As a business or freelancer, your Website’s SEO will be an enormous part of your success. It is how your potential customers locate you and get to know who you are and what you offer.
The question is, though, how easily can they find you?
Your target audience is out there, and if they are not finding you, it’s time to get serious about improving Website’s SEO and ranking higher up on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Improve your Website’s SEO ranking, and you can see an incredible increase in traffic to your website and also to your bottom line.
What does SEO mean?
SEO is a strategy of steps to take to increase your positioning on search engine results pages (SERPs). These steps improve your visibility, rank you higher than your competitors, reach your target audience faster, and lead more traffic to your website or blog.
As users search for answers to questions or to learn more about a particular subject, they enter keywords and phrases. The search engine then returns links to content that it ranks as more likely to meet that user’s needs based on the query. Website’s SEO can help your content show up in those query results and reach your intended audience.
What is SEO Ranking?
An Website’s SEO ranking is where a webpage or blog post shows up on the search engine results page in response to a user’s query. The search engine algorithm uses a variety of ranking factors to determine the positioning on the SERPs, including content relevance, backlink quality, readability, and more.
The higher your Website’s SEO ranking, the more likely that your target audience will find you and click-through to your website or blog. With more traffic to your site, the better the chances of converting visitors into your customers.
1. Understand your online customers
Like traditional marketing, improving your Website’s SEO starts with understanding how your customers behave. For example, consider how a person might begin searching for a product or service.
- Awareness: the customer is aware of a problem that needs fixing, and begins searching for potential solutions using broad search terms. For example, ’leaking tap’.
- Consideration: the customer understands their problem and is now searching for solutions that best meet their needs. They might start using search keywords that include a location, product feature or product type. For example, ’plumber in Townsville’.
- Purchase: the customer is ready to buy, and generally knows who they will buy from. They will often search directly for the service provider. For example, ’ABC Plumbing’.
Understanding your customers’ search behaviour will help you have an idea of which keywords to target on your web content.
2. Perfect Your On-Page SEO
Simply put, on-page SEO is the process of optimizing individual webpages with target keywords so they rank higher in search results, attract more traffic and convert more visitors. Implementing on-page SEO is an essential component to increasing the online search ranking of your business.
Once you’ve identified your brand’s target keywords, the next step is to optimize your webpages by incorporating the keywords throughout each of these key areas:
- URL structure – Though URLs play a small role when it comes to Website’s SEO ranking, a well-optimized URL allows visitors and search engines to easily identify and understand what the link destination is.
- Title tag – A title tag is a simple, but essential, element of on-page SEO—it’s the main heading that shows up in search results and in the title bar at the top of your web browser.
- Body text – Body content is the main text on your webpage and the most important place to include keywords, as it contains the bulk of the information your visitors are searching for.
- Meta description – Meta descriptions appear in search results and provide a short summary about a webpage. Thus, if your meta description includes your target keywords, your webpage is more likely to attract visitors.
- H1 tag – The H1 tag is the main heading that users will see upon visiting your webpage. Its purpose is to indicate what the webpage entails and, as such, should contain keywords that are relevant to the page’s content.
- Image ALT attribute – Another way to increase your SEO ranking is to add keywords to your image ALT attributes, which provide alternative text to describe your images in the event a user is unable to view them. These attributes are also shown as a tooltip when you hover over an image.
Using an on-page grading plugin—such as WordPress Yoast SEO, HubSpot’s Website Grader or Moz On-Page Grader—is a great way to visualize how your on-page SEO stacks up. Then, you can adjust your site’s webpages accordingly to further enhance your search ranking.
3. Generate Backlinks from High Site Authority Websites
Backlinks, or external links leading to your site, are a critical ranking factor. Links from reputable sources can increase your site’s authority and improve your SEO over time. You can acquire those backlinks through a process called link building.
But how do you know which backlink sources to target? It’s simple: find out who your competitors get their backlinks from. Use the Backlink Gap Tool to compare your current backlink profile with your competitors and find new opportunities.
Backlink Gap tool
To use the Backlink Gap tool:
- Enter your domain and up to four competitors, and click “Find prospects.”
- Use the report filters to narrow down your results. For example, you might choose to look only at the best opportunities with an Authority Score of 80 or higher.
- Select the backlink opportunities you’re interested in pursuing, and click “Start outreach” to send them to a Link Building tool project. Use the Link Building tool to pursue them without ever leaving Semrush. If you don’t have a current Link Building tool project, you’ll be prompted to create one.
Of course, that’s not the only way to generate backlinks. Here are a few other ideas:
- Offer to write a guest post for other outlets, particularly if you have an interesting infographic or something else to offer.
- Reach out to publishers to cover any original research or data you’ve put together for your on-site content.
- Get listed in industry directories. You may need to join professional industry associations, use local citation services, networking groups, or business organizations, so you can further establish credibility.
Off-page SEO refers to the things you can do to improve your website’s authority and ranking in the SERPs.
