When trying to improve a website’s SEO, most people focus a large proportion of their time on keywords and not much else.
But as amazing as your keywords might be and as many times as you might use them, they will only get you so far. There are a multitude of other factors that search engines look for on your website that affect your SEO ranking.
Information such as the amount of time visitors stay on your site, bounce rate and broken links to name a few all play a part in how a search engine determines your website’s ranking.
A big aspect of boosting your website’s search ranking is getting visitors to spend time on your site and interact with your content, and the only way to achieve this is to improve your website’s usability and start producing great content.
The longer people stay on your site, the more pages they visit and the number of times they come back will all help your SEO ranking. Here are 10 simple things you can do to help boost your SEO ranking:
1. Create engaging content
A great way of improving your website’s SEO is to keep people on your website for as long as possible. The amount of time someone spends on your site is called ‘dwell time,’ and creating engaging content is probably the number one thing that not only keeps a visitor on your webpage, but will also keep them coming back.
According to research from QuickSprout, content between 2,000-2,500 words ranks highest in search engine results as visitors will be spending more time on a website consuming the information and therefore increasing the dwell time. However, this is just a guide, not a rule – a page’s content should worry more about quality than quantity.
While word count isn’t the be all and end all of the SEO world, longer content allows you to provide more valuable content, more keywords and incorporate more outbound links. A combination of these factors will see a natural increase in your website’s dwell time.
2. Improve your website’s page load time
Quickening the time it takes for your website to load is a bigger factor in improving SEO than most people realise. Google takes page-load speed into account when deciding on search rankings, so if your website takes any longer than 3-4 seconds to load, it’s unlikely to feature in the top results.
Visitors are also likely to leave websites that take too long to load which will simultaneously end up negatively impacting your dwell time, increasing your bounce rate and reducing the number of pages viewed – all things that will hurt your SEO ranking.
3. Use relevant keywords
We said at the start that keywords aren’t everything when it comes to SEO, but they are important. Having the right keywords on your website will definitely increase your chances of potential customers finding you on Google.
However, these keywords need to be used sparingly and fit naturally into sentences. If you go overboard and start flooding your website with keywords in unnatural phrases, Google will pick up on this and will actually penalise you for doing so.
We also suggest adding long-tail keywords into your website copy. These are phrases usually between three and four words long that people would search for to find your business. For example, if someone is looking for a car to drive in the bush, they wouldn’t just search “car,” but would likely search for “best car for off-road.”
4. Add page titles and meta tags
Think about when you go grocery shopping. How do you know what’s available in each aisle? Sure, you could walk down every aisle to see what’s in each one, but if you’re after something specific you probably don’t have time for that, so instead you use the signs in the aisles so you know exactly where to go. That’s how search engines use page titles and meta tags.
Ensuring you’ve completed these three things will help search engines better understand your website and adjust your search ranking accordingly:
- Meta Keywords: these are a series of keywords that are relevant to the overall page.
- Title Tag: this is more commonly referred to as the page title, and is what you’ll see in the tab at the top of your browser.
- Meta Description: this is a brief description of the page that appears when you share a link.
5. If you haven’t already, start blogging
Blogs are not only great tools for lead generation and keeping visitors engaged with your website, they’re also a fantastic way of improving your SEO ranking.
As previously mentioned, producing fresh content is a great way of driving people to your website and getting them to spend time on your page, and your blog is the perfect channel to achieve this.
If you can consistently pump out engaging content that people will enjoy reading, you’ll begin to establish a group of faithful readers that’ll provide you with valuable website traffic every time you post.
6. Fix or remove any broken links
Having broken links on your website is bad for two reasons. The first is that when visitors follow links from your site, they’re expecting certain content to be available. If that content they’re expecting isn’t available, it’s not good for your website’s user experience.
The second is that Google has web crawlers that travel link to link collecting data about each page. If there are a number of broken links on your website, this is going to negatively impact your site’s SEO.
A great way of checking to see if your website has any dead links is by using the free Dead Link Checker. Simply enter your website and the checker will crawl through your website and identify any broken links you need to correct.
7. Optimise your website’s images
Pictures are great for the look and feel of your website, but you need to ensure they’re optimised if you want them to play a role in improving your SEO ranking.
Large images will slow your page load time dramatically which in turn will hurt your ranking, so be sure to resize or compress your images in order to optimise them.
You’re also able to sneak keywords into the titles of your images. For example, say you have a sandwich chain. Instead of naming an image “sandwich1,” you’d be better off naming it something like “best sandwich in Sydney.”
8. Use different kinds of multimedia
The content you house on your website should be more than just written words. Images, videos, audio snippets and slideshows are all great examples of different types of multimedia that will enrich the user experience and increase your quality of content.
While data suggests that most people prefer watching videos over reading text, the biggest selling point of using different kinds of multimedia on your site is that keeps visitors on your site a whole lot longer: sites with different kinds of multimedia have an average dwell time of 5 minutes 50 seconds, compared to 42 seconds for sites with only text.
9. Optimise your website for mobile
If your website still isn’t optimised for mobile users then this is probably the first thing you should worry about. Internet browsing via mobile is on the rise, so much so that it has overtaken desktop and laptop as the No.1 device people are now using to view websites.
Not only is Google able to recognise websites that aren’t properly optimised for mobile and drop them down the rankings, but people who try to access your website via mobile will probably leave instantly which will also be detrimental to your dwell time and bounce rate.
10. Consult with the experts
Choosing Orion’s SEO service is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your business. We know exactly what Google values when it comes to the quality of organic content, stay up to date on Google’s ever changing ranking formulas, and can ensure that your company gets more exposure via online channels.
So if you find yourself struggling, contact us today on (02) 8850 2215 and discover how Orion can optimally spice up your website’s SEO.