How Can You Use SEO to Improve Your Website Ranking?
There are many things you can do using search engine optimization (SEO) to improve how your website is seen by Google, Yahoo and Bing. Some of it is just common sense, whereas other aspects require a little bit of know-how to make the improvements necessary.
So, let’s dig into some actions you can take to improve your “SEO Fu.”
Make the User Experience Better
The time on-site and number of pages viewed by the typical site visitor are key metrics that Google looks at to determine whether a searcher had their question answered or not. The normal bounce rate – the percentage of people who visited a page and left directly from the same page – varies from industry to industry. However, when the time on-site is low, it’s a clear indicator of a problem. As a ranking factor, this can affect the site’s position in Google for important search terms.
Improve navigation to make it easier to get around. Ensure that the search function works successfully and it’s not difficult to get predictable queries answered. Look at the typical website; does the content start almost below the fold because of the web site design and ads are pushing the content too low? If so, use a minimalistic design and a sticky menu to shift the content higher on the page to engage the audience sooner.
Linking from a page or post to another page or post on your site is something that’s often overlooked. Viewing a piece of content on a site that doesn’t have links to a related part of the site loses the opportunity for the visitor to keep reading there. It doesn’t matter whether the link is to another informational article, a commercially-focused review or a recent news piece.
Interlinking also matters because sites that lack interlinking aren’t as easy to navigate as ones that do. Google doesn’t want someone arriving on a page, then bouncing right back to them with their original search query going unanswered; that spells trouble when a site that isn’t helping their visitors.
Improve the Content
Longer content tends to perform better with visitors than shorter content, but this is niche dependent. The posting frequency is also something to consider; examine what your better-ranked competition is doing.
With shorter content, look to extend it when the page is ranking well to bringing in more juicy traffic. Add infographics, images, video and other rich media. Also, look at the formatting of the post. Make the paragraphs shorter so they’re scannable; people scan down a web page and usually do not read every line. Break up the content with ordered lists, unordered lists or a rich media element. Avoid having a block of text that will put off fickle visitors.
To get better results with SEO, you’ll usually need some software tools. These are either desktop software versions or a SaaS that’s purely online. There are different types of tools. Some are rank position tools that regularly check the position of selected keywords to track the results, others check your backlink profile, and then there are specialist tools too.
One specialist SEO tool is the Cruft Finder SEO Tool which caught our eye because it’s used by e-commerce sites and marketers. The idea with this tool is it seeks out pages and posts that are indexed in Google in a way that could be seen as negative. When using e-commerce themes or plug-ins, it’s common to have extra information, pages and posts indexed that shouldn’t be. This can be because of shoddy coding practices or what was previously acceptable conduct is now seen as bad SEO and must be removed from the search engine index. The Cruft Finder tool helps with that problem.
External linking out to reputable sources is just as important as interlinking. With an informational article, the information came from somewhere in most cases, so it’s natural to link to those sources. When you mention a point, there might be someone else who was the original source of that idea and deserves a citation link. External linking is just natural.
Some site owners feel that they don’t wish to lose the visitor by linking out. The reality is that they’ll look like they have greater authority because they link out to strong sources of information. Be careful though to not have too many external links, otherwise it can look like you’ve been incentivized in some way to provide the link and you don’t want to give that impression.
Improving SEO performance to help a web site isn’t just about building more links. There are many facets to the process of getting your “SEO Fu” right to give the site the best opportunity to rank well, drive greater levels of traffic and get more sales or ad click revenue.