If you’ve invested time and money into building a beautiful website, the last thing you want is no one visiting it. That’d be like planning a massive party for your friends but forgetting to send out the invitations. If your website isn’t getting the traffic you want, you need to improve your search ranking.
We live in a digital age where people can access information at a moment’s notice. Most of us walk around with smartphones all day long and can get the answer to something whenever we need it.
What’s a good landscaping company near me? How do I make a lemon cake? We search for questions like this all the time. We pick up a phone, tablet, or computer, and in seconds we have answers available. If you’re like most people, you usually click on one of the first few links on the search engine results page. In fact, 28.5% of users click on the first link. More than half click one of the first three links. If your website is sitting on page two or three, good luck getting people to find you.
So how do you get to one of those coveted top spots? How do you improve your search engine ranking and get ahead of your competitors?
Here are ten simple ways to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) ranking and grow organic traffic.
1. Create Valuable Content
First and foremost, start with your content. After all, that’s a big part of how search engines, like Google, evaluate your website. When someone uses a search engine, they’re looking for answers to a question. Naturally, Google wants to provide them with the most useful information available.
If someone were to ask you for the quickest way to get somewhere, you wouldn’t give them directions for the long scenic route. You’d simply offer the most direct path. Think of search engines in a similar manner. Search engines want to answer the user’s question with the best information available and as fast as possible.
When you’re adding content to your website, you want to make sure that it’s educational and authoritative. You’re an expert on that subject, so avoid confusing the reader or leading them in odd directions.
It’s essential to do keyword research before you start writing, so you know your quality content is relevant.
Whether it’s a page about your product or services, information about your company, or a blog post that solves a problem, make sure it is clear and the writing is confident. When your content educates the user and helps solve what they’re searching for, that’s not only valuable, but it’s memorable.
Avoid thin or ‘fluffy’ content. Fluff content doesn’t provide the user with any sort of real value. Fluff content could be duplicated or scraped from another website, doorway pages littered with keyword stuffing, or pages with lots of embedded content. The point is, having content like this across your site isn’t doing anything to help your search engine ranking.
2. Post Content Consistently
Search engines crawl millions of web pages every single day. They’re continually visiting websites and indexing pages so that when someone searches for something, Google can provide the most helpful and relevant information available.
One way to improve your search ranking is to post new content or update existing content on a regular basis. A great way to accomplish this is with a blog.
Adding a blog to your website means posting modern and fresh content consistently. Focus on blog posts that answer common questions your customers have or keyword-driven blog topics.
3. Add Page Titles and Meta Tags
Think about going to a grocery store. How do you quickly find what’s available in any given aisle? You could walk down every aisle to see what’s on each shelf. But chances are you don’t have time for that. So instead, you look at the signs above the aisles so you can more easily find your groceries.
That’s kind of how page titles and meta tags work for search engines.
Meta tags are pieces of text that describe the content found on the page. Meta tags are placed in a website’s source code to make it easier for the search engine to crawl the page and understand the information offered. Meta tags are essential because they are a ranking factor.
If you want to improve your SEO ranking, these are the four meta tags you need to be mindful of:
- Meta Keywords: These are a series of keywords you decide are relevant to the page.
- Title Tag: Otherwise known as the page title, this is the text you’ll see in the tab at the top of your web browser.
- Meta Description: This is the brief description of the page that appears when you share a link. It’s a quick synopsis of the page in question.
- Meta Robots: These instructions inform search engine bots crawling your page about what they should do when visiting it.
Properly set up page tags within your website’s source code to improve your website’s rankings and increase traffic.
4. Create Internal and External Links
A simple way to get more traffic to your website and increase your ranking on search engines is through link building. Link building is a strategy where you connect internal and external backlinks to grow your domain authority.
Internal links are ones that go to another page on your website domain. External links are ones that take the user to another website.
Now you’re probably wondering—why would you want to send traffic away from your website. Creating a backlink to relevant and authoritative websites will provide search engines with a better understanding of your page’s content and usefulness.
By including internal links across your website, you can keep users engaged with your site for longer (more on that later).
Internal links are usually found in call to action buttons or hyperlinked text (anchor text). By including internal links and hyperlinked keywords on a page, you make it easier for search engines to crawl and index your website.
Also, remember to audit your website regularly to fix any broken links.
5. Correct Issues With Sitemaps
If your website is missing a sitemap, search engines will have trouble crawling pages, let alone finding all of your pages. Without a sitemap, search engines can’t index your website correctly, which negatively impacts how your page ranks.
There two main types of sitemaps to focus on: the HTML and XML sitemap.
