Learning how to optimize your website for SEO is crucial for your site’s success. It’ll ensure your website is working exactly as hard as it should. If you have good SEO, you can attract more traffic and get more opportunities to convert potential customers.
And a website optimized for conversions typically has better metrics, such as time on page and bounce rate, which means that Google might rank it higher. To start, you need to boost the SEO on your website to draw more traffic.
The following steps will set you up for SEO success. You can then turn your focus to conversions while continuing to update and release new content.
- Analyze all of your website data
One piece of data by itself might not tell you anything, but when you collect lots of data, you start to notice patterns. If a few people visit your site and fail to click on your CTA, you might not have a problem. However, if a large percentage of visitors ignore your CTA, you might need to make some adjustments.
User behavior reports and Google Search Console traffic data help paint a clear picture. User behavior reports, for instance, show you how people behave once they land on your site, while GSC data tracks key metrics, such as number of sessions, number of unique sessions, bounce rate, and more.
Analyze the data for specific patterns. Referral sources can tell you a lot about your audience. How are people finding your site? Look for pages that get more traffic and more conversions than others. Reverse-engineer that page’s success to replicate it across your site
- Conduct thorough keyword research
Years ago, you could pick a keyword out of thin air, write a 300-word article, and rank for that keyword the next day. SEO doesn’t work like that anymore.
- Produce long and value-rich content
According to Buffer, the ideal length for a blog post is 1,600 words. That’s just a starting point, though.
Before you decide on the optimum length for your content, Google your primary keyword and visit the top 10 result in the SERPs. Are some of those pages longer than 1,600 words? Then yours should be, too.
Length isn’t everything. However, it sends a signal to Google that you’re providing more information. If lots of people spend a long time on that page — reading to the very end — you’re more likely to rank higher.
- Optimize for on-page SEO
On-page SEO tells you how to optimize your website when you’re building specific pages. Factors like headlines, sub headlines, URL slugs, and meta tags fall into this category.
Use your primary keyword in your headline, preferably as close to the beginning as possible. It should also appear in the slug and at least one sub headline. Throughout the body copy, aim for .5 percent to 2.5 percent. Try not to go over the higher end to avoid looking like a keyword stuffer.
Sprinkle your primary and related keywords throughout your body copy, sub headlines, and image alt text. Include plenty of context for each so Google accurately understands what you’re talking about.
- Optimize for off-page SEO
Off-page SEO — also called off-site SEO — refers to the ways in which you optimize your website via external means. Guest blogging, social media activity, influencer marketing, and brand mentions can all improve your site’s SEO.
We’ll talk specifically about backlinks a little later, but links in general can make a big difference in SEO. You don’t want to get links from small, low-authority sites. They won’t help (and they can hurt). Instead, you want to target well-respected publications when researching backlinks.
- Optimize the website for mobile
With more and more people accessing websites via mobile devices, you don’t want to leave those potential conversions out in the cold. Furthermore, Google has launched the mobile-first index, which means you might rank better if you focus on mobile friendliness.
Responsive design offers the easiest solution. You can download free and premium WordPress themes that have responsive design built in, which means you don’t have to worry about adding any extra code.
- Speed up the pages
Page speed matters when it comes to both SEO and conversions.
If you visit a website that takes forever to load, you’ll likely click the “back” button and look for something else. Similarly, if you’re filling out a form that refuses to submit due to slow speed, you’ll eventually give up.
Google’s Page Speed Insights gives you valuable insight into how fast your site loads across all devices and what specific things you can fix to make your site faster.
- Get quality backlinks
Backlinks are a prime factor in helping your website rank better.
When high-quality sites link to yours, Google interprets the link as a signal of your site’s credibility. As you build a solid backlink profile, your pages will climb up the ranks.
Getting quality backlinks takes effort, but you’ll see results. Consider emailing influencers and other blogs in your niche. Share your article with them and point them to a page where you’ve shared a piece of their content.