Here at UpBuild, we totally understand that business owners and marketing teams have a lot on their plate. They want to make sure that everything is in tip-top shape, but some things may still fall to the wayside. A lot of the time, one thing that can get put on the back burner is the business’s website and SEO performance. We want to make it as easy as possible to improve a site’s SEO, even when you might be busy with a million other things. So, here are 5 simple ways to improve your site’s SEO right now.
Add Unique Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
When building a website, it’s easy to stick a generic page title on a page, add your company name to the end of it, and call it a day. However, if this is how you are building your site, you’re not utilizing page titles to their full potential. Google considers page titles to be an important factor when determining its search engine results pages (SERPs), so making sure that you have unique, keyword targeting page titles is crucial. Ideally, you will do some keyword research before choosing your page titles. I won’t go into how to do keyword research today, but we do have a Beginner’s Guide to Keyword Research on our blog here.
Once your keyword research is complete and you know what words you would like your website to rank for, then create a page title that is around 50 to 60 characters in length, including your brand name after a separating character such as the vertical bar ( | ) or a dash ( – ). For example, the title tag on UpBuild’s Team page is The UpBuild Team | Upbuild. Keeping your page titles between 50 and 60 characters is important as it ensures that your title will not be cut off by an ellipsis in search results, which allows searchers to better understand what your page is about.
It’s important to be as descriptive as possible in just a few small words, while also keeping the page title human-readable. The page title is the first thing the user will see in the SERPs, so the more clear, concise, and human-readable your page title is, the better chance the user will click on your page.
Next, you have your meta description. At this point in time, Google doesn’t really consider your meta description to be a determining factor in how pages rank in the SERPs; however, there’s evidence to suggest Google does consider click-through rate (CTR), and meta descriptions play a big part when it comes to CTR.
Meta descriptions are kind of like mini-ads for your page. It’s the best place to summarize what your page is about, and why they should click on your page instead of someone else’s. It’s important to keep your meta description between 140 and 160 characters because it allows the whole meta description to appear in Google SERPs, as well as when someone links to your page on social media. Having a complete meta description appearing under your page title can increase your chances of having the user click on your site, thus improving your CTR.
Sign up and Verify Your Site in Google Search Console
Google Search Console (GSC) is a vital tool for any site owner. Along with a wide array of capabilities, if you sign up and verify your site with GSC, you will see that you can track a variety of metric, and see what is being indexed in Google. One very important (and easy) task that can be completed in GSC is searching for page errors on your site, particularly 404 errors. 404 errors appear when a webpage cannot be found. This can happen for a variety of reasons, like the page has been deleted but the link for it still exists somewhere, or maybe the page was moved and the URL was not changed appropriately. Sometimes it can be difficult to find these errors on your own, so it is very nice to be able to use GSC to find them instead.
You can also use GSC to make sure Google is crawling the content you wish to have crawled. Google Search Console is where you will keep a map of your website called an XML sitemap. Anytime you add something to your website that you want to be crawled by Google, or if you want to hide something from being crawled, you can upload an updated sitemap into GSC for your changes to officially take effect.
Improve Page Load Speed by Optimizing Images for Web
Page load speed is probably one of the biggest factors that impact your website’s performance in Google search. Your page load speed affects how long people stay on your site, and how much they trust your site; since Google wants to deliver searchers to websites they can use, page load speed affects how Google ranks your site.
Improving your page load speed might require multiple steps depending on the website, but one thing that almost always improves page load speed is optimizing your images for the web.
Many people use large images with very high resolutions on their site. While this is necessary for printing images, online images don’t need to be so large. An image that is 3000 x 4000 pixels will look pretty much the same as an image that is 1200 x 1600 pixels, and it will take up much less storage space on your site.
We typically recommend taking large images and running them through a website called tinyjpg.com as this site will compress the size of the image without damaging its quality. Replace the large images on your site with the compressed images and watch your site run even faster than before.
Continually Update Your Site with Fresh and Useful Content
Google notices when a site has not been updated for some time; this can make a site look outdated or abandoned, especially if it deals with a topic that changes frequently. This can cause Google to push your site lower in the SERPs. One way that we recommend keeping your site’s content fresh and up-to-date is having a blog and consistently creating new blog posts. Blog posts are great ways to include information that you wouldn’t typically have on the core pages of your site but are still helpful bits of information. Consistently posting on a blog shows Google and users alike that you have lots of information to share with the public about your specific topic and that you are one of the experts in your field.
However, we know that some people don’t have time to maintain a blog. In this case, we recommend that you make sure your site’s content is always up to date, and change/add relevant content as needed.
Include Internal Links on Your Site
Having links to your site is very important when it comes to SEO. Google has a sophisticated understanding of which websites link to which other sites, and uses its assessment of the volume and quality of the links to your site as one of many ways it evaluates your site quality. Some links are inbound links where other businesses link back to your site; then there are internal links, where you link one page on your own site to another page on your site.
For instance, let’s say you have a blog post that talks about one product that your business offers in great length. In that blog post, you will want to find a place to link back to your products page so people can potentially purchase the product discussed in the blog post, and also see other products that are offered through your business.
Internal links, when done properly, can demonstrate to Google when two pages are topically related, helping Google better understand the content on your site. They can also help Google understand the relative importance of pages on your site. Internal linking also means people will be clicking through pages on your site, staying on your site longer, and potentially converting to be actual customers.
These 5 simple actions really just scratch the surface when it comes to improving SEO on a website; there is so much more that can be done, and working with a reputable SEO consultant is the best way to make sure you’re fully capitalizing on SEO opportunities. However, we hope that these 5 tips will help the busiest of business owners and/or marketing teams take small steps toward a better site.