Over 4 million blog posts are published on the internet every single day. If you are unable to optimize your website for search engines, chances are that your content will remain unfound.
You don’t want that. Do you?
Here are the 10 most important SEO tips which will help in boosting your website rankings.
1. Improve your website’s loading speed
A website’s loading speed has become one of the most critical factors in SEO success.
Back in 2010, Google included site speed amongst the important ranking factors.
As per this mind-blowing list of Google’s 200 ranking factors, compiled by Brian Dean, both Google and Bing use a website’s loading speed as a ranking factor.
Even the data from Strangeloop is evident that just one second’s delay in page load time could result in a 7% loss in conversions.
Here are a few steps you may take to improve your site’s speed:
- Use a premium web host like WPEngine or Siteground. Avoid cheap shared web hosting provided by companies like Bluehost or Hostgator.
- Optimize the images on your website. They consume the highest percentage of loading time, though they bring more engagement to a web page. (Explore tip no.6 for more on image optimization)
- Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) service, such as Maxcdn or Cloudflare. A good CDN service can help boost a website’s loading speed, especially when it comes to its global performance.
- Enable caching in the browser. It plays a significant role in terms of the loading speed. Nowadays, when a browser loads any website the first time, it saves images, HTML, CSS, and JS into their temporary storage.
Then they re-use it when the same website gets load again. This reduces requests on a server and results in increased load speed.
Implementation of browser caching can speed up your website. W3 cache or WP Super Cache are few of the good plugins for that purpose.
To learn more on how to make your site load faster, read the following guides:
15 easy ways to speed up your WordPress by Sparring Mind
2. Focus on writing for the readers, not just the search engines
Are you one of those who still think that stuffing keywords in the content would help you rank in Google search results?
You are mistaken!
This approach will not help you with ranking in search engines. In fact, it may result in a penalty from Google.
Also, it will piss your readers off, because they will be smart enough to realize that you wrote it for search engines and not for them.
“Don’t prioritize search engines over the actual humans reading your work. Instead, write content for the user, people who have eyes to read and credit cards to purchase your product.” — Neil Patel
The art of writing compelling content which persuades the readers and ranks well in search engines, simultaneously, is referred to as SEO Copywriting.
Since SEO Copywriting is a very extensive topic, it can not be adequately covered in this short post. I’m sharing with you the best SEO Copywriting guides, which you may access by clicking through the following links:
SEO Copywriting: 17 powerful secrets by Brain Dean at Backlinko
7 SEO Copywriting tips to increase your rankings by Single Grain
7 SEO Copywriting tips to take your copy from zero to hero by Gaurav Kumar at Semrush
Also, download this mind-blowing book on copywriting by CoppyBlogger: How to Create Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines.
3. Write insanely cool and catchy headlines
It’s a well-known fact that 80% of the website visitors read the headline, while only 20% read the entire web copy.
David Ogilvy, one of the greatest marketing minds from the 20th century, said:
“On the average, five times as many people read the headline as read the body copy. When you have written your headline, you have spent eighty cents out of your dollar”.
In an era of shortened attention span, and due to information flood on the internet, standing out from the crowd by writing attention-grabbing headlines is critical for making people visit your site.
According to Glen Allsopp of Viperchill, headlines not only result in a higher CTR (click-through rate), but they can attract hundreds of backlinks to your website.
Of course, you cannot do this by just writing a good headline. You have to follow up on that headline with some amazing content.
Here are a few tips for writing ridiculously catchy headlines:
Use numbers in your headlines:
“Numbers work well in headlines because humans like predictability and dislike uncertainty.” — Courtney Seiter
According to the Conductor, headlines with numbers are 36% more popular.
BuzzSumo analyzed 100 million articles and found that 10 item lists on average received the most social shares with 10,621 social shares.
Use emotional adjectives:
According to Coschedule, posts with emotional value get more shares.
This heart touching post by Jon Morrow at Unstoppable.me got over 80k social media shares and 729 comments.
Here are a few emotional adjectives you may use to pack your headlines with emotions:
Add the “shock factor” in your headlines:
Do this by adding a bold, opinionated or controversial statement in the headline.
Here are a few examples:
“I’m 23 — and I make 730k a year”
“Kim Kardashian just revealed that she’s had a cosmetic surgery”
“This is why Donald Trump will resign soon!”
Practice writing a lot of headlines:
Upworthy’s writing team practices/writes more headline variations than anyone else.
Each post published there has 25 different headlines that are first A/B tested to find the one that will have the most chances for going viral.
According to VentureHarbour, that’s Upwrothy’s secret to reaching over 80 million readers per month.
