Learning how to improve SEO to grow your traffic, authority and rankings is a MUST, if you’re serious about having a presence on the web. Although the competition is fierce, there are easy ways to set your business eons ahead of your competitors for years to come.
Truthfully, almost every business on the planet is wondering how to improve SEO to reach the first page of Google. And unbelievably there are only five slots. So, if you’re asking why do you need to fight so hard to reach one of the five? To answer, because, “almost three out of every four searches start on Google”!!!
The hardest part about improving search engine optimization is that SEO seems mysterious, difficult, and everyone has put their own twist to it. So, I decided to go straight to the horse’s mouth (Mr. Google) to read Google guidelines, before giving my two cents worth…LOL!!!
The first five results that show up on Google get 67% of all clicks.
Keep reading because within this post we will walk you through how you can easily fix what’s broken and show you how to improve your SEO. Not only that, but you’ll also walk away knowing which elements are critical, how-to SEO optimize your website, and understand the importance of adding high-quality relevant content to sustain growth for years to come.
92.96% of global traffic comes from Google search, Google Images, and Google Maps. (Sparktoro)
SEO drives 1000%+ more traffic than organic social media. (BrightEdge)
69.7% of search queries contain four words or more. (Ahrefs)
Topics of Discussion:
Is my Website Showing up on Google?
The first thing you’ll want to do is to see if your site is indexed on Google. There are a few easy ways to do this. Naturally, we’ll show you the easiest.
Here’s how to check to see if Google has indexed your site:
Enter in the search bar “site:” followed by the URL of your domain.
For example, “site:neilpatel.com/”.
The below results show which pages have been indexed… At this point, you can also view your Meta Tags. Record those you’d like to spruce up later if any.
If your site hasn’t been indexed by Google, then no pages will show up like the example below. Give it some time or you can force Google’s hand. Continue reading we’ll show you how.
How do I get my site on Google?
Although Google is hungry for fresh content, it can take a while before the search engine bots crawl your site. So, there are a few things you can do. (1) Review your site for easy navigation, (2) Manually submit your website to the SERPs (search engine results pages).
Why is site navigation important? Google has what some call Googlebot’s. These critters crawl around the search engine floor checking for new content. If your website has a poor navigation system, it’s difficult for the bots to identify your content. Hence miss your valuable informative content. Below are Google guidelines to follow which makes it easier for the bots to find to read your pages.
How do I get my site on Google using SEO navigation?
A straightforward navigation format makes it easier for Googlebot’s to find your website. Not only that, but it’s also user-friendly. Just imagine grocery shopping to find some fruit in the produce aisle and other fruit at the rear of the store. That’s a setup for disaster, hence loss sales. The same holds true for your website.
Manually Submit your Website to Google
You can manually submit your website to Google. You can use Google Search Console. Visit the Google search console and insert your URL’s sitemap, then follow the prompts.
Even though you directly submit your site/sitemap to Google, this doesn’t induce speed, it will still take some time. Google always tries to maintain some type of mystery around its algorithm. But just know Google kryptonite is fresh content, so the bots are coming, we just don’t know when.
Now that you have your website navigation straight, your website is indexed, now how do you improve your rankings. Through the search engine optimization process.
There are five steps; we break them down below in simple plain English.
- Proper Keyword research
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Content Creation
#1 Proper keyword research, many web designers and website owners overlook this critical component. To keep it simple when looking for keywords, as an example, “Vegan Pizza New York”. Although you may want that keyword or keyword phrase it may be too competitive.
In this case, you’d look for a related keyword with the lower competition that you can rank for. As illustrated below “Vegan Sliced Pizza in Brooklyn New York”. This is one solid example of how to use keywords to improve SEO by using what’s called longtail keywords.
The example shows how the more specific you get the better your odds. To help find related and longtail keywords, listed below are a few Free keywords research tools:
#2 On-page SEO
What is on-page SEO, well the term “on-page” is a hint. On-page SEO is a systematic process of setting up the internal elements of your web page.
On-page optimization includes:
High Relevant Website Content
Meta Tags: Consist of the title tag, description details, and keywords. Although many SEO experts are touting that keywords don’t play a huge role in the metadata.
The title tag is the title of your page. Your primary keyword should be included in your title.
For instance, if your search term is: How to write a blog…
Those keywords or keyword phrases should be in your title tag. Title Tag Example: How to Write an Awesome Blog Post in 5 Steps
Description: Is as the word suggests it’s a description of what the page is about. In this case, it should further tell the visitor more about what they can expect. As you can see the description is a little long, which is why it’s colored in red. For good SEO there should be up to160 characters.
