When it comes to website performance, there are new and old strategies that both small and medium sized companies should be implementing in their marketing strategy. In order to rank higher in Google and grow your website’s organic traffic, it’s critical that your on-page SEO is on target.
With up to 40 percent of organic traffic coming from mobile devices in 2014, Google has confirmed that mobile-friendly websites will rank higher on its search engine. To ensure that you’re mobile optimized, avoid the mistakes of slow mobile load times, faulty redirects and blocked media. Use Google’s webmaster tools to identify any faulty redirects.
There is a big push for a more secure Internet, and Google is now testing the market in using HTTPS as a ranking factor instead of HTTP. HTTPS verify that a site is encrypted and can’t be hacked. If you want to rank higher in 2015, secure your site with HTTPS.
Site speed makes a difference in search rankings and website performance. For Google, it’s all about providing the user with a great online experience. If your site has a slow load time, it will likely be left in the dust. You can test your site speed with a built-in CMS tool or use Google’s site speed tool.
While the days of keyword stuffing are long gone, it’s still important to use them and center them around one key idea. Keywords should be in headings, page titles and image alt text. Just be sure to use keywords naturally in all of the on-page elements. Plus, be sure to use variations of the keywords. Organic search no longer relies on exact keyword matches.
Even though Google has evolved in its methods for ranking business websites, it still continues to use quality and natural inbound links as a top ranking factor. Not only should you keep those inbound links growing but monitor them closely to ensure the links are coming from quality sites.
Your website URL is the first thing a search engine uses to decide page rank. That being said, the URL needs to be easy to crawl. Keep it short and descriptive. Matching it to the keyword or page’s topic will also help the pages get categorized. Optimize page titles by keeping the characters under 55. Use the keywords and make the text compelling. This way, users will be driven to click. Use the proper heading tags to let the search engine know what the page is about. Lastly, use heading tags like <H2> and <H1> to signal to the search engine that it’s important.
While there is no magic bullet to enhance website performance, the ingredients in this secret sauce will ramp it up.
Deborah V is a freelance writer with a focus on SEO tactics for small and mid-sized companies. She maintains an up-to-date knowledge of Google’s guidelines and changes.