As the internet continues to help businesses grow, companies all over the world are improving their website with search engine optimization (SEO) in mind. The good news is that producing high quality content and an easy-to-use website not only improves your search engine ranking, it also helps your customers. Here are a few tips that can help improve your ranking.
Organized content makes it easier for both visitors and search engines to find what they’re looking for. Dividing your website into pages that can be clearly labeled ensures that the organization of your pages is easy to follow for both.
In addition, you can also use headings and subheadings to further organize content. Headings are the elements named H1, H2, H3, and so on that are in the HTML of your site. They make it easier for visitors and search engines to find the content they are looking for. They are also a good opportunity to add keywords or phrases without your sentences or paragraphs becoming awkward or difficult to read. Learn more about how headers affect your SEO, and on how to maximize your keywords.
If you’re like most businesses, a chunk of your traffic is from mobile users. Make sure your content displays clearly on a wide variety of devices and browsers. You can do this by looking at your phone, tablet and desktop, as well as, asking others that may have a different phone type then you have. Google can penalize you if your content is not easily read on the go.
Review and Use Different Types of Links
Search engines look at three different kinds of links when ranking your pages: backlinks, internal links, and external links.
- Backlinks are links on another site that point to your site.
- Internal links are those that go from one part of your site to another.
- External links are those that point from your site to an outside site.
Backlinks are important because Google assumes that if other sites are linking to you, then you are likely offering valuable content. Reaching out to local bloggers and partnering with other sites can be a good way to build your backlinks. Google Webmaster Tools will allow you to view what sites already link to yours. You can use this information to find other outlets that might want to link to your site.
As you’re working on your backlinks, focus on getting other sites to link to a variety of your pages (not just a single article or blog post). Additionally, be aware that your ranking will drop or your site could be banned if you manipulate your links or use links as a way to manipulate your page rank. In this case, slow and steady really does win the race.
Though it might sound strange, linking to your own website can help your SEO. Make sure you are linking to pages in an organized way that helps visitors navigate your site. It will also help search engines determine the topic or focus of each page, which means your content will be more likely to show up in search results.
The Yoast SEO Premium plugin has a great built-in tool for discovering internal linking opportunities.
As with backlinks, it’s important not to overdo your internal links. Only add in links that will be helpful to your visitors. If you stuff your pages full of links in an attempt to improve your SEO, your attempts could easily backfire, resulting in a lower page rank rather than a higher one.
Linking to respected sites with high quality content is another way search engines evaluate the content of your site. When linking to external sites, stick to sites that are in the same industry. For example, if you are in the education field, linking to sites with a .edu address can reinforce the fact that your site is relevant for people searching for education-related content.
Ensure Consistent Information Across the Web
Most businesses have multiple places on the web that list their information. It’s important to verify your information with Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp at the very least. Google Places for Business will help to ensure that your business information (like company name and location) are accurate in Google search results and on Google Maps. Bing, Yahoo, and Yelp also have ways for your to register your business, ensuring that potential customers are getting the right information.
Depending on your business, it might also be worth creating a listing on the Better Business Bureau, Yellow Pages, Angies List, and other similar sites.
Once you’ve registered, ensure that your company name, address, phone number, email address, and hours of operation are identical across all of your business sites. Even minor differences like spelling errors or changing “road” to “street” in an address can impact SEO ranking and confuse your customers.
Take Advantage of Social Media Accounts
Social media accounts provide a great way for you to extend the reach of your website. Social media is a natural way to build your links and advertise your business.
Adding social media sharing buttons to your content can be a great way to reach new customers. You can also explicitly ask your users to share content on social media. Pro-tip: make it fun by creating social media contests or competitions.
By implementing these changes, you won’t just be impacting your SEO, you’ll be improving your site for your customers and visitors, too. Improving or maintaining your SEO takes some work and effort, but it can lead to massive benefits for your company. Good luck!