SEO is a versatile and ever-changing niche. Every now and then, Google rolls out algorithm updates, making it hard for marketers to cope with changes. In fact, according to records, the tech giant releases about 500 to 600 updates a year. This means an update may be available every day.
It’s not surprising why even the most seasoned SEO specialists dedicate a lot of their time to figuring out how to improve their rankings on SERPs but end up scratching their heads.
Well, it is indeed time-consuming to track all these updates, and we don’t have the luxury of time to study all of them. However, we have created a guide that highlights some of the most effective SEO tactics that work in 2022. But before we share with you the best way to improve your rankings, let us define SEO.
What Is SEO?
In its simplest sense, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a set of strategies and practices designed to improve the positioning of web pages in the search results. And how does it work?
Search engines send out web crawlers to collect information about all pieces of content on the internet. These crawlers usually begin from one known web page and follow internal links to reach pages within a website. They also navigate through external links to reach other sites.
The information on the web pages and the context of the links both help the web crawlers better understand how all the web pages are connected to one another.
Now, when someone types a query into the search field, the search engine will then use its search algorithm to pull out the most relevant list of results. This list may include web pages with full text, infographics, videos, and other types of content.
15 Ways to Improve SEO
Since you already have a better understanding of SEO and how it works, we suggest that you stop searching “how to improve SEO” on Google. In this section, we will share proven and tested strategies that help improve the SEO rankings of websites.
- Work on Your Site’s Page Loading Speed
People’s attention span is becoming significantly shorter and shorter nowadays. That explains why page loading time matters to date. If your page speed is very slow, Google can detect this, and it will affect your ranking negatively.
A slow website also impacts the way your site’s visitors engage with your pages. They will think that there’s something wrong with your website and it’s not fully functional. So, they’ll click away and never come back.
But how slow is slow? According to experiments, about 50% of visitors will abandon a web page if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. What’s even more frustrating is that around 80% of these visitors will never want to return to the website. This is really bad for SEO as it can kill website traffic.
On the other hand, a fast-loading website entices people to come back. And if people are returning to your site, Google will know. In turn, it will reward you with a better ranking.
To ensure your site loads fast, test its speed. You can do a quick search online to find free online website testing services. If you find that your web pages are loading slow, check your plugins and themes. Better yet, consult with your web hosting provider and ask if there is something they can do.
- Put Up Quality Content
If you want to improve your SEO rankings, put up quality content on your website. But how often should you do it?
Well, if you haven’t made any changes on your site since day one, it’s probably safe to assume that you aren’t getting much traffic now. To drive more traffic and improve your ranking, make sure your visitors have a reason to go back. And that is quality content.
When we say quality content, we mean content that is relevant, recent, and informative. If your website has exciting and fresh content, visitors will want to stay. This increases your visitors’ dwell time. Studies suggest that sites that offer informative content usually have longer dwell times.
- Optimize Images
People are more visual these days. This means images and other forms of imagery are great for websites. However, before you put them on your site, optimize them properly as they may affect your site’s ranking.
When optimizing images, you have to work on their file formats and sizes. Images with big file sizes may affect your site’s loading speed, which then hurts your Google rankings.
Before you upload an image, compress or resize it first. There are various online tools you can use for optimizing images. Once your images are compressed, insert keywords in them. You can do so by naming them accordingly. For instance, you have a website that sells dog cages. Instead of naming your image “dog-cage-sydney-1,” name it “best dog cage in sydney for sale.”
- Use Header Tags to Make Content Easier to Read
Headings are a great way to improve the experience of your site’s visitors. With header tags, content becomes easier to read. Also, they make everything look organized.
If you just put up a huge block of text, people are likely to click away. And as a consequence, your ranking will suffer.
If you are using WordPress and want to improve SEO, you can easily update your header tags. Go to the Posts section, and open any article you want to optimize. After that, find the option that allows you to change the header tags. It’s that easy!
- Produce Fresh Content Regularly
Blogs aren’t just for bloggers. They’re also an effective tool that you can take advantage of if you want to improve SEO on Google. With fresh content, you can get new leads and engage with your visitors.
As you may already know, fresh and informative content can encourage visitors to go to your website. It also gives them a reason to stay for a while.
