SiteSwan Blog - 15 Best Practices to Improve Your Web Search Results
SiteSwan Blog - 15 Best Practices to Improve Your Web Search Results

15 Tips to Help Improve Your Website Search Results

Published on May 9, 2022

One of the best ways for any business to help drive traffic to their website is to rank well in web search results.
Research has shown that more than 90% of clicks from a Google search result go to the first page of organic listings. That means only about 10% of people advance to the second page of search results! Statistics like this make it clear how important it is to rank with organic SEO.

In this article, we’ll cover 15 tips and best practices you can implement into your SEO strategy to help improve your ranking. Let's get started!

1. Use the Right Keywords for Your Industry

Choosing the right keywords is one of the most important and impactful things you can do for your website’s SEO. The keywords you use are determined by industry, location, and target audience.

The best way to identify which keywords are important to target is to think about the terms or phrases a potential customer might search for when finding a particular business. For example, if a customer is looking for a dance school in their area, they might search phrases like “dance school”, “dance studio” or “dance lessons”.

You can also use tools such as Google Keyword Planner or WordTracker. These platforms, as well as other similar resources, provide detailed information about the number of searches per month for a particular keyword, competition levels, and much more. It’s often easier to rank for low difficulty or competition keywords when you’re just starting out.

Once you have developed a list of target keywords, you can integrate these into your website content. For example, if you have a client in the restaurant industry, you’ll want to include keywords related to the cuisine they cater to, the type of food they serve, and their location.

Here’s a tip: SiteSwan’s library of more than 250 themed websites come pre-populated with search-friendly content, specific to the business or industry. This is a great way to save time and ensure your client that their website has already been equipped with some important keywords to help with their search ranking.

2. Make Your Contact Information Easily Accessible 

Basic information about your business should be prominently displayed on your website. This might seem obvious, but it is incredibly important to help consumers find your business during their web search. Furthermore, it helps search engines rank your website higher and verifies you as a legitimate business.

Consider having your contact information positioned in the footer, known as the Reference Panel, so that it can be easily viewed at any time while visitors navigate throughout your website. To assist with search engine optimization, include your business name, company description, address, phone number, hours of operation and other important contact information that consumers may find useful.

3.  Add Meta Tags to Your Site

As part of a website's SEO Settings, Meta Tags are inserted into the HTML code of a site and tell search engines important information about the content on a particular page. Instrumental to SEO, Meta Tags include a Title, Description and Keywords and they help sites rank for related search terms. Global SEO Settings are good for sites with limited pages or limited content and will apply the same Meta Tags to every page of your site. Individual Page SEO Settings allow you to customize each page’s Meta Tags on your site. This will provide the best results and is recommended for sites that have many pages with unique content on each page. When crafting Meta Tags, be brief yet descriptive, include keywords when appropriate, and match the Meta Tag text to align with the content on the page.

To learn more about how to craft meta tags for your site, click here.

4. Optimize for Local Search

Optimizing for the local market (localization) is vital if you want to rank high in search results. This is because the majority of searches are done by people looking for services close to them and using search phrases such as “near me.”

So it's a good idea to think about how you can optimize your site for local results. This comes in several different ways.

Use Locally Relevant Keywords

Use targeted keywords in your title, headers, and content but, not just any keywords. If your client owns a pizzeria in Chicago, you could incorporate into the text of the website something like "best pizza in Chicago." Adding local keywords and the business location will ensure customers nearby can quickly find the website during their web search.

Establish Your Google My Business Account

Another great way to optimize for local search results is by using Google My Business. Since so many people use Google when searching for local businesses, it's much easier to rank high in a local search when a business is verified on Google. In addition to ranking locally, a Google My Business profile displays general details such as the business’s website link, hours of operation, address and phone number. This is yet another way for consumers to learn about your business. 

5. Submit Your Website to Search Engines

If you haven’t done so already, submit your own marketing website and the websites of your web design clients to the major search engines. By doing so, it can help index your site faster. It can also improve search engine rankings, increase online visibility and help drive traffic to your website.

Submitting your sites to search engines is simple with SiteSwan. Built directly into your SiteSwan Dashboard, the Search Engine Submission Tool allows you to submit any of your websites with just one click. 

6. Include Captions and Alt Tags for Images

Part of the content that makes up a website design includes images. For this reason, it’s important that images are optimized for search engines just like regular text content. Adding search-friendly image captions and ALT Tags will help you optimize all of your site’s images for better search results.

Image Captions are the visible text that visitors will see on some images when they are enlarged. Image ALT Tags are used “behind the scenes” and are added to the HTML of a site. For example, if you added a blog article on your website and included an image, save the image as the title of the blog article and also include the business name. Since search engines like Google can’t visually "see" an image, ALT Tags provide a text alternative to help search engines properly identify and index photos on your site for better search results.

Click here to learn how to add image captions and alt tags on your SiteSwan website.

7. Work on Getting Backlinks

Backlinks are links from one webpage to a page on another website. Backlinks are one of the essential things for organic SEO. Google views backlinks as “votes” for a specific page or site. A page with a high number of backlinks means it’s probably on the right path to having a high organic search engine rank.

