If you have any kind of business, whether an online business or a local operation, it is important to bring as much web traffic to your site as possible in order to attract customers. Ranking highly on Google is the most important thing you can do to bring more visitors to your site.
In order to achieve this you need to improve the SEO of your site – see our top 11 technical SEO tips to help you do just that!
1. Check Your Site Speed
Page load speed is one of the top factors Google looks at in determining how pages rank on its SERPs (search engine results pages). Google penalises sites with slow load speeds because these sites have a much higher bounce rate. Additionally, slow load speeds significantly damages user experience (UX) for your visitors. Test your site’s speed using one of the online tools available: GTmetrix is a good, free option.
2. Use Internal Links
Using internal links for SEO is a highly effective and often overlooked strategy for improving search engine rankings. Internal links are essentially any link on your site which links to another page on your own site. For example, in a blog post you may link to a previous post on a related topic. These are important for SEO because they help search engine “crawlers” examine your site, which in turn improves your site’s SEO and helps you rank more highly on Google.
3. Undertake a Site Audit
There are many technical factors which impact your rankings on Google. It is important to know how your site is performing when it comes to these aspects, and address any problem spots in order to boost your Google rankings. You can use tools such as Google’s own Search Console to conduct a site audit, which will measure search traffic, how easy it is for Google to “crawl” or examine your site for ranking purposes, and other factors impacting SEO. Alternatively, you may consider consulting with a search engine optimisation company to advise you on your site’s weaknesses and how to improve them.
4. Citations and References
The number of citations and references, that is links to sources of information you quote or other relevant external, is another factor which plays a big role in your Google rankings. Having links to reputable, authoritative external sites indicates to Google that your site contains well researched and reliable information, thus improving your Google rankings. Citations are particularly important for local ranking, in making sure that your business comes up in searches related to your business and your local location.
5. Put Keywords in the Key Places
You are probably already aware that keywords are very important for SEO. Ultimately, ranking for Google is about demonstrating to the search engine that your page is relevant to the search. One of the main ways Google determines relevance is through keywords relating to the search.
However, using keywords for SEO is not simply a case of using the right keywords, although this is part of the picture. It is equally important to put them in the right place. The most important parts of your webpage or blog post which Google examines for keywords are:
- Post title
- SEO title (the title as it appears on the SERP)
- Alt-text on images
When integrating keywords, make sure you place them in these key spots.
6. Optimise Your Permalink Structure
The permalink, or URL, of each of your pages and posts is critical for SEO. As mentioned, the permalink is one of the places which Google looks first when searching for relevant keywords, so you need to make sure it is structured in a key-word friendly way. You want to avoid any URLs which only have numbers or codes (for example www.site.com/14689392) or contain the entire post title (www.site.com/this-article-title-contains-many-words-and-is-too-long-for-Google-to-read-effectively) as this will confuse Google with too many irrelevant words. A short, key word-optimised permalink is best, something like: www.site.com/best-url-keywords.
7. Build Backlinks
Another great way to improve you site’s Google ranking is through building links from other sites. The number of links pointing to your site from other sites on the web tells Google that your site is reputable and authoritative, making Google more likely to rank it highly on SERPs. Furthermore, Google looks at the quality of these links: that is, whether they come from reputable, well known sites such as major publications or leading blogs in your industry.
8. Reverse Engineer Keywords From Your Competitor’s Sites
One trick for working out which keywords are the most effective is to look to your best performing competitors. By identifying the sites which are ranking most highly for searches relevant to your niche, and reverse engineering the keywords they are ranking for, you can find the best keywords relevant to your customers. You can find out what keywords sites are ranking for on Google by using tools such as Ahrefs.
9. Set Up a Site Map
Site maps are another aspect which can make it easy for Google’s bots to crawl your site, thus improving your SEO. Having a site map somewhere on your site means the crawl bots will be able to navigate it more quickly and easily. By making it easier for Google to crawl you site you are helping them to find keywords and other information which shows them your site is relevant to searches, making it more likely for them to rank your site highly.
10. Optimise Your Site Theme
If your site is one of the majority on the web which is run on WordPress, you should look at your theme in case it is damaging your Google rankings. Certain WordPress themes are better for SEO than others, because of the way themes affect relevant factors such as page load speed. Do some research and consider changing your theme to one of the more SEO-friendly WordPress themes.
11. Assess Your Site Performance Over Time
Looking at how your site has performed on Google rankings over a period of time will let you analyse what changes you have made to your site and whether these improved or harmed your site’s ranking. You can then use this information to do more of the things which worked, and fix the things which didn’t. There are a few online tools around, such as SEMRush which will audit your site and provide historical data of SEO performance over time.
By understanding how search engines work you can implement effective SEO techniques and improve your site’s ranking on Google. This in turn will bring you more site traffic, more customers and ultimately grow your business!