It’s safe to say that optimizing your website and blog content for the search engines continues to be vital in 2017. With search being one of the top tools consumers use to shop, locate information, get answers to their questions, and find solutions, it’s imperative that your brand “shows up” when your audience is looking for you. Amplifying your search engine optimization techniques will help to boost your visibility and get in front of your ideal customers.
The good news is, improving SEO in your digital marketing is not a complicated feat. In fact, there are several simple steps that you can take today to better your presence tomorrow. We’ve outlined five quick ways to bolster SEO to help you build brand awareness, drive traffic, and achieve other marketing goals like increased leads and sales.
#1 Increase Page Load Speeds
Did you know a business loses roughly 25% of its online visitors if its site takes over 4 seconds to load (Source: Kissmetrics)? The time it takes for your content to appear greatly influences SEO…for better or worse. If your visitors have to wait, you may lose them. You’ll suffer because few readers will remain on your site long enough to impact SEO or engage in your other content pieces like your webforms (for leads) or sales pages.
With that said, here are a few tips that you can implement now to increase your page load speeds:
- Use a caching plugin to help improve your speeds
- Make sure the code is clean and streamlined
- Since visuals tend to bog down websites, optimize images prior to uploading them onto your site. Either “save them for web” when using an image editing tool or install a plugin like WP Smush.it (WordPress) that optimizes JPEG images
- Seek out a new web hosting provider that utilizes special caching and bandwidth optimization tools
- Reduce the number of plugins you have, especially those you’re not using
- Minimize redirects
#2 Ensure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
This is a big one. More consumers are accessing search engines and websites from their mobile device than desktops. If your site is not mobile-ready, you are missing out on a lot of traffic as your content may not load correctly where it’s legible on smartphones. In 2017, it’s crucial that your website is set up to capitalize on mobile traffic.
In fact, Google favors sites that are mobile optimized and penalize those that are not. Take the test here to discover if your website is mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, no worries! Use this guide to get you there.
#3 Include Authoritative Links
Studies illustrate time and time again that including outgoing links within your blog post has a positive effect on SEO ranking. Content that adds these authoritative links to their content experience higher ranking than those that do not. You see, it builds trust with Google, showing that your article is indeed valuable and relevant to your respective industry. Outgoing links also provides visitors with additional resources to read, thus improving user-experience, enhancing your message, and further proving your own credibility in your space.
When linking other sources to your content, don’t overdo it. Have just enough where it enriches your content yet doesn’t distract people from easily flowing through your post.
#4 Improve Website Experience
Speaking of user-experience, when you add interactive content pieces to your site such as infographics, videos, surveys and polls, calculators and audios, you greatly improve the time people spend on your website, significantly boosting SEO status. The higher the dwell time, the better signals are sent to Google showing that your content is worthy to be ranked accordingly because of the apparent value you’re sharing.
Including various multimedia types within your post also helps you to expand your reach and influence. You’ll appeal to different learning styles, keep your content fresh and engaging, and compel people to return. All these are key ingredients to bolstering your SEO ranking.
#5 Move Website to HTTPS
In 2014, Google announced they were giving “extra credit” to websites that were secure or have the URL that leads with HTTPS (https://example.com). Therefore, these sites would receive a boost in ranking simply by having the “S” in their web address which stands for security. Yet many websites have not jumped on the bandwagon, failing to incorporate this added safeguard to their websites.
The point here is that every little bit helps with improving search engine optimization. If Google will give you a little push in their search results, you want to take them up on their offer! Follow this simple how-to guide to moving your site from HTTP to HTTPS and be secured in 2017!
One last thing to mention is to maintain a consistent blogging schedule. Companies who blog receive 97% more links to their website (Source: Hubspot). You have more opportunities to use keyword phrases your audience is actively using to rank organically in search and more content to share with your audience on social media. Leverage an editorial calendar to help you plan, organize and schedule blog content to solidify your expertise in your industry while bringing more exposure to your brand.
Get ready to enhance your website and better position your content to be found by your ideal customer upon implementing these tips! Make a plan to execute them one-by-one in your digital marketing to create success. Stay engaged with your audience to continue delivering experiences that best resonate with their interests.