Your site’s ranking is important. That goes without saying. It’s not the be-all and end-all, but it’s definitely a top concern for businesses that want customers to find them.
So, let’s say you’ve already worked hard to fill your site with informative, relevant content and captivating images. It’s frustrating to discover that this isn’t quite enough to get your site ranking. Are there any other simple tweaks or adjustments you can make to improve your site’s ranking?
In this post, we’ll take a look at five quick and easy ways you can improve your site’s ranking today.
1. Make sure your site loads quickly.
It might surprise you to learn that load speed has a significant influence on ranking.
Indeed: Google and other search engines actually factor your webpage’s load speed into your overall ranking.
Why? Because when a page loads quickly, the user experience is more pleasant. Therefore, the user is more likely to stay on your page, which increases dwell time and potentially the number of pages they visit on your site. This signals to Google that your site is worthwhile.
On the other hand, if your page is loading too slowly, the user is far more likely to get frustrated and move on to another site. This increases bounce rate, decreases dwell time, and stops the user from browsing other pages on your site. All of these are bad news for your ranking.
Use Google’s own PageSpeed Insights to see how efficiently your webpage loads. If your pages aren’t loading quickly enough, reduce the size of your images. This makes a huge difference. The best part? It’s super simple to do.
2. Don’t overwhelm users with big chunks of text.
If you have a lot of written content on your page, break it up into smaller paragraphs with subheadings.
When users see a giant wall of text, they get overwhelmed. In turn, they often scan the page quickly before they move on to another page or a different site altogether.
But with catchy subheadings that break up your text, you can draw the user in and capture their attention more immediately. At the very least, the user will read over your subheadings and skim the content under each one. Even if they don’t read your content word for word (and very few will), they’ll at least stay on your page for substantially more time. And, as we explained above, a higher dwell time will improve your site’s ranking.
Create appropriate subheadings by using Heading 1 (H1) and Heading 2 (H2) tags. This helps your page appeal to search engines, as well. For SEO best practice, add at least one target keyword to each subheading.
3. Feel free to link to other pages on your site.
Do you have multiple pages of useful content on your site? Use them to your advantage! Internal links are a great way to boost your SEO value and improve your site’s ranking.
If there’s a logical way to link one page to another—i.e., the content is related with similar keywords or they offer supplemental information—then you should absolutely do so. Not only does this provide information to the user and keep them on your site, but it signals to search engines that your site contains valuable content. That’s a surefire way to ramp up your ranking!
Give your site content a quick read and determine if you can make any connections between pages. Once you’ve decided which pages to link to each other, the rest of the work is a breeze.
4. Keep your outbound links in good shape.
When you want to improve your site’s ranking, outbound links are just as valuable as internal ones. But you need to make sure you’re following best practices if you want them to give you that extra SEO oomph.
One common mistake is leaving broken or dead links up on your site. Most websites are constantly updating, so it’s not unusual for a specific webpage to be taken down or for its URL to change entirely. However, it’s your job to make sure your site doesn’t link to nonexistent pages. Otherwise, users will get frustrated when they’re led to 404 pages, while search engines won’t trust you as a reliable site.
If your site doesn’t contain all that many links, you can check them manually by sitting down and clicking on each individual one. However, if your site has lots of outbound links, it’s much more efficient to use one of the countless, free link-checker tools online.
5. Add a “Contact Us” page.
You already know search engines want to see that your site is trustworthy. That’s why you went through all the trouble of writing informative, relevant content in the first place. But did you know there’s a super-quick way to add legitimacy and trustworthiness to your site?
With a “Contact Us” page or something similar (like an “About Us” page), you’ll prove your authenticity by including verifiable NAP (name/address/phone number) information. NAP data is specifically for the search engines. But this page will also make users feel more comfortable with you, knowing you exist in the real world.
Bonus points if you add a contact form so users can e-mail you directly!
Hopefully, you already know your own contact information. That should make this a very quick project.
Consider user experience along with search engine preferences.
You might have noticed that all of our tips to improve your site’s ranking combine two things: users and search engines. Your ranking depends heavily on appealing to both.
This is because Google and other search engines are generally aiming to make user experience a ranking factor. That’s why Google favors mobile-friendly sites and will soon start docking sites that have pop-ups, for example. Simply put, Google’s long-term mission is to improve user experience, so they penalize sites that don’t cater to it.
So if you want to improve your site’s ranking, you must start by improving your site’s user experience.
Note: This is not a comprehensive guide to SEO or site rankings. These are just a few easy and quick things you can do to improve your site’s ranking.