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Start to search engine optimization can be frustrating because there are many tips. It might be hard to decide on their importance, but some essential principles stay unchanged.
Keywords stuffing your copy will not bring your organization top SEO results, but including the right keywords in your content is still essential.
But how about the rest? Should you build as many backlinks as you can? Is adding video content on the website suitable for SEO? How to improve website loading speed? Why do mobile-friendly websites perform better?
Brian Dean from Backlinko has put together a complete list of 200 ranking factors. The article has been recently updated and includes 2022 SEO ranking factors.
Millions of questions about search engine optimization might be spinning in your head. In this article, we will help reveal a few top SEO tips that will lead you to results.
Focus on these 5 best ways to improve SEO, so you can drive organic traffic to your website and improve search engine rankings without getting penalties from Google or Bing.
Let’s dive right in.
- Incorporate keywords (on-page SEO)
- URL structure
- Improve time on site
- Optimize your images
- Site responsiveness
1. Incorporate keywords (on-page SEO)
Exact-match keywords, meaning strictly the same word for word, don’t matter as much as they used to.
Search engines optimize algorithms and show relevant results to the search, not the searcher’s keywords. That means your SEO goal would be to use semantically appropriate language and clear website copy to satisfy the user search intent.
However, you still need to use the right keywords for your website, so make sure they are related to your industry and business.
For example, when you search for “Italian plumbers,” you probably want to find somebody who could fix pipes in your house in Italy. It would work perfectly earlier before search engines were keywords focused. Now, Google and Bing show context-related results, and you might see images and links of Luigi and Mario.
2. URL structure
Well-designed URL creates a great first impression, and not only. It helps users understand where they are on your website and clear the path from one page to another. Structured URL positively impacts user experience and SEO.
Use the following rules to improve URLs:
- The rule of thumb is one URL for any page; avoid different URLs that direct users to the same page.
- Structure URL by domain name, followed by the section name, and subsection name. Remember to build URLs according to website hierarchical order.
- Use natural language so your URL has semantic meaning.
- Try to include in the URL keywords specific to the page copy. Keep the link shorter - it is easy to read.
3. Improve time on site
Bounce rate and time on site can be tricky to analyze. Some organizations see less time spent on a page as a positive indicator because your website is clear, and people can find information right away.
Other businesses see this as an area for improvement. Users can visit a page and leave it because they did not find what they actually wanted. Your key to success is your content, and your team needs to understand what changes you need to make.
A few things to watch out for are time on-site in comparison with page views:
- Shorter time and high page views can mean website visitors aren’t finding what they want.
- Users go rapidly from page to page, spending the page less than the benchmark of 52 seconds.
- Too short a time on-site can demonstrate that visitors can’t find the information they are looking for.
Running Google Analytics reports and monitoring overall website performance is the key to finding what your users want to see. Investigate the user flow and look for any issues with your content or page structure.
4. Optimize your images
Rand Fishkin did a fantastic job creating a post showcasing where searches happen on the web. Google launched some changes on Google Images, and now users can see images in the context of the web pages.
Over 22% of website views come from Google Images.
When choosing and preparing imagery for your website, use the following strategies:
Name the image file with a semantically relevant name. I.e. if you have an image of a soccer ball, then the image name should be something like soccer-ball.jpg, but not image1.jpg.
Use unique imagery that contributes added meaning to the website copy.
Create descriptive alt text, captions, and copy connected to the image. Include keywords strategically, but make it readable naturally.
Ensure images are optimized for the web and don’t slow down the website.
5. Site responsiveness
Responsive or mobile-friendly website design is one of Google's ranking factors. Well-built websites always use the same HTML code for all types of screens and devices.
How to check if your website is responsive? Use Google's mobile-friendly test to check if you need to get some work done to improve your site.
Companies that invest in mobile-friendly websites benefit in the long run. First, it is easier to manage one responsive website copy versus multiple for different devices. Second, any changes require less time to implement. Third, faster load time means you create a better online user experience.
Lastly, one website for all screen types increases the time spent on the site. Isn’t your ultimate goal different?
If you have questions or need help with your website, contact our WebDriven team.