Landing on that sweet #1 spot is a huge challenge, especially if you operate in a crowded niche. But, with proper search engine optimisation, you will be able to start improving your rankings and get there eventually.
Optimising your site might seem like a lot of work and quite a daunting task, but the hardest part about it is figuring out where to start. So, for those of you who feel lost in what you should do to improve your site’s optimisation, I have prepared a short list of seven SEO tips to help you out.
The first thing you’re going to need is some kind of tool that allows you to track your metrics. Linkio has a pretty great compilation of the best SEO audit tools out there, so be sure to give them a visit.
Anyway, let’s jump into our first tip.
This is one of the very first things you need to ensure. An enormous amount of users prefer their mobile devices to browse the Web, and their percentage is still growing.
Whereas only a couple of years before mobile users were responsible for about one-third of all traffic, today their count is almost doubled.
Mobile traffic is up by 222% in the last 7 years! ~ broadbandsearch.net
66% is a lot to lose. But in addition to losing more than half of your traffic because of poor mobile optimization, Google will actually place a penalty on your site on top of that, cutting your traffic even further.
Why? Because Google knows most people use smartphones, and to help create a better experience for them, it favors sites that are properly optimized for them.
So, you absolutely need to ensure that your resource looks and performs flawlessly on all platforms and browsers.
Every once in a while, Google’s bots come crawling through your site to index your pages. But the thing is: they aren’t perfect at it. Especially if you have dozens upon dozens of pages and some hidden from view.
Pages that you are editing, ones that aren’t ready to go live, etc.
There is also a limited amount of pages they can index per visit. So, in order to get the most out of crawlers, it is advisable that you upload a .xml sitemap.
What is it? Essentially it’s a list of all your pages that are up for indexing. Formatting it properly is quite tricky, but you don’t actually have to do it on your own.
If your site runs on WordPress, Yoast SEO is a great plugin. In addition to helping you optimize your site automatically, it can create sitemaps for you and notify Google each time something changes on your resource, so the bots always know when and what to index.
Choosing proper keywords to rank for is a huge part of SEO. But which ones do you go for?
Just picking the #1 keyword in your niche isn’t enough. Even though it might be the most popular one that people search for, there’s going to be a ton of competition.
Try to implement a healthy mix of keywords with lots of variation and synonyms. Don’t be afraid to go for keywords that are ranking a little lower.
Don’t be afraid to check which keywords your competitors are ranking for since you might find some real gems there. And, be sure to monitor every keyword’s ranking and keep an eye out for ones that are steadily growing in popularity since those are great contenders that can overtake the #1 spot if used properly.
Ahrefs has one of the best keyword rank trackers out there.
There are two reasons why you need to pay attention to your site speed. The first being that nobody likes to look at that annoying loading animation for longer than a split second and being too slow might cause a spike in your site’s click-off rate.
The second one, though, is tied directly with Google. Every time your pages get indexed the bots actually take notice of how long it takes to load them and that information actually affects your ratings.
So, it is pretty important to stay fast. Use PageSpeed Insights to check your site speed and get a few tips on how to make it load faster all in the same place.
You should make interlinking your own pages into a habit if you haven’t already. It’s great for two reasons: firstly, it helps direct your visitors through your content and might make them stay around for longer.
And secondly, it helps Google’s bots crawl your site faster. After all, it is much easier to follow a link than to scan the entirety of your resource to find a page.
As for external links though, I’m sure you’re already aware of the benefits of link building. The more backlinks from high-authority websites you have, the more traffic they transfer to your own one.
Don’t be afraid to link to smaller websites too as it helps you build relationships, which usually turn out to be mutually beneficial.
Now, of course, boosting your organic traffic should always be your highest priority. But the amount of traffic you can be able to redirect, say, from Facebook is quite considerable.
By placing ads there you’ll be able to capture much more attention than from Google alone. If you setup up a Facebook pixel on your website it will help you re-target people at a later date with more specific adverts. It also causes a little bit of a snowball effect: someone shares a post of yours, then their friends see it, and so on.
Besides, no successful website is complete without a social media page. Reposting other people’s content on Twitter is also a pretty nice way to get on someone’s radar. And while it has no direct effect on your SEO, it will definitely help during your link building campaign.
Even when you’re nearing the finish of your SEO campaign (or at least running out of tasks to do), it’s important to remember that there’s no real end to SEO. Google constantly gets updated, your competition figures out new strategies, links get removed along with thousands of other factors that come into play when your rankings are determined.
So, your job is never over. That’s why you need to run audits of your site at least a few times a month. In fact, you can also run audits of your competitor’s sites to see what they’re up to.
A tool like SpyFu is a great way of peeking behind the curtains of any site to check what’s going on back there.
Thank you for staying with me until the end and I hope my tips will come in handy during your own SEO campaign!