10 Actionable SEO Steps for Improving Search Engine Ranking of Your Site
You have built an impressive website with great content to share, but the question is whether that’s all you need to get your business off the charts?
After social media’s tremendous growth, organic search dominates all other factors necessary to drive traffic to your website.
So, you have to be dead sure that your target audience finds you and visits your website. Organic search is critical for your business success, and that’s where SEO comes into play to help you hit the top ranks in the SERPs.
Improving search engine ranking is important because people don’t usually bother to visit websites that don’t appear on the first five results of any search engine.
If you’re looking to optimize your site to rank high in the search results, there are hundreds of tips and tricks that you can use.
However, we have narrowed them down to 10 actionable steps that you can follow and eventually make your way to the top of the search results. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Focus on Creating High Quality and Relevant Content
Dwell time is an essential site metric that determines the amount of time a visitor spends on your page before going back to the results page.
If a visitor spends more time on your website, it means your content is valuable, and the visitor has consumed most of it before leaving your site.
Research shows that ideal content should have somewhere around 2,000 to 2,500 words to engage visitors and increase the dwell time. Also, such content will have a better chance at ranking high in the search engine results.
It’s important to note here that you can’t be the king of the SEO world with just your word count. People won’t read your content if they don’t find it useful or informative.
So, the reason you should be targeting that word count range is to add keyword rich content and include more outbound links in your content.
2. Page Load Speed
The ranking algorithm of search engines is designed to detect and take note of the speed with which your web page loads. Today, everybody is on the go, and no one wants to wait for things. Users will leave in a jiffy if every page of your website takes more than 5 seconds to load.
Needless to say, that would negatively affect the dwell time and page views of your website. All of these can seriously hurt your SEO ranks.
To increase your page load speed, you can use caching plug-ins, a clean code, reduce the number of plug-ins, and minimize redirects. You can also optimize the images used in your website by using a smaller size yet better quality images.
3. Break Up Your Content Using Header Tags
Your content should have adequate heading elements to improve the reading experience of users. The heading elements or header tags should be able to brief the following content and should contain the relevant keywords as well.
A website with a proper format ensures that people spend time reading your content and come back for more, thus indicating your website’s relevancy to search engines. Also, using header tags can help divide your content into sections so that it’s easier to read.
4. Work on Outbound Links
You must use the links in your content that take you to other websites for better and detailed information that your visitors can refer to. It’s advisable to link out to sites with high domain authority so that Google finds your site trustworthy and improves your ranking as well.
However, you need to ensure not to include too many outbound links in your content. This distracts the visitor from the main topic and makes your content hard to read through.
5. Fix up broken links
Have you ever come across a 404 error after clicking on a link? Users find it annoying, and such links contribute to the bad usability of your site.
Broken links indicate old and neglected sites where not much effort is directed to update them. This can seriously hamper your search engine rankings.
Going through every page on your site to look for broken links is a tedious task. You can instead go for tools like Google Webmaster Tool to test your site for any broken links.
6. Optimize images for better web performance
Images speak volumes. If you can effectively make use of the pictures on your page, you can channelize them to describe anything you want. Images can be used to generate empathy and increase trust among the visitors, leading to a high conversion rate as well as a high SEO rank.
Apart from the alteration of file format and size, image optimization can be done by naming your image files with the keywords to signal the relevance of your content to search engines.
You can also use the keywords in the alt tag, description, and caption.
7. Don’t Ignore the Importance of Different Multimedia
People learn better with visuals. Adding images, audios, videos, and slideshows to your website can go a long way in connecting with your readers.
Having multimedia content on your website enables you to provide information in an appealing way that is better suited to your site visitors.That’s how you ensure higher quality content.
According to researchers, the conversion rate for your site increases by 4.8% in comparison if it has a video in it. Videos draw in more visitors and make them stay on your site longer.
8. Improve Readability
People are usually looking for content that is easy to digest. If your content is easy to read and comprehend, users will be interested in coming back to your website for more. Search engines consider readability as an essential factor to determine your site’s rankings.
If you wish to test your content’s readability score, you can take the help of the Readability Test Tool or Readability-Score.com.
9. Build A Mobile-Friendly Website
Since April 2015, Google is penalizing websites that are not optimized to be viewed on mobile devices.
People increasingly depend on smartphones and tablets to browse through the internet, and any site that fails to work properly on these devices is bound to lose its SEO rankings.
According to research, around 77% of business executives use their smartphones whenever they have to search for a product or service.
Moreover, 55% of the total searches are done through mobile devices only. So, if your website has been on the internet for a while, you need to test if it’s mobile ready.
10. Social Media Sharing
The more your content is shared on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest, the higher you will rank.
So, make sure to embed social sharing buttons on your website. Social sharing is also linked to higher purchasing behavior.
A case study on social media purchasing found that 43% of social media users have actually bought a product after liking, sharing, or commenting on it.
Now you can go through the list and apply these techniques to rank well in the SERPs. But you need to understand that improving search engine ranking with SEO techniques take effort, time, and dedication.
You can’t simply apply them and expect to see results in a short time.
However, with constant and steady efforts coupled with a focus on conversion and user experience, nothing can stop you from scoring the number one position.