There are many ways to get backlinks, including submitting your business to online directories, guest posts, social media sites, outreach, blog articles, and even forums. Though, the best way is to create excellent content with searchable keywords or phrases. This will not only attract people who are interested in your content but could also make people want to link back to your site from their own.

8. Stay Active on Social Media

Establishing business profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Yelp is another way to enhance your web search results. Not only will you be able to connect with your target audience but it creates in-bound links and will help drive traffic to your site. When posting to social media be sure to encourage fans and followers to visit your website often. Remember to post regularly, 2-3 times a week, and make appropriate updates, as needed, to your social media profiles.

9. Start a Blog with Search-Friendly Content

Whether you are crafting content for your own site, or for a client’s website, writing local, high quality search-friendly content is by far one of the most important aspects of SEO. Consider writing blog articles and feature them on your website. Make sure the blog topics are relevant, relative to your business and appeal to your site visitors. Provide customers with the information they would want to know that talks directly to their needs. When appropriate, add terms, phrases, and keywords that potential customers would use.

For example, if a local plumber is looking to improve their web search results, a blog can be a great way to boost their rankings. Topics might include “How to fix a leaky faucet”, “How to unclog a drain”, and “How to find the best plumber in [city]”. These are all topics that potential customers might be searching for and are relevant to their business. Having well-written content in the form of a blog can increase the likelihood that Google will display them in search results. It also positions the business as an expert in their field.

10. Get More Positive Reviews 

Online reviews are now considered the new form of “word of mouth.” Having positive reviews is more imperative than ever before because of the immediacy, the influence they have on other consumers, and the impact they have on sales. Online reviews can even impact your overall search engine ranking. Google will consider the total number of reviews and the overall sentiment of the reviews for a business, when displaying search results.

Think about it. If you were searching for a service or product and you see that one business has 20 positive reviews and another business only has three “okay” reviews, which one are you more inclined to go with? Businesses that understand the importance of customer ratings and how they relate to search results are more inclined to beat out the competition. If you focus your efforts on engaging consumers to get more reviews, your search position and reputation can improve.

Here’s a tip: SiteSwan’s Reputation Management Tool is a very valuable service to offer your small business customers as it helps them keep track of what customers are saying about their business from the major review sites and improves their online reputation. This resource can also help deflect negative reviews, generate more 5-star reviews and promote the best reviews on social media. Reputation Management can be added to any of your clients directly from your SiteSwan Dashboard.

11. Focus on the User Experience

Good user experience is necessary for ranking high in search engine results. Not only does it make your website look better and more professional, but it also helps keep people on your website longer.
With the consumer in mind, you want to provide them with a quality experience during their visit to your website. Starting with the homepage and as they navigate throughout the website, they should be able to easily find or search what they are looking for.

You only have a small window of opportunity to make a good impression on customers or potential clients. Text that overlaps, images that don’t load, or websites that aren’t mobile friendly can leave a bad impression on the consumer. They will become annoyed and go elsewhere, possibly to the competition, if they don’t have a good experience within a few seconds of being on a website. 

12. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly 

Most search engine platforms favor websites that are mobile-friendly. Handheld devices are widely used for web searches, which means consumers want to have a good experience viewing your website however they are accessing it. A website page that doesn’t resize or show the navigation tab indicates that it isn’t compatible on a mobile device, thus hurting your search ranking.

As a SiteSwan Reseller, you can rest assured that all SiteSwan websites are mobile responsive, which means they look and work great on any mobile device.

13. Fix Any Broken Links

Broken links and pages that don’t load are one of the biggest problems for any website regarding organic SEO. Not only do they hurt your user experience, but they also show Google that your site is not well-maintained. This can cause you to rank lower in search results.

Review your site regularly to ensure that all links are labeled correctly and working properly. Check the buttons to confirm they are going to the appropriate pages. Make sure any links that are going off-site are still working as well.

14. Improve Your Website Speed

The load time and the speed of your website can also affect web search results. Google and other search engines consider the speed of a website as to how it is ranked. Research shows that 40% of searchers will abandon a site if it doesn't load in 3 seconds or less. Ensuring that your site is functioning properly is arguably one of the most important ranking factors in search engine optimization. Both to improve your search rank and provide a good user experience.

There are a variety of reasons why a page may have a slow load time. For example, oversized image files, too much content, using outdated flash animation and having a website that is unsecured could cause the page to have a slow load time or worse, not work at all.

These are also great examples of why a business could benefit from a new website

15. Be Patient

Don’t expect to start ranking higher on search engines overnight. Just like growing your business, these things take time and continuous effort to start seeing results. Be persistent with implementing different strategies, such as the ones listed in this article, to improve your web search result ranking. It’s important to stick with it and be patient. While this may be a tedious process, think long term and be optimistic that the time you spent trying to enhance your web results will pay off. 

Start Ranking Higher with Organic SEO

Improving organic SEO is more than just creating content. It's an ongoing process that requires dedication and commitment to improving your rankings in search engine results pages. To help you get started, try these 15 organic SEO best practices to improve your web search results.

To learn more about SiteSwan’s search optimized and mobile friendly websites, contact us today!

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