This includes things like building backlinks to your website from other high-quality websites and engaging in social media marketing.
— Greyish World (@GreyishWorld) November 14, 2023
4. Use long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords contain more than three words. Searchers using long tail keywords are more specific and intentional, often converting better than shorter keywords.
Ensure the long-tail keyword you use relates to the product, service, or other themes the webpage tackles.
Use long-tail keywords in your title tags and web page body content.
The title tag should be: captivating, has the page’s main keyword, and 50-60 characters in length. Keep a keyword density of 0.5% when using long-tail keywords in your webpage’s main content, to prevent keyword stuffing.
5. Layout and formatting
Proper formatting and a user-friendly layout can help improve user experience and make your content easy to scan and digest, so your readers will stay on your site longer and consume your website’s information.
Formatting can help dramatically improve a webpage’s usability by making the content easy to read:
- Use font size and typography that are easy to read.
- Use bold type and colors – sparingly and strategically – to call out important information and make the content easy to scan.
- Use short paragraphs and ample line spacing in between – nobody likes a wall of text.
- Use bulleted or numbered lists for clarity.
- Use techniques such as sliders, tabs, progressive layouts, structured grids, modal windows, rollover elements, accordions and mega drop-down-menus to organize content and add interactivity.
- Break up content into sections with subheads. Proper use of header tags that include keywords also helps improve SEO ranking.
6. Stay up-to-date with SEO Standards
Stay notified about the latest SEO best benchmarks and algorithm updates. Keeping the latest updates can help ensure that your website remains competitive and continues to rank well in search engine results pages.
By implementing these strategies, you can help improve your website’s search engine ranking and drive more traffic to your website.
SEO is a long-term investment of time and effort to achieve efficient results. It is necessary to work patiently and choose each SEO strategy wisely. The results may not be immediate, but they are definite.
7. Optimize Your Graphics
It’s hard to resist a colorful graphic or an image that perfectly captures the essence of a topic. If you create such images for your website, make sure they’re optimized. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Size and Formatting: Make sure you’re using the image size and file type that works best for your readers. If an image is too large, it could slow down your page. If the file type isn’t supported, the image might not load at all.
- Accessibility: Always include descriptive alt text for each image. Not only does this help make your site more accessible for screen readers, but it also creates opportunities to integrate more supporting keywords. Avoid embedding important text elements in your images unless there’s another way to access them.
- Context: Provide context for your images by placing them beside relevant text on your page. If possible, try to place your most important image near the top of the page.
- Links: Create descriptive names and logical URL structures for all of your images. Not only does this help to optimize them for organic search, but it also makes it easier for others to share your pictures on their sites, potentially granting you backlinks.
- Test: Always remember to test your pages on mobile and desktop. Users tend to search in Google Images from mobile more often than on desktop, so optimizing your images for mobile could have additional benefits.
Vary content types
Offering different content types can attract a wider audience and increase traffic to your website. It can also boost dwell time, causing visitors to spend more time on your site, which can directly impact your SEO ranking.
If you’re unsure where to start, consider your existing content. How can you repurpose it into another format? For example, turn a popular video into an informative blog post, or vice versa.
Content types that are beneficial to SEO include:
- How-to guides
- Authoritative blog posts
- Long-form content
- Detailed Lists / Listicles
- Interactive content
1. How can I choose the right keywords for my website?
Answer: Conduct keyword research to identify terms relevant to your content and industry. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to discover keywords with a balance of search volume and competition. Aim for keywords that align with your content and are likely to be used by your target audience.
2. What role does quality content play in SEO?
Answer: High-quality, relevant, and engaging content is a cornerstone of effective SEO. Search engines prioritize content that provides value to users. Regularly update your site with fresh, informative content, incorporating relevant keywords naturally. This not only attracts visitors but also helps search engines understand your site’s relevance.
3. How important are backlinks in SEO? Backlinks, or links from other websites to yours, are crucial for SEO. Answer: They serve as a vote of confidence in your content. Focus on building high-quality, authoritative backlinks from reputable sources. However, avoid low-quality or spammy backlinks, as they can harm your site’s reputation.
4. What role do meta tags and descriptions play in SEO?
Answer: Meta tags, including title tags and meta descriptions, provide concise information about your webpage to search engines and users. Craft compelling, concise titles and descriptions that accurately represent your content and include relevant keywords. This can improve click-through rates and help search engines understand your content better.
5. How can I optimize my website’s loading speed for SEO?
Answer: Page loading speed is a significant SEO factor. Optimize images, use browser caching, enable compression, and minimize HTTP requests to improve your site’s speed. Tools like Google PageSpeed Insights can help identify areas for improvement.
6. Is mobile optimization important for SEO?
Answer: Yes, mobile optimization is crucial. With the increasing use of smartphones, search engines prioritize mobile-friendly websites. Ensure your site is responsive and provides a seamless user experience across various devices. Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test can help you assess your website’s mobile optimization.