For many business owners, SEO is unexplored territory, but is crucial for success. SEO is needed for increasing visibility on search engines, outranking your competitors, and improving UX. But, it can be a complex process. One thing that is important to understand is that positive results from SEO can take time, but it is well worth the effort. There is a lot of information on the web scattered in many directions. It may be difficult for an individual or business to grasp a holistic understanding of SEO. QCM Agency strives to provide relevant information that is up-to-date and easy to comprehend. We have developed a list of simple, actionable SEO tips for growth that will lead to higher rankings in search results.

Here are 5 SEO tips to increase your organic traffic.

1. Improve Website Performance

Having an aesthetically pleasing website is great. However, if it takes 10 seconds for your website to load, that has a negative impact on your site’s rankings. Ten seconds doesn’t seem like a lot of time, but to search engines, it is an eternity. 

In May 2020, Google introduced Core Web Vitals as essential metrics for a healthy site. Optimizing for quality of user experience will lead to long-term success of any website. The Core Web Vitals metrics test your website on speed, usability, and stability.

Picture going to a website, and it was either extremely slow or the layout was constantly shifting. You would likely leave that website and go to a different one that might provide you with the information you needed. Your users would likely do the same. To test your page performance, you can use PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix

Page speed is a major ranking factor for search engines, and optimizing your site will lead to better rankings. That’s why improving page performance is one of our SEO tips for increasing rankings. Picture two websites providing similar content and all aspects are the same except page performance. If one website is much faster, you can count on the faster website having higher rankings in search results.

2. Perform Keyword Research for Optimizing Content

Keywords are a large part of search engine optimization. They bridge the gap between what users are searching for and the content you provide. Keywords are about understanding your audience and providing content based that is relevant to their needs. Keyword research is the process of analyzing search queries for the purpose of getting data on search volume, keyword difficulty, and more. The keywords you choose to target will determine the traffic you get. By performing keyword research, you will be able to ensure that your content is relevant to what your users are searching. 

The first thing you need to do is determine what your website is about and the content you want to provide. You can then perform keyword research with different tools including Google’s Keyword Planner, Ahrefs Keyword Explorer, and SEMrush’s Keyword Magic Tool.

If you want to read more on keywords, check out our last blog post, Keywords: What Are They and Why Are They Important?

3. Optimize Titles, URLs, Meta Descriptions, and ALT Text

Title and Meta Description

All of your site’s content — including your titles, URLs, meta descriptions, and ALT text should be easy to read. You should include your target keywords wherever possible that makes sense. For example, you write a blog on “how to perform keyword research.” Your title and description should include your target keyword phrase. Your titles and meta descriptions are what users see in search engine results pages. Take advantage of this and ‘advertise’ your content. Make them catchy, friendly, and inviting. The ultimate goal is to get users to click your link and go to your website. If you provide no information here, users are much less likely to click on your link.

URL Optimization

URL Optimization is one of the easiest steps you can take with SEO, but it is still necessary. If you are unfamiliar with what a URL is, it specifies the web address. Every single web page has their own unique URL. A URL consists of multiple parts, but the only part that is to be optimized is the path. The path of the domain is everything that comes after “.com/”. You want to optimize your URLs, so they are easy to read don’t contain a lot of numbers and symbols that don’t have meaning. For example, consider the two URLs:

Here is an SEO-friendly URL:

Here is a NON-SEO-friendly URL:*lkjs^%alj#$&aljag*&/ 

Optimized URLs provide a better experience for both users and search engine spiders. By reading the first URL, you know that it directs users to our contact page. However, there is no indication of where the second URL would take us.

Alt Text

Alt text is the HTML attribute that is to be rendered when images cannot be displayed. In other words, ALT text is a description of an image that explains what the image is about. It’s important to note that these descriptions do not require a lot of thought. Writing a description with just a handful words is will suffice. Search engines and other robots cannot interpret images like we can. Explaining to search engines what an image consists of is a simply way to improve image indexability.

4. Implement Local SEO

A website allows you to target the entire web. Local SEO, on the other hand, focuses more on increasing your visibility and rankings in your local area. You want to be sure that your local audience is able to find you. If you own a restaurant or any other business with a physical location, optimizing your website is also about making sure people can find you in real life. This includes creating and managing a free business listing with Google My Business and listings on directories like Yelp, Yellow Pages and Angie’s List.

When implementing local SEO, be sure to include your address and all business information, reviews, images, and more. The more you contribute to your business listings, the higher you can rank in local search. 

5. Build Relevant Links

The last SEO tip is to build relevant links. This includes outgoing links to other relevant websites and incoming links from other websites. Developing strong visibility in search engines requires that you have the right kind of links pointing to your website. You want high-quality links from websites that have relatively high authority scores. The more high-quality links you have pointing to your site, the more search engines see your content as valuable. In other words, the more links you have, the more popular your site is. 

Link building is one of the most important SEO tips because it serves as a major ranking factor for Google. However, there is a right way and a wrong way to build links. You want to gain links because you earned them, meaning others value what you have to say. The process of buying links or using manipulative tactics (otherwise known as black-hat SEO) can get your website banned from search results. The first step in starting your link building process is creating compelling, high-quality content that other users will naturally want to reference or link to. The next step is promoting your content. Link building requires perseverance and patience, but over time as you gain more links, you will notice an increase in your rankings.

That’s a wrap on our 5 SEO tips to help increase your rankings in search results. If you need help growing your brand, contact us here and we’d love to help! Want to learn more? Subscribe to our newsletter and don’t forget to share this post!