21 SEO Tips to Improve Your Ranking

These SEO tips can potentially improve your ranking and also generate new visitors and customers. Tip #5 in particular can produce quick results.

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1. Use short URLs

Make sure that URLs are short and incisive. They look better and search engines prefer them that way.

The URL structure used by many online shops is totally chaotic. This causes confusion, not only among website visitors but also for search engine crawlers.

That’s why a URL should be short and impactful, while still including the product name or the keyword used to locate it.

Example of a bad URL:

www.sampleshop.co.uk/category-fr4/s/183571hnj4

Here’s an example of a good URL:

www.sampleshop.co.uk/women/shoes/air-max-thea-prm-sneaker-low/

So you should make sure your online shop URLs are all structured in a logical way.

2. Unique content is a winner

Use unique words and images on your website. That means writing your product descriptions yourself (give them some zest and appeal), instead of using the manufacturers’ words like your competitors do.

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3. Update your content

Use the new Google Search Console to check the ranking of individual sub-pages and how many clicks they are getting.

If the number of impressions is high, but the ranking is lower than 3, this means you are missing a lot of valuable clicks. Sub-pages that are close to having a good ranking should be optimised without delay!

The Freshness Factor also plays a role in getting a good ranking in the search results because up-to-date information is always preferred.

4. Analyse your competitors

Analyse what keywords your competitors use to generate visitors (e.g. with Sistrix) and develop a content strategy to capture these traffic sources for yourself.

5. Improve your website speed

A fast website should be right at the top of your priority list. Users have less patience than ever and don’t like long waits.

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Therefore, you need to optimise images and hosting, and, if necessary, invest in a cloud delivery network.

You can test your website speed with Pingdom or go directly to Google and test it.

SEO Ranking Guide Checklist

6. Responsive design is a must

More and more users surf on their smartphones or tablets. Google knows this and favours websites that look good on all screen sizes and are easy to navigate.

Your visitors will thank you.

7. Use meta data

Meta data is information in a website’s source code which is transmitted to search engines.

It is recommended to set the meta title and meta description for each page - this makes clicking on your link from the search results more attractive.

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8. Test and optimise meta titles

When you are found on the first page of the search results, but simply cannot reach pole position, there might be an issue with the title. Test some different titles which are more exciting or appealing so more people who are searching will be redirected to your site.

9. Structured data

It’s not only meta data that gives you a competitive edge, structured data is another way to supply more info (hours of operation, address details, navigation paths and/or customer reviews) for search engines and the people searching.

This additional information can be displayed in the search results and often generates higher click rates.

Organic_Stars_River_ThamesThese little orange stars appear by collecting reviews and using structured data so Google can find them and display them in the search results.

star-ratings in Google SERPs

10. Dedicated landing pages

If you invest in Google Ads or other advertising tools, you should run a test to see how conversion rates change if visitors are redirected to a landing page specially designed for your advertising campaign.

perfect landing page checklist

11. Harness the power of easy-to-read content

Make sure your website content is easy to read and understand.

Don’t copy Wikipedia and use blocks of text, make it light and easy with short paragraphs, images, videos or other media mixed in.

12. Link to social media

If a website or product impresses its audience, it will be shared on social media. It’s often an indicator that a website should be ranked right at the top of the search results.

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Make it easy for your site visitors to share your content.

13. Give your website a logical, streamlined layout

Each subpage should be reachable with a few clicks and getting there should be straightforward, e.g.:

https://www.page.co.uk/maincategory/subcategory/product

14. Better safe than sorry: SSL encryption

With SSL certificates, your domain address starts with https instead of http (see example in Tip 13).

But what is more important is that SSL encryption protects your users’ data, builds trust in your website, and has been flagged by Google since 25 May 2018.

online safety locks

15. Use autocomplete for keyword research

Everyone who googles something now and again will have noticed that Google tries to complete search queries as you enter them (unless you’ve disabled this feature).

It’s practical and helpful. This is also true for keyword research because the autocomplete suggestions are often search queries from other users.

You can also use a search suggestion feature, (e.g. on Amazon or YouTube), as a source for other ideas without the help of any keyword tools.

keywords to improve SEO SEA whitepaper

16. Focus hard on the first few seconds

Experienced advertising copywriters know that a headline can make or break the success of an advert. It’s pretty much the same with your website.

If you can’t capture and hold the attention of your visitors, they will leave your website and possibly never come back. So try to get the attention of your visitors immediately with strong images and captivating headlines.

people busy on their devices

17. Do not purchase backlinks, earn them on your own merits

Successful PR events, content marketing, guerrilla marketing, contests or sponsorships, there are a thousand different  effective strategies for getting backlinks.

18. Check regularly for 404 errors

A 404 error means that a page can no longer be found. There could be several reasons for this message. Whatever the reason, this error should be prevented.

Tools such as SEO Quake can help you find and repair these dead links.

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19. More information = better ranking

Websites that contain little information are seldom found on the first page of search results because they do not answer the question asked by whoever is searching.

Detailed, well-researched articles offering real added value often dominate the top ranking positions.

Make sure you look at search queries in terms of themes, do not optimise based only on a single keyword, but give a more complete answer instead.

So, more text generally means a better ranking.

Although this statement is often correct, it is not always true. Instead of just producing content for content’s sake, you should follow the next tip on our list…

20. Focus on the user and the purpose of their search

All of the tips, even entire SEO strategies, can be summarised by the following tip.

Since Google is interested in delivering the best possible search result, your main focus should be on providing the best possible search result for the person searching (and for Google).

Quality and relevance are more powerful than quantity.

The search query “What will the weather be like tomorrow?” is intended to generate a short answer.On the other hand, the query “Improve Google ranking” cannot be answered in one sentence.

21. Keep working at it

Quality SEO that delivers long-term success and keeps delivering new customers takes time. Therefore, you must be patient and keep working at it. Keep on developing content and keep on optimising.

As long as you follow tip #20, there’s not much that can go wrong. Good luck!

Bonus tip: Internal links

Internal links help you distribute your SEO power evenly across all the pages of your site. Wikipedia is the classic example for effective internal links.

Each of these words in blue — links — takes the reader to a different article on the website. In this way, they help visitors navigate the website and also ensure that the information quality is evenly distributed across the website.

This means that creating internal links benefits both the SEO process and the user experience.

There are 4 types of internal links. Each link type has a separate rating:

  • Content-Links — these are the internal links in the main written content sections, such as in your blog posts for example. These backlinks are the most powerful links.

  • Sidebar links — these are all the backlinks located in the sidebar of a website. These links usually connect to the latest blog entries, opt-ins or information pages.

  • Links in the navigation/menu bar — these are the links located in the website navigation/menu bar. In most cases, they redirect website visitors to the homepage, the blog, the About Us page, and the Contact Us page.

  • Footer links — these are all the backlinks located in the footer section of a website.

Read our free whitepaper, which shows you how to optimise the internal links in your online shop in only 6 easy steps.

Download Internal Links Whitepaper

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