Odds are a majority of the traffic to your website comes from organic search — this refers to content on your website or blog that is returned when relevant queries are entered into search engines like Google. In fact, more than 50% of web traffic across the board comes from organic search, which means you could be missing out on some serious web traffic given that there are more than 8.5 million Google searches each day.
It’s pretty easy to see why the search engine optimization (SEO) value of your website is so important. Ensuring your website content is optimized for search makes it easier for your target audience to find your website, engage with content that helps them learn more about your brand, and learn how your products and services can help them overcome their challenges.
The question is: What can you do to improve the organic search value of your website to increase web traffic and generate new leads to drive business growth? Here, we’ll look at eight actionable steps you can take right now to help improve the SEO value of your website.
1. Conduct a site audit using an SEO tool
Auditing the SEO value of your website helps identify a variety of on-page and technical (back end) issues that limit your site’s ability to perform — in terms of organic search and overall functionality. There are a number of free online tools that crawl your website to diagnose SEO issues and provide recommendations to address the problems, but our favorites include Semrush, MOZ, and our own website grader, which includes a music playlist to help you pass the time while we audit your site.
Conducting an SEO audit of your website is an important first step that will likely surface organic search issues that the following tips can help you fix.
2. Optimize the copy of your site for organic search
Optimizing your website copy for search means presenting information in a way that search engines and humans can understand and find valuable. Website or blog copy that is optimized for organic search needs to be targeted, relevant, and timely. This means writing website copy using keywords with high search volumes that closely relate to the information your target audience is looking for — read our recent blog post on the importance of blogging to learn more about this.
This also means making sure your copy is organized on the page using heading hierarchies in the form of H1 and H2 tags to help Google better sort and return your website content based on the search inquiry. Additionally, it’s good practice to make sure each page contains a page title and meta description using these same targeted keywords to provide Google with as much information as possible as to the content on each page.
3. Make sure your website uses high-quality images
When talking about high-quality images in terms of SEO, we’re talking about images that are:
- Properly sized based on your website template or theme
- Compressed to the ideal file size, as large files can slow the rate at which your site loads
- Titled and described using relevant keywords or search terms
- Uploaded with appropriate alt tags, which provide information about the image and what’s depicted in it to help search engines index and return images based on searches
Not quite what you had in mind when you read the term high-quality images? Don’t worry — read more on some of our best practices for using high-quality images to help increase the SEO value of your website.
4. Incorporate video and other kinds of interactive content
One of the key methodologies Google uses to judge SEO value is the usefulness of the content on your website — this is in part determined by the number of external links that direct back to your site, but, to some degree, the amount of time users spend on your website. Incorporating more dynamic elements like videos, charts, graphics, or other visual representations of data can increase the value users find in engaging with your content, and can also help increase the likelihood users share your site with others.
5. Emphasize accessibility
Website accessibility refers to the ease with which a user with a disability can navigate your website and engage with your site’s content. This includes users who may be hearing or visually impaired, and those who require the use of a screen reader or other assistive technology. Website components to consider when thinking about accessibility include font size and color, high-contrast design colors, photo and image captions, alt tags for images, and heading hierarchies — those H1 and H2 tags — to organize content.
6. Prioritize a mobile-friendly experience
A mobile-friendly website means your site can be used just as easily on a mobile device as it can on a desktop or laptop. It’s easy to assume that every website in this day and age is responsive on a mobile device, but this is not always the case. Prioritizing mobile-friendliness is key because of reasons we already touched on — value to the user and the amount of time spent on your site — but it’s also critical because more than 50% of all global web traffic is mobile.
If your website can’t adequately perform on a mobile device, you could be missing out on making a meaningful connection with half of your target audience.
7. Embrace the need for speed
Nearly 7 out of 10 consumers report that how quickly a website loads directly impacts their willingness to make a purchase from an online retailer. In fact, Semrush reports that websites with a load time of more than 5 seconds have a probable bounce rate of 90%. The speed at which your website loads directly impacts the SEO value Google assigns to your site, as a slower load time results in a poor user experience.
You can help increase the speed and SEO value of your site by using properly sized and compressed images and minimized website code and by being strategic with your use of video or other dynamic elements that could take more time to load. Lazy loading, which is an optimization technique in the build of your website that only loads components of a page as the user scrolls, can also help display large dynamic elements like videos or graphics without decreasing your site speed.
8. Avoid broken internal links
Websites with higher SEO value use a large number of internal links to connect website pages, pillar pages, blog entries, and other forms of content. Internal links help improve your website’s relevancy, authority, and value to the user, which are all important factors for Google’s SEO algorithm. However, broken links that do not open a website page can damage your SEO health by increasing your site’s bounce rate and reducing the amount of time users spend on your site’s pages. Regularly audit and address broken links, and be sure to set up a redirect if you have to unpublish a page.
These eight tips offer some quick fixes to help increase the SEO value of your website, but there’s much more at play to help increase your long-term organic search value.
Search engine optimization is at the heart of our content marketing services, and we can help you get to where you want to go in the world of organic search. Try our SEO audit tool to see how your website performs, or contact us to learn more.