search engine ranking, increase traffic, and builds trust.
- PERFORM WEBSITE AUDIT
All your effort for a perfect SEO strategy will go down the drain if you are not auditing your website. Auditing helps you identify which tactics provide you with benefits and what more changes you need in your website. Even though your website might drive relevant traffic and generate leads, frequent auditing is still essential to reach maximum potential. Your website audit checklist must include the following:
- Are all your web pages keyword optimized?
- Is there any duplicate content?
- Does your site consist of a sitemap for easy indexing?
- Does your site have an authentic link strategy?
- Are CTAs working effectively on your website?
THE BOTTOM LINE
To say that implementing these tactics is easy and you can see results immediately would be an understatement. Indeed, these techniques will improve your site ranking. However, this cannot happen in the blink of an eye. You cannot expect the results overnight. SEO requires time, lots of effort, hard work, and patience. Google and other search engines prioritize those websites that provide value to their users. Thus, make sure to keep the user intent on your mind while optimizing your site. That way, you can outperform your competitors and save a spot on the top search results.