How To Improve SEO? SEO 101 Decoded!
SEO is a pretty big deal in digital marketing because search engines aren't perfect. If you don't take care of their flaws, your website will suffer the consequences. For instance, if your site doesn't have a good link setup, search engines might not explore and list your site properly, which can lead to lower rankings.
SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about making your website and its content more visible and higher up on search engine results pages (SERPs). The idea is to attract more people to your site without having to pay for ads by making it more relevant and appealing to search engines.
If you want to boost your search engine optimization (SEO) game and get better rankings, check out these 14 steps on how to improve website SEO:
- Optimized Content
- Optimised Images
- Feature Snippets
- Low-competition Keywords
- Google Analytics
- Mobile-friendly site
- On-page SEO
- Low loading time
- Local SEO
- Internal Linking
- Alt Tags
How To Improve SEO In 13 Steps
1. Optimised Content
Here's how you can create “optimised” content step by step:
- First, look for pages that haven't been updated in over a year.
- Next, go through the page and check if any of the information is outdated or needs improvement.
- Once you're done, make the changes live so that Google can update its search results with fresh content.
If your updates are significant, your pages might get a "freshness boost," making them appear as if they were just published. How to improve SEO on Google made easy!
A helpful tip: Use Search Console to speed up the process of getting your updated page indexed. Simply enter your URL in the provided field and click "Request Indexing." This will prompt Google's crawlers to visit your webpage as soon as possible.
High-potential pages are pages on your website that are showing some progress but could use an extra push to reach the top three positions. According to a study conducted by Backlinko, the top result on Google gets 31.7% of all clicks. So, if you want to drive a significant amount of organic traffic, your page needs to be among the top three results.
To find out where your pages currently stand, go to your Search Console and check the "Performance on Search Results" report. Sort the pages by their position, and the ones ranking at number one will appear first:
- Optimise your content to meet search intent
- Make your content easy to skim through
- Include more pictures, images, and drawings
- Interlink relevant pages
- Get rid of the fluff
2. Optimised Images
When it comes to boosting your website's visibility in search engines, image optimization is often overlooked. But if you get this step of how to improve SEO on Google right, optimized images can drive traffic to your site by not only bringing people in through Google Images but also improving your text-based content. Here's why high-quality visuals matter:
- They break up long chunks of text, making it easier to read.
- They help readers understand the written content and follow step-by-step instructions.
- They provide small pieces of content that can be shared on social media or linked to.
- They make your content stand out from competitors, especially if you use unique graphics.
To optimize images on your website, consider the following tips:
- Use image formats that load quickly like WebP.
- Optimize alt tags, file names, and titles for your images.
- Ensure that you have legal permission to use the images in your content.
- Make sure the images are relevant to the content they accompany.
- Check how the images appear on mobile devices.
- Avoid using stock photos that have already been widely used on other websites.
3. Feature Snippets
You know those big boxes you see at the top of Google's search results? Those are called featured snippets that grab content from one of the top 10 search results. Here's how it works:
- If you use subheadings to break down your content, Google might use them to create a neat list in the featured snippet.
- The trick is to use the same heading tag (like H2, H3, H4, etc.) for each subheading. This tells Google that all the subheadings are equally important.
- Most content management systems, like WordPress, make it easy to add the same heading tag to all your subheadings.
- If you want to be sure, you can also check the source code to confirm that all your subheadings have the same tag. If they do, you're good to go!
4. Low-competition Keywords
A lot of websites have trouble with SEO because they go after really competitive keywords. But here's a way to find untapped keywords that don't have much competition:
Question keywords are awesome for SEO for a couple of reasons: they're specific questions that your target audience wants answers to, and they usually aren't too hard to rank for. To find question keywords, just take a look at the "People also ask" section in Google search results.
Long-tail keywords are words or phrases that don't have a ton of individual searches, but they make up a big chunk of the overall searches people do. If your site is new or struggling with SEO, it's smart to focus on long-tail keywords.
Just remember these two important on-page tactics: include your target keyword in the title tag and a few more times throughout your article. Seriously, these two steps cover about 75% of on-page SEO. Everything else is just a bonus.
But it's also helpful to include related words and phrases to help Google understand what your page is all about. You can find these related terms in the "searches related to" section of Google's desktop search.
Even if you do everything right with on-page SEO, it doesn't guarantee that your content will end up on the first page of Google. That's why it's important to include getting backlinks from reputable websites as a major part of your how to improve SEO on website strategy. There are countless ways to build links, but here are some of the most effective ones:
- Interesting content: Make sure your content is interesting and valuable so that other blogs and news sites in your field will want to link back to it.
- Use data-driven content: Compellingly presenting data is a great method for getting more links to your website. Conduct original surveys, use public data, or analyze your data, and then create content around the results to share with publishers.
- Stay up-to-date with trends: If you can connect your company or industry study to a trending news story, there's a good chance that publishers will want to feature your data and give you credit with a link.
- Help journalists out: Take advantage of free services like "Help a Reporter Out" which allow you to provide quotes and insights to journalists who are looking for sources. This can lead to valuable backlinks.
