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So, the website design and development process is completed, your site looks great and your happy with everything, right? Not so fast! You’ve taken your first step into a larger world, but now you need to get your site performing in the search engines and converting traffic into sales. Gaining a high-ranking position in the search results requires an effective SEO strategy. But developing this and achieving a successful outcome is no mean feat, due to the many factors that can affect your ranking. Whilst an effective SEO strategy requires both on-site and off-site work, there are plenty of website optimisation techniques you can implement to boost your SEO.
Increase page speed
Page speed is the time taken for content to load on your site, and is important for both your SEO and conversation rate. Whilst other factors will come into play, essentially the slower your page speed, the higher your bounce rate. Research by Google found that increasing your loading time from 1 second to 3 seconds leads to a 32% increase in bounce rate.
Not only is page speed a ranking factor, but a high bounce will also give a good indication that something is wrong with your site or your content.
Improving your page speed can be achieved by:
· Compressing images to reduce the file size
· Remove excessive imagery and graphics
· Delete any elements that are unused, such as custom fonts
· Reduce the number of page redirects
· Utilise browser caching
· Minify your coding
Use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to monitor your page speed for both mobile and desktop devices and find actionable tips for optimising your page speed to get a nice SEO boost.
Making your website mobile-friendly in 2022 is no longer an optional extra. Search engines, such as Google, have adopted a mobile-first indexing approach and mobile searches are on the up. Statcounter estimates mobile market share is now 59.02% compared to 38.65% for desktop.
Mobile optimisation is also a crucial ranking factor. If your website is not optimised for mobile, you will be missing out on higher search engine rankings and crucial leads due to poor site visibility and negative user experience.
If text is too small to read or buttons are too close together, your site is not properly optimised for mobile and you will be making life difficult for your users. This, in turn, will lead to a negative impression of your brand.
You can easily check if your website is optimised for mobile by using the Mobile-Friendly tool by Google. The tool will tell whether your site is optimised for mobile, and if not, provide recommendations for improving your site.
Alongside page speed and mobile optimisation, there are several other tips you should consider to help boost your SEO. On-site (or on-page) optimization involves making changes to elements on your pages for a better search engine ranking.
Not only is on-site optimization important to allow search engines to better understand your content, but it also helps improve your user experience. On-site optimization can often involve simple changes that can bring you more traffic and potential conversions.
On-page optimisation begins with keywords. Researching the keywords that are important to your customers will help your on-page optimisation efforts. Once you’ve identified your keywords, you can:
- Use them to develop content that appeals to customers
- Implement them into tags, such as titles, meta descriptions, URLs, and alt tags.
- Include the keywords within the first 150 words of a page
- Incorporate your keywords throughout (but don’t go overboard – that’s keyword stuffing and will negatively affect your ranking)
Other on-site optimization techniques you should consider for boosting your SEO include:
1. Use internal links for your site across different pages
2. Incorporate outbound links to back up your content and give extra value to your users
3. Implement schema markup to help search engines understand your site better
4. Use subheadings to improve the understanding and readability of your content
5. Submit a sitemap to help crawlers find and index all of your pages.
Implementing consistent name, address, and phone (NAP) details on your site can also help your local SEO efforts.
Creating relevant and meaningful content
Content is one of the most important (if not the most important) ranking factors. The content you create will have a significant impact on your SEO. Apart from your site’s visibility suffering in search results, poor content also means you’ll be losing valuable leads.
If you follow the inbound marketing methodology, you should already be creating quality content that is relevant and helpful. Compared to outbound marketing, a strong content strategy could be driving three times as many leads.
Your content strategy should be built around two things: keywords and your buyer personas. Begin by using keywords that your customers are searching for. Then, developing a buyer persona (a semi-fictional representation of your ideal customers) will help you to tailor your content specifically for your audience.
By doing this you will be creating relevant and meaningful content that addresses your customer’s pain points. What could take your content even further is using an emotional appeal to tell a story. Evoking an emotional appeal can help your customers connect strongly with your brand.
Sinek’s Golden Circle is something you could consider implementing for a strong impact.
Our final website optimisation tip to boost your SEO is technical SEO. Technical SEO involves making changes to your site to improve the efficiency of crawling and indexing with search engines. Optimising your site for technical SEO is very important and should not be ignored.
Even with the greatest content strategy in the world, without making the site accessible and crawlable, you won’t rank in the search results. If your website suffers from low traffic, it may be worth looking into these technical SEO tips:
- Conduct an in-depth technical SEO audit (using tools such as Google Search Console and Semrush site audit)
- Implement a clear site structure
- Use breadcrumb navigation through categories and internal links
- Make your site secure with SSL
- Register with Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
- Remove duplicate content
- Check your site for 404s and broken links
- Use a robot.txt file to instruct crawlers
Implementing these optimisation techniques will help crawlers find your site for indexing while removing any potential barriers to crawling. It will also remove any errors and faults which could lead to penalties or negative ranking factors.
By implementing these tips, not only will you be helping to create a much more positive experience on your site, but search engines will also reward you with higher rankings. Of course, there’s lots more to running an effective and successful SEO campaign including off-site promotion, link building, and social media marketing. But getting your website designed, optimized, and running efficiently is the first step and will set you in good stead going forward.
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