With the advent of voice search, mobile assistants, and mobile-friendly search engines, SEO has become a prominent and indispensable platform to generate a stream of consistent customers for many businesses.
With that, here is a step-by-step guide to improving your website’s SEO visibility and outplay the competition on various major search engines, including Google.
To begin with, let’s discuss why SEO matters.
Learn Why SEO Matters
Customers will use Google to find you, as a result your SEO rankings will significantly impact how well your website performs – in relation to leads and revenue.
Furthermore, around 94% of the total organic traffic comes from Google. That’s equivalent to 100 billion monthly searches ‒ the top four results among those searches constitute about 96% of website visits or clicks. Besides, you’re not alone in your local niche, as competitors also invest in SEO to grab the top spot.
Because of this, SEO is a vital tool in bringing traffic to your site and improving your local search rankings. Here’s a brief list on how you can improve SEO for your website:
- Create relevant and exciting content from strategic keyword research
- Optimise meta descriptions, alt tags, title tags, and search terms among pages
- Establish a robust link building between pages and reputable external sources
- Enhance your website’s mobile user experience
- Focus on less competitive search terms
- Improve your website loading-speed among platforms and browsers
After learning the role of SEO for your local search ranking, the next step is thinking of an effective SEO strategy and baseline.
Develop an SEO Strategy and Baseline
Assessing your current search ranking will help determine your baseline to develop an SEO strategy efficiently. To help you identify and benchmark your current performance, follow these guide questions.
Determine Your Current Search Ranking
Researching profitable keywords and eventually forgetting about them won’t do your site any good. What’s important is that you regularly monitor your search rankings to make prompt decisions to maintain and further your position.
Additionally, determining your current search ranking will help you benchmark your improvement over time. So you can evaluate the value of various SEO strategies you implemented.
Optimise Your Content For Search
Google has improved its search algorithms to filter out sites that still use blackhat SEO eg. keyword stuffing. Nowadays, SEO has become highly content-driven ‒ pushing websites to create customer-centred content.
With that, you have to carefully optimise and build your content around your customers, making sure that you put their interests and queries above everything else. Also, surveys show that only 2.8% of clicks come from banner ads, but 62% of click-throughs are from relevant and high-quality SEO content.
Enhance Website Mobile Loading Speed
Search engine optimisation is inclining towards mobile devices. Recently, Google began including mobile page load speed in the factors that determine search result rankings.
Hence, since mobile users across Sydney and globally are increasing, keeping a sluggish and static website will put you at a disadvantage.
After establishing your baseline and determining your SEO strategy, you can then develop your SEO over time. This includes taking action and assessing your SEO using analytics tools and conducting periodic content audits as well as evaluating your website performance.
Improve Your Technical SEO
Improving the technical aspects of SEO includes keeping an eye on critical elements that make or break your search ranking. Take time to assess and evaluate the following:
- Title tags and Meta descriptions ‒ Search engine crawlers include these in indexing and ranking your page, so be sure to place vital keywords and optimise it for visitors
- Duplicate content ‒ When updating your site content, make sure that all pages are relevant and unique. Consider building internal links when referring one content to another.
- Header tags ‒ Developing hierarchical header tags in your HTML script helps organise your content for search engines and a more efficient web development
- Improve Page Load Time – Ensuring that your website loads in the fastest possible speed is vital to ensuring high SEO rankings and a positive user experience
As discussed, benchmarking your website loading speed is vital to evaluate how you can improve it. Search engines understand that visitors don’t want a sluggish shopping or browsing experience, so faster sites are typically placed on top of search results.
To help assess your baseline, here are some relevant figures:
- 53% of mobile users abandon a page that loads more than three seconds
- 70% of websites take more than seven seconds to load on mobile devices
In other words, a website that loads faster is more likely to have improved rankings.
Make Your Webpage Mobile Responsive
Many brands are eyeing on a mobile-first approach for website development. This optimises your page for mobile users and displays a uniform layout that fits a wide range of screen dimensions across devices.
To evaluate if your site is responsive in a platform, check if it is easy to navigate and browse for information. If correctly done, you can take advantage of the sheer amount of mobile search traffic, making search engine crawlers all eyes on your site.
