The majority of people use search engines to find products and services they need. 53% of shoppers do their due diligence and use search engines before making a purchase.
That is why boosting SEO or search engine optimization should be a priority for marketers and business owners.
But how do you make SEO better for your company or eCommerce website?
Several varying factors affect your search engine ranking. These include your team’s skillset, budget, competition, and current site’s condition. And to elevate SEO can be challenging.
A Guide on How To Improve SEO
1. Perform a Website Audit
If you want to know the most effective ways how to improve SEO for your web pages, you should start with an audit.
It can help you determine your website’s strengths and weaknesses. This way, you can leverage your strengths while making strategic modifications to areas that require more attention.
An SEO website audit needs to cover:
- The structure
- Information Architecture
- Existing content pieces
An audit itself will not elevate SEO. But it is an essential first step in how to make SEO better.
2. Enhance Site Architecture and Navigation
Search engines, like Google and Bing, prefer to rank sites that deliver the most positive user experience (UX).
Easy navigation is an integral part of offering the best UX. When visitors fail to find what they need on your site, they will most likely leave. This also leaves a negative impression on your brand.
Consequently, this will impact the page views, dwell time and bounce rate, and in turn, your website’s search engine ranking. This will drive them to your competitors.
The average time on the page, also called dwell time, indicates how engaging your content is. A low dwell time signals negative UX that may result in demotion in search rankings.
Meanwhile, bounce rate refers to how long it takes before users quit navigating through your site to visit another.
Note these pointers to ensure the convenience of navigation:
- As a general rule, a user should need no more than three clicks to reach a page and accomplish their goals for going to your site.
- On the home page, the navigational hamburger menu should be labeled clearly in a way that is seamlessly understandable to consumers.
- Avoid dead links, blank pages and error pages.
3. Check for Duplication
Search engines reward unique website content and penalize duplicate content issues. That is why it is crucial to check for duplicates and fix any before Google or Bing brings your site lower on search engine results pages (SERPs).
Common duplicate issues are:
- Multiple versions of the same page. This can be resolved by setting up proper redirect rules on your URLs. A professional website designer or your site administrator can perform this resolution.
- Portions of content that look similar, such as common phrasing used. Locate these pages and make the necessary changes. You can also use a plagiarism checker for this. A regular audit is important to avoid this type of potential duplication.
4. Ensure Mobile-Friendliness
Mobile optimization is a must for business sites.
Starting in 2015, Google has been penalizing sites that are not optimized for mobile use. Moreover, 55% of product and service searches are executed on mobile gadgets, surpassing desktop use. Hence, it is crucial for consumer websites to comply and be made available to adapt to smaller screens.
5. Optimize Loading Speeds
Fast website loading speed is another factor for boosting SEO and enabling search engine algorithms to consider you for a higher SERP ranking.
The longer it takes for web pages to load, the more frustrating it is for searchers, causing them to leave and choose a competitor.
Pages taking over three seconds to load lead you to lose 53% of visitors, and consequently, lose opportunities for conversion.
Areas on your site that impact the loading time are:
- Large image file sizes. You can compress images so they do not drag downloading speed.
- Browser caching. The solution is to optimize this by storing resources locally on users’ devices. These resources will not need to load all over again when people revisit your pages.
- Script handling. Check if you need JS and CSS files before using them. Otherwise, you may want to veer from them as they contribute to slow loading time. Your designer can assist you with this.
6. Publish High-Quality Content
Consuming useful content keeps people on your site
And while word count alone is not the only basis for boosting SEO, longer blog articles are handed more opportunities by search engines to rank better on search results pages. In addition, this will also increase a users’ page viewing time.
Readability and formatting can drastically improve a page’s usability through these techniques:
- Easy-to-read typography and font size
- Strategically highlighted, underlined, or italicized important points
- Shorter paragraphs and adequate spacing in contrast to long text blocks
- Numbered or bulleted listicles for clarity
- Use of tabs, sliders, progressive layouts, structured grids, other rollover components, modal windows, dropdown menus and accordions
- Use of subheadings and proper header tags for breaking up content into easier-to-scan, more digestible bits
- Use of different multimedia
7. Improve Titles and Metadata
To elevate SEO, search engines should be able to decipher effectively what your web pages are about through improved metadata and title tags.
Elements you should insert into your metadata are:
- Title. This will appear atop the browser winder and the headline on SERPs.
- Meta description. This summary of what your page discusses will also display on SERPs. It should be an accurate brief of the text on your site.
- Alt tags. Alternative text descriptions refer to videos, imagery and other graphic media utilized on the specific page. Besides assisting with text searches, these descriptions also help with better image search results.
8. Insert Value-Adding Internal and External Hyperlinks
Linking to inbound and outbound websites also boosts SEO results.
This means inserting an ample number of thematically relevant and worthwhile hyperlinks to authority websites into your own site’s written and visual content. Setting links to open in a new window when people click on them is a strategy to not distract readers from your content.
9. Use Relevant Backlinks
Acquiring backlinks from a greater number of trusted domains is yet another key to improving SEO.
The need for more backlinks from varying domains to help fix stagnant pages will depend on how competitive the industry and niche you are in is.
10. Enable Social Sharing
The number of Facebook shares, retweets, Pinterest repins, comments and other social media mentions influence your SEO ranking.
Make sure you install social sharing buttons on your pages for convenient content-sharing and improved UX.
Aside from ranking you higher on SERPs, social network sharing also impacts website traffic, and expectantly, purchasing behavior.
11. Use Clean URLs
Uniform resource locators (URLs) are displayed underneath the title tags.
A URL cluttered with unnecessary numbers and letters can be confusing and unclear and may be perceived as untrustworthy, incoherent, and spammy.
On the contrary, a clean URL is easy to understand and definitive about what your page talks about. It is less risky for searchers to click on—their reception of your site will be better.
Keep in mind to include keywords in URLs for Google and Bing to better detect content relevance.
12. Do Not Overstuff Keywords
Overly repeating the exact same keywords in your content will not elevate SEO ranking. It is quite the opposite as it translates into the absence of authenticity. Search engines will pick up on this as robotic and end up penalizing your site.
Use variations of the right keywords and tactically scatter them across content to sound natural.
Wrap-Up: Final Tips on How To Improve SEO
To elevate SEO results, you should watch out for every moving piece affecting your methods. Bear in mind that search optimization is a constantly ongoing and evolving process requiring close monitoring, continuous effort and careful attention.
Do not just create new content but also update older, stagnated pages. Find the best practices that work in your favor. See what your competitors are doing right and replicate these tactics fit your own.
Before spending a significant amount of time on a strategy, ensure you understand fully what you are investing in so your resources do not go to waste.
Knowing the most revenue-generating products and services in your niche will help further expand your enterprise and set up an excellent foundation for a robust SEO strategy. You do not solely rely on keyword usage. Your brand should stand out and stick with consumers by offering future-proof items and services.
Also, your team needs to analyze web traffic. For instance, Google Analytics is an industry-standard you can bank on to evaluate where your website traffic comes from mostly. Gaining clearer insights into collected data will help you make more informed SEO decisions and strategies moving forward.
Lastly, remember that an SEO agency can help you with all these aspects of improving your website's search engine performance, from conducting keyword research and optimizing your website's content and structure to high-quality link building and analyzing web traffic.