When you think of improving your website search engine rankings, what comes to mind?
These are all important ways you can earn Google’s favor, but they are not the only ones. In fact, you might be surprised to learn about some very simple ways you can begin improving your site’s ranking right away.
Before you proceed with any further investments in SEO, make sure you implement these three surprising tips first. You’ll most likely find they improve your rankings relatively quickly.
This may seem like a no-brainer. Of course, you’re going to make sure your content is readable. Otherwise, what would be the point?
However, far too many companies still think that content-driven marketing means writing around a keyword at all costs. This can produce especially cumbersome copy when it’s a long-tail keyword that refuses to be forced into sloppy sentences.
Google has become unbelievably adept at “understanding” what content is about beyond simply recognizing certain keywords. This is only going to improve. LSI (“Latent Semantic Indexing”) has become a major feature of Google’s algorithm. This means that synonyms and context are becoming as potent as keywords traditionally have been.
Add to that RankBrain, Google’s very real artificial intelligence component of their search engine algorithm, and you can probably understand why shoving long-tail keywords into your posts isn’t having the same effect it once did.
While you should still think about your keywords, don’t obsess over them when you write copy. Make sure you’re producing posts that are truly valuable to your market and then focus on copy that is easy to read.
It’s also not a bad idea to go back and look at the posts you’ve already published and rewrite them. If they haven’t shown any engagement, you also have little to lose by completing deleting them and starting over.
Again, this is a no-brainer, right?
Well, only if you are unfamiliar with how sophisticated scam sites have become. These low-quality sites often have high-quality aesthetics to them. That’s because they can be a fairly affordable one-time investment.
They may even have copy that does more than just feature valuable keywords. It might actually be readable!
Google doesn’t want to give these low-quality sites traffic, though, so how can you make sure it knows that your site has the best interest of Google’s users in mind?
First, add contact information if possible. Even if it’s just a phone number or a P.O. box, this tells Google that you’re a real business that’s willing to provide customers with legitimate contact information. Scammers aren’t going to do this.
Second, establish some kind of social media presence and make sure it links to your site and vice-versa. The jury is still out on just how much of a role social media plays in SEO, but, again, a scammer is probably not going to take the time to build up any kind of following, especially on a professional site like LinkedIn.
Third, pay for at least two years of your domain at a time. The longer you show you’re planning on keeping it, the better. Most low-quality sites only lease their domains for a year because they have no long-term plan after the get-rich-quick scheme comes to an end.
Another mistake that content-driven marketing can lead to is a large collection of broken links on your website. If you post often and you include a lot of outbound links in the content, sooner or later, some of them are eventually going to send visitors to pages that give them the ol’ “404 Page Not Found” message.
This is, of course, very inconvenient for your visitors. They clicked on the link hoping to find out more on a certain topic, and now they’re forced to go researching it on their own.
Therefore, Google will punish your site for having these broken links. That’s why you absolutely have to audit your site for these on a regular basis, and then, the moment you find one, replace the link ASAP. At the very least, take the link out altogether until you find a worthy replacement.
Improving your site’s rankings doesn’t always means spending large sums of money and going through a major overhaul. A lot of times, it can just mean applying common sense based on the knowledge that Google just wants to give their users the best experience possible.
Before taking any other SEO measures, write for readability, make your site look legit, and remove broken links. You’ll soon see for yourself just how powerful this simple advice is.