Search engine optimization is an important part of any company website strategy. However, Google and other search engines like Yahoo and Bing continuously make changes to their algorithms to create a better search experience for their users. That’s why it’s important for small business owners and marketers to stay up-to-date on the latest SEO tricks if they want to continue to rank higher on the search engines.

We’ve made it easy for you. Below, you will find just a few of the top SEO tricks that you can use in 2018 and beyond to improve your SEO rankings and bring more qualified leads to your website.

Want us to make it even easier? No problem. We’ll do all the work for you. Just contact us, tell us more about your business goals, and we’ll take it from there.

1. Make your website faster.

Site speed is one of the most overlooked SEO tricks. Google has been using site speed as an SEO ranking factor since 2010. Almost 50% of web users expect a website to load in 2 seconds, with many abandoning the site if it fails to load in 3 seconds. This shows that site speed is not only important to the search engines but also the search engine users who may decide not to return to your site if it takes too long to load.

There are a few different elements that contribute to your site speed. One of the biggest components of your site that could be affecting speed is your images. When you compress your images, you are able to cut down the page size by up to 30 or 40%. This results in faster loading pages for your site visitors.

Optimizing your images can have a drastic effect on your site speed, but it isn’t the only thing that you can do to increase your site speed. Here are a few other SEO tricks that you can use to reduce site load times and improve overall search engine rankings:

  • Review page elements. Review the elements on each site page to ensure that you are not providing any unnecessary elements that add to your site load time.
  • Enable browser caching. Browser caching makes it possible for repeat visitors to experience faster load times by storing elements of your site pages in a cache, or temporary storage.
  • Reduce plugins. Another way to improve site load times is to deactivate and delete any unnecessary plugins on your site and get rid of those that are slowing your site speed.

These are just a few ways that you can work to make your website faster. However, it’s important to remember that there are a number of technical factors that impact your page load times that you may not even be considering. If you are struggling to improve your site speed you may want to consult a professional web design company. Those who specialize in web design and development services will take all factors of your site into account when working to improve your load times.

2. Secure your site with HTTPS.

Another one of our top SEO tricks is to make your website secure. If you have not already, it’s time to switch your site to HTTPS. HTTPS is a more secure version of the Http web protocol. HTTPS works together with SSL, or Secure Sockets Layer, to communicate information in a safer way. HTTPS encrypts the data for security, not allowing data to be altered or corrupted as its transmitted. This provides a more safe and secure experience for your site visitors.

In addition to helping you improve the security of your site, HTTPS also has some SEO benefits. For one, Google prefers HTTPS. In fact, as of October 2017, Google warns Chrome site users who navigate to non-HTTPS sites that the page is not secure. This may cause potential leads to turn away from your site before they even get there. Google has also included this as a ranking factor in its search engine algorithm, as the search engine wants to provide the safest experience possible for search engine users.

Another benefit of switching to HTTPS is that it helps provide more accurate data on referral traffic in Google Analytics. On an HTTP site, the traffic from referral sources can often appear as direct traffic. However, with an HTTPS site, the referring domain is visible, making it easier to more accurately see where your site traffic is coming from.

3. Optimize the mobile version of your site.

Though many brands have treated a mobile-friendly website as a nice-to-have, the truth is that Google is making it more imperative for brands to have a site that caters to the mobile visitor. As of 2015, Google has prioritized mobile responsive sites in its search results. This should come as no surprise given that a recent BrightEdge study found that 57% of web traffic comes from mobile devices.

When building your mobile site, it’s important to remember that there is a difference between how keywords rank on mobile vs. desktop. For this reason, it’s important that you work on creating mobile site content that is optimized for the user on the go. Mobile-first content should be quick and easy-to-read on smaller device screens. Similarly, you should make sure that images load quickly and pages are easy to access and scroll from mobile devices. Leverage one of the most important SEO tricks and start optimizing your website.

4. Improve traffic and engagement metrics.

There is plenty of evidence that suggests that Google rewards websites with strong user engagement. When it comes to SEO, user engagement is often measured by the amount of time that the user spends on your site. The more time that users spend on a site, the more likely they are to be engaged by the content they find there.

5. Focus on the user experience of your website.

User experience is an important part of both SEO and lead generation and conversion efforts. You want your website to be easy to use so that visitors can find the information they need and move on to the next step in their buyer’s journey. Google wants to make sure that they are providing the best possible quality search engine results so they favor sites that provide a positive user experience.

Here are some quick tips for improving the user experience (and your search engine rankings):

  • Make your site easy to navigate by using simple menu navigation with clearly listed categories. Site users should be able to navigate to a page without jumping through hoops.
  • Simplify the design of your site, making it easy for users to find what they’re looking for. This includes using a clean, easy-to-read color scheme and font.
  • Develop page content that is optimized and easy to read. This includes using headings (H1 tags) and categories to help users find the content they’re looking for.

Much like improving site speed, creating a better user experience can be a complex process. If you’re ready to work with a professional web design team, be sure to check out our web design FAQs so that you know what to expect.