Search engine optimization (SEO) is a long-term game, but it’s one of the most beneficial ways to organically market your business and reach current and potential clients. In order to see these results, you need to be diligent and consistently optimize your website by following the ever-changing best practices of the industry.
Whether you’re already working hard to fully optimize your website and are looking for ways to refresh your content, or you’re just starting to learn more about search engine optimization, here are five ways to improve your SEO.
Take Advantage of Tools
Before you even start optimizing your website, you want to have the correct tools set up. We’re talking Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager, Google Search Console, and Google My Business.
Having these tools set up will give you a much better idea of what your traffic is like, how users are getting to your site, and how they’re engaging with your website. By having this information at your disposal, you’re able to better optimize your website based on current trends.
These tools allow you to track your improvement as your work on your SEO strategy.
Optimize All Titles and Meta Descriptions
The best way to instantly improve your SEO site-wide is through your page titles and meta descriptions! Whether you don’t have any metadata written for your site yet or your current metadata needs an overhaul, go through and properly optimize your page titles and meta descriptions.
Things to remember:
- Keep your page titles under 60 characters and your meta description under 160 characters to ensure all of the text is shown on search result pages (SERPs).
- Always include your business name in the page titles site-wide.
- Highlight your services and service area in your meta description, as well as any keywords you are trying to rank for.
- Be as descriptive as possible.
Publish New, Fresh Content
Is there a specific service or keyword you’re trying to rank for? Write more content highlighting that service or keyword!
By pushing out new, fresh content on your site, you’re not only providing the user with more valuable information, but you’re also going to be rewarded by Google’s Panda algorithm. As you create unique, high-quality content that highlights the services you offer, you’ll start to see an increase in your organic rankings.
Adding new content to your website will also help provide you with new content to share on social media, so think of it as a win-win!
Update Old Content
We’ve covered new, fresh content, but what about the content that’s already on your website?
The benefit of having old content on your site, even if it’s not the greatest, is that it most likely has already been crawled and indexed by search engines. This means that search engines trust the information on your site more than one with all new content. By updating this old content, you can capitalize on this trust and see your rankings improve much faster.
If you’re updating old blog content, update the date on the post so it appears at the beginning of your blog page, making it seen by more users.
Improve Site Speed
The number one reason users will leave a website faster than they got there is slow site speed. People are impatient. If your site isn’t user friendly, your organic rankings won’t be where they would be if you had a website with all of the bells and whistles.
With the average user only waiting around three seconds (at most!) for your website to load before looking for other options, optimizing for site speed should be at the top of your list.
Not sure where to start?
- Optimize your image size – Huge image files can drastically slow down your site. Before uploading any images, compress your image size with a program such as Bulk Resize Photos or TinyPNG.
- Remove unused themes, plugins, and spam comments – Inactive website themes and plugins take up a lot of space on your website and can seriously slow it down. To help speed up your site with minimal effort, delete these unused plugins and themes, and any spam comments.
- Consider your hosting – Some hosting platforms have slower servers and if you’re noticing lag times, even as you optimize your site for site speed, it might be time to consider a new hosting platform. A few great options that are known for fast web hosting are Siteground, InMotion Hosting, and Bluehost.
It will take some time to start seeing results, but when you put these easy practices into place, it’ll totally be worth it in the long run.