Google alone receives around 3.5 billion search items per day. People are looking up their queries, concerns and keywords to find information through the search engine. Though there are other search engines like DuckDuckGo, Yahoo! and Bing, but Google is by far the most popular among internet consumers. This is why website owners have been shifting their digital marketing strategies over the last decade or so. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is now a big part of how a website or a company seeks to market itself and digital marketing agencies like VM interactive & Healthy Links vow by it. The better the SEO, the higher a website’s ranking will be on the search engine results page (SERP).

Here are five tips for websites to improve their ranking on Google.

Good site layout for better user experience

The user experience of a website is intrinsically linked to its theme and design. Users are more likely to visit a website that has a clean and readable outlook. Some things to be considered here as below.

A right navigation menu helps users figure out how to move through a website. The menu should include drop-down menus with subcategories corresponding to the different pages on a site. The text should be readable against the background.

The site shouldn’t have so many widgets that it begins to give the impression of clutter. Only those plug-ins should be installed which are actually relevant and necessary. They should be formatted to suit the layout of the website.

The theme shouldn’t be so fancy that it becomes an eyesore. Minimalistic themes are preferred for media and corporate companies. This ensures that the attention of the audience remains focused on the content of a website and not on any of the decorative elements.

Content marketing for the win 

Content marketing complements the technical SEO of a website. It refers to content that is created with the purpose of engaging the audience and attracting new users by improving page rank in search results.

Keyword research is vital for a content generation. How will you know what content to create if you do not know what kind of items your target audience is searching? Keyword analysis tools such as Google Adwords make the job easy.

You can figure out popular keywords in a niche and then create content that engages with those keywords. For example, if you run a company that sells beauty products, then some of the top keywords in that niche may be acne, or hair fall, or Kylie lipstick. Some ideas for generating content with these keywords could be: ‘Get rid of acne with two skincare habits’ or ‘we tried out the latest Kylie lipsticks, and they’re all we’ve dreamed of’ and ‘lifestyle habits that may be contributing to hair fall’.

These keywords should be used in the headline of a post as well as the slugs (the part of a URL that comes after the .com).

Another important element here is posting frequency. Content should be updated and added regularly. Analytical data can be used to highlight the times that the website attracts the most traffic during 24 hours. Then, content should be updated at this time during the week. Old content should be revised frequently, so search engines continue to rank it well.

Format text and break it too

Good content is nothing if it is not formatted or presented well.  Well-researched content fails to serve its purpose if it is uploaded as a drab, stumbling block of text. Users find it difficult to read it, and search engines do not rate it very highly.

Use header tags and meta descriptions in content to help the search engine crawl and categorise it.

Well-formatted content is also readable easily. Bullet points, paragraphs and line breaks should be used to rest the eyes.

Good quality stock images should be inserted within posts to break the text. If original images are available, then they should be used. However, the images should be clear and focused. They should be resized and renamed to indicate what they show. A random name with a random number pattern won’t do.

Moreover, use keywords to insert alternate text (alt tags) with images. They tell search engines what an image is about since the bots are unable to decipher visual data.

Internal and external links 

Hyperlinks help search engines categorise content pages according to relevance. They point to other pages on the internet.

They may be in-bound i-e leading to another page on the same website. This helps search engines index a website and connect one content page with another.

External links can be inserted to cite researches and sites that are considered authorities and credible. They make a company noticeable and help a search engine establish the relevance and niche of a website.

Optimise website performance

Users lose patience quickly if a website doesn’t load in time. Moreover, Google ranks sites that have a lesser loading time higher and penalises websites that have long loading times. Here are a couple things you can do to fix your website speed and optimise it for better performance.

If you have any broken links on your site, fix them. You can use an online tool for locating them. Broken links are basically outgoing links from your website to pages that are no longer active or merely inaccessible. When a search engine tries to crawl them, they do not lead to another page which can hinder search engines from crawling or indexing your website. This can also increase the loading time.

Use a lightweight WordPress theme that runs smoothly. If you want to install plugins and widgets, do so judicially. They can increase multiple times the time needed to load a website.

Host your site with a reliable hosting provider. Always chose a hosting plan that is adequate for your needs and the average traffic that your site attracts. Do not complain if you have a cheap hosting plan and find your website crashing whenever there is a high amount of traffic.