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Ensuring a good SEO for your website is not an easy job.
The search engine world is a very dynamic one with things and mechanics going out of date or gaining importance very quickly.
SEO is however crucial to your success – it gets you out there in Google! That is why you need to understand how it works and how can you make it work for your website.
In this article, I will present you with seven SEO fixes that can boost your rankings!
Here’s the list of topics we’re going to cover in this article:
H1, h2 and h3 tags are important
What is the first thing you see when you take a book? Most probably the cover with the title and the author, right? Then, when you open it, there’s the table of contents with all the chapters listed along with the page numbers where you can find them. Each chapter can be divided into subsections that give the whole text a more thematic edge.
Now, imagine opening a book without one of these elements. Although having no subsections would be okay, a lack of the title or chapters would be disturbing and would turn your attempts to navigate the book miserable.
H1, h2 and h3 tags work in the exact same way. And although they may not be the Holy Grail of SEO, but they will surely improve the user experience of your website!
The h1 tag is the title of your content page. It’s always the piece of text whose letters are the largest in size. It strikes the viewers instantly.
The function of the h1 tag is to outline the topic of the page so that the readers know straight away whether or not the content is relevant to what they need.
It needs to be short and to the point. Neil Patel indicates that a perfect h1 tag has between 20 and 70 signs. In such a small space, you need to fit a general description of what the content page is about. For example, the h1 tag for this article is “7 SEO fixes that can boost your rankings”. It consists of 33 signs and manages to outline the topic straight away, but without delving into too many details. All you need to know from this h1 tag is that the content on this page is about SEO fixes.
The rest will be explained in h2 and h3 tags as well as in the copy itself.
It’s worth to include your focus keyword in your h1 tag. That will give it a bigger advantage in search engine rankings and will manage to outline topic more accurately.
Now, let’s talk about what not to do with your h1 tags. As it’s the most visually striking piece of copy on a page, it’s quite tempting to put something else than the title in there. Try not to put things like your business’s contact info or your latest offer as an h1 tag. A lot of SEO actually depends on user experience and confusing your visitors will not contribute to that positively.
Another thing to avoid with h1 tags is using more than one per content page. It’s a fact that h1 tags contribute to your page’s ranking more than other pieces of copy and Google take of the h1 tags you’ve used into account. That, however, doesn’t mean that you should pack your pages with 12 of these! Once again – it’s a matter of user experience! Your website may rank high on Google, but when your visitors will sense that your pages are nothing but clickbait, they will not want to have anything to do with you.
H2 tags are your chapters. They segment the content on your page into thematic blocks so that it’s easier for visitors to navigate it.
Similarly to the h1 tags – make sure they contain your focus keyword! Not all of them need to, but it’s good to include it in at least a couple of them.
What is more, h2 tags need to be focused. Keep them even shorter than your h1 tags – their role is only to highlight the subtopics, so don’t turn them into entire paragraphs!
H3 tags are not a necessity. Use them only if you have several topics to cover within an h2 tag. Otherwise, just use another h2 tag!
H3 tags can be useful in making your content even more segmented and easier to navigate providing a detailed structure to your copy. Ensure that they are short and simply outline the subtopic you wish to cover.
Within this h2 tag entitled “H1, h2 and h3 tags are important” there are three h3 tags – “H1 tags”, “H2 tags” and “H3 tags” (how meta!). Their function is nothing more than to highlight precise bits of information.
Make use of alt and meta tags
Well-positioned and fitting images can make a lot of difference to how the visitors perceive your content pages. Unfortunately, search engines can only read text, not images. Therefore, you need to provide something for them so that they’re able to take the images on your content pages into account when ranking your website.
Alt tags, also known as alt text or alt attributes serve exactly that purpose. By adding them to your images in your CMS of choice, you assign each of them a piece of text that can be interpreted by search engines.
Make sure each of the images you use on a particular content page has alt tags added. However, refrain from stuffing them with keywords – Google hates that! A good practice is to simply add your focus keyword to your alt tags. If you add a picture of something very specific, like a photo of your product, make sure to add a short description. Again, just like with the tags – don’t turn it into a paragraph! Keep it short, Google likes that!
The second type of tags that’s useful for boosting your SEO rankings are the meta tags. Similarly to alt tags, they don’t appear on the website itself – they are a part of the code and help search engines define what your content pages are about.
Meta tags are added to your pages when you fill them with content in your CMS.
