Search engine optimization (SEO) is a time-consuming process. Developing an SEO strategy starts with identifying your goals and success indicators, choosing tools and techniques to implement, then adjusting your strategy based on the observed outcome. This sounds simple, but it takes an average of six months to a year before you can see the tangible results your implemented SEO strategy has on your search engine rankings. This will take longer assuming you don’t have a background in SEO and plan to self-study and do trial-and-error. If you work with the best Cleveland SEO companies, the process is faster, but they still attest that you have to manage your expectations.
Some businesses may not have the luxury of time and may fall into the allure of Black Hat SEO tactics. These techniques promise search results rank improvement in a matter of days. As tempting as it may seem, these illegitimate and spammy techniques go against most search engine user policies. If the moderators discover your site using such techniques, they will demote your ranking or even block your website from their platform, which could have disastrous repercussions on your business.
Quick SEO tips
While most SEO strategists would say that it is unrealistic to expect SEO results quickly, some say there are exceptions. If this is your first time doing techniques like website optimization or local SEO, you can expect an immediate improvement in your search rankings. Search engines have become more sophisticated in detecting when a website makes the necessary changes to improve user experience and rewards them accordingly by improving their rank. Here are some of the best quick tips the best Cleveland SEO companies have for you.
1. Update your Google My Business listing
Add all the necessary information to your Google My Business profile, from your contact number and address to business hours and photos. Google reacts favorably to businesses that have an active and updated Google My Business profile, so if you’ve been neglecting yours, update it now and notice traffic improvements in a matter of weeks. Encourage customers to leave reviews on your listing. Reviews are essential to successful conversions, so the more positive reviews you have, the better.
2. Optimize for mobile devices
Many websites adopt responsive design to retain website functionality and style regardless of the device or browser used. However, more customers nowadays are browsing the internet through their phones. On average, a person spends 5x more time on a mobile device than on a laptop or desktop, so utilizing responsive design isn’t enough. You need to have a mobile version of your website or an app. This is because the browsing experience is very different on a mobile device than on a computer. Computer users navigate using a mouse. Mobile users only have their fingers. Cursors are more precise, so even if your links are close together, your user won’t have trouble clicking the right one. However, having links too close together on your website is a problem for mobile users, since using your finger means a bigger response area on the touchscreen. Take such differences into account when optimizing your website for mobile.
Google has expressed an increasing priority for mobile-friendly websites. The moment your website is optimized for mobile users, the search engine might improve your rank as a result.
3. Increase website speed
Google claims they penalize websites with poor user experience, and one of the criteria they’re using is website speed. Nobody likes slow websites. It’s one of the biggest reasons why users abandon a website. A slow loading speed contributes to a high bounce rate, which then forces Google to demote your search engine rank. Identify site elements contributing to slow loading speed and compress these elements or eliminate them.
4. Improve site layout
Optimizing your website isn’t just about making it mobile-friendly and fast. You also have to ensure that your website is structured logically. Present your site in a way that makes sense to viewers. Why would you put product reviews before the product description? A user would want to be informed about what the product is and what it claims to do before scrolling down to see other customers’ experiences.
5. Audit site navigability
You should check your site regularly to ensure there are no broken or dead links. Sometimes, you may have deleted a page for various reasons. Whenever you delete anything on your site, make sure to remove links that led to the deleted page. Tips #4 and #5 may seem small, but having a well-structured and easy to navigate website contributes to a positive overall user experience and may encourage visitors to stay longer. Increased dwell time on your site will tell search engines that your site is high-quality and deserves a higher rank.
6. Write better meta descriptions and titles
When on a search engine, all the user will see is your page title along with a short snippet of the webpage’s contents. Ensure that your titles are eye-catching and clickable but still accurate to the content. It only takes users a few seconds to realize if they’ve been click-baited, and when Google detects a high bounce rate, it will demote your site ranking. Write gripping articles and produce high-quality videos to compel users to stay until the end.
7. Submit a sitemap.xml
A sitemap is exactly what the name implies. It acts as a map for search engine bots who crawl and index your website. When improving and optimizing your site, the sitemap is automatically updated. However, Google may not be immediately aware of these improvements. While it’ll discover these changes after a few days, if you’re pressed for time, you can submit your sitemap to prompt Google to send site crawlers to your new and improved site. This may result in faster search engine rank improvement.
You can’t expect to land on the first page through these tactics alone, but it will at least give you the boost you need to get started. Should you need more guidance, many of the best Cleveland SEO companies are willing to help out.