SEO Best Practices
Connecting a business with customers online is one part art, the other part science. The same can be said about Search Engine Optimization (SEO).
Following are some tips to help you better optimize your Website for better rankings on the search engines.
Consistently Publish New Content
Google values both very new and very old content, so it's best to post new articles on a regular basis. This way, you always have fresh content, plus you will eventually amass an archive of older work.
Reduce Your Bounce Rate
The bounce rate is based on the amount of time a visitor spends on your site before leaving it. Google views this as an important metric because it helps them determine how relevant your site content is to what the visitor was initially searching for. So when a visitor searches Google and clicks on a link to visit your Website, they're expecting your site to provide them the answer to what they were looking for. If they leave your site within a few seconds instead of spending 4-5 minutes reading the content you provided, then your bounce rate will be high indicating that your content may not be a good match for the visitor's initial search question. You want a low bounce rate which can have a positive effect on your site ranking.
One thing to note is that you should also avoid "Clickbait" headlines or copy that misleadingly encourage visitors to click your link to visit your site. This can increase your bounce rate as visitors may not find the content on your site that they were expecting and leave quickly. As mentioned before, a high bounce rate is a bad signal that could harm your ranking potential.
Have SSL Security
Beginning in 2018, Google started giving better site visibility in search engine rankings to Websites that have SSL security. In fact, you may notice on Websites that do not have SSL security installed, Google will identify those sites as being "Not Secure" which will negatively affect your site visitor experience if they are asked to enter private information such as usernames, passwords, credit card payment details, etc. To check if your site has SSL security, visit your site and look in the browser bar for a "lock" or "unlocked" icon. If you see the latter, you need to add SSL encryption to your site. You may be able to add a Let's Encrypt SSL Certificate for free (included with many web hosting packages).
Increase Site Speed
Google uses website speed as one of the key ranking factors. So if you want more traffic from Google, get a faster loading website. It's as simple as that. According to research done by Kissmetrics, 40% of people will abandon a site if it takes longer than three seconds to load and 47% of users expect a page to load in two seconds or less. That means faster loading sites have a better advantage. So focus on increasing your site speed to load within three seconds.
Analyze Your Keywords
Keywords are what tell the search engines what your Website is about. They can be found throughout the content that is in your Website articles as well as in the phrases that people search for in the search engines. A good match between what someone is searching for and what they find on your Website leads to a good user experience which is exactly what Google wants. Now there are shorter keywords like "athletic shoe" and long tail keywords like "women's red Nike running shoe". Long tail keywords can not only be easier to rank for but may also be better at qualifying a visitor's buying intent.
There are many tools to help you identify long tail keywords to use in your SEO efforts. One great keyword tool is Keywordtool.io. It helps you find long tail keywords but it also can be used as a LSI keyword generating tool. LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords are words that are commonly found together within a single topic and are semantically related to each other. LSI keywords help search engines figure out the main topic of your article. Keywordtool.io is a free tool, and also has a premium version. The free version of this tool helps you generate up to 750+ long tail keyword suggestions or LSI keywords for every search term you enter on their tool.
These are just some of the factors that will help you improve your Website's search engine rankings.