Ramsay Taplin of Blog Tyrant re-writes his titles 20–40 times before publishing.
You can master the art of writing amazing headlines by reading the following guides:
9 tips for writing great headlines by WordStream
5 easy tricks to write catch headlines by Jeff Goins
10 awesome headlines that drive traffic and attract readers by Jeff Bullas
And don’t forget to download this amazing book- 52 headline hacks by Jon Morrow.
4. Write relevant and effective meta-descriptions
A meta description is a snippet of information, placed just under the link of a search result, that describes the content of a web page to the searcher.
It is the first thing a user sees when Google serves your website in search results.
Here is the meta description of one of my favorite blogs Smart Passive Income.
Here’s another example of a well-crafted meta-description:
Your meta description tells the users, what your site is all about.
Google announced that they don’t take into account meta description or meta keywords for ranking purposes.
Meta descriptions can, however, influence a page’s CTR (click through rate) which certainly impact a page’s ability to rank on Google.
Make sure your meta description is well crafted and unique. A plagiarized meta description could hurt your rankings and result in a penalty from Google.
Read the following guides for a better understanding of meta descriptions:
How to write meta descriptions for SEO (with good and bad examples) by Search Engine Watch
5. Structure your URLs Correctly
A URL (Uniform Resource Locator), also knows as a web address, specifies the location of a resource (like a web page) on the internet.
It also specifies how to retrieve that resource, which is known as the protocol.
The most common protocols are HTTP and HTTPS. Any web user can recognize these.
Here’s what a URL looks like.
If your visitors are unable to properly read or understand your URL, chances are search engines would be confused as well.
Here is an example of how a URL should appear:
It must not appear as something like this:
Just remember that search spiders are only programs and not humans, so they need to be provided with proper and appropriate information.
For more insights on structuring URLs effectively, read these:
15 best SEO practices for structuring URLs by Rand Fishkin
What’s the best URL structure for SEO? by Hostgator
How to create the best URL structure for SEO by Shane Barker
6. Optimize your images for search engines
It’s a famous saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. The history of this saying dates back before the advent of the internet. Despite that, it’s applicable to the internet world.
It’s a proven fact that 65% of the people are visual learners. Visuals not only play an important role in books or power-point lectures but they hold immense importance in the blogging world as well.
BuzzSumo and Okdork analyzed 100 million articles. They found that content having one or more images gets more social shares compared to image-free content.
In order to use images effectively, you need to learn the tactics to optimize them for search engines.
Here, I’m sharing a few of them.
- Reduce the white space around images: Some developers use whitespace for padding. This should not be done. You should crop images to remove any whitespace around the image. You can use CSS to provide padding.
- Reduce the image’s quality to some extent: High-quality images will occupy more file size. Normally, reducing the quality of an image by 10% to 25% will not have any visible impact on image quality. But, it reduces the file size.
- Use image optimization tools: Afew effective image optimization tools are; Adobe Photoshop, JPEG Optimizer, FileOptimizer, and OptiPNG.
For in-depth learning of image optimization, read these guides:
Here’s what you need to know about image optimization for SEO by Search Engine Land
How to do image optimization for SEO by Harsh Agarwal of Shoutmeloud
7. Link to relevant and authoritative websites in your niche
Some bloggers believe that outbound links are bad for SEO. The reasons they give are:
- They take the visitors off your site
- They result in loss of rankings
- They pass all the link juice and a great amount of traffic to your competitors.
Now, you definitely don’t want your visitors to get off your page. Neither you are willing to pass the link juice to your competitors?
You need to change that thinking!
Outbound links help you in many ways. The most important reasons to link out to authoritative websites in your niche are:
- Outbound links tell search engines what your site is all about.
- Linking out tends to be the best method for building relations with the bloggers and influencers in your industry.
Here are a few practices that you should follow while creating outbound links:
- Link to pages that actually add value to the topic under consideration.
- Link to the blogs having a high domain and page authority.
- Link to the authoritative bloggers/influencers in your niche. It will help you in building solid relationships with them.
- Avoid creating too many outbound links unless absolutely deemed necessary. If your aim is to create a resource list or you are writing a guide which demands a higher number of outbound links, e.g., “100 best internet marketing blogs”, or “37 entrepreneurs to follow on Twitter”, then, it will be okay. Otherwise, it could make your site appear like a link-farm, and even result in the wrath of Google.
8. Try to get backlinks from trustworthy and popular websites in your niche
Your search engine traffic is directly related to the number of links you get from other relevant and high authority sites.
Quality backlinks from relevant sites, surely, are tough to get.
