9 Easy Ways to Improve Your Website SEO (Almost) Instantly!
A comprehensive Search Engine Optimization (SEO) audit takes a lot of time, and for a good reason. SEO auditors must look at hundreds, even thousands, of data points. And that takes time. Once SEO opportunities are identified, programmers must edit your website piece by piece, line by line. There’s no instant tool that does it all quickly.
But if you want to start with a few quick fixes to help you boost SEO while you’re convincing your CEO to increase your budget (and hire someone like Cup O Content) there are a few smart tactics that will help you get started on improving search rankings right now.
1. Make Sure all Your Logo Images are Labeled With Your Company Name
Have you ever searched for your company name on Google and found it DIDN’T rank #1? That can be confusing. Google uses a lot of different tools to rank a site, and unless you know how to optimize these tools, your competitor may rank higher in search engines, even when people search for you by name!
At Cup O Content, we often encounter firms that have plastered their company logos all over their website, but those images don’t include the firm's name. Sometimes they don’t mention a business name in the image’s alt text. And if no one entered your company name in text or code, Google simply can’t find it.
How do you fix this? Start by creating names for every image on your site. You can usually do this in your site’s media library. You can also describe your image, adding your business name using the alt text or alt tag function.
Images aside, Google gives more importance to text in subheads and headlines, so make sure your company name appears regularly. Next, go through the site text and add your company name throughout.
BONUS TIP: If any term appears on your site more than 2%, you may risk getting dinged for keyword stuffing. According to Google;
"’Keyword stuffing’ refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords or numbers in an attempt to manipulate a site's ranking in Google search results. Often these keywords appear in a list or group or out of context (not as natural prose). Filling pages with keywords or numbers results in a negative user experience and can harm your site's ranking. Focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.”
While Google doesn’t share exact parameters for keyword stuffing, most SEO experts agree that it’s wise to avoid letting terms show up in more than 2% of a page’s content.
2. Eliminate Orphan Pages
Search engine crawlers move around the internet to identify and index pages. When a crawler enters a new website, it indexes one page, and then it looks for a link to another page. Think of internal links, the links that lead from one website page to another, as doorways. Crawlers look for these doorways so they can continue to crawl through your site, indexing your content and ranking your page. If your page doesn’t have a doorway, or a link, to another page, the crawler gives up and moves on.
While people can use a navigation bar to move from page to page, that’s not how crawlers work. Instead, they use internal links, so make sure each page has at least one. If a page doesn’t have any internal links (on other pages) pointing to it, it’s called an orphan, and it means that it’s much harder for crawlers to find that page and index it.
3. Add Links to Your Firm’s Social Media Posts
Search engines like inbound links. That means that links on other sites and pages that point to your site will improve your SEO, even if they’re not being used often (or at all.) Some marketers try to game the system and add their website links to link farms. However, an inbound link from these link farms is kind of spammy and not part of a high-integrity digital marketing plan. That doesn’t mean Google won’t index them (because often Google does), but posting on your company’s social media page, and pointing back to your own website, is a more reliable way to increase inbound links.
That means that you’ll need to create branded content for your social media pages, post regularly, and include relevant links back to your site. So if you’re already developing regular posts for your company, this is a slam dunk. (And if you’re not posting regularly to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, and others, why not? We’re in the 2020s, and here in the future, social media is an essential tool for any growing business.)
4. Add or Edit Content Weekly
Search engines want sites to be updated and relevant. They want to send users to robust sites full of current information. That’s why they rank active sites higher than static sites. So, if all other factors are equal, Google will rank a continually updated website higher than a site that is updated once a month.
If you want to increase your search engine ranking, it’s wise to update your site content about once a week. Many sites update products, change the order of information, or add blogs. Whether the blogs are long or short, adding or editing content regularly tells Google your site is active and current, which means it will be ranked higher than sites that are ignored for weeks at a time.
5. Add Images
If you want to add content to your site, add visuals. Online users like to see images, even if the photos aren’t the work of a highly paid photographer. Each time you add an image, make sure you name it, using both a description of the shot and relevant keywords. Then, as you load it onto the site, add alt text, again describing the image and adding keywords. NOTE: Don’t use the same descriptions or keywords repeatedly. You run the risk of keyword stuffing and making the images harder to find in image searches.
6. Add Video
If online users like images, they LOVE video. Adding video isn’t always easy or cheap, but it is powerful. If you have video, add it to your site. If you don’t, add video development to your marketing budget.
7. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
In many business categories, consumers’ mobile usage surpasses their use of desktops. Whether it’s online shopping, category research, or product descriptions, many of your clients, patients, customers, and prospects use their smartphones to find you. That’s why it’s critical to have a mobile-friendly website.
Unfortunately, many web designers are still creating desktop versions (which is easier for designers and their clients) without always keeping mobile in mind. If you’re not sure if your website is mobile-friendly, use this free testing tool from Google.
Key in your company’s URL and see how your mobile site fares. And best of all, if it’s not up to par, Google will give you specific recommendations on how to make your site mobile-friendly.
8. Make Sure Each Page has a Clear Title
Some clients believe that web designers automatically title each page. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Page titles, also called title tags, are another signal to search engines that point to content, but many web designers consider page naming part of SEO and may skip this step.
Search engines also use page titles to display your page in search engine results. See the example below.
9. Tweak Your Subheads
To replicate the reading experience, Google gives more importance to content in page titles (see #8) and subheads. So, using a keyword in a subhead is a more powerful way to get ranked than including a keyword in the text.
Make the most of Google’s ranking process by ensuring that every one of your site’s pages has multiple subheads. But remember what we told you in tip #1. Avoid getting penalized for keyword stuffing by limiting the use of any single keyword in subheads to 2% of the total.
BONUS TIP: At Cup O Content, we try to include a subhead for almost every paragraph and to call out any shift in topics. Not only does this make it easy for users to scan content, but it also increases the number of subheads. Notice that we used ten subheads in this article.
Want Help Figuring out Your SEO Approach?
Some companies have lots of smart digital marketing people who can apply these suggestions quickly. Other companies need the help of experienced digital marketing firms like Cup O Content. If you’re interested in working with us, contact us today, and let’s set up a call to find out if Cup O Content can help you make your business more visible to your best customers.
Ready to learn more about SEO? Check out these articles from Cup O Content.