Top SEO Strategies for Optimum Site Performance
Optimize your site to maximize your site’s revenue potential. A well-performing web page is important for SEO and users – don’t neglect either of them. Bearing in mind, with the use of this service and other digital marketing tools out there, being able to help grow your business and reach potential clients couldn’t be easier. Plus, we can all do with a bit of help sometimes.
Frequently audit and check your site to make sure that it’s behaving as you would expect – and that you’re still offering the same great experience you did when you first went live. This is just common sense when auditing as this will help you maximize your site. Here are seven easy-to-implement SEO strategies for optimum site performance – take on these habits and create a site that is both beautiful and easy to use. For more information, I have linked a guide of the four signs your business website needs an SEO audit which may help you look at your website in a more critical way.
Speeding up your website
Speed is important for everything – search engines, users, business, sales – go for speed over complex designs, or choose a designer who can deliver complexity without sacrificing speed.
- Background hero images look lovely, but they can be huge and are often guilty of slowing sites way down. Make sure that your images are properly compressed and that the images aren’t too big. Mobile users won’t appreciate scrolling for ages just to get to the first content heading.
- There are loads of speed plugins you can use to compress images, enable browser caching and compress site code. But other than just installing loads of plugins (which can actually slow your site down), it’s a good idea to invest in good development to make sure that your site is built well from the ground up.
- The accelerated mobile pages project is there to help you speed up your mobile site – use it.
Data analysis & feedback loop
One of the best ways to keep your site optimized for users and to consistently provide a great site experience is to frequently analyze and test your site.
It’s easy to become complacent and blind to your own website’s weaknesses – don’t fall into this trap – implement a robust analysis and testing framework.
- Usability tests & studies are a great way to see how people actually use your site, and with the growth of online usability software you can hold usability studies more frequently. Here is how to select the right user testing tools – remember to have a clear testing goal, and use a conversion rate optimization specialist or a usability expert if you’re not sure where to start.
- Get very familiar with your analytics platform and website metrics. You want to be doing daily tracking, weekly snapshots, and monthly in-depth analysis of key metrics and user-behavior like click-through rates, rankings, time on page etc. Don’t just track – react.
- Online and social media surveys can be tiresome to fill in, but they are a really easy way to capture lots of user data with minimum effort. Just don’t expect to get high returns from an online survey – you might need to incentivise the survey (but then you might be skewing the data you get back).
- Third party auditing tools and detailed SEO audits are a great way to help you manage your site’s SEO – just make sure that you actually action the audit’s insights afterwards. Learn how to differentiate what changes and improvements are crucial, and which ones can be actioned at a later date. Anything that affects indexing or significantly damages user-experience should be addressed immediately.
- Also read:
- 7 SEO Strategies To Bring Success In 2019
Getting indexed is much more than just publishing a site and hoping that search engines will like what they find. Make sure that the search engine experience of your site is as straightforward as possible by getting your site properly indexed (check out this indexing diagnostics post to get you started).
- Sitemaps are a great way to help search engines make sense of your site content – keep yours updated.
- Use the rel=canonical tag to help you direct search engine attention away from any unnecessary pages that don’t belong in the index. Over-indexing of weak pages and URLs will make your site seem low on relevancy.
- Keep an eye out for any 404s or broken links – they will impact search engines’ crawl experience of your site (and are also very annoying for users).
- Fix and bolster any weak pages. Your site is indexed as a whole and weak pages will impact your website’s potential.
- Go for unique and compelling metadata in your page titles and meta descriptions – go for variations on your keyword themes and always include a benefit or CTA for the user to encourage clicks.
Don’t neglect the power of images and make sure that you are using images that enhance your site user-experience, not detract from it.
- Use the right image file formats and sizes for speed. If you’re not sure, speak to your designer or developer.
- Submit an image sitemap to search engines if your site is made up of loads of image galleries.
- Image alt texts are there for you to use them. They are easy to manage in most modern content management systems and should take mere minutes to update. Use them to improve the search engine experience of your website.
- Think about image relevancy – bland stock images are going to turn people off and won’t help you build a distinctive look and feel for your brand.
Great content helps you build trust with your audience, and having a trustworthy brand is one of your biggest assets. Prioritize both content quality and frequency, but don’t forget to stop every now and then to evaluate your content strategy and results. Don’t get stuck on the content hamster wheel.
- Good content makes your site more relevant and compelling for search engines and users – it keeps people coming back for more. Don’t fall into the trap of writing for search engines first, and people second. Using the services of an experienced content writing company could really help you in this matter as they’ll be able to write in an engaging way which also has high relevance in search engine results.
- Make sure that your content can be easily shared – you want to encourage engagement and social sharing. Include guest bloggers and influencers on your site to help encourage backlinks. Create a content lead magnet to up the number of email subscribers and use it to drive traffic to your site through advertising and promotion.
- To prove that your content is worth its place on the web it needs to be properly promoted. Don’t forget to promote your content over and over again in order to maximize content return.
Mark up your content
A simple way to help you get more out of your SEO is to use easy-to-implement markup language on key content pieces that are likely to rank. Mark up your content to tell search engines more about your site’s content – it flags up products, prices, reviews, and other crucial content markers. These are are then displayed in the dynamic rich snippets box on search results pages.
- Always think about what people want to achieve, what problems they have, what questions they are asking, and how you can help them. Answering these questions for people in the form of content and how-to’s is a great place to start creating more rankable content.
- Content markup is very valuable for mobile searches as the rich snippets box fills so much of the mobile search results page.
Invest in UX now
You might get away with a non user-friendly site for a short period of time, but if you’re not heavily investing in UX now, you will see your site decay, and rankings and engagement will eventually fall.
To ensure that you will have a well-performing site for years to come, you better start investing in researching your site’s users and audience now. What are they searching for? What elements do they find most useful and why? How can you make their experience of your site even better?
What site performance issues have you noticed online before? Which ones do you find the most frustrating?
Gareth has worked as an SEO for almost a decade now and has recently started working as a freelance SEO in Bristol. His SEO specialisms are content and blogger outreach…and he likes green tea. You can follow him on Twitter @SimpsonGareth.