4 Easy Ways to Improve SEO - Web Kaizen™

4 Easy Ways to Improve SEO

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Good SEO doesn’t come easy.

Tasks like link building, competitor keyword analysis, local optimization, mobile optimization, website auditing, backlink monitoring and more… well, they all take time and effort. It can be overwhelming – so to improve your search engine visibility quickly, consider doing these tasks first:

Use schemata to boost visibility

While using schemata to structure the data Google and other search engines use to put context around your site’s content won’t help your site rank higher in results, it will help your SEO by making your results stand out when they are displayed.

The result? Higher click-through rates.

Right now, most web sites haven’t yet adopted the practice of providing structured data, so you can really make your site stand out by taking advantage of it. The good news: it isn’t very difficult, thanks to JSON.

JSON, or JavaScript Object Notation, is a lightweight way to store and transport data. Fortunately for WordPress users, there are plugins available to make writing and embedding JSON-wrapped structured data a breeze. Keep your eye on JSON – it’s likely to feature prominently as a means to provide voice-search cues to search engines in the future.

Watch your speed

Slow web sites do more than discourage your visitors from continuing on to become customers. No, as if that weren’t bad enough, slow web sites even discourage search engines. They tend to rank lower than their faster competitors.

Speeding up your site can get pretty technical and depending on your site’s architecture, it can get complicated. There are some things you can do regardless of your site’s complexity that can help.

First, ensure that all images and media presented on your site are optimized for the web and the maximum size at which they’ll be displayed. Ensure they’re compressed properly (there are plugins for this) and take advantage of lazy-loading (where images only load as needed, when they are in the visible area of the page.)

Next, use a content delivery network if one is available to you. CDNs bring content like images and video closer to the point of consumption, reducing latency. They also provide redundancy to the process.

Get rid of unneeded http calls. On a web page, every asset from CSS files to scripts to images and more are called into the page via an http declaration. Each of these calls to the http server takes time as the server responds, like kids playing “Marco Polo” in the backyard pool.

To reduce these calls and responses, consolidate multiple CSS and JavaScript files into a single file for each type. Use CSS rather than image files to create visual effects whenever possible, as CSS renders far faster with less overhead than any image file.

Your web host also impacts the speed of your page. Budget web hosting services may put many web domains on a single server, throttling all of them in the process. As far as page speed is concerned, you often get what you pay for.

Cut bad content

No one intentionally creates bad content for their web site – but there it is. Perhaps it refers to outdated techniques or memes whose times have past. Or perhaps it was misconceived in the first place. The reasons may vary, but the solution doesn’t: drop low-quality content as fast as you can.

Don’t treat your past creations like sacred cows. You may believe it doesn’t harm anything by leaving it in place, but it does: first, it impacts your image as a provider of quality content. If that’s the case, it almost certainly impacts your search engine ranking.

To determine what to cut, start by taking an inventory of what you have. An easy and free way to do this is to enter “Site: Your_Site’s_URL” into Google’s search dialog box. This should return a link to every page of your site that’s been indexed by Google. A bonus: you can review how your search results appear, all in one place, all with one search, using this technique.

Now visit each page and review the content. Is it still relevant? Is it accurate? Does it reflect best practices or good understanding of current issues? Does it use today’s keywords and buzz-phrases? Is it outdated?

Google Search Console can help you evaluate the popularity of your content so you can first examine the pages with little or no traffic, since a lack of traffic could indicate the page is in need of a refresh or deletion. For pages you delete, include a 301 redirect to a page on the same topic that is relevant to the search.

Make good content better

While you’re revisiting content, consider improving pages that you already have. These pages already have already been indexed by Google and may have inbound links helping your SEO score. It just makes sense to improve them if you can. Strive to improve readability and make content more engaging. Add relevant media – especially video – since this can greatly improve SEO.

Include links to related articles and posts you may have created after you originally published the content you’re improving. Internal links help improve your SEO because they help your site’s visitors with additional context and resources. You should review them periodically to ensure they’re still direct (not using redirects), relevant and up to date.

Make your content comprehensive. It should not only answer the question posed by the typical search used to find it, but the questions that are likely to arise when users engage with it. What are the frequently asked questions on the topic at hand? What are the definitions of key terms? What technical specifications are important? What rules are relevant? Are there case studies, statistics, or related processes that can be shared?

Taking these steps to manage your website’s content will help your pages stand out in search results thanks to the schema-structured data you provide, help search engines rank your pages based on their updated and relevant content, and perhaps most importantly help your site’s visitors want to return time after time.

Greg Norton

4 Easy Ways to Improve SEO

was written by me, Greg Norton – also known as webzenkai. I’ve got more than two decades’ experience building effective websites and powerful email campaigns that yield results. Feel free to contact me regarding this article or anything else you find on this website.

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