SEO isn’t always the easiest to get your head around. Then, when you finally think you’ve cracked it, the algorithms change and you’re back to square one. However, there are a few small things you can do yourself to improve SEO rankings.
That’s not to say you should throw out your long-term SEO strategy. But, rather, add a few sneaky short-term strategies in there to help boost your search engine rankings. Especially when it’s just a few hours of your time in return. In this article we’re going to show you how to do exactly that; small ways to improve your Google ranking
Side note: It’s a good idea to start using these tips from here on out, whenever you create new content, that way it saves you having to go back and amend at a later date.
So, here it is, 5 quick tips to improve your SEO rankings.
1. Structure Your Content For Readability
Google takes into account many different ranking factors, one in particular, is time on page. This means the amount of time a visitor spends on your webpage. Therefore, the aim of the game is to create compelling and engaging content to make the user wants to read on.
How do you do this? The key is to make your content reader friendly.
For example, you will see in our content we make use of headers, shorter paragraphs, bolded text, italicised text, images, single lines of text and bullet points (not necessarily all in one article).
The strategy behind this is that the text is inviting, and makes you want to read more. Rather than long blocks of uninterrupted text, which can be very off putting. Especially when viewing from a mobile device.
Take a look at how we’ve structured this article so far, it includes:
- H2 and H3 headers.
- Bold and italics to show emphasis or to break up longer paragraphs.
- Bullet points to ensure we stay focused on the important details.
Just a few simple tricks such as the above can help keep visitors on your page longer, as well as assist the reader in establishing very quickly whether the page is relevant to them. In addition to making our content easier to read for visitors, it also improves our readability score online. It indicates to Google that our webpage is relevant, which in turn, can improve SEO rankings.
For example, by using keywords in a title or header, you are telling Google that the page content is relevant to the keyword we are trying to rank for. That being said, keywords should only be used in headers if they read naturally.
Take a look through some of our blogs to get ideas on how you can structure content to be reader friendly.
2. Fix Broken Links
This is something that often gets overlooked but is super important. There’s nothing more frustrating as a user than being faced with broken links that lead to 404 error pages whenever you click on something. This is a big no no for readers and Google. From a users perspective, this only serves as a poor experience and will quickly lead to high bounce rate. For someone who is new to your website or further along the buying journey, this could be the determining factor between purchasing from you or your competitor. Not only that, but it also deems your brand unreliable and knocks your credibility.
From an SEO perspective, 404 pages are going to result in a high bounce rate. This tells Google your page isn’t relevant to the searcher. Therefore, your search engine ranking for the keyword will suffer.
If you’re not adding value to the user (which is indicated by them not sticking around), your credibility diminishes. As a result, Google will choose to display competitor sites over yours.
Take a look at our Simple Guide To Broken Link Building for more detail on how to fix broken links.
3. Include A Meta Description
While your meta description isn’t a direct ranking factor, it does influence how many people click through to your page. This is a ranking factor. You can improve your SEO ranking by having great meta descriptions that entice the user to click on your link over someone else’s.
What is a meta description?
A meta description is the snippet of text below the blue link on the search engine results page. This description summarises what can be found when someone clicks through onto the page.
Ultimately, a meta description is what influences the searcher to click (or not in some instances) on your link. The aim is to make sure the reader knows what they are going to learn if they click on the link, but to leave them intrigued enough to want to click through.
4. Repurpose Old Content and Republish
With so much to cram into our busy lives, the key is to work smarter not harder wherever possible. A great example of this is repurposing old content. If you have old blog posts on your website, you could be updating these regularly instead of writing new content.
Perhaps the post did well a year a go but there have been some industry updates since? Maybe you’ve learned more on the topic and could add more value to your readers? Make the changes then republish it and make it work harder for you. In fact, you don’t even need to create a new post. You can simply change the publish date of the post to the new date of publish – quick and easy!
This is a strategy we use a lot here, especially as we’re in such a fast-evolving industry.
5. Minimise Pop-Up Ads
As a user, we all know there’s nothing quite like the frustration of trying to access information but instead, we’re bombarded with pop-up ads we have to close down first (if we even make it that far). It’s not a great user experience, it’s far better to prioritise the content.
As a matter of fact, most users will exit the site, resulting in a high bounce rate. And as mentioned above, a high bounce rate leads to a poor Google ranking. Once a visitor has a bad experience, it is very unlikely that they will return. Especially with so much competition out there these days.
It is far better to focus on the customer journey and the user experience, the rest will follow naturally. So, focus on quality, easy to read, uninterrupted content that helps build trust between you are your new website visitor. In turn, your time on page will increase, which ultimately increases your chances of conversion.
As promised, these are all quick and easy ways to improve your SEO ranking with just a few short hours of your time. Take them on board and apply the strategies to any new content as well as previous content (maybe while you’re repurposing it), and you’ll soon see an impact on your SEO ranking.