Your website’s up and running with content that’s fresh and up-to-date – at this rate, you’re bound to find yourself among the top-ranking SERPs (search engine results pages). But somehow, you’re falling behind your competitors and failing to drive traffic to your website. What’s a digital marketer to do? Don’t despair – it happens to the best of us. Maybe it’s time to optimize your website for SEO?
Perhaps it’s high time you take a refresher course on how to optimize your website for SEO (search engine optimization) – your golden ticket to gaining more visitors and potential conversions, from bouncing visitors to loyal readers. Read on to discover the essential steps you should take to ensure that your website is getting the traction it deserves.
Audit your site to understand user behavior.
Never underestimate the power of data collection. It’s crucial to review the whole picture of your website’s statistics, especially if it’s still in its premature stages.
Do a thorough weekly check of your user behavior reports and ask yourself these questions:
How do your visitors react to your website once they land on your page?
What are your bounce rates like? Do visitors choose to stay on your website, or do they immediately exit their sessions?
What are your conversion rates? Do users respond to your calls to action (subscribing to a newsletter, purchasing an item, downloading an e-book, making a donation, etc.)?
Collecting this kind of data over an extended period will give you a much clearer picture of the factors that influence your website’s traffic and conversions. Also, it doesn’t hurt to check out the competition. Pay a visit to other high-performing websites and take note of what strategies work to their advantage.
Beef up your content.
First and foremost, make sure your website is worth visiting. Consider these questions:
Are you providing quality content that appeals to your targeted audience?
Are you giving out accurate and detailed information that your readers can easily digest?
Do you release evergreen content – articles that can withstand the test of time, driving traffic to your website even years after its date of publication?
Again, it's worth taking a peek at your competitor's websites to see how their content compares to yours. Peruse the top-ranking Google results that appear when you search for identical keywords you share. Look for the common denominators among these popular websites – length of text, tone, distinctive features, etc.
When you begin to notice these patterns and apply them to your own website – while still maintaining the elements that make your content unique – it’s likely that you’ll gain more hits, increase your conversion rate, and raise your Google rank.
Prioritize user experience.
Always imagine yourself on the other side of the screen – the users who have to find their way around your website.
Make sure your site is visually appealing and easily navigable. No matter how flawless your content is – if it’s difficult to move around your page – your visitors will have little incentivization to read all the way down. This equates to reduced sessions and increased bounce rates. The fix? A clear, organized page that will give your visitors a comfortable experience. It’s all about the interface, too.
Avoid ad overloads.
You know those annoying pop-ups that make it impossible to get the information you were searching for? This drastically hurts user experience and slows down your page’s speed. Cut down on the ads – they derail your visitors from getting the most out of your website. Chances are they’ll just close your page all together, if the ads are too in-your-face.
Ensure compatibility across all devices.
Also take into consideration different devices – from laptops to mobile phones. Most users are tapping away on their iPhones and Androids, so it’s imperative that your website’s architecture remains flexible.
Bottomline: make sure your website looks good anytime, anywhere, on any device. When it comes to digital marketing, looks can kill (your website’s conversion rates, that is).
Impress the search engine, but satisfy your users.
Strategic and frequent keyword insertion was once an infallible mechanism to get your website to a prime SERP spot. Whether your content was truly relevant or not was inconsequential. So long as keywords commonly found in queries (searches) were present in your articles, Google would be notified, and your page would rank higher.
But those days are long over. In fact, by repeating keywords throughout your text too frequently, you run the risk of sounding unnatural and inauthentic. Google has grown cleverer over the years, gaining the ability to determine which content is unique, intentional, and accurate.
We agree that keyword insertion is still beneficial. But, focus more on potential customers and always ask yourself – do I sound like a credible source offering invaluable information, or am I coming across as flat and automated?
Dial up your page’s loading speed.
There’s nothing more off-putting to a potential customer than a page that takes an eternity to load. Nowadays, everything is expected to move at lightning pace, especially when it comes to digital marketing.
When a user stumbles upon your website but fails to load it immediately, the instinctive response is to click back and visit another website.
Your website’s speed, or lack of it, could greatly affect the visitors you attract to your website.
Tip: Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to gain a realistic view of your website’s performance in terms of loading speed.
Take advantage of on-page SEO.
What approaches are you using within your own website to convince Google that your content is relevant? Here’s one highly beneficial and hassle-free strategy to consider: internal linking.
Include several related links to keep your readers glued to your website. Make sure that your links don’t appear forced – they should be seamlessly integrated into your website, so that your visitors will feel compelled to explore your other content. When you have a substantial number of organic visitors that linger around your site, Google perceives this as a good sign – your website appears trustworthy, reliable, and user-friendly.
Aside from internal linking, there are many other on-page SEO tips such as including keywords in your URL, optimizing title and description tags, and making sure you fix any broken links or pages.
Take advantage of off-page SEO.
On-page SEO is extremely useful. But if you want to show up on Google’s radar, it’s worth looking into promotional strategies. A link from an authority website makes you appear more legitimate, which in turn puts you on the right path to becoming an authority yourself.
Think of it this way – it’s exactly like a referral. If you were looking to hire an employee, you would trust a respectable colleague’s recommendation over a random applicant vying for the position.
The same principle affects your website – if you get one of the big guns to vouch for you, you’ll set yourself up for greater visibility. So, consider reaching out to highly influential websites in your industry – your efforts might pay off.
Utilize social media.
It’s an obvious reality – social media plays an immense role in attracting website visitors. Be present on all major social media platforms and use them as tools to stay connected to your potential customers. Whether it be through Facebook Messenger or Instagram’s direct messages, people appreciate having an accessible channel of communication beyond the traditional email.
In conclusion, keep these rules in mind: review your data, provide useful and authentic content, evaluate the integrity of your website structure (both on mobile and desktop), check your loading speed, capitalize on on-page and off-page SEO, and keep an open channel on social media. Try applying all these SEO principles and see how effective they are at driving more traffic to your website. With careful analysis, hard work, and a bit of luck, your website has a high chance of ranking among the top results. See you on the first page!
Do You Need Help with Optimizing Your Website for SEO to Skyrocket Your Rankings in Search Engines?
Have you been trying to optimize your website for SEO, but your website is still struggling to achieve top rankings, traffic and sales? If yes, you may be in need of a professional SEO Audit. If you are a local or an international company and need help formulating an effective SEO strategy, check out our Local SEO or International SEO services to learn more. We have SEO experience since 1998 and have helped hundreds of companies achieve top results in search engines. You can learn more about our SEO agency here and how we achieve outstanding results for our clients.
Feel free to contact us and we would be happy to give you a free consultation and discuss your project in further details.