Four Ways to Optimize Your Website for Higher Search Rankings
Why is search engine ranking so important? Without a high search ranking, people are less likely to find your website.
Search ranking is one of the main factors that influence consumer buying habits. This is especially true in the hospitality and retail industries.
Based on the order of importance, here are the elements that tend to impact people’s decision-making:
- Search engine rank
- Website experience
People trust search engines to present them with the most relevant results. About 70% to 90% of all search traffic goes to the results that appear on the first page.
The top search result receives about 25% of all search users.
Along with search rankings, the website experience shapes users’ opinions. Slow-loading web pages, poor navigation, and mobile compatibility issues can deter shoppers.
If you want to boost sales, use the following four solutions to optimize your website and rank higher on search engines.
Use a Mobile-Friendly Design
Over 81% of Americans own smartphones. About 45% of the world’s population owns a smartphone.
To accommodate the smaller screens, web pages need to use mobile-friendly designs.
Mobile optimization is necessary for reaching a wider audience and achieving higher search rankings. Search engines analyze web pages to determine whether they are optimized for mobile devices. Web pages without mobile optimization are penalized.
The most common solution is to use responsive web design. A responsive design uses media queries to adjust the layout of content based on the user’s device or screen size.
Mobile-optimized websites also tend to contain fewer elements, such as unnecessary graphics and plugins. Avoiding pop-ups, flash animation, and other effects can also hurt the mobile user experience.
Check Page Loading Speed
Page speed directly impacts search rankings and bounce rates. If a page takes too long to load, people leave. Search engines also analyze the page speed when indexing web pages.
The optimal loading time is three seconds or less. Fifty-three percent of visitors on mobile devices leave if a web page takes longer than three seconds to load.
Website optimization helps improve page speed. Common practices include enabling compression, reducing the use of redirects, and minimizing coding. Limiting the use of plugins and optimizing images can also dramatically improve loading times.
Server response time may also result in slower loading times. Switching from a shared web hosting plan to a cloud-based hosting plan or dedicated hosting plan typically provides faster server response times.
Perform Keyword Analysis
The proper use of keywords requires a detailed keyword analysis. You need to find out what words and terms people use when searching for the products or services that you offer.
You also need to review your current rankings for targeted keywords and analyze the use of keywords in your web pages. Keywords should be used in the title, metadata, and content of each web page.
Search engines use keywords to determine the relevance of web pages for specific search queries.
However, search engine algorithms are incredibly sophisticated. Keyword stuffing and other black hat SEO practices can hurt your search rankings. Use keywords naturally without overstuffing them in the body of the web page. You can also find related keywords and phrases interspersed throughout the content.
Build More Backlinks
Search engine algorithms still rely on backlinks to help determine the authority of a web page.
However, search engines tend to focus on quality over quantity. Backlinks from reputable sites have more of an impact on your search rankings compared to backlinks from smaller sites.
Along with backlinks, search engines look at citations, which includes any mention of your business or website online. Common sources for citations include business directories, online maps, forums, and social media.
Websites can gain quality backlinks and citations by submitting their business information to the proper platforms. Every business should ensure that their information appears on prominent directories and review websites.
Submit Your Sitemap to Search Engines
After completing these website optimization techniques, remember to submit your sitemap to search engines. Google, Bing, and other search engines may eventually index your updates. However, submitting your sitemaps ensures that your pages are indexed quickly.
These are just a few of the steps involved in boosting search rankings. You also need to maintain accurate business information across platforms, manage customer reviews, and deal with any technical SEO issues on your website.
To start optimizing your website for better search rankings, contact SO Connect. We offer three tools for climbing to the top, including Listings, Reviews, and Website Optimizer.
With our Listing tool, you can easily update company information, such as opening hours and contact details, across over 50 platforms. Our Reviews tool provides a centralized solution for managing and responding to customer reviews. Use our Website Optimizer to easily fix bugs, gain detailed keyword insight, and receive real-time alerts.
Do not wait too long to start optimizing your sites or the sites of your clients. Allow us to help you start climbing the search rankings.