Here are a few smart and sure ways to get high-quality backlinks from authoritative sites in your industry;
It’s the method of writing content for other, similar blogs in your industry as a guest blogger.
Guest blogging is not only good for link building purposes, but it will also help you in many ways, like:
- Getting quality traffic to your site
- Increasing domain and page authority of your site
- Building your online influence and establishing yourself as an authority
- Increasing your exposure and brand awareness
Most importantly, it helps in building links to your site. Some blogs allow guest authors to add one or two do-follow links to their blog within the guest post. Usually, they also link to their blog’s homepage via the author’s bio section.
Look for websites in your niche that conduct interviews. Tell them that you would like to participate and what type of knowledge you can contribute.
Most of the sites link back multiple times to a blogger they’ve interviewed on their site.
Here’s the example of an interview conducted a few weeks back on the infamous Smart Passive Income Podcast. Pat Flynn had invited Glen Allsopp to interview him regarding SEO and business growth.
On that very page, Pat linked to three of Glen’s blogs and his Twitter account.
Getting backlinks from a site with domain authority of 66 and half a million visitors each month is a big blessing, even if you are Glen Allsopp. Lol!
Now, it’s not necessary that you get links from such popular websites straight away. You can start by giving interviews to fairly good sites and raise up your game gradually.
It’s the method of helping out the bloggers/influencers in your niche and then reaching them to see if they can do the same for you.
A successful outreach strategy could help you in the following ways:
- It will help you in establishing strong relationships.
- It will help you in building your brand.
- It will help you in gaining more exposure within your industry.
- Most importantly, it will help you in fetching high-quality backlinks.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for conducting an effective blogger outreach campaign:
- For effective outreach, you need to have a game plan. What are you willing to obtain from an outreach campaign? A social media share, a link, a guest post opportunity; or you just need to make new connections and establish solid relationships within your industry.
- Find the people you need to target. If you are a travel blogger, find the authority bloggers and influencers in that particular industry. Create a list of such influencers and decide which channel would you utilize to reach them. It could be Twitter, Facebook or email.
- Get on their radar by doing some favors. You cannot just cold pitch and expect big favors. Instead, do them some favors first. Link to their site, share their content on social media and notify them by leaving a comment on their blog.
- Now, you may ask for some favors. Ask them if you can post as a guest on their blog. Don’t ask them for a link directly. Once you are in their good books, chances are they will happily link to relevant content on your blog, without your zombie-sounding ask.
Broken link building:
Literally, all websites suffer from broken links. They not only result in poor user experience but also make it difficult for search engines to effectively crawl and index websites.
This could be fixed by the broken link building method. It’s an opportunity to build valuable links to your website.
Broken link building is done by:
- Finding broken links on other websites (you can do this using Ahrefs broken link checker);
- Identifying the source they originally referred to;
- Then offering the site (source) a chance to replace their broken link with a link to your relevant content.
9. Focus on internal linking
Underestimating the power of internal linking is pretty common. This link building technique is overlooked by many SEO’s.
An internal link is a hyperlink that points to another page on the same website.
Few benefits of internal linking are:
- Internal linking helps visitors navigate throughout your website.
- It helps to spread the link juice within your site.
- It helps in improving the domain and page authority of your website.
- Internal linking increases your page views and consequently, the average time spent on site by users.
Here’s an ideal sitemap of navigation links and external links for an e-commerce website.
For more on internal linking, read:
The seven commandments of internal linking by Neil Patel
9 powerful SEO benefits of internal linking by SEOPressor
10. Update your website on regular intervals
The importance of regularly updated content is undeniable. Search engines generously reward regularly updated content.
The goal of Google and other search engines is to provide its users with information that best matches their search queries.
For determining the relevance and accuracy of a given page, search engine algorithms take various ranking signals into account.
These ranking signals include the number and types of keywords and the quality and freshness of your content.
That’s why the Pro’s always keep their content updated.
Glenn Allsopp wrote an amazing guide on WordPress SEO in 2010. Since he kept updating this particular post on regular intervals, he still ranks on the 1st page of Google for the highly searched term “Wordpress SEO”.
For the sake of rankings and better user experience, it’s important to update the content on your blog, once or twice a month.
Here’s a recap for 10 Tips to Skyrocket Your Website Rankings:
- Improve your website’s loading speed
- Focus on writing for the readers, not just the search engines
- Write insanely cool and catchy headlines
- Write relevant and effective meta-descriptions
- Structure your URLs correctly
- Optimize your images for search engines
- Link to relevant and authoritative websites in your niche
- Try to get backlinks from trustworthy and popular websites in your niche
- Focus on internal linking
- Update your website on regular intervals
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Thanks for reading!