If you gain the loyalty of your visitors, you can generate lots of site traffic on a daily basis. And if you can incorporate other elements naturally, your search engine ranking will improve
- Insert Outbound Links
SEO specialists know that to improve a site’s credibility and ranking, you need to consider certain factors that come into play. Of course, you can make claims if you want to sound like you are an authority in a niche. But it helps if you have data to back them up. It is ideal to link your claims to authoritative, trustworthy, and credible sources.
Furthermore, linking to authority websites is not enough. You have to ensure all the information you are sharing is recent. Linking to resources that have been updated decades ago won’t be effective in your SEO campaign.
- Use Different Forms of Content
When we say content, we often associate it with plain text. But when it comes to SEO, many forms of content can actually be used. Among the most popular ones are videos, infographics, pictures, and eBooks.
But how does varied content improve your ranking on search engines? Consumers nowadays are more visual. They prefer watching something to reading about it. Proper visual content will radically increase the amount of time a visitor spends on your website. And eventually, you will experience a boost in your rankings.
- Make Sure Your Content Is Readable
When you’re producing content, don’t just write for the sake of having fresh content. Put yourself in your visitors’ shoes and know what information they need.
Even if you are a licensed medical expert, don’t sound like you are one. If possible, use language that everyone can understand.
- Check for Broken Links and Fix Them
Earlier, we talked about inserting outbound links that point to authoritative sites. Well, there is nothing to worry about if you are pointing to authority sites. But sometimes, bad things happen and sites go down for no reason. And linking to these dead websites is no good for SEO.
To find out if you have a broken link on your website, you can use online tools. You can find plenty of them if you do a quick online search.
Once you find a dead link, you have the option to notify the webmaster or find another authoritative site as a replacement. If you go for the first option, you are doing the website owner a favor by telling them that there is a problem on their website that needs to be fixed. In return, they may allow you to post your site’s link on theirs.
If this happens, you have more chances of driving more traffic to your website.
- Ensure Your Website Is Mobile-Friendly
More internet users are using their mobile devices to access the web these days. And their number is rising so fast that it has already surpassed that of laptop and desktop users. As a matter of fact, Google said about 60% of searches come from mobile devices.
Google obviously recognizes the rise of mobile use, and it wants to reward mobile-friendly sites. If your website is not optimized for mobile, it will affect the experience of mobile users, resulting in drastic ranking drops.
- Encourage Social Sharing
Businesses today have social media accounts, and that is pretty understandable. But what many need to know is that social media can be used to improve SEO rankings. How? If your web page has good content that is share-worthy, then people are likely to share it on their various social platforms.
To entice people to share your content on social media, add social sharing icons all over your content. You can also use social media plug-ins if you are using WordPress.
- Use the Right Keywords
Do you want to know how to improve local SEO? Then do not underestimate the power of keywords. Use the right keywords that people will type into search engines. However, don’t overdo it. If you seem to be keyword-stuffing your content, Google will know, and your website’s ranking will suffer.
The key here is to use keywords naturally. Insert them in your headings and image captions if possible. You can even use long-tail keywords if you want to establish authority in your locality. For instance, if you sell dog cages in Sydney, then insert the keyword “dog cages in Sydney” naturally into your sentences. If your keyword focus matches a search query, there is a higher chance of your web page getting ranked better.
- Write Titles That Encourage Action
When writing titles for your web pages, know that you only have 65 characters to play with. Anything over that will be cut off and cannot be read. So, be creative and keep your titles short.
Other tips to create click-worthy titles and descriptions are as follows:
- Keep your message clear. Readers should know what your page is all about in just 65 characters.
- The title should answer the query of visitors. Make sure your title is predictable.
- Use keywords in your titles. Ideally, position your keywords at the front.
- Optimize Your URLs
Titles must be emotional to encourage clicks, but your URLs shouldn’t be. Your URLs should be straightforward. It should contain keywords too.
- Remove Any Unnecessary Code
All this code is essential for customization purposes. But as they always say, too much of something isn’t good.
If your website is filled with fluff code, search engines may take more time to crawl it. This is something we don’t want to happen.
Back then, there were talks that search engine optimization was going to be useless soon. However, it turns out that it is here to stay for years to come.
If you want to know how to improve your SEO, then this article is what you need. Concentrate on the tips above and apply them wherever possible.
Don’t feel overwhelmed, though. The beginning may sometimes be challenging, but just get going. Soon, you will be able to land that top spot and become an authority in your niche.
Do you know of other ways to improve the SEO of websites? Share them with us in the comments!