Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a surefire way to attain the top position in search engines. But you need to adopt the right tactics to improve your SEO rankings; otherwise, all your efforts will end up in smoke.
We had covered in detail the basics of search engine ranking in one of our previous blogs. Also, we have informed about the technical side of optimizing your site for SEO in our previous blogs. Here you will learn some advanced tactics to boost your SEO rankings and attract more visitors to your website.
how to Improve Your SEO Rankings..? By 8 advanced tactics
1. Use LSI Keywords
Keyword density was the only measure in the past that helped Google determines the relevancy of a site. But today the search engine giant has moved away from keyword density – that can easily be manipulated – to Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keywords.
LSI is a mathematical technique that helps the search engine determine the context or search intent of users. The technique is applied to determine keywords that are related to the main keyword.
LSI keywords are synonyms of the main keywords. While Google has not acknowledged that its search algorithm uses the LSI technique, the company has revealed it uses a synonym system to determine users’ search intent.
Adding LSI keywords gives context to the website content. It allows the search engine to know about the subject of the webpage and whether it is relevant to the user’s search query.
An important point to note is that LSI keywords are not necessarily synonyms. They can be words that are closely related to the main keywords. For instance, the word ‘Itunes’ and ‘apple’ are LSI keywords. Similarly ‘personal injury’ and ‘workplace injury’ are LSI keywords. These words are not synonyms.
You should use LSI keywords to avoid overstuffing of the main keyword. You can safely add different LSI keywords to optimize your page without the risk of the dreaded Google penalty. It will allow your website will appear in the search results for both the main and the related keywords.
Tips for Using LSI Keywords
You can find keyword variations or LSI keywords using Google search. Simply type the main keyword in the search box, and Google Auto Suggest will display a list of related keywords.
Google Auto Suggest displays words that are semantically related to the core keyword. Here are some LSI keywords for the main keyword ‘delicious cookie recipe’.
You can also find out LSI keywords by looking at the ‘Related searches’ section in Google Search. For instance, the related search terms for ‘delicious cookie recipe’ are shown in the figure below.
Additionally, you can use online LSI Keyword Search tools to find out related keywords. LSI Graph is one such dedicated tool for finding out semantically related keywords to improve your site rankings.
2. Focus on Site Structure and UX
Improve site structure and user experience (UX) can also help you improve your SEO rankings. Site structure refers to how your website is organized. If the layout is not organized, online users will leave the webpage quickly that will result in a high bounce rate.
A well-thought-out webpage architecture is important to keep your online audience hooked to your site. Focusing on improving website structure will result in high dwell time and increased page views. An organized website layout will encourage your website visitors to visit the website repeatedly. A low bounce rate will help improve your SEO ranking.
You can improve your website’s navigation by focusing on cognitive equilibrium when designing a website. Cognitive equilibrium refers to a logical site structure that results in the satisfaction of online viewers.
Search engines including Google look at dwell time and bounce rate to determine whether the page appeals to users. Google algorithm will rank a site that appeals to most users higher. Improving the navigation structure of the website will help improve the time people stay browsing the site. Good site structure leads to reduced bounce rates and increased dwell time resulting in improved search rankings.
Tips to Improve Website Site Structure
Incorporating breadcrumbs on each webpage is one method to improve website structure.
Breadcrumbs refer to a special site layout that logically fits pieces of webpages. You can incorporate path-based or location-based breadcrumbs.
Path-based breadcrumbs visualize the path that online users take landing on the main page of the website. The layout technique is based on the web search results that allow accessing the site through different paths.
Location-based breadcrumbs show the location of the current page to the user based on the structure of the website. The method is recommended since it avoids the issues of creating duplicate content that can result in a Google penalty.
Breadcrumb site navigation allows users to know what page they are currently on and how did they get there. The site structure makes it more convenient for users to browse the website.
Matt Cutts has shared the following tips when incorporating the breadcrumb site navigation structure.
- One breadcrumbs layout is recommended for each site.
- Multiple breadcrumbs can be used if the item belongs to different categories within the hierarchy.
- If multiple breadcrumbs are used for a single category, Google will select the first one
Consolidate Multiple Categories
The categories of the site should have similar sizes, according to experts at Yoast.com. You shouldn’t use many different main categories unless you own a big e-commerce site such as Amazon. A few main groups will be adequate for most sites.
Consider consolidating the categories based on some similarities. You will have a better chance of improving your SEO rankings with a few categories.
