Having a website doesn’t mean that your target audience will find it. You need to make sure you’re giving your website the best chance at a good ranking – so when people use search engines like Google, you want to be at least on the first page.
Here’s 5 vital tips to improve your website ranking:
1. Page Loading Speed
Your page loading time is important for a few reasons.
First of all, if your load speed is too slow, Google will recognize this, and it will harm your ranking. A slow website will also impact the way your website visitors engage with your pages, as a result, those negative interactions will hurt your ranking too.
Research shows 40% of visitors will abandon websites if the page takes longer than 3 seconds to load. What’s even more shocking is that 80% of those visitors won’t return to that website. This is terrible for your SEO ranking because it ultimately kills traffic to your site. But on the flip side, if your page loads fast, people will keep coming back.
How do check your website page loading speed?
A useful tool is Google PageSpeed Insights. Just add your website URL and check the results for Mobile and Desktop versions.
Another website speed checker is Pingdom – this allows you to test your website speed as it is from different locations around the world. Just add your URL and select location to check: https://tools.pingdom.com/
If you find that your site is running slow then you may want to check your website theme and plugins.
If your slow server is the culprit contact your web hosting company or switch to a faster host!
2. Produce high quality content
Authentic and high quality content is essential to a good website ranking.
How often do you update your website?
If you haven’t touched it since the day you built it, you probably don’t have a great SEO ranking right now. To drive more traffic to your website and increase its popularity, you need to give visitors a reason to keep coming back.Your content needs to be high quality, recent, and relevant to what your website is offering.
Another factor that impacts your SEO ranking is engagement, this relates to how much time people spend on your website per visit and how they interact – for example; clicking buttons, visiting other pages etc.
If your site has fresh, exciting, or newsworthy information, it will keep visitors on your page longer and improve your engagement.
Websites that provide highly informative content typically have good engagement times and their ranking will be good.
3. Use a Blog
Search engines such as Google like to see new content often, this lets them know that the website isn’t ‘stagnant’. A blog is the perfect way to keep your website content fresh. It’s also good for business marketing and PR.
Inform your visitors of your business news, any events or special offers, new products and just about anything relevant to your business. It’s great for lead generation and engaging your visitors, so if your website doesn’t have a blog or you don’t use it often – it’s time to make the change.
Blogging improves SEO rankings
As already mentioned, producing fresh, updated, and relevant content can drive people to your website and give them a reason to stay on your pages for a while and makes the search engines take notice too.
If you can establish regular followers for your blog, you can get lots of traffic to your site on a daily basis. Plus, you can incorporate other things I talked about so far into your posts as well, such as images and header tags. Other elements, such as links, increased readability, and keywords, can also be incorporated into these posts.
All of this positively impacts your search engine ranking.
4. Optimise your site for mobile devices
The use of mobile devices to search the internet has risen dramatically over the last few years. It’s rising so fast that it’s actually overtaken computers and laptop devices.
In fact, over 60% of Google searchescome from mobile devices. Obviously, Google recognizes this and ranks sites accordingly. Your website needs to be optimized for mobile users – layout, page speed and all content need to take mobile devices into consideration. The more mobile-friendly your website is, the better your search engine ranking.
5. Optimise your images
One mistake that we repeatedly see from our clients that manage their own web content is that they don’t optimise the images that they use.
Pictures and other images are great for your website but you need to make sure they are optimised properly if you want these images to improve your SEO ranking.
How do you optimise images for your website?
File format and size are the most important factors, huge images can slow your page loading time, which, as we’ve mentioned above, hurts your ranking.
Before uploading images to your webiste you should always resize or compress your images to optimise them. If you’re using a Content Management System like WordPress you can also find plugins that help to compress your images too, but always make sure they’re not too big in the first place.
You don’t need an image larger than 2,000 pixels wide (@72dpi) and you don’t need any image larger than a 500kb – most website images should really be under 200kb.
The best file format is JPG (JPEG) or use PNG if you need a transparent background. PNGs tend to be a lot larger in kb than JPGs so only use if you really need to. Photoshop is a fantastic software program to optimise images but if you don’t have that, try some free online options. TinyJPG and Tiny PNG are great for reducing the file size of JPG and PNG files (note different links for each file format).
Name the file correctly
All images should use what is called an ‘Alt tag’ or ‘Alt text’ – this gives your file a description that the search engines can follow.
For example, let’s say you have a website that sells toys.
Instead of naming an image something like “ted100,” you could name it “teddy bear for children”
You can also strategically use keywords in the title of your image as well as the caption or description.