Nearly a third of searchers end up clicking on the top result in Google. The second and third positions combined get almost as many clicks and things drop off quickly from there.
If you’re not on the first page of Google results at all, you’ll get next to no traffic.
If you want to rank in those top positions and get the website traffic that comes as a result, you need to optimize SEO on your site. Let’s look at 7 simple strategies you can take to improve your rankings.
1. Keyword Optimization
At a fundamental level, Google search is all about keywords. The vast majority of searches are for particular words and phrases, not completely formed sentences.
To rank for particular searches, you need to use those keywords in the content on your web page. For example, if someone is searching for “easy SEO strategies” the top results will include that phrase throughout the page.
Tools like Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, and SEMrush let you build keyword lists by identifying popular searches and related phrases in the same market.
2. On-Page SEO Improvements
Keywords might be one of the basic building blocks but Google looks at many other parts of your website to decide what a page is about. These things include:
- Page title
- Meta tags (description, keywords, etc.)
- Headings and subheadings
- Image filenames
- Image alt tags
- URL of the page
Include your keywords in these places and make sure they’re well-written and on-topic.
3. Responsive Web Design
Between the many sizes of smartphones, computer screens, tablet screens, and other devices that people use to browse the internet, there are a lot of different formats they could be looking at. A responsive web design reformats your pages to look good on different sizes of screens.
Someone visiting your site on an iPhone won’t see a shrunk-down version of the layout they would see on a computer. They’ll see something that’s easy to read and navigate.
Google’s top priority is providing high-quality results for its users and mobile support is one of the factors their algorithm considers when ranking pages.
4. Backlinks and Link Building
Links between websites were the foundation of the original idea for Google search. The idea was that more sites linking to a particular page on the internet must mean that page has more value than others.
If a bunch of important websites in a particular market all link to a given page, that page inherits some of their credibility. These links are called backlinks.
Finding ways to build backlinks to your web page is one of the best ways to improve its rank in the Google results. You can do this in many ways, including:
- Sharing links on social media
- Writing guest posts for other websites that include a link back to your own
- Asking related sites to link to yours
- Distributing press releases
- Setting up a blog and including links in the posts you write
5. Technical SEO
The term technical SEO refers to the behind-the-scenes tech that powers your website. This includes web hosting, the platform you use for your site, and content delivery networks (CDN), to name a few.
Technical SEO does have the biggest impact but if you neglect it, your rankings will only go so far. Some of the most important factors to optimize include:
- Page load speed
- XML sitemaps
- Structure data (aka schema)
- Avoid duplicate content
- Page markup
6. Local Optimization
If you do business locally, local search engine optimization is critical to get your site ranked in the top results. When someone searches for something that Google identifies as a local search, such as Las Vegas plumber, the top results show details for those businesses.
This is called the Google 3-Pack. It shows those businesses’ phone numbers, addresses, reviews, locations, and more details that would be valuable for someone searching for a local business.
Setting up a Google My Business profile for your business is one of the most effective local SEO optimization tips. The profile includes all the important details about your company and is where Google pulls a lot of the information it displays in the search results.
Make sure you’re consistent with this information on other sites too though. Your NAP (name, address, and phone number) needs to be the same everywhere Google finds it to avoid casting doubt on which is the correct version. If Google doesn’t know which one is right, it might display the wrong thing or drop your page in the ranking because it can’t be sure of the accuracy.
7. User Experience
SEO stands for search engine optimization so many people treat it literally – they optimize their site for Google, even if it means a worse experience for their visitors.
An example of this problem is what’s known as keyword stuffing. Because keywords are so important, in the early days of Google it was easy to get a better ranking simply by including your keyword more often. This led to people overusing it and making the content practically unreadable for human visitors.
Google’s ranking algorithm has come a long way since then and it penalizes sites doing those kinds of things. But more importantly, it rewards sites that provide a good experience for their visitors.
Most of Google’s revenue comes from advertising. To make money, they need people to use their search engine. If they’re not getting good results, they’re eventually going to find another search engine.
Make sure your site is easy to navigate, provides high-quality content, is highly readable, and generally makes visitors want to stay on the page after they click through from Google.
It’s Not Complicated to Optimize SEO
You don’t have to be a technical wizard to optimize SEO on your website. It’s not complicated, especially if you haven’t done much (or any) optimization in the past. A few simple tweaks can make a big difference.
SEO can be time-consuming, however. And Google’s algorithm is always changing so you need to spend time keeping up with the latest updates.
If you’d rather spend your time working on what your business does best and leave the SEO work to experts, Surfaced Media can help. We offer a range of digital marketing and SEO services to help you increase your visibility and find new customers.
Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you grow your business online.