Do you have a website? If so, you need to stand out on search engines. Why? This is because of competition.
There are currently a billion websites in existence. All of them are vying for the attention of search engines. All have the same goal — a position on the first page of Google’s search engine results pages (SERPs).
In short, your competitors are doing everything to gain more visibility online. To stay competitive and dominate the SERPs, you need to step up your SEO game a couple of notches. A good place to start would be your site.
Optimizing your site for search engines like Google can mean the difference between staying in business and fading to obscurity. Search engines can be a major driver of traffic to your site. In fact, recent industry statistics calculate nearly half of the traffic to sites comes from search engines.
Getting on the first page of Google’s SERPs is growing into a bloodsport. However, you need not panic. By optimizing your website for search engines, not only will you be visible but you will also rank in the SERPs.
Do you want to know how to improve your site’s online visibility? Here are our top 6 tips to answer the question “how can a site be optimized for search engines?”
Tip #1: Start With a Comprehensive Site Audit
In the world of digital marketing, every successful campaign begins with data. With search engine optimization, the same is true. Before you make any changes to your site, you will need solid data about what prevents your site from ranking.
Identifying your obstacles to ranking on the SERPs can be done with competitor research. On the more technical side of SEO, site tests like A/B testing can also be helpful. Nonetheless, the best place to start is with a site audit.
A site audit is the process of identifying certain factors in your website that prevent it from doing well on search engines. By “doing well,” we mean more than simply being present on the SERPs — we mean being present on the first page of the SERPs.
A site audit can yield valuable data on:
- Your website’s performance on various devices
- Your on-page SEO efforts
- User experience
- The behavior of your users on your site
- Loading or page speed issues
- Your best (and worst) content assets
This list comprises just the tip of the iceberg. Now, a site audit is no easy task, especially if you are new to SEO and digital marketing.
For the best results, you will need the help of an SEO specialist. An SEO specialist's assessment can help you get an idea of your site’s strengths and weaknesses.
Tip #2: Evaluate the Originality of Your Content
There was a time in the early 2000s when people could get away with automated and spun content. SEO specialists and digital marketers during this time enjoyed decent rankings even if they copied content and stuffed keywords.
In 2011, Google changed the game completely with its Panda algorithm. The Panda algorithm exists to this very day. Through this algorithm, Google determines the quality of a website’s content.
The Panda algorithm allows Google to “crawl” content and cross-reference it with other sites within the same niche. From here, the algorithm determines whether or not content is original or automated.
Content that is automated or spun (therefore, not original) will cause the Panda algorithm to assign a low content score to the site. The lower the content originality score, the lower the website can rank. In many cases, sites with tons of copied content end up dropped from Google’s SERPs completely.
What does this have to do with your site?
For you to rank on search engines, your site needs to be present or indexed. Having a lot of copied content can lead to your site or post being penalized by content algorithms like Google’s Panda.
For you to have a chance at ranking (at all), you need to ensure the originality of your site’s content. A safe place to start would be your blog section. You can run your posts on anti-plagiarism tools that will give you an idea of how original your content is.
A tool that has come to vogue in recent years is Copyscape. Use it to check how much of your content may be deemed copied by search engines.
Tip #3: Ensure That Your Content Speaks To Your Target Audience
Originally written and keyword-rich content is only the beginning. Your content also needs to be relevant to your target audience.
Now, what do we mean by relevant? While defining relevance in terms of importance may seem correct, it offers us no information on what to look for as site and business owners.
One of the indicators of relevance is how frequently your content makes it to your audience. This depends on the keywords you incorporate into your content.
Keywords consist of search terms that your users type on queries. These terms take your audience to a list of sites after they click or press “enter.” Your relevance is proven by your inclusion in the list of sites.
The relevance of your content becomes clearer to search engines when more users decide to consume your content. If search engines detect frequent usage of your site owing to its content, your site can rank higher.
Tip #4: Strong Technical SEO
There are three aspects to SEO. Tips one, two, and three cover what we call on-page SEO. This is the part of SEO where you tweak your site’s content.
Another part of SEO occurs when you start promoting your website to get links from other site owners in the same niche. The results do not reflect on your content, so your efforts occur “off-page.” For this reason, we call site promotion and link building off-page SEO.
Ultimately, what you are doing is making your site better for search engines. Your site consists of more than content. It is the product of structuring your site. Optimizing your site’s structure allows search engines to check your site. Then, and only then, can search engines include your site as part of its results pages. This is what technical SEO is all about
You venture into the realm of technical SEO once you start altering the more “technical” parts of your site. The technical parts of your site include:
- Site domains
- Page titles
- Site architecture
- XML Sitemaps
- Page redirects
- SEO-friendly URLs
- Site security (i.e., HTTP vs. HTTPS)
- Site speed
Depending on your experience, technical SEO can either be straightforward or complex. However, since you are reading this, know that technical SEO carries with it a steep learning curve.
SEO services can take care of technical SEO for you, as well as other SEO services like analytics and reporting.
Tip #5: Improve Page Experience
Your site needs to meet several of Google’s ranking factors to rank on its SERPs. The traffic-heavy search engine has 200 ranking factors, with 10 being the prime determinants for rank and visibility.
Early in 2021, Google announced one more ranking signal that needs to be prioritized — page experience. Page experience is your site’s capacity to deliver a positive user experience. Certain technical aspects of your site can contribute to page experience.
Page experience is determined by Google in several ways. The search engine’s bots can detect signals provided your site’s:
- Loading speed
- Mobile responsiveness
- Ease of access to content
- Web vitals
Technical SEO takes care of the above-mentioned. When Google crawls your site, it already rates your site’s page experience. A high rating for page experience can go a long way in propelling your site up the SERPs.
Another indicator of positive page experience is something you can track — bounce rates and dwell time.
Dwell time is a measure of how long your average user spends on your website before leaving it. Bounce rate, on the other hand, is the percentage of people who immediately leave your site without clicking on its other parts.
There is an inverse relation to these two metrics. A high dwell time means that your users are happy with your content and how your site works. A high bounce rate proves otherwise.
Tip #6: Make Your Site More Mobile-Friendly
A mobile-friendly website contributes to achieving top marks in-page experience. Mobile-friendliness allows you to stand out in the eyes of more users and potential customers. Why? This is because more people will likely be on their phones or tablets than their desktop computers.
The current statistics support this. Nowadays, at least 70% of people will be on their devices. With a larger percentage of people on mobile, conversions and purchases become a rarity on desktop.
Even if your site is information-based, it would do better on search engines if it is optimized for mobile-friendliness. Also, fail to make your site responsive on mobile, and you can miss out on nearly 70% of potential traffic.
Making your site mobile-friendly may not be as complicated as you think. Many content management systems (CMSs) allow site administrators to improve how a site looks and functions on a phone or tablet.
Final Word: How Can a Site Be Optimized for Search Engines?
Improving your site to suit the preferences of users and search engines is a long-term effort. It requires continuous monitoring and tweaking followed by improving content and user interface.
All this can seem intimidating, especially if you’re already busy with your business. You will need an agency that knows how a site can be optimized for search engines.
At Agency Jet, we offer services for SEO in Las Vegas and beyond. Get in touch with us now for all your SEO and digital marketing needs!