The easier it is for customers to find your webpage, the better your chances of engaging new visitors and driving new conversions.
In practice, however, this means more than having great content — it means taking steps to improve SEO performance so that search engine algorithms will be more likely to return your page as a top result.
We’ve created this blog to help you make the most of your SEO efforts — here’s a list of 30 tactical search engine tips.
To streamline the navigation of our SEO tips, we’ve divided them into broad categories. Click on any category for a quick jump to that section.
Search giant Google uses page speed as part of its algorithm for returning results. While it’s not the only factor that influences your site rankings, it is a key piece of the puzzle. Google puts it simply: “Speeding up websites is important — not just to site owners, but to all Internet users.”
As a result, faster-loading pages get a boost in search rankings, while slower-loading pages (even if they have similar content) end up lower on the list. Here are six tips to help boost page speed:
A CDN helps manage and route website traffic more efficiently by using multiple delivery pipelines, in turn reducing site slowdowns.
The less your site needs to load, the faster it will be for visitors. By scaling down image sizes or saving them as smaller image formats, you can save space and time.
If your site has seen consistent or significant updates, chances are you have a fair bit of junk code. Tools such as WP Optimize can help find and eliminate junk code to speed up your site.
The more page redirects, the slower your site. For example, if you redirect from an old webpage address to a new one — and do this multiple times over multiple page iterations — your site will slow down.
Finally, you can make use of browser caching to store data on user browsers (with permission) so they don’t have to load your entire site every time they visit.
Just getting your site on the first page isn’t enough — you need content that grabs user attention even in brief meta descriptions and snippets in search results. Try these six tips to publish more trustworthy and relevant content:
The right content keywords make a huge difference in SEO. For example, multi-word keywords or those that are too specific can hurt your SEO efforts — instead, use tools like Google AdWords to pinpoint popular search terms.
Topical content is relevant right now, while evergreen content remains applicable over a long period of time. Balance both to achieve consistent SEO.
It’s not just about what keywords you choose, but where you place them. Keywords should be included in your content, in any social posts, and in titles and meta descriptions wherever possible.
Create a schedule to evaluate your content and make changes as necessary. This is critical for topical content, which quickly loses value over time.
Don’t get too complicated with your content. Keep it simple, clear and to the point — both visitors and search engine algorithms prefer this approach.
If users leave comments on your content, listen to them — especially if you see consistent trends. Using this data lets you tailor content to the preferences of your target audience.
Keywords and trends keep your content timely and relevant and focused on your target audience. Make use of these six tips to measure current keywords and trends:
Tools such as Google Trends and Google Adwords and HubSpot’s SEO solutions can help you pinpoint keywords that are both relevant and trending for your brand.
Do a search for your primary keyword and see what comes up. If it’s you, great! If it’s a competitor, take a look at their website to see what they’re doing and why it’s working.
A/B testing is the process of testing two approaches or ideas to see which one performs better. You can also do this with keywords — write two pages with different primary keywords and see which one ranks higher.
Seasonal and event-driven trends can impact SEO. As a result, it’s worth tracking key purchase and customer expectation trends to align keywords with user preferences.
User experience indicators, such as the amount of time users spend on specific pages and how long they stay on your site, can act as a bellwether for your SEO. If these metrics are moving the wrong way, your keyword optimization and content layout may need updating.
One of the best ways to understand what’s trending is to search for your site’s primary keyword and see what questions pop up. These top-rated queries can help your team ensure they’re creating content that aligns with what users want to learn.
Successful SEO is all about data. What are users doing? For how long? Why? The more you know, the better equipped you are to keep customers interested. Effectively manage your SEO metrics with these six tips:
Start by searching your site and see where you rank. Are you in the top three? The top five? On the first page? With 75% of users never going beyond the first page, your ranking gives you a great place to start SEO efforts.
Leverage tools that let you see where traffic is coming from. Is your primary traffic source organic search results? Social media posts? Sponsored ads? The more you know, the better.
Organic traffic is traffic to your site from a search engine that isn’t driven by paid content. As a result, it’s incredibly valuable to your site and it’s worth regular measurements to ensure steady (or increasing) organic traffic.
How many people are clicking through after seeing your search results? If you discover that high volumes of potential visitors are looking at your page results but not making the jump, your SEO needs work.
The more readable your content, the better, especially since search engines often pull up relevant parts of your content when users search. If your language or sentence structure is too complicated or convoluted, users will often choose another site.
Bounce happens when users get to your page but don’t take action. They don’t click on links, they don’t interact with any elements — they just leave. Measure your bounce rate to make sure your website elements are capitalizing on the second part of SEO: Compelling action.
Your site isn’t static. To make sure it delivers on SEO potential, it’s worth regular evaluation to ensure key components are working as intended.
These six tips can help you optimize on-page components:
Make sure that you fill in all relevant sources of metadata including title, description, keyword, and alt text to provide as much context as possible for users.
Optimize images on your site by reducing their total size, ensuring they’re high-quality, and making sure they load quickly to keep users engaged.
Great content doesn’t have the same impact without a great title. Take the time to find titles that include one of your primary keywords and that grab users’ attention.
When it comes to websites, think simply. Ask for feedback on your site from both staff and users to discover where it’s easy to navigate and where it needs work.
While improving SEO performance can help get users to your site, they won’t stay if all you have is optimized images and keyword-laden content that loads quickly. Remember that you’re creating content for humans, and they need to find it interesting to stick around.
Keyword stuffing is no longer an effective way to improve SEO, but can still happen over time as pages change and evolve. Take the time to regularly evaluate your keyword density and keep it in balance.
Effective SEO doesn’t happen automatically. Getting search engines to notice your content and return your site as a top search result takes time, effort, and regular evaluation of current processes and their commensurate results.
Best bet? Find where your site is struggling, then leverage our targeted tips to improve SEO performance and get noticed when it matters.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in April 2010 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.