How to Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

In competing with countless other sites on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP), getting yours to the top of the list is crucial if you want to be seen.  Search engine optimization is an effective tool to organically promote your website and raise to the top of the page. Most users won’t venture far past the first handful of results provided by Google’s intricate ranking algorithm, so it’s vital that top marketers crack the code and use those algorithmic keys to your advantage. Below, Traktek Partners– a Boston based travel marketing agency has outlined a list of tips and tricks deemed essential in the process of improving your search engine ranking. By following along with these simple recommendations, you can increase your SEO so that your website will move higher up on the first page of Google results.

Optimize for Mobile
We’ll start with one of the most influential factors that will either make or break your SEO ranking; mobile compatibility. As smart phones have become increasingly popular, Google has penalized websites that do not cater toward mobile devices. This isn’t meant to threaten your business, but instead ensure that your website is accessible via any device and tablet.

According to Statista, a statistics and studies portal, 56% of all search clicks are made on mobile devices. Optimizing your site not only leads to an improved Google ranking score, but also improved customer satisfaction and a much wider audience reach.

Backlink
Nothing indicates a quality website quite like a vote of confidence from external sources. Backlinking does just that; essentially, outside websites are including direct links from their content to yours, indicating to their viewers that they trust and agree with the material that you are promoting.

Linking, however, is a two-way street, so be sure to inform your viewers of quality websites using outward descriptive links. Both outward and inward links will bump up top marketer’s site’s legitimacy in the eyes of the SERP ranking algorithm. 

Digital marketers should always be sure to double-check to which sites links connect to. Look out for illegitimate websites promoting your website, as Google will easily detect and penalize companies trying to inflate their backlinking networks. This is known as the Google Penguin update, where Google rewards high-quality websites and punishes websites who engage in keyword stuffing and links from low-quality, spam, or unrelated websites. Initially rolled out in 2012, the Penguin update has since become a part of Google’s core algorithm. 

Post Relevant Content
Filling your site with interesting, relevant content that the user wants to see can help in countless ways. First, it will improve key metrics such as time on site and number of pages viewed. Your high-quality content will draw in more traffic and encourage those new viewers to stay a little while.

One way to guarantee user-relevant content is by using popular keywords and phrases. By diving into the mind of your target market, you can understand which keywords and terms coincide with their searching habits. By capitalizing on those commonly searched words and embedding them into your content, you help your chances of appearing near the top of relevant search result pages.

If you’re unsure of which keywords to use, turn to Google’s AdWords planner for advice and recommendations on the most effective key term strategies. Another tip is don’t try to be everything to everyone and focus on 5-10 keywords. 

Improve Loading Speed
Modern consumers have very little patience when it comes to slow internet. When somebody clicks on your webpage, the last thing they want to do is wait for the content to load. Within a matter of seconds, they’ll be looking elsewhere.

Page loading speed is another factor directly taken into account by Google’s web-ranking algorithm, creating a standard for nearly instantaneous population times. In fact, Google announced in July 2018 that page speed will be a ranking factor for mobile searches (Google). This update, named the “Speed Update” makes it critical to make your sites mobile friendly, as mobile users tend to close a slow-loading tab. In addition, the long waiting times will decimate your conversion rates and increase bounce rates as your former potential customers exit before even reaching the home page. 

Luckily, there are multiple ways to improve your loading speed. Enabling browser caching, optimizing visual media sizes, and reducing plug-in usage are just a few of the many techniques that can effectively improve your websites performance. Plenty more techniques and tips exist, as well as a few helpful websites that will test and rate your website’s speed.

Readability is Key
Regardless of your audience’s degree of education, coercing them to possess a dictionary in-hand as they attempt to unravel overly intricate diction will only lead to frustration.

See? Confusing sentences lead to headaches. Simplicity is vital. 

When determining webpage rankings, Google takes into account the readability of the content, ensuring that the language and format aren’t too difficult to comprehend. Test the readability of your content by entering your site link and finding out your score using a variety of tools available. If you’re using a Wordpress site, there’s a variety of plugins so that you can easily see your readability score, such as Yoast SEO. There are also a variety of modules to use if you’re working on a Drupal built site to optimize your SEO such as Metatag, Pathauto, Redirect and SEO Checklist.   

Meta Tags

An overarching term that describes an array of descriptive tags to ease and improve the visitors experience are Meta tags. There is a variety of meta tags – some of the most well-known being title tag, meta description, alt text, and header tag. Meta tags are important because they provide more details about your site to both visitors and search engines. However, there are also some that are not relevant to SEO. 

The most important type of Meta tag for SEO is the Title Tag, which is typically one of the first things that readers notice in the SERPs.  Ideally, this is a clear and concise description of the title and contents of the given page, headlining each search engine result in blue text. As simple as they may seem, an effective, clear title containing 50-60 characters leave a strong first impression and drive traffic to your page. This is also what is pulled out to show up as anchor text and a title in social shares.

Another important meta tag for SEO is the Meta Description, which is the snippet that displays underneath your Title Tag. It’s usually the deciding factor that determines whether a reader will click on your page, so optimizing it is important. We recommend that Meta descriptions should be between 50-160 characters. 

Alt text is another meta tag that is important for SEO purposes as well as accessibility compliance, which further influences search engine results. This is what will appear if an image doesn’t load – or will be read out by a screen reader. Alt text also informs search engines what the image represents. 

Heading tags are another crucial element to optimizing your SEO. The <h1> tag is typically the main title of your document, the <h2> are the main points, and the <h3> are the sub-points following. Headings are important because they let search engines and website users know what the page is about. For this reason, it’s imperative to include your targeted keyword you are focusing on in your page’s <h1>.  The <h2> should contain similar words and well as the <h3>. 

These are just a couple of the many forms of Meta tags. You can download Screaming Frog – which is a program on your desktop that will crawl your website and show improvements you can make on your website to increase your SEO – such as broken links or images, meta descriptions incorrect lengths, or missing alt text. 

These tips are just an essential few of the many ways that you can improve your search engine ranking. To place yourself among the top few spots on the SERP is a difficult task, but one that can be attained by regularly maintaining and updating your website. Traktek Partners, a Boston website design and digital travel marketing agency, can provide your business with the techniques you need to optimize your SEO efforts. Please contact us today at 617-855-5148 or by emailing info@traktekpartners.com