SEO Tips: Factors That Affect Your Ranking

SEO tips

The primary goal for a business is to make it easy for online visitors to find their content. There are several SEO tips that can help from keyword research and image optimisation to SSL certificates and site loading speed. People use search engines to find what they are looking for which means your brand needs to stand out.

A fully optimised website with the right keywords placed strategically throughout your content is vital to the success of your SEO strategy. However, there are a few other things you can do to improve your search engine rankings. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C brand, your ultimate goal should be to generate more website traffic. After all, more traffic means more potential customers.

11 Best SEO Tips And Tricks For Online Success

Search engine optimisation tips include looking at the criteria that most websites adhere to for driving traffic from organic searches. Google SEO best practices should be considered as nearly 75% of all web searches are done using Google. That means their algorithms generally dictate how to create websites and share website content. Let’s take a closer look at how your website can rank higher on Google thanks to these best SEO tips and tricks.

Keywords Or Phrases

Keywords are search terms that online visitors are likely to enter into Google when looking for information and websites similar to yours. Finding the right keywords for your brand can be challenging but thinking outside the box and keeping things simple can really help. The primary goal is to target keywords that could generate the most number of hits while also informing Google what your content is about.

Short Keywords

You can use short keywords which are usually 2-3 words and even though they have huge monthly search volumes, they can be incredibly difficult to rank for. Keep things simple and steer clear of difficult keywords and be creative in your thought process. Think like a potential customer and focus on search intent rather than actual search terms.

Long-Tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords are self-explanatory as they consist of 4-5 keywords but sometimes more. These keywords use natural phrases and sentences to target specific niches that can increase rankings for certain search queries. They might have a smaller search volume percentage but they are easier to rank for. You could also consider using natural phrases or ‘natural language’ which relates to SEO for voice search.

While many brands may still appear at the top of SERPs, they probably won’t be targeting exact long-tail keywords. Keywords in headings may not specifically be a ranking factor but using them is still highly recommended. Always try to closely match your header tags (h1, h2, h3, h4 etc) to the logical answer Google and users are looking for. The closer your content matches a search term, the higher you’ll rank in search engine results.

LSI Keywords

Latent Semantic Indexing keywords (LSI) are terms that are conceptually related that help search engines truly understand the content. In the early days of SEO, repeating keywords several times used to be enough but times have changed. Keyword density is still important but it involves more than that.

Today, search engines want to determine the overall topic of the page by using keywords and related terms. Google relies on LSI keywords for a deeper understanding of the website’s content. While search engines will still look at the primary keyword in your title tag, they will also search for LSI keywords.

For example, this article refers to ‘SEO tips’ which means LSI keywords could include the following:

  • Best SEO practices
  • Google SEO best practices
  • Search engine optimisation tips
  • SEO writing tips
  • Website optimisation tips

Check out this easy-to-use free SEO tool – LSI graph.

Mobile-Friendly Design

Wow, that section on keyword research and usage was a mouthful but an essential part of best SEO practices. Speaking of SEO tips, websites should have a responsive design to render correctly on different devices. If you consider that, in 2018, 52% of all website traffic worldwide was generated through mobile devices. You’d be silly not to create a mobile-friendly website.

Fact is, Google announced in March 2018 that they will be using mobile-first indexing. That means they will rank websites based on their mobile versions and not the desktop. Based on that, your top priority is ensuring that your website is mobile-friendly. Not only is this great for visitors but it’s also incredibly beneficial to your website SEO.

Related article: ‘Beginner’s Guide To A Mobile-Friendly Website

SEO Optimised Images

Website loading speed is a major ranking factor and optimised images play an important role. Large image files can really slow down your website so you should optimise each image for best SEO results. Most images should be resized as there is no need to use a picture of 4000 pixels or more, especially not on a website. We understand that each web theme is different but you can experiment to find what works best for you.

An image of 1500 pixels wide is ideal for most websites while blog images should be 795 pixels wide. Whichever size you choose, use an image optimiser to further decrease the file size. And don’t forget to add ALT text for each image on your website so search engines can determine what they refer to.

Good Permalink Structure

What have you included in your website or blog URL? If you look at this article’s URL you’ll notice the title and, of course, primary keyword. Some URLs contain numbers or dates which are fine in some cases but using a permalink structure with the title helps improve your customer experience. Not only that, it benefits search engines as this lets them know what the content is about. Using this permalink structure also gives you another strategic spot for your keywords.

Website Loading Speed

As we’ve mentioned with image optimisation, site speed is a crucial part of best SEO practices. Considering there is a 90% increase in bounce rate if a website takes longer than three seconds to load, optimising your website speed is non-negotiable.

