5 SEO Optimizations You Can’t Afford to Ignore

It is estimated that there are around two trillion search queries performed each year. Though this number may seem daunting, it poses many opportunities to help your website stand out from the crowd. With some fine-tuning of your search engine optimization strategy, you can raise your odds of being successful in search, which will significantly improve your site’s visibility.

There are several search engine ranking factors involved in generating high organic search results. This, in combination with Google’s ever-changing search algorithm, can make SEO difficult to execute effectively. The good news, however, is that there are a few highly valuable optimizations that can have a significant impact on your search rankings. No matter how involved your search engine optimization strategy is, here are 5 SEO optimizations that you can’t afford to ignore.

5 Essential SEO Optimizations

1. Mobile Optimization

Over the years, the popularity of mobile devices has grown significantly. In fact, Search Engine Land suggests, 60% of Google searches are performed on mobile. With that said, if you’re looking to attract search engine users, then you must have a mobile-friendly website for a better user experience.

To check if your website is mobile-friendly, use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test tool. Simply paste your URL into the tool and Google will analyze your site and determine whether or not it is mobile-friendly. If your website fails the test, the tool will provide you with some suggestions to help you improve your site for mobile search visitors.

The best solution for mobile optimization is implementing a mobile-responsive theme. This allows your website to automatically adjust to any screen where it is viewed. WordPress offers hundreds of responsive themes that you can use for your website, many of which are free. You can view some high-performing themes here.

2. High-Quality Content

In the past, you could write a short piece of content, stuff it with a bunch of keywords, and get it to rank. But, a lot has changed since then.

Today, your content will have the greatest chance to rank high in search engine rankings when it has enough details about the topic you’re writing about. In other words, you must help Google understand the context of your content. The best way to do this is with consistency and on-page optimization.

Here are a few SEO Best Practices for content:

  • Including H1, H2 and H3 headers
  • Using ALT Text on images
  • Incorporating internal and external hyperlinks
  • Writing a descriptive title and meta description
  • Incorporating long-tail keywords into the text of the relevant content
  • Making sure your web pages have at least 300 words of content so they can be crawled

3. Page Speed

One major ranking factor for website pages is speed. While page speed is essential for user experience, it’s even more so to web crawlers, who won’t waste their time attempting to crawl a page that takes too long to load. The slower your pages are to load, the less likely they are to be indexed by Google.

Hundreds of factors can have an impact on your page speed. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights quickly analyze the content of a web page, then generate suggestions to help improve your page speed. For other optimization ideas to help increase your page speed, check out this video on website page speed.

4. High-Quality Backlinks

Simply put, links are a signal to Google that your website is a quality resource, worthy of citation. In turn, sites with more backlinks tend to earn higher search rankings.

It’s important to note that not all links are created equal. Some hold more value to your site than others. For example, a link from an authoritative website like Forbes will have a greater impact on your rankings than a link from a small or newly built site that lacks authority. With that said, you should only focus on earning links from websites that have a high domain authority and a significant amount of traffic. Tools like SEMRush will help you easily identify these sites.

5. SEO-Friendly URL Structure

While URLs are considered a basic element of SEO, they are highly important to your website’s overall success, both from Google’s and a user’s point of view. Complex URL strings make it hard for users to share your content and can also frustrate crawlers.

According to Moz, a well-crafted URL provides both humans and search engines an easy-to-understand indication of what the destination page will be about. Check out this graphic to see the proper anatomy of a URL:

Anatomy-of-a-URL-cheat-sheet_170316_122433-1

A Strong SEO Strategy

No matter your industry, the success of today’s businesses relies on their ability to be found online. Implementing a strong, quality SEO strategy is not only beneficial to a brand and its marketing efforts, but it is critical to its web presence, especially within competitive markets. Including the 5 SEO optimizations highlighted in your SEO strategy are a sure way to improve your rankings.

Looking to improve your SEO strategy? Contact SMA Marketing today. As SEO industry experts, we have the skills and knowledge to drive the right organic search traffic to your website. Check out our On-Page SEO Guide where we detail ethical and effective SEO best practices. Click below to download our FREE On-Page SEO Guide!

On-Page SEO Guide

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in July 2019 and has been updated for accuracy and completeness.

Amanda brings a passion for results to her SEO Manager role, leading our forward-thinking strategies to improve organic search visibility.

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