93% of internet experiences begin with a search engine, and this isn’t set to change anytime soon. Search engine optimization, (SEO) needs to be a top priority when creating your website.

You could have the most beautiful and informative website out there. However, even with all the dazzling images, engaging content, and fancy search bars, having the best-looking website doesn’t necessarily mean you’re going to get the traffic you need.

If no one can find your site, why have one? Often the reason why other sites are ranking higher than yours on Google is that they are making a conscious effort to improve their SEO.

Luckily, it’s never too late for this to be fixed.

It's never too late to improve the SEO of your site. #usethosekeywords #simplehackClick To Tweet

The key to boosting your SEO ranking creating content. Not only does your site need to attract visitors with optimized and engaging content, it must also be efficient.

With so many things to keep in mind, sometimes it’s easy to forget about the humans behind the screen. Our ten simple hacks to increase SEO rankings will help you achieve the perfect balance between SEO best practice and user experience.

1. Keyword Research

When it comes to improving your site’s rankings, the saying “fail to prepare, prepare to fail” rings true.

Keyword research lays the foundation for a good SEO campaign. Just take a look at Google’s ranking algorithm. On-page keyword usage plays a major part in determining the way Google views your website.

On page keyword usage will improve your SEO ranking | neilpatel.com

To make optimal use of keywords, put yourself in the shoes of a searcher. Going further, imagine that this searcher is looking for what your site offers.

Whether it’s entertainment or products and services, think about how people would search for what your site offers.

If someone were to find your site by searching, what would they type into Google? Chances are it’s going to be short, specific and to the point.

In general, you should avoid vague terms in favor of specific keyword phrases. Say, for instance, you are selling tea online. Instead of just trying to rank for the term ‘tea’, which is vague and has already been used many times, consider what makes your product unique.

Is it organic tea, or green tea? Has it been ethically grown or is it fair trade?

All of these details can help to create a bank of specific keywords to include on your page. Being location specific with your keywords could be helpful when targeting a local audience or clientele.

Be sure to use a useful keyword analytics tool like KWFinder.com which can help you search for terms, similar terms, and location-specific terms.

KWFinder Website Screenshot
An example of a keyword search in KWFinder

Writing keyword optimized content is a balance of two audiences. The first audience you’re trying to appeal to is Google search algorithms. The second is real people that are actually searching.

Therefore, you need to strike a balance between including keywords and creating engaging content that reads well and flows naturally.

In other words, don’t overdo keyword optimization. Your human audience will pick up on content that seems forced.

‘Our organic tea company offers organic fair trade tea made using organic locally sourced fair trade ingredients’, is an example of content that you should avoid.

Yes, the keywords are there, but you should never try to wedge every keyword into one sentence. Instead, select only the most relevant ones that fit naturally.

Fitting keywords into your content is a craft that can be mastered with practice. You just need to keep in mind that your content should still be useful and credibility needs to be retained.

2. Produce High-Quality Content

This seems simple but cannot be emphasized enough.

Make sure every page on your site is there for a unique purpose and intent. Ask yourself, what are my customers looking for? How can I go beyond their expectations?

Read More: How to Make Your Content Stand Out

Your page should provide useful information and resources that users will benefit from. A quick copy and paste job isn’t going to make the cut. Your site needs to be original and engaging.

3. Improve Your Page’s Loading Speed

Mobile Speed simple hack
Vladwel | Shutterstock

Firstly, Google sees all. If your page is too slow, it will bump you down in the ranks.

What’s more is that with so many other choices, none of your visitors will want to wait for your page to load.

40% of visitors will simply leave websites that take longer for 3 seconds to load. Once the users are gone, they’re gone. 80% of those visitors won’t return to that website.

40% of #visitors will leave a #website if it takes longer than 3 seconds to loadClick To Tweet

Google will see this high abandonment rate and these negative interactions will further lower your ranking. Lower rankings mean less traffic, so you need to get out of this vicious cycle.

There are lots of ways to speed test your site online to determine if this could be diverting valuable traffic from your page. If this is the case, fix the problem ASAP.

A handy trick is to set your page so that attention-grabbing content loads first. Think images and key headers before text.

Once you pick up the pace, your audience will pick up too. Google’s algorithm will recognize this change and adjust your search ranking accordingly.

4. Properly Format Your Page

Time taken to properly format your page will really pay off. Carefully consider the layout of your website. It should not only be eye-catching but, more importantly, it should come across as professional. Make sure its neat, clear, free from clutter, and intelligently organized.

This will not only make it easier for you to get your message across but will also make it easier for your viewers to navigate. Easy navigation translates to increased time spent on your page.

Attention to small details such as font detail and typography can have major positive effects. Make sure it’s uniform and use colored text, bold font, and italics sparingly.