The same applies to a site that doesn’t render properly on mobile devices as it affects overall customer experience. You should remove anything that is slowing down your page from large images, pop-ups, adverts, music players, flash graphics and pointless plugins.

We recently wrote an article on ‘The Importance Of Content Distribution Networks’ which will provide you with additional valuable insights.



Broken Links

In some cases, everyone has experienced broken links but the key is to fix them as soon as you can. Broken links not only impacts your ranking but it can also ruin your visitors’ experience and make you lose out on new business. Broken links stop web crawler spiders from indexing your website which means you will not show up in any search results. Take a look at this free broken link checker that you can add to your list of SEO tools.

Internal And External Links

A properly optimised page should contain a good number of internal and external links. Adding links on your website to blog posts and vice versa is a great way to improve your SEO. Interlinking refers to linking related posts to one another which helps website visitors find more related content on your website. It also helps search engines as they can to see which posts are related to each other.

These links point to your other articles or pages on the same site (domain) while external links direct visitors to related content from other sources. While it depends on the context and content of the article, the best SEO practice suggests adding at least 5-6 internal links and 2-3 external links to each article.

“Nofollow”, Affiliate Or Paid Links

We’ve already established that links greatly benefit your SEO but you need to be careful. Even though it’s better when more websites link to you, they must be quality backlinks and not ‘spammy’. Google does not condone paying someone to link to a website which is why ‘nofollow’ links are crucial. You should use these whenever you link to a website that has paid you to promote their content.

A ‘nofollow’ link informs a search engine to not follow that particular URL. That means the website you are linking to will not get any credit for that link in terms of SEO. By default, all the links that you generate will be set as ‘dofollow’. Making it ‘nofollow’ simply requires adding a little bit of code. Here are some simple instructions on how to add a ‘nofollow’ tag.

This is another must-have SEO tool for anyone serious about internet marketing. You can use it to track your links, see if they are working and avoid link penalties.

Quality Backlinks

Quality backlinks are a major off-page SEO factor as search engines treat backlinks from trusted sites almost as an endorsement for your content. You can either earn a backlink when another website or web page links to your website or you can do the following:

  • Ask people or big companies to include backlinks to your site
  • Connect your Facebook page to your website
  • Spend time guest blogging to specific industry-related websites
  • Reach out to influencers and other bloggers
  • Join review and directory sites

XML Sitemap

By including an XML Sitemap, you essentially tell search engines which of your pages are most important. Sitemaps are particularly handy for large websites containing loads of pages, posts and articles. However, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t submit an XML sitemap if you’re a new business or have a small website. It is hugely beneficial one way or another.

Without a sitemap, you effectively block search engine bots from properly indexing your unlinked pages. This directly affect how your site ranks in search engine results. There are no downsides to including a sitemap and should really be considered in these instances:

  • Dynamically created web pages on your site, common with some e-commerce sites
  • A newly designed website or page with few external links
  • Large websites with loads of archived content that may not be linked properly

SSL Certificates

An SSL certificate creates a secure connection between the visitor’s browser and your website host server. It is essentially a form of website security that protects your visitors’ information. This extends to data like their email address, contact details or credit card information. It can apply to various scenarios whether they sign up for a monthly newsletter or pay for something online.

Final Thoughts

If you want a successful online presence, apply these SEO tips and use the tools to help build an organic audience. We’d also like to point out that most of the factors that affect your SEO also impact user experience (UX). For that reason, each one is vital to search engines as they want to reward websites with a higher ranking if they deliver a quality user experience.

When designing your website and online content, always keep user experience in mind and not just web crawlers. Because Google’s algorithms update continuously, investing in quality content and following good website optimisation tips should be standard practice.

Looking For An Expert Digital Marketing Agency?

Not everyone has the luxury of an in-house marketing team which means outsourcing to people who know digital marketing. Whether you’re a new business starting out or looking to improve the return on investment of your existing online presence, WSI eMarketing can help you build a winning strategy.

Get in touch with our team of digital marketing experts if you need more SEO tips or if you’re looking for a professional, mobile-friendly website. We specialise in web development, email marketing, SEO, social media marketing and marketing automation among others.

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About Rob Thomas

Rob lives and breathes Social Technology, Social Media & Mobile Marketing. He will show you how to use them to improve many areas of your bottom line, not just Marketing! He’ll show you how to enhance and protect your reputation, whilst generating increased sales, reduced costs and improved customer acquisition and retention. Recognised as an expert in reputation management, digital and mobile marketing, Rob is a professional speaker both in the U.S. and across Europe. In addition to consultation services, including the “12 step process to achieve Social Proficiency” programme, Rob also coaches, trains and provides implementation services to help business owners, organisational leaders and their teams. If you want/need Rob to speak at one of your events please email him rob.thomas@wsi-emarketing.com You can follow me on Google+