SEO has come far since the early aughts. For Google, it’s still evolving to this day, with hundreds of changes to the algorithms being estimated per year. That’s one of the reasons why it’s a little more difficult to game the system and get your site to the top of the rankings. There are countless metrics now, and the rankings move along with each of them.
Today, we’ll bring you five ways that you can adjust your website’s design and content to improve your Google ranking and your SEO as a whole.
Before you make changes, you have to know your website’s current standing in the Google algorithms. Luckily, if you connect your Search Console to Google Analytics, you can get a comprehensive report of the stats for your website. This includes the phrases you rank for, how highly you rate for them, and how often you get page visits through those phrases.
You can use this to see what does or doesn’t need improvement, but you also can use it for more than that. You can use your analytics to find out ways the people are finding your business. You may be surprised by some of them and you may even discover a new audience you hadn’t considered before.
Keywords are a divisive subject in digital marketing. While they’re no longer the golden child forced into every nook and cranny of a site’s design, they can still be very helpful when it comes to SEO. The goal now is to make them more conversational, both for the ease of reading and to work with Google’s semantic searching.
Generally, keywords are drawn into Question Mark phrases, and Dollar Sign phrases. Question Marks come from users searching a problem without a clear solution or answer in mind, while Dollar Signs are possible solutions that a user is looking to pursue.
Keywords still have a place in your content — it’s just a matter of placement over frequency now.
You can rework the content on your website once you’ve taken a look at your analytics. Maybe there’s a phrase that you think is important that isn’t ranked as highly as you’d like. It’s worth trying to emphasize the phrase in your copy or headings, as long as it doesn’t sacrifice readability.
When it comes to the page itself, it might be good to note that longer bodies of text actually tend to be placed higher in Google rankings. For blogs especially, it’s been estimated that the ideal length for SEO optimization is around 1,500 words. Of course, that won’t be possible for you to do every time.
Don’t force words that aren’t there. Write in a way that feels natural and include your keyphrase as often as you can, without letting it become glaringly obvious.
It’s undeniable — if your website is a pain to go through, your search rankings are bound to drop accordingly. So if you haven’t done so already, consider the usability of your website on both desktop and mobile platforms.
And there’s more than that. Google is starting to implement page speed calculations into their mobile search ranks. This means that if your website slogs along on your smartphone, weighed down with photos and other non-necessities, it’s definitely time for some spring cleaning.
Go through your site like a patron would. And remember: Usability is the overarching goal.
Search engines love relevancy. It’s one of their biggest indicators of a site’s ranking, so even after you follow everything else, you’ll still want to check in regularly to let Google know you’re there. Try setting a schedule, even if it’s just every month or so, to go in and update where it’s needed.
There’s a lot more to think about, and your plan will change, depending on your business and your goals. Whatever you do, if you put in the time, care, and effort, you’ll create a better website for your business and the people who flock to it.