Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of making changes to your website so that it ranks higher in search engine results. Doing so can increase the number of visitors your website gets, sometimes dramatically, resulting in improved conversion rates and increased sales. With search engines regularly updating their ranking criteria, SEO is an ongoing process. Here, however, are eight ways to improve your SEO and help your site rank better.
1. Make use of long-tail, low competition keywords
It is extremely difficult for most websites to rank well for high-competition keywords simply because higher authority websites will dominate the search results. If you sell iPhones, for example, you are not going to outperform Apple or leading retailers like EE, O2 and Three, for a spot on the top pages.
The best chance of ranking comes from using less competitive, long-tail keywords, like ‘best new iPhone deals UK’. As these keywords will be used by significantly fewer people, many of the major websites won’t target them and this means you are more likely to appear in the top results.
2. Put keywords in the right places
As far as search engines are concerned, the placement of keywords on a page indicates the subject matter of the content. If you are writing a blog post about holidays in Cornwall and you want to rank for that term, you will need to include it in the title, meta description, at least one subheading and occasionally throughout the rest of the content. You will also need to include related keywords and ensure that keyword density is within accepted limits (too low, and the page won’t seem relevant; too high, and it could be misconstrued as keyword stuffing and downranked.) There are some useful SEO tools that can help you optimise keyword placement.
3. Write titles for people
While search engine algorithms are designed to find pages that provide users with great search experiences, some people think they can improve website ranking by using titles that are nothing but a string of keywords. Search engines know better than to rank these, simply because they understand how meaningless the titles are for users. What’s more, the lack of clarity in these kinds of titles means that if they ever do get ranked, few people will actually bother to click on them. Do include your keyword in your title, but make sure it makes sense when people read it.
4. Check out your competitors
Are your web pages being outperformed in search results by the competition? If so, it’s not necessarily that you are doing something wrong, there’s just as much chance that they are doing something better. Finding out exactly what that is can help you make important SEO changes to improve your own ranking. Competitor analysis has become a key feature of SEO and if you want to keep up with your rivals, it’s something you should look into.
5. Make your website mobile-friendly
Smartphones have become such a ubiquitous part of everyday life that we now conduct far more web searches on our phones than we do on computers. Search engines have not been slow to notice this and rank websites higher if they are optimised for mobile display.
Mobile-friendliness is, therefore, a key aspect of modern SEO. Beyond simply using a responsive theme, you will also need to carefully analyse how well each element of your website displays and works on a mobile, for example, is all the text readable, are buttons or navigation elements too near each other so it’s difficult to click the right one, do pop-ups prevent people using the site, etc.?
6. Keep your website updated
Search engines like active websites, i.e., those that are continually adding new content and updating older pages so that what is online is fresh, current and relevant. A blog post about the latest TVs that ranked well three years ago won’t keep its position because those ‘latest’ TVs will now be superseded by newer ones. If you want to improve ranking, keep an eye on how old your posts are, whether what they say is still accurate and make sure you keep adding new content. If you don’t have any new products or services content to add, start writing a business blog.
7. Make your website load and respond faster
Google’s recent Core Web Vitals algorithm update puts even more emphasis on how quickly your website loads and responds to user interaction. From an SEO perspective, the faster your website, the better its chance of ranking well. While the most important element to site speed is your web hosting (this includes the performance of the server and the type of hosting plan you have opted for), there are other things you can do to improve loading and response times. You will need to analyse your site to find out what areas need improvement.
8. Make use of the right tools
As SEO has advanced, so have the tools available to website owners to help them improve SEO. In the past, many of these have been the reserve of larger businesses and SEO agencies, some costing hundreds of pounds a month. Now, however, new tools are evolving that are far more affordable for owners of smaller businesses and individuals. These include marketgoo, an all-in-one SEO platform that will analyse your site, provide regular performance reports and create prioritised tasks to help improve ranking. It even provides an entire suite of tools to help you carry out the tasks it recommends.
If you want your website to rank higher and attract more visitors, SEO is vital. With over 200 ranking criteria to meet, however, optimising your website can be a challenging and long-term process. Thankfully, platforms like marketgoo simplify this process, analysing your site, showing you the tasks that bring the most benefit and providing you with the tools to carry them out.
For more information about marketgoo, visit our SEO Tools page.