If you want to ensure people find your business on the web, you need good search engine optimization (SEO) to rise to the top of Google and other search engines. SEO can complement other digital marketing efforts such as paid advertising, but you may not be sure how to approach your SEO campaigns to get the best results.

To help guide your SEO efforts, the following are some steps you can take to improve your rankings and rise above your competitors.


Focus on Creating Fresh, High-Quality Content


Quality Content concept on tablet with glowing light bulbs


Long gone are the days when you could create content stuffed with keywords and hope to rank well. Today, you must balance quality with quantity. You can write all the keyword-optimized content you want, but you won’t get anywhere with it if it isn’t good content.

The best policy is to write great content that people enjoy consuming. You should still include keywords, but ensure they’re terms that people actually look up in Google and include them naturally within the content. Ideally, most keywords you target will be long-tail keywords of three words or longer. Just remember that readability should come first, followed by keyword inclusion. 

If people visit your website and find value in it, they’ll stay on your pages longer, which will signal to Google that the page is worth ranking. By combining this signal with others through good keyword inclusion, links, and other technical SEO elements within your content, you’ll have the chance to boost your rankings.


Optimize Your Website’s Loading Speed


Page Speed Optimization on a mobile device showing a laptop


One major factor contributing to search engine rankings is your website’s loading speed. You can check your website’s speed through Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. The faster your website loads, the higher it will rank. 

Not only will increasing your website’s loading speed directly impact your Google rankings, but it can also indirectly affect rankings by appealing to visitors. If your pages take too long to load, people will likely leave your website soon after visiting, which is a negative signal in Google’s eyes. By optimizing your page speed, you’ll keep those visitors on your pages, which will also help ensure they move along the customer journey.


Try to Rank for Snippets


featured snippet concept


Optimizing content for Google’s featured snippets is one of the best ways to get to the top of search engine results pages (SERPs). These snippets are those brief summaries of content you see when performing certain searches on Google that help quickly answer questions.

You can rank for snippets by writing headers for different sections of your content with relevant keywords. For instance, if you have a section in a blog post about technical SEO tips, you would include headers for each tip, with a brief sentence or two summarizing each tip.

You can also ask questions that people enter into Google and provide a brief answer beneath it, which could also get that answer to rank in Google.

Essentially, what you want is bite-sized content to help you get those snippets, i.e. “Position Zero” that people will see before other items on SERPs.


Write Good Meta Tags


meta tags HTML codes on a computer


Another crucial SEO element for any webpage is metadata. This is content that people see when they enter a term into Google and review the results. They’ll see a blue title tag and a meta description underneath that describe the content on the page. There are different considerations to keep in mind for each.


Title Tags


The first element to optimize for here is the title tag. Each page will have a unique title tag that should be the same as or similar to the page’s H1 header. You may also include other relevant content such as your business name, separating it from the page title in the title tag with a pipe (|). For instance, you might have the following title tag for a particular blog post: “Marketing Tips for Small Businesses | [Business Name]”

Google cuts off title tags after they exceed the pixel width limit of 600 pixels. This translates to roughly 60 characters, so it’s often best to stay within this character count with each title.


Meta Descriptions


These are the short one- to two-sentence descriptions people see below the title tag in SERPs. Unlike title tags, they don’t directly influence SEO, but they can encourage people to click through the link and visit your page, signaling to Google that your content is good and relevant. Conversely, a poorly written or simply non-existent meta description could turn people away and reduce traffic.

Meta descriptions should concisely describe what’s on the corresponding page. You may also include a brief call to action. Here’s an example of a meta description that might work with the above title tag: “Interested in learning some critical marketing tips for small businesses? Discover the keys to marketing success here!”

Like title tags, meta descriptions have a specific pixel width limit that they can reach before Google cuts them off. Generally, your descriptions will show on Google in full as long as they fall within 155 to 160 characters.


Update Existing Content


Stay up to date words on a strip of paper


You can also improve your SEO by revisiting old content and making any necessary updates to it.

Start by looking at pages with the most potential to rank well. Which pages are getting a decent amount of traffic and are ranking well but not great for certain keywords? Go after those and continue optimizing them, sprucing up the content as needed, fixing any broken internal or external links, and optimizing content to rank for featured snippets.

Updating content could also ensure it stays relevant with accurate information if your topics are time-sensitive. You may also find opportunities to improve web design and development.


Get Help With SEO from Experienced Professionals


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You shouldn’t underestimate the importance of SEO for your website. Good SEO can mean the difference between a successful and flailing website, making it necessary to take the right steps to rank well on Google.

Even if you understand how crucial SEO is, you might not have the in-house resources to help you achieve the rankings you want. If you need some assistance in this area and others, get in touch with the experts at Vigor SEOrchers today.

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