As a business, whether in the public or private sector, your agenda is to rank for searches in your industry, which is why webmasters employ the strategies of SEO for their websites. Even so, ranking on search engines is not an overnight experience. It requires a sustained and deliberate effort in optimizing the site for both search engines and target audiences.
Variety of SEO practices will help you realize a highly responsive and useful website, but several tactics will set you ahead on matters to ranking on search engines.
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Fix the errors on your website
Websites require constant management and maintenance efforts to keep them at their optimal functionality. With time, your web pages pick up mistakes like broken links during link building, unnecessary redirects, page errors, among others. Page errors are unsightly to audiences and tend to increase your bounce rate, while directly impacting your rankings.
An error like a 302 redirect, for instance, communicates to search engines that your web page that is in question has temporarily moved to a different location, while a 30 redirect implies a permanent move. Retaining such errors on your web pages disrupt search engines from properly indexing your website, regardless of quality content.
Employ the use of tools like Moz Link Explorer to help you identify and fix the link errors in your website, and screaming frog Spider of DeepCrawl to hunt down the 302 redirects as well as old domains and URLs.
Speed up your website
Speed has quickly picked up as a ranking factor that Google and other search engines consider for indexing websites. Slow sites are bad for SERP. People want to receive their information as fast as possible, which is more the reason why you must speed up your website.
With web pages that take a century to load, usually more than 3 seconds, your site will experience an increase in exit rates. The higher the exit rates, the lower the click-through rates you receive. Google values audience satisfaction and user experience, and since bounce rates imply an unhappy audience, your website will resolve a deterioration in ranking position.
Get rid of any unnecessary redirects on your website, popup ads, needless widgets and sidebars, plugins, among others. Consider minimizing the size of your files and media, while pursuing quality. Further, reach out for an SEO tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to help you in fixing your website’s page speed for free.
Thorough keyword research
As basic as the concept of keyword research may seem, webmasters still take it for granted. Keywords go a long way in accounting for the traffic realized in a website because they help you to map out your content in the language and terms that your target audience consider valuable.
Thorough keyword research allows you to provide adequate value to your audience by informing you of what the needs of the market share in your industry are and approaches from which to derive content.
For best results, opt for long-tail keywords, which account for up to 70% of organic traffic. You can also focus on targeting transactional and informational search queries, depending on what your brand’s goals. With relevant keywords, you can build pages that rank for the identified search terms and follow through with Keyword SERP tracking to keep tabs on your progress.
Be actively present on social media
Today, almost every internet user is on one or more social media platforms, which means that the audience you are targeting is already on social media, and being active goes a long way in boosting your brand’s visibility.
While at it, you want to draw conversations around your brand and your products or services. Using images, humor and sticking to timely responses on feedback sets you on the right foot to achieving visibility on social media.
Remember, social media platforms have become search engines on their own, therefore, when a customer or a potential client searches for you on social media, they had better find you active and reputable.
Engage your audience
The online platform should offer you enough grounds to be interactive and engage your audience. An active audience does not only account for a loyal fan base but also attracts you the visibility you need.
Since a happy audience equates to a happy Google, you must be deliberate about keeping them happy, which calls for a timely response to customers’ feedback, participation in conversations, among others. The more engaged people feel, the more they are drawn to your website and the content you share.
To boost your ranking, do not only rely on the engagement avenues provided for by other websites or on social media. Create your initiatives, like holding local events, launching online and physical competitions, creating Twitter chats, among others.
Provide useful and fresh content
Content duplication and vagueness can cost you a lot when it comes to search rankings. The information you determine to share with your target audience has to be relevant, current, accurate, and entertaining. People have to love consuming your content, and if it is not fresh and useful, you may be selling yourself short as a brand.
To realize useful content, be careful when selecting topics so that you stick strictly to your brand’s essence, but also, to the current trends. Further, diversify your content by including different media, for example, video, infographics, pictures, photographs, quotes, lists, tables, charts, among others. The more resourceful and diverse your content is, the more the traffic you receive, not to mention, the higher your search rankings.
Focus on backlinks
Backlinks are people’s way of saying the trust your brand as a credible source of information. The more people mention you or your brand online, particularly for the right reasons, Google and other search engines pay attention to you.
Backlinks help you make enough noise to deserve the attention on search engines, and potential customers. Trace all unlinked mentions on your brand or products, then request for links, and then monitor your backlinks and brand mentions using SEO tools like Buzzsumo, among others.
Overall user experience
The customer is always right. In matters to SEO, it matters that your audience feels comfortable, which is where user experience comes to play. Channel efforts towards enhancing the layout and format of your platform.
As basic rules, use a type font and size that is easily readable, ample line spacing in your copy, among other guides on proper formatting. Ensure your site is easily navigable by decluttering it from unnecessary information or media.
SEO tactics require dedication over a specific period to then realize desired results, and these eight tactics will always do the trick.