Search engine optimization (SEO) rules are constantly changing all of the time, so it is a good idea to review your website on a regular basis (such as quarterly) to see if you are keeping up with the top trends. An easy way to tell is by looking at how much traffic you are getting from Google and the other search engines. If you’ve seen a dip, it’s time to up your game. Here are some suggestions.

1. Dig into Your Google Analytics

You should have this installed at your site to gain insights into who your visitors are and what they are doing. Google will always pay some attention to title, description and keywords in your metatags, but they are also looking for more in order to decide if your site is relevant enough to get onto the first page of the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Other factors Google takes into consideration include:

  • The duration visitors stay on your site
  • Bounce rate
  • Broken links
  • Pages viewed
  • Inbound links
  • Outbound links
  • Internal links
  • And more

Think about creating a “sticky site” that visitors will love to spend time at, link to, and share with others.

2. Make Your Site More Mobile Friendly and User Friendly

All sites need to be mobile friendly these days. They also need to be user friendly, so people can get the most out of visiting your site. It starts with load times being fast. Use only compressed images and avoid any elements that would load slowly, such as banner ads being served up from a third-party site.

In terms of usability, “magazine–type” blogs look attractive, but with no persistent site-wide navigation and no prominent search box, it can be difficult for people to find what they are looking for. If they get frustrated, they will leave.

Your site should be error free, with a minimum of 404 and other similar errors. Check your Google Webmaster Tools account and correct as many errors that are listed as you are able to.

3. Encourage User Engagement

Google rewards sites that get a lot of engagement, such as comments and shares. Create a range of content you know will meet the needs of your target audience and get them so excited that they will be willing to tell others about it. Multimedia content such as videos and slideshows are ideal for this.

4. Create High-Quality Long-Form Content

Google is leaning towards 2,000 to 2,500 words for top content. This will mean a lot more keywords and a longer time on the page by your visitors. Writing to this length is demanding, but try to do it at least once a month and track and test your results.

5. Don’t Be Afraid of Outbound Links

A lot of site owners hate the idea of anyone going off their site. However, outbound links can help if you use them strategically, to show that you are an authority in your niche. Use the open new window command on the links as well, so they will still be on your site even when they click over.

6. Aim for Easy Readability

Keep your style and tone friendly and your content at an ordinary reading level. You don’t need to use big, fancy words to impress. People are busy and want to get to the point right away. Check out your content on readabilityscore.com to see how your content ranks.

7. Use H1s, H2s and so on

These are signals to the search engine about what is important. In WordPress, the title of the post is defaulted to H1. If you are using subheads, turn them into H2s. They will make your page easy to read and impress people and search engines with your well-organized content.

Use these ideas to ensure you keep up with the current SEO trends.

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