Social media has been a great way for businesses of all sizes to share information and win new customers, having and maintaining a website remains an important part of business. While social media is great for sharing the stories of your business and can create viral moments, websites are the best tools for being discovered by new customers. Visitors don’t just flock to websites, though, instead they are directed to them by search engines which is why having a solid search engine optimization (SEO) plan is vital.
According to various sources, there are somewhere between 5.6 to 5.8 billion Google searches everyday and SEO is how you become one of the top results. SEO refers to the tips, tricks, and best practices that site owners can put into place to be ranked favorably by search engines like Google, Bing, Yahoo, and others.
In the early years of the internet, SEO strategies included things like keyword stuffing, hidden text, and buying links. These sites were then boosted to the top of the results and got a lot of revenue-producing site traffic. Unfortunately, a lot of sites got really good a manipulating this system and the top results were often spammy, filled with ads, and not very useful. Search algorithms improved and with that brought a more user-centric form of SEO.
Today, SEO is about creating the best experience for the end user. That includes everything from design and content to hosting and page speed. Google hasn’t released an official scorecard of how sites are ranked, but has said that creating high quality, accurate, and original content is a good way to start. No matter your skill level, there are a lot of things you can do to improve the SEO of your website.
5 Tips for Improving Website SEO
Design for Mobile
Web traffic, and increasingly online purchases, are moving from desktop to mobile. Mobile has made up more than half of all web traffic since 2015, a trend certain to continue. Creating responsive designs and allowing for AMP pages are a good place to start.
Perform Standard Maintenance
Basic housekeeping should be done on a website to ensure it stays fresh and secure. WordPress themes and plug-ins should be updated or removed if no longer in service. Inspect links and replace dead or outdated links. Refresh any outdated content, contact information, or copyright dates.
Increase the Speed
Website visitors expect pages to load fast than ever and its especially true for mobile visitors. According to Google, 53% of mobile visitors will leave a page that takes long than 3 seconds to load. Page speed can be improved in a variety of ways from plug-ins to more complex web development solutions.
Leverage Meta Titles and Metadata
Crafting strategic meta titles and metadata are another way to improve the SEO of your website. These structured pieces of text let search engines easily understand the type of information on a page and serve it when it fits a user’s search query.
Write for the Reader, Create for the Viewer
Search engines are taking a more human-first approach when it comes to content. In contrast to the keyword stuffing of yesteryear, this SEO tip simply states to create high quality, original content. No plagiarizing, no blog posts that are just the same sentence written multiple ways over and over. Create good things, and Google will shine on you, or at least that’s the idea.