Although the exact algorithm for search engine ranking remains a mystery, over the years we have learned a lot about what best practices can help improve your ranking through search engine optimization (SEO). Keep in mind that any one strategy will not instantly bring your site to the top, but over time a combination of factors can help bolster your site’s ranking. Also, most SEO strategies have the added benefit of making your site more informative and user friendly to your website visitors. Ready to get your website on the right track? Here are 5 ways to improve your website’s search engine ranking:
Update content regularly
Your website’s content shouldn’t be “set it and forget it.” Adding new content or reworking old content will show search engines that you are an up-to-date resource for information, and may help your pages show more frequently and at a higher position than a site that has stale content. If you feel that your page content is already working for you, think of other types of content you can add to your site–such as customer testimonials, reviews, or a blog (which leads us to our next SEO strategy).
Create a blog
One of the best ways to make sure you have fresh content on your site regularly is to create a blog. A company blog can help answer customer questions, talk in detail about products, explain your services, or discuss trending topics in your industry. Once indexed by search engines, any of your blogs can help drive traffic to your site as users search for this type of content online. Remember the quality over quantity rule as you develop your blog strategy. While it’s a good idea to have a minimum of 300 words per page, it is important to keep your blogs relevant to your visitors and easy to read. If you wish to explore a more in-depth topic, consider splitting your blog into multiple parts rather than writing a blog so long that readers can’t make it all the way through.
Develop a linking strategy
While using internal links (link from one page on your site to another page on your site) throughout your content is beneficial, getting external links to your website are said to be one of the most important factors to gain a high ranking on search engines. External links are those that link from one domain to another domain, and they can be very difficult to attain depending on the nature of your website. That is where updating your site regularly, especially through a blog, can help. As readers find your content and share it on their own sites, those external links may provide value to your own website by showing search engines that many people have found your content relevant and useful. Of course, there is a possibility that an external link could negatively affect your website if they are spammy or untrustworthy sites. We recommend using Google Search Console to review the external links pointing to your site and disavow them if needed to avoid harming your search engine ranking.
As you add pages to your website, remember to use metadata to let search engine crawlers know what your content is about. This should include a page title, description, keyword, ALT tag for images, and slug/URL that are all related to your page. Ideally, the keyword you choose for the page should be included in each of the other places. Keep in mind that there are recommended lengths and other best practices for your page title and meta description, so it may be helpful to use a plugin such as Yoast SEO to help you set up your metadata to best increase your chances of ranking higher in search engines.
Reduce page load time
It’s been nearly 10 years since Google announced that the speed of your website may affect your search engine ranking, however we still come across sites today that take seconds to load, often due to high resolution images and videos, large code files, lagging servers, and more. One easy way to see if page speed, and therefore site speed, could be negatively affecting your search engine ranking is to use Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool, which gives you an overall score for page speed on mobile and desktop, and provides ways to help improve your speed if needed.
While this list hopefully gives you some ideas of things you should address to get your site into shape, it isn’t an exhaustive list that will grant you #1 placement on Google. There are many other factors that contribute to your site’s ranking that should be considered depending on the website. Of course, improving your site’s SEO not only takes time, but it also can require a lot of time to manage. Here at Pulse, we can work with you to create a plan to get your website on Google’s good side. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn more about our search engine optimization services.