No category on a page should be twice the size of the other category. This is important to ensure that the site structure is cognitively balanced resulting in positive user experience.
Use Pretty Permalinks
You should consider using a pretty permalinks structure to improve site navigation. Some websites have what is called the ‘ugly’ permalinks structure such as the following.
WordPress.org recommends using mod_rewrite or lighttpd to create organized permalinks, as depicted in the image below. Doing this is good for SEO purposes; you can add keywords in the URL structure that will help improve your SEO ranking.
Avoid Deep Navigation Structure
Navigation structure of a website should be narrow. A deep navigation structure puts off online users. You should make sure that the webpages are not buried deep within the site. With a shallow navigation structure, people will have an easier time finding the required file.
A shallow navigation structure works best both from the usability and crawler perspective. Search engine crawlers can navigate through a site with a shallow navigation structure quickly. It will help in faster indexing and ranking of your webpages.
3. Internal Linking
Websites should have internal links that connect different pages of the website. Internal linking is a simple SEO practice that can help improve site rankings.
Internal linking can be used to pass webpage authority of top-ranking pages to improve the rankings of other pages.
You should find out high ranking webpages using the Google Search console or online SEO tools such as SEMRUSH. You should add links to the top-ranked webpages naturally on other pages. That’s it!
Internal linking will pass the page authority to other sites thereby improving the overall website ranking. You should also use internal links to make it easier for the website viewers in navigating through the site. Moreover, internal links should guide users to landing pages that prompt users to take action.
Consider using online tools such as Screaming Frog, Ahrefs, Moz, and Majestic to assess your site’s internal link structure. You can use the online tool to filter pages including specific search terms. This is useful for identifying link building opportunities.
4. SEO + Social Media | A Powerful Combination to Improve Your SEO
SEO and social media go hand in hand when it comes to online business success. While social media is not a ranking factor, it can help improve your SEO ranking.
A whitepaper by Searchmetrics on ranking factors stated that there is a correlation between website ranking and social signals. Additionally, Hootsuite had carried out a study in 2018 and found that webpages with social shares received an average of 22 percent boost in traffic.
Social sharing helps drive buying behavior. Liking and sharing items on sale can improve sales. A study had found that nearly 43 percent of social media users had bought products that have been shared on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.
Tips to Leverage from Social Media to Boost Rankings
Optimize Social Media Profiles
Consider optimizing your social media profiles. The profile across different social media sites should have a consistent style for better brand identification. Make sure that profile relates to the business and project a positive brand image.
Include contact information and a link to the website. Moreover, you can use online tools such as MonsterLink to attract leads from social media pages.
Install Social Share Buttons
You should also consider installing a social media share button on your webpages. The number of social media shares and mentions can have a positive influence on online conversions and rankings. You can use the following HTML codes to add social media share buttons to your website.
Following is the CSS code for adding social media share buttons to your website.
Alternatively, you can use a website plugin such as Jetpack to add a social media share button. Jetpack can be used for adding social media share buttons to WordPress websites. The plugin has a range of functionalities that allow users to share the webpage content to different social media sites including:
Engage with Social Media Fans
An important thing to remember is that SEO and social media should be a long term strategy. You need to engage with social media users on a regular basis to reap the benefits of SEO. The best way to attract maximum traffic from social media is to post regularly.
Consider connecting with social media influencers to promote your content. Klear is a great online resource to find out influencers by location and category.
You should also connect with social media fans. Twitter chats are a great way to connect with online users. An example is the Buffer social sharing app’s #Bufferchat where users can connect and converse with each other.
Being responsive to comments and shares is important as well. Your responses will help improve brand image. You can also run a drip campaign by using tools like MissingLetter to make content visible and boost traffic with less effort.
Lastly, you should consider local marketing by sharing locally related content on social media. You should also connect with local influencers who can market your brand to a specific target audience.
5. Optimize Pages with ‘Named’ Sections
Using ‘named’ sections can also help in optimizing the webpage. The advanced tip for improving SEO ranking is rather simple to implement. You only need to create ‘named’ sections within the webpages by adding the ID attribute. The ID attribute is added to the heading section using the following code.
<h2 id=”my-named-section”>Title of Webpage</h2>
You can also add a name anchor tag as below for creating ‘named’ sections.
Named sections are accessed directly in the search results page. It makes the search snippet more informational and attracts more clicks. Online users can go directly to a particular section of the webpage by clicking a link on the search page.