- Guest posting with integrity: Contributing content to other websites in your niche can improve your Google rankings through the links in those posts. Just make sure you're not engaging in any shady practices that violate Google's guidelines.
Remember, building backlinks takes time and effort, but it is one of the most important steps in improving SEO that can significantly boost your website's visibility in search engine results.
6. Google Analytics
To figure out how well your SEO is improving, it's important to know which metrics to focus on in Google Analytics. This will give you insights on how to improve SEO and assess the effectiveness of your strategies.
- First, go to Behavior → Landing pages to see the specific pages that people use to find your site.
- Second. add the "Organic Traffic" section to see the traffic coming from only the search engines. The traffic can vary a lot from day to day, including referral, direct, and organic traffic. So it's best to track changes over several months.
If you notice an increase, it means your SEO efforts are probably paying off. If not, you may need to try something new or put in more effort. In particular, keep an eye on the bounce rate (the number of users who leave your site without visiting any other page), average session duration (how long people generally stay on that page before leaving), and pages per session (the number of other pages a user visits after landing on that page).
7. Mobile-friendly Site
According to recent studies in the industry, almost everyone (9 out of 10 people) uses their mobile phones to access the internet. And here's an important thing to note: Google now focuses mainly on the mobile version of your website when ranking it. To check if your website is mobile-friendly, you can use Google's Mobile-Friendly Test.
But being mobile-friendly isn't just a simple pass or fail. In other words, even if you pass Google's Mobile-Friendly Test, you could still have some problems with the user experience on mobile devices. One such issue could be the loading speed. If your site takes forever to load on mobile devices, it's probably not truly mobile-friendly. You can find out how to improve SEO on your website by checking if your site has loading speed issues by checking the Core Web Vitals report in Search Console.
8. On-page SEO
The On-Page SEO Checker checks for weaknesses on each page and gives suggestions on how to improve the on-page SEO. In each report, you'll find the following breakdown:
- Strategy: It suggests keywords you should focus on and helps you identify any issues with keyword cannibalization.
- SERP Features: It points out opportunities to earn a Featured Snippet position or display a Review Snippet.
- Content: It provides suggestions for your content based on the top 10 ranking pages.
- Semantics: It reveals related keywords that your content should include for better optimization.
- Backlinks: It shows specific domains from which you should aim to earn backlinks.
- Technical issues: It identifies any technical SEO problems, such as duplicate content.
- User experience: By integrating Google Analytics, you can gain a better understanding of how users interact with the page.
9. Low Loading Time
According to Google, how fast your website loads is directly linked to how much money you make. If your website takes forever to load, people are more likely to leave without doing anything, and that means less chance of making sales or getting conversions.
And guess what? Google even takes website loading speed into account when ranking websites. If you want to check how fast your site loads on both mobile and desktop, just upload your website to Google's PageSpeed Insights page. Easy peasy!
10. Local SEO
Around 46% of the searches made on Google are looking for local information. When you search for something local, you usually see results like "the map pack" or "the local pack," which includes results from Google Maps, local business listings, and regular search results. Here are some tips on how to improve SEO by showing up in local searches:
- Make sure to claim your Google Business Profile.
- Check that your contact details are accurate and update your Google business listing if necessary.
- Add weekly posts or special offers to your Google Business Profile.
- Respond to reviews from customers.
- Create location pages on your website.
- Optimize your website using local keywords.
- Ensure that your business information (name, address, and phone number) is consistent across online directories.
11. Internal Linking
When you nail it, internal linking can boost your search engine rankings. Internal links are links that take you to other pages on the same website. Whenever you use an internal link, it transfers some power from one page to another. So, understanding how to improve SEO involves leveraging the potential of internal linking to its fullest extent.
When you're building your website, every page has this space in between these special tags called "<head>" where you can put some extra information about what's on that page. If you're using a CMS site that was made by the UMC web team, they probably already filled in this information for you.
But it's still a good idea to take a look and update it as your site changes. The title metadata is what shows up at the top of your browser window and in search engine results as the main headline.
The description metadata is a text description that your browser might use when it shows your page in search results. It's best to have a good meta description that's two full sentences long. Sometimes search engines won't use your meta description, but it's still good to have it there just in case.
And when it comes to the keyword metadata, it's best to keep it to about 3 to 7 phrases, and each phrase should have 1 to 4 words.
13. Alt Tags
Alt text is like a secret code that search engines like Google use to figure out what an image is all about. So, if you are wondering how to improve SEO by writing the perfect alt text, here's what you gotta do:
- First, be super descriptive. Pretend you're describing the image to someone who can't see it at all. This not only helps search engines but also helps people using screen readers understand what the image is showing.
- Second, make sure every image on a page has its unique alt text. No repeats allowed! Each image deserves its special description.
- And finally, keep it relevant and natural. Just like when you're writing your regular content, you don't need to cram in a bunch of keywords into your alt text. It should sound like an everyday sentence.
To succeed in SEO, you got to have the right qualities, which can be summed up as the 4 Ps of SEO: being proactive, persistent, persevering, and patient. SEO is basically about making small tweaks to different parts of your website. These changes may not seem like a big deal on their own, but when you put them all together with other optimizations, they can improve your site's user experience and how it performs in search results.