6 Tips for Better SEO Performance
In the old days, you could drive traffic to your site just by cramming it full of keywords. Fortunately for today’s online users, it no longer works that way.
The world of search engine optimization has gotten smarter. Google recently revealed that sites don’t lose PageRank because of their redirection methods. Now, sites have to showcase their experience and expertise to bring in visitors, and that means good content and good design rule the day.
Break out of your old mind-set and prepare your SEO strategy for the future by using these simple tips:
1. Always be original. If you have a lot of rehashed content, either from other sites or your own, search engines don’t like you. Original copy is naturally full of long-tail keywords, which are larger groups of words that reflect what people actually search to learn. The more original content you publish in your domain of expertise, the better your search results will be.
2. Make it mobile. Smartphones are everywhere, and people are searching and buying from mobile devices more now than ever before. Having a mobile-friendly website makes a tremendous difference to search engines and makes you more visible not only on mobile devices, but on desktops as well. Many of the issues with mobile websites are easy fixes and can have a significant, immediate effect on SEO traffic.
3. Decrease loading times. The longer a page takes to load, the more likely search engines are to lower the page’s ranking. Mobile users, on average, abandon a site after six seconds to 10 seconds of load time. As important as some of your heavier-loading visual content can be, optimizing or removing big data drains on your pages means decreased loading time, more visitors and happier search engines.
4. Optimize navigational links. The more you link to one of your pages internally, the more search engines will prioritize that page. That’s great if it’s a page of products for sale, but it’s troubling if search engines think your most popular page covers your terms and conditions. Go through your pages to ensure that the most easily reachable ones are also the ones you want potential customers to see.
5. Don’t forget the metadata. The things that regular users don’t see can be just as critical when determining page ranking. Your title metadata, description metadata and keyword metadata all play a major role in determining your ranking. Try to be as succinct and accurate as possible with this information. Rather than flood your page with dozens of keywords to catch any and all traffic, pick a few short phrases composed of fewer than four words each.
6. Avoid getting stale. Old pages with old information are old news to search engines. Don’t let your good content sit untouched. Instead, regularly update your pages with news, new products and other relevant information. Whether it’s brand-new copy or just a quick touch-up, updates keep good pages at the forefront and bring more attention to pages that haven’t been as successful.
SEO doesn’t have to be a mystery. With a practical, content-driven approach and a little technical optimization, these strategies will help you drive more visitors to your site and convince search engines to keep you visible.
Tony Tie is a numbers-obsessed marketer, life hacker and public speaker who has helped various Fortune 500 companies grow their online presence. Located in Toronto, he' currently the senior search marketer at Expedia Canada, the leading travel booking platform for flights, hotels, car rentals, cruises and local activities. Connect with Tony on Twitter @tonytie.