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Search engine ranking is your number-one headache if you have a blog or an online store. Appearing on any search engine’s first page is already a win and can give you better leads or a click opportunity.
If your site isn’t ranking on the first page of a search engine’s search results, you’ll likely lose leads and customers. Ranking organically can be difficult, especially if you’re a little-known blog or business without authority. Therefore, with so many search ranking tactics and techniques, it has become challenging to figure out what methods to implement. Continue reading to learn about some simple tools and tactics to improve your search engine ranking.
Slow sites have a high bounce rate and decrease search traffic. Page speed is vital for SEO, and Google uses it as an organic search ranking factor. According to Strange Loop, a small one-second delay in site load time can result in a 7% conversion loss. This is because customers and potential buyers view a slow site as untrustworthy. It’s essential to optimize your site for speed and remove anything that slows down your page using any of the following tactics:
- Remove non-essential items that slow down your site
- If you use WordPress, minimize plugins and deactivate those you don’t need
- Use compressed images and replace large images with small ones
- Optimize your code
- Use content delivery network (CDN)
- Enable caching
Since page speed is a key search engine ranking factor, use Google’s Page Speed Insights or WebPageTest.Org to generate a report on your website’s speed performance. This tool will also give you recommendations on how to improve your site or page speed.
Many times, being consistent in producing relevant, unique, and engaging content is a challenge, but it’s what you need to do to stay relevant and keep in your customers’ minds. Google also uses consistency to rank every page’s “freshness score” value. Every fresh page with unique, engaging content will increase your freshness score and your keywords score. This will eventually improve your search engine ranking.
However, that’s not all there is in content consistency. The amount of relevant content you publish and when you publish it is an integral part of a marketing strategy. Whether you write product descriptions, publish articles every day or once every week, it’s vital for your business to stick to a particular content schedule. This is especially important if you have an email list, as it will help you create a better rapport with your customers. This will give them a great experience and build your reputation, credibility, and brand trust.
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If you need to rank, two factors are involved: search intent and keywords. Understanding search intent is an important SEO tactic. You need to know what people are looking for when they type a particular keyword.
For example, what are they looking for when a user types a keyword like “financial crime risk management“? Once you understand search intent, you should focus your content on answering people’s questions and fulfilling their intention. This way, you’ll be positioning your content to rank higher in search results whenever a user searches those keywords, and you’ll build authority in your niche.
Keyword research can help you understand the trends in user search intent. Since keywords are the cornerstone of any content, you need to use quality keywords for every content you publish. The best way to find your content’s keywords is through keyword research tools like Ahrefs, SEMRush, and Moz.
While you create content concisely, you also need to link your content to relevant content both on your website and from outside or internal and external links. Internal links direct page users from one page (article, blog post, product, service) on your site to another page within the same domain. This allows users to explore more content within your website, which increases the average time they spend on your site.
RELATED ARTICLE: BACKLINKS: THE IMPORTANCE OF LINKS TO YOUR ONLINE BUSINESS
While you link a page to other pages in your site, encourage other trustworthy and authority sites to link to it or to the whole website as well. There is no better way of saying “this content is valuable” than other sites linking to it. Inbound links offer the lifeblood of search engine rankings. Both internal and external links help Google crawl and index your website and pages more effectively to improve your search engine ranking.
If users can’t understand or even read your URL, it may confuse search engines. You need to use simple, readable URLs that search engines can read and understand to rank. Optimizing your page URLs will help Google and users understand your page, and users will know what they’re about to click on.
For example, if you’re writing a guide about financial crime risk management on your blog, your URL should be simple such as https://[site]/blog/financial-crime-risk-management-guide. Your keyword and phrase are all included, and search engines and users can see what they are about to click.
Make a URL SEO-friendly by making it short, eliminating stop words (such as an, the, or, in), and using hyphens rather than underscores. Google can help you standardize your URLs by comparing the URL you want to use with your competitors’ URLs.
Many people ignore the importance of meta titles and meta descriptions in SEO and search ranking. These are the first two items users see when a page is listed in the search results. With a better title and description, Google will reward you with a higher ranking. Google doesn’t rank duplicate content, avoid duplicating your meta descriptions because it will make your page difficult to rank. Your meta title should not go beyond the limit, as your users will have to click on it to see the entire sentence. This can also discourage your site’s ranking.
The tools you can use to help you build meta titles and meta descriptions are Moz, To The Web, Kayak Marketing, or Site Checker Pro. With these tools, you will check your meta’s length, pixel, and keywords and improve them.
While SEO optimizes your website for increased organic search ranking in the SERPs (search engine results pages), SEM (search engine marketing) helps your rank higher through PPC (pay-per-click). A combination of both can give you a higher ranking on search results. SEM will help you generate quick traffic, while SEO will be a long-term traffic conversion structure. If you choose to use SEM, make sure it’s targeting the right keywords and use SEO to improve the visibility of the keywords for increased traffic and outreach.
Combining data and insights for more visibility into your overall audience from both SEM and SEO will give you greater results. Knowing how to use SEO and SEM together will help grow your site’s traffic since SEO will drive top-of-funnel leads your way while SEM will drive bottom-funnel leads. As a result, you’ll get traffic from both sides of the funnel.
How will your content reach your audience if you publish it on your site and leave it there? Your answer lies in content distribution. The more your content is shared on other platforms such as social media and communities, the better Google and other search engines believe it’s great content to rank high. So, you need to promote your content and distribute it as widely as you can.
You can use social media platforms such as LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or an email list, then move to communities like Quora and Reddit. This way, you’ll be able to share links to your page or website and engage your audience. Don’t ignore the importance of social signals in SEO. Make sure your content is worthy of sharing, include share buttons on your post, and make them visible. There are many content distribution tools that you can use depending on how you want to distribute the content.
- To distribute owned content to social media and other platforms, you can use Buffer, Plannable, Edgar, WiseStamp, or MailChimp (email).
- For earned (content sharing) distribution, you can use tools such as Postify, Storify, HARO, OnePress Social Locker, List.Ly, Buzzstream, Boomerang (for Gmail), or Contently
- For paid media such as PPC distribution, you can use Outbrain, Facebook Sponsored posts, Promoted Tweets, or Google Ads
9. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
There’s a high proliferation of mobile devices in today’s society thanks to the growing technology and increasing younger population. This translates to more searches on mobile smartphones than on computers, and many companies now say they receive more traffic from mobile. This encouraged Google to use mobile features for search ranking. Now, websites need to be mobile friendlier for Google to rank your site better on mobile.
Once you adjust your site to become mobile-friendly, use tools like Google Analytics, WebPageTest.Org, Ubersuggest, or Site Checker Pro, to find out how it’s performing and get recommendations for improvement.
Generating higher search engine rankings is difficult. You need to put in the work and improve your content. And you need to be consistent with what you do. The tools and tactics in this article will help you improve your website’s search engine ranking if you use them right and consistently.
Learn more about how to optimize your online store or blog and attract the attention of search engines by bookmarking our blog and visiting often.