- The HTML sitemap is one that can be viewed by visitors to your website. It’s a list of all the pages to help them navigate to a specific one.
- Not having the other sitemap, the XML sitemap, can significantly impact search engine rankings. XML sitemaps help make it easier for search engines to crawl your website and index the pages because it understands your website’s structure and value.
There are plenty of online tools you can use to build your sitemap. If you made your website with WordPress, they offer several free generators to create HTML and XML sitemaps. If you’re using another platform, consider Screaming Frog, which provides both free and pro plans that will get the job done for you.
There’s one other thing to keep in mind with sitemaps. Once you’ve made a sitemap, you should submit the updated sitemap through Google Search Console. This alerts the Google algorithm to your revised website structure. While this is not required, it will quickly boost your search engine receptivity.
6. Make Your Pages Load Faster
Page speed is another essential factor where SERP ranking is concerned. Page speed is the time it takes for all the page content to load. The longer it takes to load, the worse your search result.
When a page loads slowly, it means Google crawls fewer pages across your website or sitemap.
Even worse, the longer it takes to load, the less likely a person will wait for it. People tend to be more and more impatient these days. 47% of people expect a page to load in two seconds or less. If it takes more than 3 seconds for a page to load, 40% of people will abandon the website altogether.
Here are five different ways to increase page load speed:
- Reduce URL redirects
- Optimize images for web
- Improve the server response time
- Enable file compression
- Leverage browser caching
7. Have A Mobile-Friendly Website
Many of us today walk around with supercomputers in our pockets. When Google is ranking websites, mobile responsiveness is a huge factor to consider. After all, nearly half of all global web traffic happens on mobile search. If your website is not mobile-friendly, you could be missing out on organic traffic from people who are using these devices.
If you’re not sure if your website is mobile-friendly, Google offers a mobile-friendly test tool within the Google Search Console.
You can also check out Google’s guide for mobile-friendly websites to learn more. This resource highlights different ways to make your website more adaptive when accessed by mobile users.
8. Increase Time Spent on Page
When a search engine like Google is crawling websites and ranking them, it wants to provide the most useful information related to the search. A big part of that is the time spent on-page. If someone visits a page and quickly leaves in seconds, the information wasn’t what they were looking for.
If a web page has a consistently low ‘time spent on the page’ or a high ‘bounce rate,’, it makes sense that that could negatively impact organic ranking. Plain and simple—your content is not helping the visitor.
There are a few ways you can quickly increase the time spent on a page. The first is to evaluate the content. Is it engaging? Is it easy to follow and read through? Creating content that answers the most common questions users might have is an easy way to do this.
But that’s not the only way!
You may want to add other media or tools that can help keep someone engaged with the content. Alternative media sources could be a video, infographic, or interactive tool like a quote builder.
You’ll also want to make sure you include internal links and make it easy to jump between your website’s pages. That way, if the information on the page isn’t exactly what the user was hoping to find, you may be able to redirect them to another part of your website.
9. Start Building Hub and Spoke Content
If blogging is part of your digital marketing strategy, you can use this to increase your website’s ranking. Hub and spoke content is a strategy involving internal links connecting related blog posts. Essentially, it’s like a giant wheel with a central hub and dozens of spokes attached to that hub.
With a strategy like this, you start with a focal blog topic. For instance, a marketing agency could begin with a blog about advertising tips for small businesses. Next, create supporting blog posts, which might be about print advertising, digital advertising, and other topics that could branch off from the leading advertising blog post.
Once you’ve produced the blog strategy, you can start crafting the blogs and posting them. Be sure to connect the blog posts to the focal blog post through an internal linking strategy. If you can link the supporting posts as well, that’s even better.
Now you’ve created a trail within your website that users or crawling search engines can follow. This is an effective way to increase your website ranking for specific keywords and phrases. Keep in mind to use the target keyword that you’re trying to rank for and keyword variations to connect all the posts and build authority.
10. Hire okwrite to Manage Your Content Marketing Strategy
Last, but certainly not least, there’s a surefire way to improve search engine ranking—hire us! By adding an expertly-written and authoritative blog to your website, you can start to build more authority online.
Blogging can solve your customers’ problems, demonstrate thought leadership, and display the value of your products/services.
So be bold!
Try regularly posting content and linking relevant blog posts to build domain authority and draw interest to your site.
As you can see, your site’s on-page and off-page content is a big part of how Google and other search engines rank your website. Our team of expert writers can help you create fresh content that is already optimized for long-tail keywords (or a keyword phrase) and relevant keywords. We can also provide strategic recommendations for continued growth.