Online viewers will more likely click a link if there are additional links in the search snippet. It saves their time in finding the relevant pages. So, adding named sections in the search snippet will lead to improved online traffic that will reflect positively on your SEO ranking.
6. Update Top Ranked Pages
You should update your top-ranked webpages directly to maintain search rankings. This is important as webpages that are updated regularly are ranked higher.
SEO and digital marketing guru Neil Patel says updating content is important particularly for webpages with content that change frequently.
Competition for keywords with a high search volume is high. Thousands of websites compete for the same keyword. Google prefers webpages with the latest and up-to-date content. So, you must make an effort to ensure that the website content remains fresh and relevant.
An important thing to remember is that every webpage has a lifecycle: online impressions and clicks will grow slowly at first followed by rapid traffic and then decline.
If you don’t update the webpage content, the post will attract dust in the digital world. To ensure that the website posts continue to generate value, you need to update your posts regularly. Updating the post will create a new lifecycle that will result in improved search engine rankings. Regularly updating the content will make the webpage continue to attract large number of online traffic towards your site.
Tips to Keep the Webpage Content Fresh
You should visit the competitor’s website to find out about trending topics. You should look for information that is not included in the content. Update the content by including the latest information gathered from the competitor webpage.
Additionally, you should check and fix broken links, spelling and grammatical errors, and factual mistakes. Update the internal links to point to the latest webpages. You can also update the content by changing the heading and images.
Reply to user comments and change meta details to keep the content fresh. Changing the date of the publication will tell Google and viewers that the content is up-to-date. The result will be improved traffic and SEO rankings.
7. Enable Page Comment
A lot of website owners disable comments. But they lose out on SEO ranking opportunity. The number of comments that a webpage receives reflects positively on the search engine ranking of a site.
Google uses the number of comments as a metric to determine the popularity of the website. Webpages with lots of comments show that most people like the content. It is a positive signal that shows that the website content is engaging and informative.
Enabling comments is a great way to interact with online users and build a loyal following. Engaging with online viewers makes it more likely that they will continue reading the blog posts. Moreover, people who comment commonly share webpage link on their social media wall.
Tips to Make the Most of Online Comments
Reply to Each Comment
After you have enabled comments, you should reply to each comment. You should also publish only high-quality comments that add value to the conversation. Spam and irrelevant comments will do damage rather than help in improving search ranking.
Avoid Plugins to Generate Comments
Avoid using plugins to get blog comments. The reason is that most of the comments will be irrelevant that add unrelated or broken links. Accepting the comments will let you inadvertently link to spam sites that have expired or penalized by the search engine.
You should encourage people to comment on the webpage content. People are more likely to comment if you ask them specifically to comment and share their views in the comment box.
Delete Spam Comments
Don’t accept comments that are irrelevant to the content. You should also don’t accept short comments such as ‘Nice’ or ‘Great article’ as they don’t add any value.
You can use CAPTCHA plugins to prevent spam comments. But using this method is discouraged. The reason is that CAPTCHAs discourage many online viewers from commenting. Most don’t like to click at certain images repeatedly to prove they are not a ‘robot’ to comment. The best method is to manually remove spammy comments that don’t add value to your site in improving search rankings.
8. Make Use of Content Delivery Networks (CDNs)
Slow loading pages have a negative impact on user experience. Most users won’t wait for more than fifteen seconds for a site to load. Websites that load slowly have a high bounce rate that reflects negatively on the search engine ranking.
Online viewers and search engines want your site to load quickly. One method to boost page load speed is to use a content delivery network (CDNs).
Another advanced tip to improve page load speed is the Lazy Loading technique. The technique is particularly suitable for optimizing a site for mobile as CDNs and other caching plugins are suitable for PCs.
Lazy Loading is a process that loads multimedia content only when they are in the viewport of the user. The result is faster initial load times on both mobile devices and PCs. Implementing the Lazy Loading technique is easy. You can use Native Lazy Load Plugin and WP-Rocket to activate the feature on WordPress websites. No configuration is required. Just install the plugin and you’re done.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is critical for the success of online businesses. Times when a website can easily attain top ranking in Google through keyword stuffing and other shady tactics are long gone.
Attaining top search engine rankings will take time and careful planning. But the effort is worth it in the end as you can attract a large number of online users without spending a dime. All you need is effective SEO strategies for improving your website rankings.