While most of us understand how important SEO is for our website, that doesn’t mean we don’t sometimes forget to prioritise certain techniques. Although it’s important to focus on keyword research, which can make a huge difference to your ranking, there are also many other factors at play.
If you are not already applying all five of these easy SEO tips, then you could be missing out on a lot of traffic.
1. Optimise your website speed for mobile and desktop use
You’ve done all of the hard work and managed to get a potential reader on your site ready to enjoy your latest article, only for them to be met with a blank page and a spinning cursor.
If they’re extremely motivated to read your post instead of the influx of others available on Google, then they may wait for a couple of seconds.
Any longer, and you can guarantee they’ll be looking for something else, something faster.
Not only have you lost a reader or potential customer, but you’ve damaged your SEO by increasing your bounce back rate. Not good.
To make matters worse, Google will view your slow website as a red flag and penalise you for it.
Don’t let this happen to you! Prioritize loading speed before any other decision you make on your website. If it’s going to slow it down then it’s not worth it. Because nobody will see your beautiful theme, videos and images if they’ve clicked off your website before it’s even loaded.
Google claims that over 50% of people are now searching with their mobile phones. That means it’s no longer good enough for your site to only load fast on desktop. Make sure that you’ve optimised it for mobile loading as well.
2. Get backlinks from your images
If you create unique images for your blog posts from original photos to commissioned illustrations or informative infographics, then there’s a good chance people are sharing them in their own posts.
It takes time to create high-quality visuals to complement your articles, and many people will save time by sharing somebody else’s. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In fact, I would recommend making your visuals as easily shareable as possible and actually encourage others to use them.
Just make sure that anyone using your work is linking it back to you. That means the more people that share, the more backlinks you’ll receive which is great news for SEO.
Chances are, if someone’s enjoying your artwork on another site then they’ll also enjoy yours, which makes this the perfect place for you to backlink.
Next time somebody asks to share your work make sure to tell them that they can, as long as they backlink to the original page where you posted it. You can also leave these instructions on your page and anywhere else you share them, such as your social media accounts.
3. Keep your content fresh and up to date
Clicking publish on your latest post is a great feeling, and it’s tempting to see this as the end of your work. However, one of my top SEO tips is to regularly check back on all of your latest articles. Keep a spreadsheet to make sure you’re regularly refurbishing your pages.
This doesn’t mean you need to do a complete rewrite every month. Just check that at the very least all of your information is up to date and relevant.
This also helps Google to see that you’re still there, still posting on and improving your website and that the content is still relevant and up to date.
4. Reduce your bounce back rate
I mentioned bounce back rate above, but I can’t tell you how important this is to consider if you want to rank highly.
Think of it this way. You find a shop that looked perfectly appealing from the outside and sold exactly what you were looking for. However, if inside it was falling apart and confusing to find what you needed, then you would most likely step straight back outside and find a different shop. Right?
Don’t give that exact same experience to people clicking onto your website. They have tens if not hundreds or thousands of other articles or websites to choose from at the click of a button, so don’t give anybody a reason to click away.
This will lose you the reader and Google will take it as an indicator that people don’t find your site valuable. Try the following methods to keep people on your site:
- Get clear on your search intent before you even begin writing and then make sure this is one of the first things they see.
- Make sure the information and website is visually pleasing and enjoyable to consume.
- Avoid clickbait titles at all costs. Outlandish claims may get people clicking your article but it won’t take long for them to realise they’ve been over-promised and quickly leave feeling annoyed.
5. Write for your readers, not for Google
You may have heard this before, but it’s the most important SEO tip of all.
By all means, follow Google’s advice. Keep up to date with the latest trends and hacks, including all of the above, but whatever you’re publishing, it has to be enjoyable for real humans above all else.
Algorithms may decide where to place you, but it’s real people that will read and enjoy your work. It’s them who will decide whether to tune in again or share it with a friend. They should always be your main focus.
I think we’ve all been guilty of focusing so much on SEO that we’ve lost track of the original purpose of a post. Tried to jam in so many keywords and links that we’ve spoilt a sentence altogether.
My best tip for this is to simply ask yourself before publishing anything on your site “Is this something I would like to read?”.
If the answer is no, then go back to the drawing board. Write first, optimise second. If people don’t enjoy your writing, Google won’t either.
I hope these handy SEO tricks can help you to increase your rankings and get more visitors to your site. You’re already putting in all of this work, so you may as well go the extra mile to make sure people see it.
Johannes Larsson is the founder and CEO of Financer.com, an SEO geek and affiliate marketing expert. He’s been practising entrepreneurship and digital marketing for over a decade and runs a global remote team. In his blog, he shares his expertise in SEO, affiliate marketing and finance with a wealth of resources for digital entrepreneurs. Connect with him at @mrjola on Instagram and @mrjolar on Twitter.