Today’s guest post is provided by Siteimprove, one of the sponsors of the IWMW 2018 event. This post provides the first of four SEO tips for improving your website ranking – a topic which will be addressed in a masterclass session on “Overcoming SEO Challenges to Optimise Your Website” at the IWMW 2018 event.
4 SEO Tips for Improving Your Website Ranking
Search engine optimisation isn’t only about keywords anymore. It involves many areas of expertise that oftentimes require an army of SEO experts on your team. In other cases, you’re the one wearing all the hats. In either case, we’ve broken down SEO into bite-sized pieces—beginning with four major elements you need to improve your website rankings: Content, Tech, User Experience, and Mobile.
1. Content Still Reigns
We know—content seems like an obvious SEO factor to consider. But there a lot more layers than you might think.
Naturally, search engines (and your visitors) are interested in what you have to say.
To begin with, let’s take a look at what Google and the like are interested in reading: meta content. Well-written and optimised meta content drives organic traffic to your pages by enticing users to click through to your site when they see your page in search results.
Meta Titles & Descriptions
Whenever you write a new piece of content, checking meta titles and descriptions off the to-do list is a must.
Meta descriptions give users a snippet summary of your site. It’s important to note that Google recently changed their algorithm to give you more real estate for meta descriptions: Instead of 165 characters, you can now write up to around 320 characters without the risk of it being cut off in search results.
But remember that search engines not only penalise your website ranking for missing meta content—you can also be penalised for meta content that is too long, too short, or duplicate across multiple pages. We recommend unique meta content that hits a sweet spot of 230-300, but always do what’s best for your SEO strategy.
Walt Disney World’s meta title is as straightforward as it can get: You know the name and location instantly. The meta description falls on the shorter side, but they’ve managed to use the keyword phrase “Disney World” two times and include a call-to-action in 160 characters. And, well, they’re Walt Disney World.
High-quality and engaging content doesn’t just matter to your visitors. Google is far beyond the days of only counting keywords on a page.
Current, concise, and easy-to-read website content is a vital ingredient of SEO—and be sure your pages are free of broken links.
Check out our web guide, 17 Killers of Your SEO Efforts and How to Fix Them
Readability is about making your content clear and easy to understand. Not only is it a hidden gem of SEO success, it also increases the accessibility of website content for all visitors. If sentences or too long or words are too complex for your target audience, not only is the content lost on your readers, but Google picks up on these things too.
We’ve all visited a web page that lived up to its fullest potential in a past life…but now some information is outdated. You immediately bounce off the page and find something more relevant. As a consequence, that web page’s ranking will continue to fall. Even worse for you as a reader, you mistake fiction for fact.
In order to stay relevant in the SEO game, updating content frequently is crucial. Keeping a content inventory and scheduling regular updates to page content and media files will make all the difference not only to your web ranking, but also to your visitors.
Broken or Unsafe Links and Misspellings
Broken links and misspellings on your website can harm your website traffic and brand reputation—and your SEO rankings.
Enlist the help of an automated tool like Siteimprove Content and Accessibility to automatically catch broken links, links to dead-ends or unsafe domains, and embarrassing misspellings. Your visitors and website rankings will thank you.
Read more: Learn how Tech, User Experience, and Mobile impacts SEO for the remaining three SEO Tips for Improving Your Website Ranking!