There are so many tricks and tactics you can use to boost your SEO strategy that sometimes it can feel completely overwhelming. To help you out, we’ve put together 14 of our favorite white hat SEO techniques you can use to pump up your search engine marketing.
1. Speed up your site
Buy a subscription to a caching service (or get a plugin), host images yourself and reduce the weight of your website to make it go faster. Gtmetrix will give you a free speed report that you can use to help you find where you can speed things along. Speed is a ranking factor, so the faster your site the better your SEO.
2. Remove duplicate content
A holdover from the era of SEO keyword stuffing, Google punishes duplicate content pretty severely. Use a tool like Screaming Frog to make sure you don’t have duplicated content on your site.
3. Focus keywords in H1 and H2 tags
SEO keywords still remain important, despite Google’s best efforts to the contrary. To get the most bang for your keyword buck, try and focus on using them NATURALLY in H1 and H2 headings.
4. Limit H1 tags to one per page
There should only be one H1 tag per page. A blog, for example, might use H1 tags for their titles. If you’re using H1 tags for subheadings, switch them to H2 tags.
5. Specify what anchor text people linking to your site should use
If you have a network of bloggers linking to your site, specify what anchor text they use (anchor text is the text that you actually link, so if we linked to the Wikipedia page about anchors, the word ‘anchor’ is the anchor text). Google uses anchor text to work out what the page that’s being linked to is about, and it can help raise your authority within Google’s SEO rankings.
6. Add alt tags to your images
When Google crawls your site, it can’t see pictures – it relies on alt tags to know what the picture is. Without an alt tag (or with an alt tag that’s useless like 12345.png), Google won’t know what to make of it – and you’ll miss out on the SEO help.
7. Make your site look good on mobile
Google has been using mobile friendliness as a ranking factor since at least 2015. Make sure you’re getting the most from your development and web marketing dollars by making your site mobile friendly. Whether you opt for a responsive design, a mobile microsite or a mobile app, just make sure it looks good on a phone.
8. Use LSI keywords
LSI keywords, or Latent Semantic Indexing, are essentially related keywords to the ones you’re using. For example, if you’re using the keyword ‘website SEO’, an LSI keyword might be search engine optimization tools. There are many sources for LSI keywords, including Google’s ‘related terms’, Google AdWords, LSI keyword generators and tools like Jaaxy.
9. Write longer content
It’s become clear over the last couple of years that longer content tends to perform better than short stuff (generally, there are plenty of caveats here). Focusing on longer pieces gives you a chance to maximize SEO content value, as well as provide more opportunity for long tail keywords.
10. Write a great snippet
A snippet is the stuff that comes up when your site shows up in the search engine rankings.
You want to make sure yours makes sense, is legible and draws your readers in. The more people who click, the better your SEO ranking is going to be.
11. Make your site an HTTPS secure site
Getting an SSL certificate to make your website a secure one (it’ll show up as HTTPS instead of HTTP) is a quick and easy way to get a guaranteed SEO win. Google wants sites to be more secure, so they use security as a ranking factor. Getting your website a SSL certificate will help (they’re pretty cheap).
12. Provide incentives for reviews
Reviews are critical, especially for local SEO. First, it will help people know how great your business are since it’s social proof. Second, Moz attributed 5% of search engine ranking to social signals. For most franchises (especially restaurant franchises) that means reviews.
13. Respond to comments
The more comments you have, the more content you have on your site (which is good). It also shows deeper user engagement, which Google loves. To encourage comments, have a CTA at the end of your blog posts asking for comments, and make sure you respond when people write them.
14. Link each page internally and externally
With various updates over the years and an increasing focus on authority, Google’s made it clear that being connected to the network of the internet is really important. An easy way to do this is to make sure every post or page you write for your site has 1-2 internal links, as well as 1-2 external ones. The stronger your connection is to the broader network, the better off your site is going to be.
There you have it. 14 (mostly) quick and (mostly) easy SEO techniques you can start to apply to your site. With these in your back pocket, you’ll be number one in the SERPS in no time.
Think you’ve got a great SEO strategy that we missed? Let us know in the comments below!