7 Tips to Improve Your Search Rank
You can pour as much money into Google and Bing as you want, however, it won't make much of a difference for your search rankings if you are falling short in the areas that matter most to these search giants.
Following are a few tips to help you move up on the search engine results page (known as SERP).
- Assess your current search ranking. You can't get to where you want to be without first knowing where you are. There are several tools and resources out there that can help let you know where you currently stand. SERP.com is a great resource for targeting specific keywords. Type in your keyword (or keywords) and the URL you are targeting. You will have several options such as choosing between desktop or mobile rank, specific search engine rank and even local rankings by zip code.
- Check your site speed. Site speed is a major factor when ranking for Google. Not only does site speed help you rank better, but it also creates a better user experience, resulting in longer 'time on site' another ranking factor with both Google and Bing. You can run your own site speed tests to figure out where your bottle necks are and fix them. There are several tools out there such as Google PageSpeed Insights and Pingdom Website Speed test.
- Improve your sites UX. As stated previously, Google is now using 'time on site' as another major ranking factor. Improving the UX or User Experience of your site will keep users browsing your site longer. The more high quality content you provide, or value, the better for both you and your user. Pages per session and a lower bounce rate will all contribute to ranking.
- Check your site's health. Sometimes your site can be removed from the index or even banned from Google for no apparent reason. There are plenty of tools out there that can help you determine why this may have happened. The Domain Health Report by MxToolBox is a great tool for checking 5 major categories: blacklist, web server, mail server, DNS and general site problems. You can isolate the problems and address them one by one. Think you've been penalized by one of the algorithm updates? Use FE International's Website Penalty Indicator tool to determine what changes you need to make.
- Make your site mobile friendly. By now you should have a mobile friendly website. If you don't, do it now. It's that simple. It's no secret that Google has started to penalize sites that are not mobile friendly. Not only will they rank lower on desktop, but they might not even rank at all when searched from a mobile browser. Ouch.
- Purge those broken links. You can use a tool such as Dead Link Checker to find the broken links on your site. Fixing broken links will improve your UX, and your search rank. It is always a good idea to have a custom (even clever) 404 page as well. This helps keep users engaged with your site and can actually help to not penalize you in search rankings. Of course, the goal is to not have any 404s at all.
- Image Optimization. Make sure all images are compressed, have alt tags, and have seo optimized names. It is also a good idea to serve images based on screen width. This can be accomplished easily using the meta viewport tag and CSS. Having several sized images that are served based on mobile or desktop will dramatically increase your site speed and therefore increase your site rank.