Here’s how you can improve your page response and mobile performance:
- Test to see if your page is mobile-friendly
- Run your page on mobile devices and manually assess its flow and ease of navigation
- Check every button and links to see if they work and look for layout and accessibility issues
- Scour through fill-up forms and see if they can be filled out easily
Finally, take note of any design flaws and discuss how you can patch and improve it.
Secure Your Website
The first thing that comes in a customer’s mind when a webpage asks for their card number as security. That makes payment security a core element for every successful eCommerce website.
In 2018, the Chrome browser issued a ‘not secure’ warning for websites that lack an SSL or HTTPS license. As a result, using SSL and HTTPS protocols will have a positive impact on your search ranking. While these features have no direct correlation to search ranking, website visitors would typically avoid sites that are flagged by search engines as unsafe.
Leverage SEO Opportunities
The shifts and turns of SEO and search algorithms may hinder or propel your search ranking. Hence, make the most out of every SEO opportunity to improve your strategy and secure a good position in SERPs.
Also, when you integrate short-term adjustments to your long-term strategy, you’ll be able to develop an effective and robust plan to beat the competition and secure a strong search result position over time.
Optimise Format for Featured Snippet Promotion
Google and other search engines now have text blocks that directly answer your search query called “featured snippets”. This is yet another feature that you can take advantage ‒ but how can you have your content used for a featured snippet?
Begin with optimising your page template by including a section on top of your web design where users can ask broad questions and provide a concise and accurate answer. Additionally, outlining your content using lists, bullets, and numbering may contribute to your strategy ‒ but use them only when they make sense for your answer.
It will also help if you target search terms where you already rank well. 94% of featured snippets are directly derived from first-page results. That means you have to be at the top 10 results for your content to be featured.
Integrate Social Media Strategically
Venturing into social channels influences SEO and therefore, will affect how well you rank on your search keywords. However, Google does not state that it includes sentiment analysis nor social channels when determining local ranking. Despite that, leveraging on social media is one of the proven and time-tested ways to improve your local search rankings.
- Use social media for link building ‒ Your online community and followers tend to share relevant and engaging content, and link building is among the top SEO ranking factors
- Establish your brand community ‒ The more people who know your brand, the higher your click-through rate will be whenever your link comes up in search results. A healthy and active community will also build a good reputation and trust for your brand.
- Target Keywords in Social Posts ‒ People now use social platforms to search for information, so include target keywords in your content as potential search results to improve audience engagement and conversion rates.
In other words, content quality always matters ‒ whether for featured snippets or social channels. SEO isn’t about spamming keywords anymore, as it’s about your audience. And with poor and irrelevant content, your customers won’t click through or promote your link on social platforms.
Create a Link-Building Strategy
Speaking of links, your website won’t go places if its content stays within the bounds of your website. The internet is an ever-expanding web of information ‒ and your links should keep up with the pace.
After taking advantage of potential SEO opportunities, the final step is to establish a reliable and sustainable link-building strategy. In building an online reputation, creating signals and referrals to and from other reputable domains is essential. Most importantly, you want other websites to link back to you.
Here are a few link building strategies to get you started:
- Local listings ‒ Registering your business name on local listings such as Yellow Pages will help people to find out about your brand. Not only will links from business lists bring organic traffic to your site, but it also signals your reputation to search engines.
- Ask for links ‒ You can ask websites that mention your brand to link their content to your page. Also, building relationships with other brands and reviewers will allow you to ask them to build links to your site whenever it is relevant.
- Fix broken links ‒ If an external site links to an old page you removed, and your page returns an error 404, promptly set up a 301 redirect to connect the link towards new content.
- Use anchor text ‒ Instead of pasting the entire hyperlink in your main content, use a particular keyword for an anchor text.
In a Nutshell
Winning the top spot of search results takes time and patience. But simply waiting won’t take you places. The step-by-step guide we’ve discussed will help set your webpage off the ground. But to keep it rising, consider the following guide questions:
- Are you putting more effort into developing relevant and SEO-friendly content?
- Do you put your audience first when deciding for new and link-worthy content?
- Are you conducting thorough and regular technical audits?
High SEO rankings is a promise, and your webpage has to deliver. With that, Red Search can help your business reach the top of Google for all your most relevant search keywords. Our SEO professionals will implement time-tested and bespoke SEO strategies to drive up your SEO visibility and increased business revenue.
Feel free to contact us at 1300 101 712 or leave a message in our contact form.