You can also see the URL in the same example screenshot. The URL is what you type into the search bar to retrieve results. In this example, you were searching for “how to write a blog”.
Images; are one of the biggest SEO page ranking detractors. Images can severely slow down your website speed, which kills your SEO. On the other hand, relevant images create a better user experience. Even better, original images can show up in Google images. But those images should include an alt tag. An alternative tag (alt tag) is to simply describe your image in a few words. This description is used for visually impaired and google bots to better understand know what the images are.
As stated earlier, images are the biggest culprit of slow page speed. A fast-loading website is well-liked by Google and your visitors. Remember Google’s goal is to satisfy the user and a slow loading page doesn’t help. However, there’s an easy remedy. I use a plugin called short pixel, (For WordPress users). Once it’s installed it automatically reduces all images that are added to your site.
Another huge factor that can reduce web speed is excessive flashy content. With the amount of noise online it’s easy to think the more bling and ding the better. But adding flashy content. I.e., gifs, lights, music, etc. can potentially hurt your site.
If you’re planning to use any of those elements, check your web speed before uploading the content and after. Google has a free website speed check., just insert your URL, as the image above demonstrates. Lastly, don’t forget too many ads will also slow down your page speed. Unfortunately, visitors will bounce if it takes too long for pages to download.
#5 High-Relevant Content
E-A-T: Google doesn’t normally leave many clues, but they made this known; E-A-T stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. For sure Google uses those characteristics to improve SEO website ranking. Without a doubt making sure you have high-quality, extremely relevant content will beat out your competition every day of the week!
The above 5 factors are a great start to how to improve ON-PAGE OPTIMIZATION. I did say start because Google changes algorithms thousands of times a DAY, small changes. Unfortunately, they make huge algorithm changes periodically which ends up taking a lot of weak sites down the tube.
How to Improve Off-Page SEO
Believe it or not, you can and should control your off-page SEO as well. Yes, Google is a bit much with his demands. But he who has the Gold Wins. So, we all must keep our sites Google -Friendly. Or at the very least don’t make Google angry.
Here are a few things we can do:
Off-page or off-site is all about what others are saying about you. We can scream all day about how good we are, but until someone with authority said you’re good Google isn’t listening. So, our job is to produce original, highly relevant content that the influencers or experts in your field will want to brag about. Or at the very least share with their subscribers.
This process is called backlinking. There are a lot of ways to get backlinks, but Google is tripping these days and they prefer backlinks produced as authentic as possible. On another note, some web owners are retrieving backlinks which could be borderline Blackhat. Retrieving backlinks in an unnatural way can get your website in trouble with Google. Eventually, Google will do what is known as a Google slap. Your site can go from 1st page to oblivion. I know Google is a piece of work!
How to use Google Analytics to Improve SEO Performance
Google Analytics is your secret spying mechanism. This is where you can go behind the curtains and watch everything your users are doing. You can track page stay duration, bounce rates, and see top-performing pages. Analytics basically paints your user footprint. Additionally, it shows the site’s transaction, revenue, and other e-commerce related data.
Now if you are still wondering how to best use the metrics. Think about it this way. If you owned a restaurant and asked every client, their likes, and dislikes, how could you use that information?
Lastly, Google has an optimization tool that’s designed to help online marketers and webmasters increase visitors’ conversion rates. This is done partially through A/B and other testing metrics. All in all, Google allows you to test your site for higher traffic and sales.
Many people are timid about putting too much effort into improving their Google ranking through search engine optimization. Trying to rank naturally takes an enormous amount of time and effort upfront.
But to improve your SEO organically is a long-term strategy worth the time. There is a loud noise coming from the other Gazillion website owners. Like them, it’s natural to think a prettier website will rank better; not true!
Remember to improve SEO ranking involves knowing Google’s fundamentals, guidelines, and best practices. Regardless of how much money is spent on website design or Blackhat backlinking, to grow slow and steady is what Google wants, respect, and rewards.
- Check to see if your website is Google indexed
- Automatically submit your website and pages, if not
- Re-verify you’re ranking for the most relevant keywords
- Periodically, add high-quality relevant content to your website
- Inspect your analytics and use data to pivot and make necessary changes.
Today you’ve learned how to improve SEO. These SEO fundamentals will place you on a road less traveled. While many website owners are trying to find ways to beat the system. Here you’ve learned what’s needed to build long-term rankings.
However, if ‘you’re busy as a bee like most small business owners, you may consider hiring or outsourcing your SEO. Below is the company that I use. They don’t promise you the world. In my opinion, they follow Google guidelines. You can check them out here SEO Services, prices starting at $19.99.
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