Search Engine Optimization, or SEO for short, should be a top priority for anyone looking to generate traffic on their website. SEO is the practice of improving a website to increase its visibility when people search for topics related to your website in search engines. If a website is higher up in the rankings on search engines, it will generate more traffic. According to a study by Backlinko, websites with the top result in a Google search receive about 31.7% of all clicks. The percentage decreases as you go farther down in rankings, with the tenth result receiving just over three percent of clicks and less than one percent of users going past the first page. As shown by these statistics, successful SEO can increase the number of traffic tenfold. Here are eight ways you can increase your SEO in 2022.
1. Improve Page Loading Speed
Having a page that loads quickly is critical when it comes to keeping users on your site. According to Google, users are 32% more likely to leave a site if a page load time increases from one to three seconds. And according to vpnMentor, 80% of visitors won’t return to a website that takes longer than three seconds to load. Slower loading times will have a negative impact on your ranking because high bounce rates and level of abandonment will harm your overall traffic.
2. Optimize Images
Images are a great tool for a website. They can emphasize your organization’s values, show off new products, or simply to break up a wall of text. However, just placing images in your website will not ensure an improvement in SEO. Extremely large images can slow down loading time which can hurt your ranking. Using smaller images or compressing existing images can improve your loading speed. Another way to improve SEO is to use alt text. Alt text provides a description of an image to a screen reader for users who are visually impaired. On top of making your website more accessible, alt text is used by search engines as a description of an image.
3. Use Header Tags
Header tags are a great way to provide structure to your content and can break the text into smaller pieces that are more attractive to read. As well as making a page easier to read for users, header tags allow the search engine to better understand the content. According to John Mueller, a Senior Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google says, “When it comes to text on a page, a heading is a really strong signal telling us this part of the page is about this topic.” Through the use of header tags, search engines are able to better understand the content and can rank it more appropriately.
4. Use Links
Including links in your website to match claims will make your site more credible. There are two types of links you can include: outbound links and internal links. Outbound links are links to sources outside of your site. For example, in the introduction paragraph of this blog I cited data collected by Backlinko, and used an outbound link to cite my source. This offers readers the chance to find where data or quotes come from and learn more about the topic. According to a study by Reboot Online, having outbound links will help your rankings. The study also found that more credible or authoritative sources will contribute to better overall SEO. Internal links are links to other pages of the same website. For example, at the bottom of this post, I will provide an internal link to Americaneagle.com’s SEO Analysis Page. Using links to relevant information shows both users and search engines that you provide legitimate information.
5. Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
Browsing the internet on mobile devices is becoming more popular, with 61% of all searches being conducted on mobile devices according to Statista. Even Google itself recognizes this. In November 2016, it announced plans to introduce mobile-first indexing. This means that algorithms for ranking websites will not be based solely on the desktop version, but will shift primarily to ranking based on the mobile version of the website. Mobile-first indexing was implemented in 2019, and suggest the best practices for mobile-first indexing are to make sure that your desktop and mobile websites have the same content and to check visual content and ad placement. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it will be unable to effectively reach a massive portion of internet users and your rankings will hurt as a result.
6. Update Your Content
Search engines also look for content that is fresh. Content that is recently published or updated is favored by Google’s search indexing system. The frequency and magnitude of content updates can impact SEO as well. Content that is frequently updated, and involves large scale changes such as adding or removing sections will have a more significant impact on SEO.
7. Post Blogs
Posting blogs on your website allows you to follow some of the previous tips discussed in this article without changing the core content of your website. By posting blogs, you are able to frequently place new, relevant content on your website, incorporate links, and increase your overall content. Blogging will also provide even more insight into your organization and can generate more traffic if you are able to frequently draw in large groups of readers.
8. Balance of Keywords
The use of keywords has been a well-known SEO method for years. But what some do not know is that an excessive amount of keywords can actually hurt your rankings. Google has actually stated that keyword stuffing, or using an excessive amount of keywords to impact your ranking, will have a negative impact on your site. Instead of keyword stuffing, writing for your audience rather than writing for the search engine is a better option. When keywords or words and phrases related to your keywords are being used, they should be used in a way that naturally flows with your content.
The keys to increasing your SEO are quality, speed, and accessibility. At Americaneagle.com, we provide an in-depth SEO analysis for our clients, including keyword performance, organic traffic trends, and showing how you rank in comparison to your competition.