Did you realize that nearly 51 percent of web traffic comes from organic searches? If you are like most business owners, you realize the value of having a functional and appealing website.
One of the biggest mistakes that most business owners make once they have a website built is failing to optimize it for search engine success. Failing to put keyword-rich content on a website will make it very hard for consumers to find it.
Annually, businesses in the United States spend about $65 billion on SEO campaigns. The only way to ensure the money you spend on marketing is put to good use is by working with seasoned professionals. Hiring a professional company can help you achieve your marketing goals with ease.
When trying to optimize your existing site, there are a number of factors you need to consider. The following are some of the most essential SEO ranking factors you should worry about.
1. Making Sure Your Website URL is Accessible
Making sure your URL is easily reached and crawled by Google bots is essential. In order for Google to properly index your website, its bots will have to be able to access the content on your page. If you are looking to help these bots out, consider these suggestions.
- Using a robots.txt file that can tell Google where to look for information on your existing site.
- A comprehensive site map that lists all of your pages is also advisable. If you have a WordPress based site, you can easily set up your sitemap with the Yoast SEO plugin. For non-WordPress sites, you can use one of the many free online sitemap generators on the market.
- You also need to think about purchasing an SSL certificate for your website. Since 2014, Google has been using the security of the websites they crawl as a factor for ranking.
While instituting these changes on your website may be a bit time-consuming and costly, it is well worth the effort and money invested.
2. Keep An Eye on Page Load Speeds
One of the main factors Google considers when ranking websites is page load speeds. Google is on a mission to improve the user experience modern consumers have, which is why they insist on fast-loading pages. Recent Google updates show that they are now focusing on the loading speed of mobile pages as well.
If you are unsure about how fast your pages are loading, you can always use Google’s mobile testing tool. In order to properly address issues with slow-loading pages, you will need to work with an experienced developer.
These loading issues can be caused by everything from large picture files to coding errors. By allowing professionals to check out your website, you can get the answers you need in a hurry.
3. Your Site has to Be Mobile-Friendly
Making sure your site is optimized for mobile users is also a great way to improve your Google rank. With more and more people using mobile devices to access websites, responsive websites are now a must.
The Google mobile-first index now draws results from websites that are responsive. This means that if your site is not mobile-friendly, you will be unable to reach the first page of Google search results.
- When trying to optimize your site for mobile users, be sure to consider things like:
- Whether or not your site automatically resizes pages to fit the device being used.
- Using larger fonts to make pages more readable on smaller screens.
- Ensuring that your menus are easy to tap and use on mobile devices.
- Making sure your content isn’t being covered by interstitial ads.
By implementing these changes, you can easily attract more mobile users to your site. A website developer with experience should have no problem auditing your existing site and making the appropriate changes to make it more mobile-friendly.
4. Your Domain Age and Authority
Statistics show that most of the websites on the first page of Google search results are over three years old. The team at Ahrefs conducted a study of two million websites. This study showed that sites less than a year old find it nearly impossible to reach the first page of Google.
This is why you don’t need to get discouraged when your relatively new site isn’t performing as well as you think it should. You need to also check to see what your site’s domain authority is. This can be checked by using the Moz domain authority tool.
With the results from this tool, you can get an idea of how high a particular page on your website is likely to rank on search results.
5. Optimizing Your Content is Essential
Having the right keywords in the content on your website is also essential in your pursuit of search engine dominance. Luckily, there are a number of online tools that allow you to check the monthly searches a particular keyword gets. You need to find keywords that get a lot of searches but don’t have a lot of competition.
You need to also avoid using duplicate content on your website. By using fresh and keyword-rich content, you will have a better chance of moving up the search engine ranks in a hurry. If you simply don’t have the time or skill to write this content on your own, hiring professionals to help you out is a good idea.
They will have no problem giving your company a voice and developing engaging content for your site. The latest and possibly the most effective of such content today is video marketing.
Not only it allows you the opportunity to get a 0 ground ranking in Google, but it also allows much user-friendlier optimization, especially when it comes to social media, as it is shown in this great resource on how video can help you rank higher, in according to which video is already taking over the digital platforms and by 2020> it will be a dominating force all over.
6. Landing Quality Backlinks
For years, backlinks have been one of the strongest ranking signals on the planet. The more links you can secure from high-authority domains, the easier you will find it to get to the first page of Google.
Recent Google updated cleaned and filtered low-quality backlink profiles. This is why you need to take a look at your backlink profile and take note of what is on there.
7. Social Signals and Brand Power
Anytime a person performs a branded search for your company, it sends a strong signal to Google’s algorithm.
The higher the number of branded searches a site receives, the more likely it is to rank high on Google’s search results pages. Combining your brand power with a great social media presence is a winning recipe for search engine success.
8. Providing a Great User Experience
As the Google algorithm advances, it will start to put more and more priority on user experience. If your website is difficult to navigate or filled with pop-ups, you will find it increasingly difficult to stay at the top of the Google heap. Focusing on making your site functional first can save you a lot of headaches in the long run.
9. Posting Content on a Regular Basis
Some business owners think that posting content is something they only have to do every couple of months. The fact is that sites that consistently post quality content are far more likely to get at the top and stay at the top of Google search results.
This is why you need to develop and stick to a content posting schedule. Ideally, you need to be posting blogs at least once a week to get attention from Google.
Optimizing a website for search engine success is not an overnight process. It will usually take years before you start to reap the rewards of these efforts, so hang in there.
Sawaram Suthar is head of marketing at Acquire, and also a founder of Jagat Media, a digital marketing agency. A digital marketing consultant, he has experience in things including branding, promotions and page optimization, along with research and strategy. He has an MBA from the University of Pune. Anyone can find him on @sawarams.