There are, however, two types of meta tags that can not only help your search engine rankings, but also your user experience:
Title tag can be found at the very top of your browser, in the section where you can switch between or add new tabs. It can have a huge impact on boosting your SEO rankings as it’s outlining the topic straight away in a similar manner to the h1 tag.
Meta description can be found in the SERPs, just below the “blue link”. It’s the short snippet of text that expands the title of your content page and tells in more detail what your page is about.
Despite Google stated that meta descriptions are not really taken into account when ranking your pages, they can really do wonders for encouraging people to visit your website!
Speed up your website
Loading times can make or break your website. People usually expect to wait around three seconds for a page to load – then they are likely to simply leave it. It also takes about five seconds for people to decide whether they want to do business with you based on your website. Leaving a good first impression is therefore crucial!
Optimize your images
Images are fundamental to any good content page. Without them, it would be just text and nothing more. However, a good quality image can take a while to load.
This is why you need to optimize your images before uploading them! It reduces their size, but the quality remains.
A great tool for doing that is optimzilla.
Check out the code
Accessing the HTML source code of your website is not as scary and hard as it sounds! And it can really boost your SEO.
You can access your website’s code by pressing Ctrl + U on a PC and View -> Developer -> View Source on a Mac with Chrome.
HTML of your website contains many elements that search engines take into account. Looking into the code is a great way to ensure that every element of your website is up to speed.
Here’s what you can find and edit or add in your code:
I already covered the title tag above, but it’s good to know that you can find it in the code and edit it. It’s really important that you have only one title tag per page! Otherwise, Google may penalize your website.
To find your title tag in your code click Ctrl + F and search for <title> Your title tag </title>.
Meta descriptions have also been covered already.
To find them in your code, click Ctrl + F and search for <meta name=”description” content= “Your meta description”/>.
H1, h2 and h3 tags can be found by clicking Ctrl + F and searching for <h1>Your h1 tag</h1>, <h2>Your h2 tag</h2> or <h3>Your h3 tag</h3>.
SERP extensions are going to be one of the most important new things in SEO in 2018. What are they? Think of the review add-ons – the little stars below the “blue link”. Or SERP links belonging to airlines, which allow you to find a flight from your browser.
These additions can make a lot of difference in how people interact with businesses and act as a great improvement of your user experience!
CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets. They are used to add and edit the visual side of HTML documents. Thanks to them, it’s easier and quicker for you to design and edit your pages.
Another benefit of using CSS is connected to SEO. Because it uses standard HTML notation, search engines still recognize the code and its crucial components such as headers or meta descriptions.
At the same time, CSS makes pages lighter and faster to load. This feature is crucial for ensuring a good user experience and a low abandonment rate due to long loading times.
We talk a lot about how search engines takes user experience into account when ranking websites. But how do the search engines actually know what is the user experience?
HTML provides the structure of your website.
CSS is responsible for its appearance.
Thanks to that, search engines can actually measure the user experience of your website and rank it accordingly.
Keyword research – one of the simplest SEO fixes that can boost your rankings
Keywords are the base of SEO. They define, which SERPs your website will be displayed in. That is why it is so crucial that you stay up-to-date with the latest changes and development in the keywords related to your business area.
How can you find out, which keywords should you use? There’s a lot of great online tools that can help you get the answers.
Check out the keyword explorer tool by Moz. Apart from suggesting keywords, it provides some useful data and analytics on a keyword you are interested in.
You can also try a much simpler tool – the Keyword Tool, which displays the most popular keywords related to the word you are interested in. You can narrow down the search results to a certain location or a search engine.
Apart from that, you may ask yourself the following questions:
What keywords is my competition using?
Which blog posts you published have the most views or interactions?
What words would you use to describe your business?
My advice would be to first try to answer the above questions and then refine the outcome with the keyword research tools.
Publish relevant and valuable content
The importance of content for SEO is invaluable. These are your blog posts that you can put keywords in. Your content is also what usually appears in the SERPs.
However, keep in mind that content doesn’t exist in an SEO vacuum! Your blogs, videos and graphics are actually going to be read or watched by people. It may be tempting to stuff your blog with keywords or put 12 h1 tags on a single page. It may indeed boost your SEO rankings.
But what about the user experience?
One of the things that can take your credibility away most spectacularly is making your website like one huge clickbait. You may be topping the SERPs, but it won’t matter much if your user experience is ridiculously low.
How can you repair that?
A company blog should primarily be focused on providing value to your target audience. For example, a company selling sports equipment could write articles comparing different protein powders or football shoes. However, a personal trainer could post entries on staying in shape or provide different workout plans. In both of these examples, the companies actually provide value for their target audiences. Your blog should be the same!
