Ways to Fix Your SEO & Boost Your Site’s ranking On Search Engines
Did you know that 81% of consumers conduct online searches before buying a product? So, it’s more than likely that the people landing on your website organically arrive there after exploring your market via an online search. Maybe you’re new to search engine optimization (SEO) or maybe you’ve been implementing key SEO initiatives for a while now. If your site isn’t seeing the rankings and traffic you want, it might be because your SEO strategies are failing you.
But that doesn’t mean your brand is doomed. You simply need to know how to improve your SEO marketing plans and provide users with the high-value content that they – and Google – are looking for.
75% of people never scroll past page one of search results.
That means that your business needs to make SEO a priority. Not only that — your brand needs to make correct SEO initiatives a priority. You know this. But what you may not know is that all SEO strategies are not created equally.
Unlike hiring a plumber to fix your sink, which is usually a simple and understood process, SEO entails a wide range of services that are often not well understood by decision-makers. This creates an environment where many vendors are better at selling SEO than actually doing it effectively – or not really doing anything at all. Worst case scenario, you may end up hurting your rankings rather than helping them.
Black Hat SEO Techniques Harm Your Website Rankings. Black hat SEO refers to the practice of trying to game the search engine algorithms by over-optimizing your website, content, and link building tactics to create an advantage on your competitors without building the natural site authority to rank for your target keywords.
Brands that conduct black hat SEO follow and often manipulate search engine guidelines and algorithms without taking into consideration the human aspect of the online experience. Thus, websites that utilize black hat SEO techniques are not helpful for users and are eventually penalized with a lower search engine ranking. Engaging in black hat SEO tactics is unethical, does not follow search engine optimization best practices, and exists solely for the purpose of cheating your way to the top in a short amount of time rather than running an SEO campaign that builds a real relationship with Google and other search engines.
As such, utilizing black hat techniques can get your site banned by major search engine players. So, it’s best to stay away from the following tactics:
· Content automation
· Building links with WordPress themes, widgets, etc.
· Keyword stuffing
· Hidden text and links
· Expired domain names
· Link schemes/link manipulation
· Duplicate content
Improve Your Website Rankings With White Hat SEO
Instead, businesses can use white hat SEO techniques -- or “search engine-approved” SEO best practices -- to rank higher on search engines.
True, organic SEO strategies are designed to promote a website’s content and authority in a natural way. By doing this, user experience is prioritized above search engine algorithms, which ironically improves rankings more efficiently.
Some white hat search engine optimization strategies to implement include:
· Creating a mobile-friendly website
· Improving UX
· Link building from reliable, relevant websites
· Accurate keyword research
· Optimized metadata
· Pinpointing content that already ranks well, adding to it and promoting it
Because intent is already established through the user’s search query, the quality of leads from organic SEO initiatives is often better than through other marketing campaigns and strategies. Leads from search engines have a 14.6% close rate compared to other outbound leads which have less than a 2% close rate.
If you aren’t getting the organic traffic, leads and sales you’d like to be getting, it’s time to take a closer look at your strategy and make the appropriate changes.
You Aren’t Conducting Effective Keyword Research
You can’t just pick a keyword out of thin air and decide to start optimizing for it. Brands need to conduct strategic research to ensure the phrases they optimize their website for are keywords that their consumers actually search for, and that they represent a high level of intent to purchase your products or services.
Where Your Brand Went Wrong - For starters, you just guessed what keywords to use. Other ways improper keywords research can fail you include:
· Not using reliable keyword research tools
· Blindly following your competitors without conducting your own proper research
· Using keywords that are not achievable (aka, they have a high keyword difficulty and many sites are competing to rank for it)
· Optimizing for keywords with a low search volume (aka not enough people are searching for them)
· Using keywords that aren't relevant to your brand or audience
· Not including the keywords you’re trying to rank effectively in your content marketing strategy
How Your Brand Can Fix This - In order to ensure you’re hitting the mark, you need to:
· Use proper tools like to identify the right keywords
· Use those tools to determine approximately how often you should include those keywords
· Make sure you include keywords in metadata, titles and headlines -- and front load them whenever possible.
· Prioritize the user experience and keywords that make sense to the reader first and foremost.
Some businesses are not even aware that there is data available to research exactly which keywords their customers are searching for, how often they are searching for them, and how difficult they will be to rank your website for them. Make sure you take advantage of this opportunity!
Your Website Isn’t Built To Convert
Google doesn’t just care about your content. It cares about how your website functions. One important element that really factors into your search engine ranking is site speed – and this is becoming more of a factor every year. Bounce rates increase by 12% for every second it takes your website to load.
If it takes longer than two seconds for your website to load, you’ll likely see bounce rates on average of 50% higher. A fast website loading time also signifies a great UX design, which is a major green flag for search engines.
Other important user experience indicators include 404 pages and broken links. If your website has a bunch of links that lead to non-existent pages, your rankings will suffer.
