How to Optimize Your Website for SEO

To improve your website ranking and boost your organic traffic, it’s essential to know how to optimize your website for SEO. These 13 tactics will help you do so.

13 tactics to improve your SERP ranking and boost your organic traffic

You want your website to get noticed. You want your online content found by potential customers. You need to know how to optimize your website for SEO, the magic ingredient that pushes you up the SERP (search engine results page) ranking and boosts your organic traffic. It’s the key to understanding how to promote your business online.

What is SEO?

SEO (search engine optimization) describes how you make your website more visible. It includes technical behind-the-scenes techniques and on-page tactics. In this article, you’ll learn about some of the essential SEO strategies that will help your website to climb the SERP rankings.

These strategies will boost your organic visitor numbers – those who find your page without you paying for the privilege. To give you a clue as to just how important this is, studies have shown that organic search accounts for 64% of web traffic. If you’re failing in your SEO, you’re missing out on a very valuable slice of potential business.

The mechanics of organic web traffic

Organic traffic happens when people find the information they want by using internet search engines, the largest of which is Google (estimated at 90% of organic search traffic). These search engines work by interrogating your website and its content, to discover how relevant it is to the surfer’s search.

The more your website gives the search engines what they want, the higher up the SERPs it will go. And the higher up it goes, the more likely it is to be found by your target audience.

Know what your target audience wants

Understanding what your target audience wants is the first step in optimizing your website for SEO. Take some time to define your SEO goals and objectives, and then:

  1. Find the keywords that your target audience are searching for, and target these with your online content. Longtail keywords will help you to be more relevant, and you should also consider other factors such as location, time of year, etc. Make sure you use keywords in the right place in your content (for example, in title tags and meta descriptions).
  2. Make sure you provide quality content that answers people’s questions, informs and entertains. And you know those keywords we just mentioned? Don’t overuse them in your content. You’ll be penalized for keyword stuffing. Instead, use LSI Keywords to give your content real context.
  3. Make sure your website is easily navigable. Add internal links to improve the user experience and direct them to other useful information on your website. This will keep people on your website for longer. Internal links also helps search engines crawl and index your website (and that’s also great for SERP ranking).
  4. Increase your website’s authority by gaining links from other reputable websites. Read our article ‘How to build backlinks: high-quality backlink strategy exposed’ for more information.
  5. Make your content (mostly) evergreen. Evergreen content remains relevant. Over time, this will earn you increasing numbers of visitors, and encourage them to return time and again. Shorter time-specific pieces (for example, news items) can help to promote your evergreen content and accelerate your content marketing.
  6. Your headlines should be snappy and descriptive. They should promise what you deliver in the content.

Now, let’s look at a few of those behind-the-scenes tactics you should use when optimizing your website for SEO:

  1. Behind the scenes, ensure that your webpages load quickly. If your website is slow and laborious, people will be turned off and all your other efforts will be wasted.
  2. Make sure that your website is compatible with mobile users – smartphones and tablets. According to the most recent statistics, the amount of web traffic conducted on mobile devices continues to grow. It is now 51.77% of all global web traffic. You don’t want to miss out on this potential, and neither do search engines. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, your SERP ranking will suffer.
  3. Ensure your meta description does the job it should. This is the short description that appears under your page’s URL in the search results page. It should encourage people to click on the link to your content.
  4. Title tags are the highlighted text on search pages. You should use relevant keywords for title tags, and make sure they are also used naturally.
  5. Use SEO semantic markup – this is code that tells search engines what your website is about, and puts it into the context of related searches.
  6. Add alt tags to your images. This is text that sits behind images on your website. Search engines can read this. The more relevant and descriptive your alt tags, the more likely it is that your images will be found by search engines.
  7. Increase the ‘visibility’ of your website to search engines by using sub-directory root domains instead of subdomains. This improves your site structure. Consider using keywords in your URLs to improve searchability – though you must ensure that you provide quality content.

We hope this list of strategies has given you a better insight into how to optimize your website for SEO. But a word of warning: this isn’t an exhaustive list of SEO strategies and tactics. If it were, it would be a book!

What SEO tricks do you use to boost organic traffic to your website? Let us know in the comments.

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