Google is constantly developing new algorithms to help improve their search results. In today’s world, people expect to find information quickly, and Google is taking all the necessary steps to meet this demand.
Is your website performing well in organic search? Are your competitors outranking you?
Here are 5 proven ways to improve SEO and increase organic search traffic:
1. Fix Page Speed Issues
Page speed should not be overlooked when it comes to SEO. Google continues to reiterate the importance of having fast-loading web pages. If your competitors’ sites are loading faster than yours then you may fall behind in the SERPS (Search Engine Results Pages).
Here are eight ways to increase your website’s page speed:
- Optimize (compress) images
- Leverage browser caching
- Enable gzip compression
- Reduce server response time
- Avoid landing page redirects
- Prioritize visible content
Be sure to test your site’s page speed by using Google’s Page Speed Insights Tool.
2. Optimize Your Internal Linking Structure
Internal links are hyperlinks that point to another page on the same website. Internal links have always played a significant role in SEO, and this still holds true today. Internal links help establish site architecture, and assist with spreading link equity (link juice).It’s important to use descriptive keywords in anchor text (the visible text within a hyperlink). This helps search engines understand what topic the linking page is about.
3. Move Your Site to HTTPS
On August 6th, 2014, Google started to use HTTPS as a ranking signal. So, it goes without saying that you should purchase and activate an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer). Doing so will help improve your keyword rankings and organic search traffic.
Once you’ve moved your site to HTTPS it’s important to implement a redirect rule that 301 redirects HTTP URLS to HTTPS URLs. This will ensure link equity gets passed accordingly. However, that’s not the only thing you need to do after switching to HTTPS. To see a complete HTTP to HTTPS migration checklist, click here.
4. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
As more and more people use smartphones to find information on the web, the more important it is to have a mobile-friendly website. Consider hiring a web developer that has experience building mobile-responsive sites.Mobile-friendly sites rank higher in organic search results than sites that are not mobile-friendly. Run your site through Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool to determine if your site is mobile-friendly.
5. Don’t Forget About Title Tags
Title tags are one of the most influential on-page SEO elements, and are a major factor in helping search engines understand what a web page is about. Title tags are the blue clickable links displayed in SERPS (see screenshot below).
You should place the primary keyword you want to rank for at the beginning of your title tag, followed by your brand name. For example:
Primary Keyword | Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Search engines typically display the first 50 – 60 characters of a title tag, so be sure to use the SmartSearch Google Title Tag SERP Preview Tool to make sure your title tags aren’t getting cut off.
SEO is not a set it and forget thing. SEO is an ongoing process that can be very complex depending on the keywords you’re targeting and the competition level of those keywords. Take advantage of these 5 optimization tactics to get your site’s SEO moving in the right direction.