Less is more! You want your site to be clean and clear.

Bullet point and checklists are ideal. Format an appropriate amount of text so it’s easy to read. This ensures that visitors can quickly and efficiently get all the information they need.

A clean-cut format will also make your page appear more trustworthy and further improve your SEO ranking.

5. Add More Than Just Text

Even if it’s the most compelling information, written content will only get your site so far.

If you want to move up in the SEO ranks then you need to add images. An important hack to know is that images aren’t there just to make your site more attractive. You can also optimize images to improve your SEO ranking.

Images provide an extra chance to get some keywords onto your page. Every image should be named accordingly using a keyword. Take your nice picture of a cup of tea as an example.

Tea Simple Hack
An image of various tea leaf blends | Shulevskyy Volodymyr | Shutterstock

Instead of vaguely naming an image ‘Tea 1’, you could benefit from a keyword opportunity by naming it ‘Best Antioxidant Green Tea’.

You also should make sure that your images are not going to slow down your page loading time. You may need to compress or resize images to optimize them and improve your SEO ranking.

In reality, pictures are only the beginning. Other media such as videos, slideshows, or audio will add up to a compelling user experience.

Videos, in particular, are the fastest growing and most effective forms of content.

What’s more is that there is a direct correlation between videos and other multimedia sources and your website’s SEO ranking.

But it’s not as easy as making a video and raking in the visitors. Videos, like all other content, has to be high-quality and engaging.

Read More: How to Adapt Your Marketing Strategy to Facebook’s News Feed Changes

Since the big changes to Facebook’s news feed algorithm, all content creators are challenged to create content that stirs meaningful conversation between users. If you’re up to the challenge, you’ll end up providing a truly valuable resource for your visitors.

6. Break up Your Content With Header Tags

Huge chunks of text can be off-putting. If visitors are bombarded by a huge wall of text, they will be discouraged from spending time on your site.

As a result, your SEO ranking will decrease drastically.

Visitors want digestible information that is presented in an approachable format. Using headers is a simple hack to achieve this.

As well as making your site look more approachable, headers break up the content making into easier to skim and easier for visitors to quickly find the information they seek.

Changing header tags is a simple adjustment to make, but will really pay off in terms of ranking. So get those headers formatted ASAP!

7. Optimize Your Site for Mobile Devices

Mobile Phone Simple Hack
GaudiLab | Shutterstock

The number of users accessing the Internet via mobile devices is ever increasing.

If your website is not mobile optimized, then Google is going to bump down your search engine ranking. Simple as.

People are consuming more and more information via mobile devices.  If your site doesn’t work well on cell phones and tablets then your site will suffer the consequences. If you haven’t already, it’s time to catch up. Test out how your website works on mobile and adjust accordingly.

8. Encourage Sharing on Social Media

Social media is one of your most powerful marketing tools. Not only can you use this to your advantage to raise awareness of your brand, you can use social media to enhance your SEO ranking.

The number of Facebook shares, Pinterest pins, and Tweets your site gets can directly influence your SEO rank. People love to share!

Read More: 4 Social Media Marketing Strategies to Test in 2018

A simple hack to increase your number of shares is installing sharing buttons and click to tweets. This will make your website more user-friendly and help you to rank higher in searches.

9. Make Contact Info Accessible

If users struggle to find contact information, they’re not only going to be frustrated but your page will appear less trustworthy.

Google agrees.

Google views websites that have sufficient contact information as more trustworthy and therefore will rank higher in searches.

Adding a ‘Contact Us’ page to your website and including the link in your navigation will earn you a ‘gold star’ from Google. It makes your site seem transparent and enhances user experience.

A well-designed contact form will increase user participation on your site. It will also help you to generate new business opportunities and improve customer service. All while helping you move up in the SEO ranks.

10. Sort your links out!

First and foremost, get rid of dead links. You can use tools like ‘Dead Link Checker’ to find any links with errors on your websites. Then replace them with new working links.

Secondly, make sure to use outbound links. Backing up any claims with links to trustworthy authority sites will increase your website’s credibility.

Finally, make use of internal links. Internal links are a great way of bringing visitors to other pages on your website.

Internal links are essential to establishing your site architecture and make it more attractive in Google’s ranking system. Not only will this keep them on your website but also help to make their experience more engaging.

Read More: How to Make the Most of Internal Links

Search engine algorithms are becoming ever more advanced. As you have seen, they rate numerous components of your page to determine where it will rank in searches.

They also take into account the relevance of your keywords on the page and in the metadata. To add to all of this, they evaluate how long visitors spend on your page, bounce rates, and broken links. The list goes on, but if you want your site to rank well you need to keep up.

So while using these ten hacks to improve your sites SEO ranking, always aim to be effective and efficient.

Do you have any other key SEO hacks to share?

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