Improve SEO rankings and site speed in 2018

Improve SEO rankings and site speed in 2018
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Gone are the days when improving SEO of your website was a matter of stuffing keywords and adding snazzy meta titles and descriptions into your blogs.

Today, SEO is one of the fastest evolving aspect of online marketing; stay oblivious of the latest SEO algorithm changes for too long, and you will put your hard-earned top page website ranking into jeopardy.

So the question you must be asking yourself: “What latest SEO techniques should I use to improve site speed and SEO rankings?”

Let’s find out in this simple guide of top SEO tactics and tools.

Tactics

With every search engine algorithm update, the SEO tables turn, and the ‘best practices’ of today become obsolete. Here are a few tactics you should bear in mind to improve SEO rankings.

Put Focus On Topics, Not Keywords

Don’t expect to get your blog or website in the top SERP positions simply by producing keyword-focused content.

You need to think beyond keywords. You need to focus on topics that best match queries of your target audience. For this, you will definitely need to carry out a detailed study of your buyer or customer persona. Understand how they think, what they search for, and how best to engage them.

Take the keyword ‘cleaners’, for example. Do a simple search and you’ll find content around professional cleaners, advanced carpet cleaners (products), or even the short-lived TV show by the same title. In short, you have to ensure you make use of keywords around certain categories and themes for your content to rank and appear higher in search results.

Don’t Neglect Local SEO

SEO has gone local and the websites and blogs that overlook this fact will simply slip to the lower SERP positions. It is vital that you think very carefully about local SEO rankings.

If you have a physical retail store and want to direct customers to it, having a strong local SEO presence will really go a long way in boosting your presence. A store such as a restaurant, gift shop, or health clinic can get far more footfall via local customer reviews, Google My Business presence, and localized meta title and descriptions, among others.

Stepping up your local SEO also has another benefit: you dominate in niche search engine results. Using specific long tail keywords, you can benefit from lower competition in niche search results.

Guest Posting Is Still Effective

I’m sure you must’ve heard how guest posting is an out-of-date practice. But let me assure you – it isn’t. The reason why guest posting has gotten a lot of negative reputation is because of the association with spammy links and poorly-written spun content.

Since Google favors original content, guest posting will remain a fruitful tactic that contributes to SEO for a long time. The key is to provide meaningful value, not a desperate way to get a backlink.

Find a good topic to write on and provide value to readers. The more original and quality-focused your content is, the greater the chance others will want to backlink to your website.

Optimize For Mobile Using AMP

If you have been up to speed with Google’s latest algorithm update, you would know that the search giant is placing greater importance on faster mobile-optimized websites. Speed is the new key metric for website performance on mobile devices.

While speed has been crucial for SEO ranking purposes, it was only for desktop viewing. Now that it has spilled into the mobile medium, you need to be on the ball on whether your website really does load fast enough on mobile.

A brilliant way to improve site speed for mobile is using AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). Although it has been around for 2 years, it is still relatively new. Ideally, your website should be able to load within 2 seconds on mobile devices.

Sort Out 404 Errors

This may not exactly be a new SEO tactic, but you’d be surprised how many ignore 404 errors on their websites. As a result, the websites lose serious search engine real estate. So be on the lookout for broken or missing links on the blogs or websites and fix them.

A good way is to check the number of page views on 404 links and sort it by adding the URL as a secondary dimension. In this way, you will be able to restore any lost traffic from the pages.

Select a “Fast” Hosting Provider

Improving your SEO ranking also means going back to the fundamentals; choosing a quality website hosting provider. With the latest innovations in hosting technology, choosing a managed cloud hosting provider for WordPress, Drupal, or PHP such as Cloudways will give you the ultimate edge. All quality hosting solutions prioritize page load speed over other factors to ensure a smooth user experience.

Tools

SEO tools are a major component of putting the latest tips and tricks to good use. Below are some of the best SEO tools you need to have in your SEO toolkit.

Mobile-Friendly Test

This is an excellent quick-check tool for your website’s mobile-friendliness. The tool performs a quick audit and ranks the website on various mobile-optimization key areas.

Google PageSpeed Insights

This works similar to Google PageSpeed Insights in that it does a complete audit of your site to indicate the level of SEO optimization. The only difference is that it calculates a score based on the audit and gives you tips on how to improve that score. For a rough estimate, a score above 70 is considered good.

Moz’s Open Site Explorer

The Open Site Explorer developed by Moz gives you a complete link analysis of any website. You can use tool to either check on the competitive strength of rival sites and use it to gain an edge on coming up with your own SEO link-building strategy. The Open Site Explorer gives a breakdown in terms of page authority, domain authority, and other metrics relevant for improving search engine rankings.

Optimizely

SEO isn’t only about page rankings, but also about optimizing landing pages for effective conversion. Optimizely is one tool that helps you perform split testing by indicating which landing page version works better from a SEO perspective. There is one downside though; it isn’t free. However, it does come with a 30-day free trial period.

Wrapping Up

According to Cloud Ways, SEO best tools and practices are always changing, which is why you need to constantly update your knowledge. The aforementioned tips give you a window into how you can improve your website speed and ranking.