You might have the best-looking site with amazing content, but are people actually finding your website?
6 Ways to Improve Your Website Performance and Rankings
Organic search is still a vital traffic driver, which is why it is very important to improve your website performance and rankings so that people can find you more easily than your competition. This is what SEO is all about.
Regardless of whether you’re already familiar with the basics of search engine optimization or you have no idea where to start, this post will provide you with a solid action plan to improve your site’s performance and rankings.
1. Perform an SEO Audit
An SEO audit is a review of your website pages. A good, in-depth SEO audit will reveal areas that need to be improved and boost your SEO strength. Organic SEO consists of three main pillars: on-page SEO, off-page SEO, and technical SEO.
Out of these three, technical SEO is commonly neglected, probably because it is the most difficult to master. But having in mind how fierce the competition in SERPs is, marketers and business owners simply can’t afford to ignore technical SEO or fail to perform a technical SEO audit.
A technical SEO audit involves checking the technical aspects of your site’s SEO. It reviews the website’s health and identifies how it can be improved. Having a website that is fast, secure, and crawlable has never been more important to ensure your website performs well and ranks well.
2. Improve Your Page Speed
If you have any hopes for ranking your website high on SERPs, then you need to concentrate on page speed. Google values page speed because it is a way of determining a website’s quality and measuring the UX.
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Websites with good page speeds are rewarded with higher rankings. When optimized, page speed results in better site performance, more organic traffic, and a more successful site overall.
If you want to test your page speed, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights or online services like Pingdom. If you find that your website is running slow, then you might want to check your theme and plugins.
If your server is the problem, then consider transferring to a new host.
3. Update Your User Interface
Search engines have significantly changed their algorithms to focus more on the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX).
Google now rewards sites based on these two factors, i.e. how easily users interact with a specific site and the overall satisfaction users get when clicking on a certain webpage.
UI is actually a measure of the user-friendliness of the webpage design, which includes the ease of navigating through the site content and the placement of different buttons.
When it comes to designing a great interface, everything stems from knowing your users, their goals, and preferences. Once you know about your users, consider the following:
- Keep the interface simple, avoid unnecessary elements, and be clear in the language you use.
- Keep site pages consistent. In other words, make sure everything matches: design elements, image choices, illustration styles, coloring, font choices, heading sizes, spacing, button styles, etc.
- Use white space. White space makes your content more legible while also enabling the users to focus on the elements surrounding the text.
- Use attractive CTAs. Calls to actions that are clearly marked with an action word enable users to navigate your website more easily and find exactly what they want in the location they expect to find it.
4. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
As you might already know, mobile use is on the rise. About 70% of all web traffic now comes from mobile, which means that mobile use has already surpassed computers and laptop devices. Google recognizes this and ranks websites accordingly.
In other words, if your want to rank high, you need to make sure your site is optimized for mobile.
Mobile optimized sites allow more people to be reached at a quicker rate. An important advantage is that it can increase customer satisfaction, improving your site’s reputation, and eventually, improving your rankings.
You can even take it a step further and create a mobile app! Although this might seem like a pricey option, it can be a great way to boost your SEO, as app indexing will influence your ranking, regardless of whether the user has your mobile app installed.
This means that if your mobile app is indexed, Google will use the content within your app as a ranking factor.
5. Produce Great Content
In order to boost your site’s popularity and drive more organic traffic, you need to give visitors a reason to keep coming back.
According to a report by SearchMetrics, websites must produce not just more content, but more relevant, quality content. The report underlines 4 content-related factors that can contribute to higher rankings:
- Semantically comprehensive content, i.e. content that is relevant to the topic and includes several related keywords.
- Long-form content. The report found that websites with more words in their copy rank better in SERPs and that longer content is more frequently shared on social media.
- Media enriched content. The survey also found that content enriched by other media (images, videos, etc.) ranks better.
- Easy-to-read content. According to SearchMetrics, higher-ranked URLs tend to have content that is easier to read.
The bottom line? Start blogging, if you haven’t already. Having a blog will allow you to produce fresh and relevant content.
If possible, hire a writer who knows what SEO is and has an idea of how to optimize content for search engines.
6. Optimize Your Images
When it comes to your website images, you need to ensure they’re properly optimized, i.e. pay attention to factors like size and format. Large images can have a negative effect on your loading times which, as we mentioned earlier, hurts your SERP ranking.
So, the first thing you need to do is compress or resize your images. You can also use your images to include keywords by naming them accordingly.
When it comes to SEO, creating descriptive, keyword-rich file names is vital. Changing the file name from the default helps search engine crawlers understand what your image is about and improve your SEO value.
Ranking well in Google or other search engines takes time and effort. Achieving that coveted spot on the SERPs requires lots of planning, analysis, understanding of the rank transition algorithm, and precise execution.
However, if you can go down this list and put a check next to all six items, chances are your site is already ranking well!