Have you ever wondered how websites that rank so highly on search engine results pages are able to do so? The answer is easy: SEO.

SEO is an online marketing strategy that can increase a website’s rankings on search engine results pages (SERPs) through organic search.

This is not to be confused with paid/ppc ad marketing (sometimes incorrectly called SEM) which focuses solely on paid search (i.e. advertising).

Why is SEO Important?

The fact is that the higher your web page is on search results, the more likely it is to receive traffic. On the first page alone, the first five organic results account for 67.60% of all clicks. This drops to only 3.73% for web pages that rank from 6 to 10.

So unless your business relies heavily on word of mouth and social media marketing, you need a strong SEO strategy to grow your business.

5 Tips for Expanding Your Reach on SERPs

Google’s algorithm uses more than 200 factors to rank websites. The tips below will help you to naturally boost your ranking on SERPs by focusing on factors you can control.

1. Improve Site Speed

There’s nothing more frustrating for customers than a slow-loading webpage. In fact, 70% of consumers say site speed impacts their purchasing decisions.

So how can you remove this roadblock for your customers?

There are plenty of free tools aimed at helping you to identify issues with site load time. These include PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, and GTmetrix.

When you run your domain through these sites, they emulate the page load process to find issues at every layer.

They then make recommendations that you or a website developer can resolve to increase page load times.

2. Optimize for Mobile

With mobile usage steadily increasing every year, it’s more important than ever to ensure your website is optimized for mobile devices.

The great news is that most content management systems now offer responsive design layouts for your website. This simply means the website will “respond” to the device’s screen resolution.

While responsive design is important, there are other mobile optimization best practices to use. These include offering the same content to both desktop and mobile users, being aware of where ‘the fold’ is on all devices, and testing usage across devices on a regular basis.

3. Publish High-Quality Content

In the early days of Google, it seemed like quantity was king. That is, the more content you had, the more likely you were to rank highly.

With the abundance of information now on the internet, however, quality content has won out. This means you need to produce quality content if you even want the possibility of reaching the first page.

So what does quality content mean? A high-quality article or blog post will contain the following:

  • A strong headline
  • A clear topic
  • Links to sites with high domain authority
  • A logical format
  • Proper spelling and grammar

As your content establishes itself, other elements like backlinks to strong domains, will also contribute to the quality of your content.

If you have content, but aren’t sure what to do next or if you should update existing content, consider getting a content audit from Six Stories.

4. Implement a Backlink Strategy

If you want to strengthen your SEO efforts, then consider implementing a backlink strategy. After all, the number of domains linking to a page was the factor that had the highest correlation to rankings in Google according to a study done by Backlinko.

There are plenty of creative ways to build backlinks, including:

  • Claiming unlinked mentions
  • Building free tools or resource guides
  • Adding your domain to directories
  • Reaching out to publishers

At the start, building backlinks can be tedious. However, it will pay off significantly in the long run.

5. Use Keywords Effectively

Last, but certainly not least, a solid keyword strategy is a no-brainer when it comes to increasing organic search traffic.

To learn more about the keywords you should target, you should:

  • Look at your product and your offerings
  • Look at user search intent (e.g. informational versus transactional)
  • Look at competition
  • Look at current search engine rankings

The fun thing about a keyword strategy is there is always something to tweak. Create a solid strategy, implement it across your site, and then reevaluate in 30 days to see what’s working and what needs to change.

You don’t need to spend tons of money or even tons of time to get your website to rank highly on search engines. Once you’ve created and implemented a stellar SEO strategy, you’ll just need to monitor and make adjustments as needed.

Which of the above tips do you think will be most beneficial to your SEO plan?