How Do I Improve Search Engine Rankings?

To reach the top few spots on the search results, you need to get many things right with your website. You need to target the right subjects, choose the right keywords, and maybe just be in the right place at the right time – but search engine optimization can help you boost your rankings.

There are multiple ranking factors but only a few that make the biggest difference. How do I improve search engine rankings? By targeting these factors first.

Decrease Load Time

The faster your page loads, the better. From a human perspective, if you click a link and the page takes more than a few seconds to load, you’ll start refreshing the page or go back and look for something else. Because of this, page load time has become an important ranking factor – slow pages are further down the results.

Choosing a fast server with dedicated hosting rather than shared hosting can boost your speed, as can using caching techniques. Using a content distribution network (CDN) like Cloudflare to increase page speed can also help.

Ensure your images are optimized and are the right size. If you want to show an image that is 50px by 50px, but the source file is 5000px by 5000px, you’ll be transferring a lot of data that is unnecessary.

Use lazy loading to only serve images when they are needed, and do the same with comments. Optimize and minify HTML and JavaScript, and don’t use scripts that stop the page from loading until they’ve finished running.

The faster your site loads, the better your ranking will be.

Write to Educate and Entertain

It was common practice to write specifically for keywords until recently, when search engines started to use AI to understand what your content was about. Keywords are still important, but the meaning of the page is also important – if you write about several dog breeds within one page, the AI will understand you are writing about “dogs” even if you don’t include that particular word in the content.

Informative content with original ideas is especially prized by Google. Recycling old content won’t cut it, but good content with a minimum of 300 words will rank – anything shorter is considered irrelevant, and there is no real upper limit.

When people reach your site and linger over your content, this is also a good sign that your rankings will improve.

Use ALT tags and AMP

While AI can understand some images, not every search engine uses that kind of AI. It’s always wise to use ALT tags on images to describe what they are in text – it’s also a requirement in many countries, and not doing so can contravene disability discrimination laws.

AMP is a technology used to quickly deliver basic text and images, primarily for a mobile audience. Using an AMP plugin with WordPress can once again boost your ranking.

SEO Voodoo

Other aspects to consider are backlinks and social media. Backlinks are best developed naturally and organically, as paid-for backlinks will be discovered sooner or later. Social media can work well for driving traffic to your site, and links from social media platforms can boost your rankings, but always consider whether the links you are posting are informative

Spam links can hurt your ranking, and you may be able to generate more traffic directly through social media than by attempting to manipulate your organic search ranking.