How to improve SEO on your website varies in difficulty depending on the needs of your site. There can be some pretty easy fixes to improve your SEO, and then there are also some fairly technical aspects to improving your SEO as well. We’ll give you an overview with some DIY ways on how to improve SEO on your website.
One of the first steps to take when understanding how to improve SEO on your website is a website SEO audit. There are multiple free tools that you can use to get a basic understanding of where your website stands for SEO. No less our own SEO checker tool. Even a really basic report like this can give you valuable insight into quick fixes that will definitely help toward improving your website SEO.
Checklist To Improve SEO
Here are some things that definitely impact on-page SEO, and that you’ll want to make sure are correctly configured. When these things are not correct, your SEO will undoubtedly be impacted adversely. The good news is that a lot of these are fairly easy to fix, if you’re not tech adverse. But if you’re serious about understanding how to improve SEO, then you’ll need to grasp the following items.
Alt Text For Images
If you don’t know what “alt text for images” means, then allow me to unpack it a bit for you. Basically, Google can’t “see” what’s in an image. Alt data, tells Google what that image is about, so that it can index the file, and show it to people when their search terms match the alt data. See why you want to make sure that you have alt data? Out of the 3.5+ billions searches that happen on Google everyday, 19% of those return an image! You don’t want to miss out on that opportunity to #GetFound!
Typical files on your website that this would apply to are “jpg” and “png” files. There are other less common image files, but those two are the predominant ones.
Image File Size
But before you go grabbing every picture you see and uploading it to your site, there are some things you need to understand. One of the easiest things to understand in how to improve your SEO, is to look at your image file sizes. Far too often, we will look at a client’s website, and see a 1-2 mb image on their homepage. Or, even all throughout their site. This is often also done by web designers, that are only focused on what the website looks like, rather than SEO, performance, and usability. This is not good, as it impacts performance. In other words, the time it takes for your website to load, and become interactive for users, will be severely impacted by large image files.
If you’re selling something on your website, and 99% are, even if it’s only an opt-in, then every second longer it takes to load your site, your conversion rate will drop by 7%.
To put this in perspective, if your site makes $1000 a day, a “mere” one second delay in load time will cost you over $25,000 a year in lost revenue.
Meta information or data, is information that you put on the “backend” of your website to help search engines understand what your site is about. Each page on your site should have a meta description that gives a short synopsis of what that page is about. If you don’t have that, you’re missing out on potential traffic to your website.
Header tags are very important to help search engines like Google to understand the structure of information on your site. Your content writers really need to understand how to improve your SEO in this way. If not, hire an SEO agency to create writing briefs.
Header tags typically range from H1 – H6. Many people use the header tags to make their content look the way that they want on the page. They want a large section title, so they’ll apply an H1 tag to those. In another place, they use H5 or H6 tags in a bulleted list because they want it to be strong or bold text. This isn’t actually a great use. Those types of stylistic preferences should be applied at the CSS level.
Here’s a list of what header tags should (or could) be used for:
An H1 tag is also known as a Title Tag. This is the title of your page or article. This is the most important tag to have correct. Leave this out and your SEO will definitely be negatively impacted.
An H2 tag is used as a section header. Think of these as like chapter titles. Or, if you were to create an outline of your content, each of these would be a different topic in that outline.
H3 tags are used as subheadings. Maybe it’s a list. Maybe it’s a subsection and you’re wanting to break up larger paragraphs, if there’s a change of subject.
H4 tags continue the steps down in content importance. Maybe there’s a list, nested under an H3 section. This is where you’d use an H4 tag. ie, this H1-6 tag list is all done with H4 tags.
H5 tags are a step down in importance from H4 tags. (Catching the trend here?) There are times when you need nested lists under nested lists. This is usually when an H5 tag would come into use.
Ok, to be honest, we rarely use H6 tags. But, if the situation arose where you have multiple nested lists, or in some way wanted to call out a line of text, but didn’t want it to be of more importance than your section headings, you could use an H6 tag.
A backlink is when another site other than your own, links to your site. What this does, is that it lends credibility to your site. Search engines see that a related site to your own, thought highly enough of your content, that it would be a benefit to their users to link to it. When Google sees that, they’ll often bump you higher in the search rankings.
Backlinks are an important aspect of how to improve SEO, but they can’t be bought. Google frowns on this practice. In fact, if they see that you’re using “link farms” or purchasing links in other ways, they’ll tank your rankings. When they do that, it’s a very arduous process to come back from.
Toxic links are when a site that isn’t your own links to your, but isn’t relevant to your content. Or worse, it’s a trashy site (porn) or other type of site that has tons and tons of links, but not much substance. There is some debate as to how much toxic links actually impact your site ranking. Some say it does, some say it doesn’t, and there’s no definitive word from Google. It’s best practice to upload a “disavow list” to Google. This is a list of backlinks that you’re telling Google that you don’t want linking to you, but don’t have control over.
The list could go on for another 30 items, but they’re honestly not that interesting! Yes, they’re important, but as this is just an overview, we’ll stop here. We trust that you’ve grown in your understanding of how to improve SEO on your website. If you don’t understand how to do the above things, then it’s probably time to contact us and have us take a look. We’ll even give you a 30 minute consultation for free!