Where Your Brand Went Wrong - Your site speed can take a major hit due to the platform it lives on.
Some platforms like Wix, WordPress and Drupal are great platforms — but if you don’t make the necessary updates, your site speed will take a hit.
Caching could also be slowing down your site. Caching is an important aspect of a website because it stores small amounts of memory which leads to quicker load speeds.
Similarly, an unreliable or unsecured server can compromise your design and lead to decreased loading speeds. For example:
· Your code and web development might need improvements
· Your business could include browser caching
These slight errors can drastically hold your website back and lead to slow load times.
Your Images Are Slowing Down Your Site
Like we’ve stated, site speed is important. But your images could also be having a negative impact on your loading times.
Where Your Brand Went Wrong - When images are too large, they can obliterate screens and create a poor user experience.
Additionally, large images can take a long time to load. 39% of users will stop engaging with a design — on a desktop and on mobile — if the images take too long to load. Big images make your design look sloppy and disorganized.
Large images and slow loading times also ruin mobile browsing sessions. This is bad for online experiences and rankings -- especially because Google is placing a higher emphasis on mobile platforms and SEO.
How Your Brand Can Fix It - Images can be fixed by using tools like Gimp, Photoshop and others. Wordpress users can implement resizing plugins that do a lot of the optimization heavy lifting for you. But regardless, you can easily find tools that compress image file size without a noticeable difference to the naked eye.
This ensures the site loads quickly but the image looks the same. -It’s also important for your brand to use JPG or JPEG — not PNG.
JPEG files can be compressed smaller without any noticeable differences and therefore help the website load faster. Also, aim for under 500 kb when it comes to image size.
Following these best practices will ensure that your image isn’t too big and doesn’t have a negative impact on how your site loads.
You Aren’t Optimizing Your Website For Mobile
57% of people won’t recommend a site that doesn’t have a mobile-friendly design. If people are quickly bouncing from your mobile site, then you’re showing Google that your site isn’t worth being ranked.
In recent years, Google has moved to a mobile-first indexing approach. So if your site isn’t mobile-friendly, your chances at ranking for your target keywords drop significantly
Where Your Brand Went Wrong - The biggest problem your brand can encounter is that your design just isn’t responsive, meaning it only functions optimally on desktop and desktop alone. Starting in 2019, over 80% of global internet usage will be on mobile.
A few reasons for a lacking mobile design are as follows:
· You didn't create a mobile website at the same time as your desktop site
· You used the wrong coding language
· You block images on mobile
· Loading speeds are too slow
· Images are too big
How Your Brand Can Fix This - You can fix your mobile SEO strategy by simply investing more time and energy into your mobile design. To create a mobile-friendly platform:
· Ensure the content and imagery loads properly and quickly.
· Make sure the font sizes are readable.
· Make CTAs clear and clickable.
· Use proper image sizing and format.
· Keep testing your design for all screen sizes
Following these steps will ensure your website ranks well and engages mobile users.
You Forgot To Optimize Page Titles, H2s And Metadata
Metadata, headlines and titles all have a place in the overall Google ranking algorithm. Page titles, meta descriptions, and page heading tags are what search engines read first when they index your site. They are crucial because they help Google understand what your page is about, which helps them accurately rank it. A title is the phrasing you can see when you roll over the title tab on a website. This is the information Google analyzes and uses to populate a search page. An H (heading) tag is the line of code that distinguishes a line of text as important and bolded in your website. It gives a piece of content structure and clarity for both users and search engines. A meta description is the block of content that search engines use to understand the content on your page. This is the little block of text that sits under the homepage title on a search page.
Where Your Brand Went Wrong - If you aren't using any keywords in these areas -- or neglecting them completely -- your page won’t rank well (or at all). Conversely, stuffing too many keywords into H1s, H2s and H3s can look like spam.
How Your Brand Can Fix It
· Make sure your titles, tags and descriptions are the correct lengths.
· Front load your keywords whenever possible.
· Do keyword research to take advantage of relevant terms.
Your Images Aren’t Optimized For Search
It’s important that you include imagery -- including pictures, illustrations and video -- on your website. However, if they aren’t optimized, Google won’t notice them and they won’t positively impact your SEO rankings.
Where Your Brand Went Wrong - Pictures and video also help to lead consumers on a journey and help to condense important information, which increases conversions.
Images alone earn 3% of all Google clicks!
However, these images need certain metadata to be effective, including:
· Alt image tags
· Alt image titles
· Image captions (when appropriate)
If you forget alt image titles and tags, Google will have a harder time understanding your page. And if Google can’t understand your page, these images won’t help your page populate a Google search result or improve traditional search rankings.
How Your Brand Can Fix This - Because Google reads alt image titles and alt image tags, including them will automatically improve your content and rankings. In alt image titles and tags, include appropriate and relevant SEO keywords. Alt image tags should also describe the image -- which also helps general website accessibility.