If you have a nicely structured website, that has the best possible content on it, that still may not be enough, especially if that website lacks the proper SEO. The reality is, the major search engines don’t play favourites when it comes to analysing and ranking a website, so all those important things, like sitemaps, keywords, etc. need to be in order. Understanding what all these terms mean, isn’t nearly as important as understanding what you need to do on your site for it to rank well.
1. Page Titles
The search engines use your title tag when displaying your website in its listing. The spiders are able to get a glimpse of what your site is about, from the title of the page. Google has a restriction of 60 characters per title, therefore, it’s very important that you make your titles concise, relevant and compelling. You want people to know, immediately what your content is about, just from its title.
2. Secure Your Website with HTTPS
Another thing that you can do to improve the SEO of your website is to make it secure. If you haven’t taken the plunge already, I think it may be time for you to do so now. HTTPS is basically a secure version of the HTTP protocol. HTTPS is a fusion of both HTTP and SSL, to make the exchange of data more secure. HTTPS works by encrypting data, for security purposes, preventing hackers from intercepting data and reading this data during transmission. This ensures that whatever information a visitor gives to a website, will remain secure from cyber-criminals.
In addition to the security benefits, using HTTPs also provides its own SEO benefits for your site. For one, Google gives sites a ranking boost, if they use HTTPS. In fact, since June 2018, Google Chrome has been warning visitors who visit non-HTTPS sites, by putting a not secure sign next to their site. This would, almost certainly cause potential clients to leave the website. Google has also, as previously stated, made it a ranking factor, part of their algorithm, as they encourage webmasters to produce more secure websites.
Another plus to using HTTPS is that it leads to more accurate data from referral traffic, for those individuals that use Google Analytics on their sites. On HTTP sites, this referral data will often times appear as direct traffic. However, when you have a HTTPS site, Google Analytics will indicate exactly where the visitor arrived from.
3. Do Not Use Flash
There are quite a few businesses out there that have Flash-based websites, as it can be relatively cheap. However, the major search engines, like Google will typically rank these Flash sites much lower than your traditional text based websites, this is mainly because Flash pages don’t have active links on them. Changing your Flash-based website, to something like a WordPress site, will see huge benefits for your site in the long run.
4. Add YouTube Videos
From the many independent studies, it has been found that the average site visitor spends no more than 30 seconds on a site. So you have a limited amount of time to win the visitor over. If you are able to provide that user with all the information that he/she seeks, then that will put your website in the best position. Videos have proven to improve conversions, which is why you should definitely consider them.
5. Increase Site Speed
There are so many people that will leave a website because it takes too long to load. The end result is a higher bounce rate, which in turn hurts your SEO ranking factors. Thus, to prevent this from hindering your website, you’ll want to make your site is as fast as possible. There are speed ranking tools that you can use to evaluate site speed.
In addition there are several things you can do on-site to improve its speed, such us:
• Switch to a faster hosting provider.
• Optimise your sites images.
• Remove any plugins you no longer use.
• Use a Cache plugin
• Avoid certain social media plugins.
6. Acquire Quality Backlinks
One mistake that many webmasters tend to make is to acquire low quality links, in order to improve the ranking of their websites. However, the issue with this approach, is that your site could later be penalised for it. So you’ll want to stick to better quality links, like Press Releases, Guest Posts, Link Submission in High PR Social Bookmarking Sites, Resource sharing etc. There are many places you can go to learn about best link building practices.
7. Monitor Site Progress
There is no way for you to determine whether or not any of your hard work is paying off, if you don’t have some kind of way of keeping track of your sites rankings. There are many tools like Alexa, Google Analytics etc. that you can use to do that. In addition to that, you may also want to look at your referrer logs, so that you can find out where your visitors are coming from and the search terms they are actually using.
Uchenna Ani-Okoye is a former IT Manager who now runs his own computer support website where you writes extensively on computer related issues and topics.