Website responsiveness and AMP
Why having a responsive website is crucial?
It’s a bit of a truism that you need a responsive website. It is, however, important to explain it in a more detailed way.
A website is your first point of contact with a potential customer. It can either convince someone to get into business with you or make him leave and look for someone else who provides something similar to you.
Creating a responsive website has a lot to do with things that I’ve already covered in this article: using headers, tags and speeding up your website. There are, however, some things to pay attention to when designing your website that will ensure a smooth operation and a good user experience.
Make sure your website is designed in a clear and coherent way
Don’t go all avant-garde and put all relevant boxes at the bottom of the page or scattered throughout. Make your website as intuitive and easy to follow as possible!
Make sure you use combinations that are not contrasting – do not put a toxic green box of text next to a flaming yellow! You want to ensure a smooth and pleasant browsing experience, not a trip to an eye doctor!
Another important thing is to make sure that it is the text on your website rules the roost. That is, ensure that the background colors make it easy for people to read! Don’t shy away from a conventional black-white combination! Sometimes the simplest is the best!
Make sure all your sections are filled with relevant information
If your “About” section jumbo some mumbo-jumbo about how you want to provide the best customer experience or how you are devoted to making the best out of what you’ve got then I’ve got bad news for you. Nobody cares! Similarly, if a plain contact form is all your “Contact” section is then probably no one is going to get in touch with you.
Why? You’re not responding to what the customers need.
They don’t want to hear how great you are. They want to know how you can make their lives better. And they don’t need to be led by the hand – they are perfectly fine to contact you the way they choose to.
What is AMP?
AMP stands for Accelerated Mobile Pages. It is an open source project by Google that aims to create website content for mobile devices that loads faster and uses up fewer data.
Websites that use AMP are expected to use static content frameworks that “diet” the amount of code, so that websites load faster and are more accessible for mobile users. On overall, the user experience increases.
What is more, Google likes to reward the websites that meet the AMP requirements. If you do, your content will be displayed in a scrollable carousel in the SERPs. This allows you to add visual content to the usual Google “blue link”, which generates a better engagement and a higher CTR.
Having a fast mobile website is particularly important for all businesses. The number of mobile users is growing much faster than PC users and 55.79% of all searches are now being done on mobile (with the trend indicating growth). This relatively new, more on-the-go approach to browsing the Internet requires businesses to adapt their websites to a much quicker and more demanding environment. According to Soasta, 48% of mobile device users will never return to a website that performs poorly. According to Kissmetrics, 47% of them will exit the website if it takes more than two seconds to load.
The stakes are high and keep growing in the mobile browsing world. All you can do is adapt and embrace the new technologies and solutions. Otherwise, you risk losing your audiences!
Get better backlinks
What is a backlink?
It is when a different website links back to yours. Usually, it is done by simply providing a hyperlink to one of your pages in someone else’s content.
Backlinks can seriously increase your credibility and contribute to you being considered as an expert in the field. It can, however, be one of the toughest SEO fixes that can boost your rankings to achieve. After all, the first thing you need to do in order to achieve it, is to post content of great quality, so that other people would actually want to use your work as a source.
Can you “hack” backlinks though? Is there a way to enhance the backlinks apart from producing relevant, relatable and well-written content? Yes, there is!
Take care of any technical errors
If you want people to link back to your pages, you need to make sure that your website is free of any errors that may diminish the user experience. These include things you’ve already read about in this article: a responsive website that’s optimized for mobile devices, correct headers and meta data. You also need to pay attention to 404 errors, redirects or duplicate content.
You can catch most of these errors with this tool.
Reach out to people
Networking is how things are done today. It’s how people get to know valuable people to work with or to do business with. You can also network your way to getting backlinks!
Go online, set up a LinkedIn account. Join some groups that are relevant to what you do. Do the same for Facebook. Both are great online platforms that can (especially LinkedIn!) be used to obtain valuable B2B leads.
SEO is a constant struggle. For every content piece you write, you should spend the same amount of time optimizing it and making sure it gets out there and reaches your audiences.
In this article, I presented you with seven SEO fixes that you can use to boost up your rankings.
Let’s recap what you’ve learned from this article:
I talked about the importance of headers, alt tags and meta tags for search engine spiders and user experience.
Keyword research and valuable content that’s relevant to your target audiences are also a crucial part of SEO.
I talked about a responsive website and the importance of adapting your business to an increased use of mobile devices.
Lastly, I outlined the need for networking that can get you backlinks!