SEO improvements that will get you more traffic in 2020
Want more organic traffic on your website? More organic traffic means quality leads and a higher chance of a conversion. Today, I will share with you some simple but significant SEO improvements that will get you more organic traffic!
With the rise of AI and machine learning, the scope of SEO has widened. Now, 25-30% of all web searches are a voice-only search.
Voice-only search drastically improves user experience and because of that, it’s estimated that almost half of online searches will be voice-only searches in the coming years.
To be successful at your SEO efforts, you need to stay updated with current strategies and regularly improve the optimization of your websites.
The SEO improvements that I will cover in this article will take not over 10-15 minutes to apply on your website.
The best part is that these techniques will work great in 2020 and beyond.
So, let’s get started. Shall we?
1. Index your website the right way
Indexing your website the right way is the most important SEO improvements you can make on your website. To appear on the Google search results your website’s sitemap must be submitted to the Google search console.
But before submitting the sitemap on Google search console, I highly recommend you to first change your WordPress websites permalink structure. Why?
If your website is new your default permalink settings usually look like this http://www.example.com/?p=123 (plain)
Permalinks can be set to:
Day and name – https://digitalgrowthninja.com/2019/11/17/sample-post/
Month and name – https://digitalgrowthninja.com/2019/11/sample-post/
Numeric – https://digitalgrowthninja.com/archives/123
Post name – https://digitalgrowthninja.com/sample-post/
Custom Structure – https://digitalgrowthninja.com /%postname%/
The best practice is to use Post name as your Permalink structure. Because having a date in your permalink can lead to low CTR as people tend to avoid clicking on old posts because they think it’s outdated and irrelevant.
A Blogger must always aim to create timeless content and update it whenever necessary.
However, having a date in permalink is a good option for websites that post about current events such as news websites.
How to change WordPress permalink structure?
1. Log into your WordPress website.
2. Click on settings on the WordPress dashboard.
3. Click Permalinks.
4. Now, select the Post name option.
5. Click ‘Save changes’.
Beware- If you have an old website do not change your permalink. When you change the permalink of a website with a lot of content it will lead to redirection issues and you will also lose your social shares.
Now, that we got our permalink structure set to post name, it’s time to submit the sitemap of your website on Google search console to get Google to instantly index your website.
To create your sitemap follow the steps:
1. Install Yoast SEO plugin
2. Now go to the Yoast SEO settings > General
3. Click on features and scroll down to XML sitemaps
4. Click on the question mark (?) and then click on See the XML Sitemap
How to submit your sitemap to Google Search Console
1. Sign in to Google search console
2. Select the property (your website).
Note: If you don’t know how to add and verify your website on Google search console click here
3. Click on Sitemaps
4. Just enter sitemap_index.xml
To get your new post crawled by Google for indexing, you don’t have to take each article and submit that URL to Google.
Google is going to find your content and they’ll automatically set a crawl schedule according to how often you’re publishing your content.
If your website is putting out content constantly they’re gonna crawl you more often.
2. Improve your Page Speed
Improving your website page speed is one of the most important SEO improvements you can make on your website.
Why page speed is important?
1. Page speed is a ranking factor on Google
2. By improving page speed you will improve your conversion rate
3. Your page views will increase dramatically
4. More traffic from mobile phones
How to check your page speed?
Here are few websites where you can check your page speed and issues that are increasing your page load time:
How to improve your page speed? SEO improvements tip Infographics:
3. About me page must have E-A-T
E-A-T stands for Expertise- Authority- Trustworthiness.
The days are long gone when you can rank at the top in over a few months on Google. To consistently rank well on Google you need to build and nurture your Brand.
How do you do that? Showcase your expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness to Google.
To show your expertise
1. Write well balanced easy to comprehend original articles.
2. Do proper keyword research
To gain authority
1. Get links from other authoritative websites
2. Write guest posts for authoritative blogs in your niche to build credibility.
3. Make sure your content is shared widely on social media
4. Have a presence on platforms like Quora or LinkedIn
5. Publish an eBook on Amazon
To develop trustworthiness
1. Mention your contact information
2.Mention your physical location, i.e. your office or store address
3. High domain score
5. Link to only trustworthy resources
6. Mention all your social media profiles
Your Click-through-rate matters a lot in the search result. If you’re getting high impressions but very few clicks this means your headlines are not creating curiosity in the mind of the searchers.
You may be ranked to number three or four in the search results but if your title is good enough to catch people’s attention and you start getting clicks your rank’s going to move up.
Also, If you can get the clicks it doesn’t matter you rank number1 or number 4.
How to write headlines that will up your CTR?
STEP-1 – After deciding on what topic you are going to write your article, create a rough headline. Let’s say you’re are posting a Chocolate cake recipe so your rough title should be something like ‘How to make a chocolate cake’
STEP-2 – Now, Google your rough headline and scroll bottom of the page where you see the suggestions
STEP-3- For the above example lets choose the title ‘How to Make an Amazing Chocolate Cake without Oven’. It’s better to add an adjective when you’re going for this kind of topic. Here I’ve added Amazing before chocolate cake as an adjective.
STEP-4- Next go to Coschedule headline analyzer and past the final title.
You should always strive for a score of 70 or above on the Coschedule headline analyzer. We have got a score of 77 for the title ‘How to Make an Amazing Chocolate Cake without Oven’
5. Length vs. research of your content
There is a tight correlation between the length of a blog post and the success of search results.
In general, when you compare short blog posts with longer blog posts (with more than 2000 words), the longer posts wins.
In fact, in a study, it was found that the average word counts of a first page Google results were approx. 1900 words.
But, the time you spend before writing the article, in doing unique important research on the topic is a lot more valuable than the word count.
The word count is more of a byproduct of the amount of research and information you have to share.
So there’s a correlation between the amount of research and the word count. It’s not research vs. word count and it’s not necessary when you write more words you will rank better.
If you put in the effort doing a lot of research into the topic and so you’ve created a really valuable resource it will often end up being longer and because it’s a better resource it’ll rank better. So focus should be on research not on words.
What matters more is the research and then the resource that you create for people. If you think about it people are usually more interested in something that solves their problem. Your content must serve the searchers’ purpose.
6. Compress Images and add Image Alt text
Now, these are some other important SEO improvements you can make on your website.
By compressing your image size you can drastically improve your page load speed. Which we have discussed, is a major ranking factor for the last few years on Google.
Or you could manually resize every image before you upload it through Compressjpeg.com
But plugins like Short pixel are compression plugin that can also help you in image resizing.
It actually resizes your images for you at the different sizes like a thumbnail will be a different size image than a page-wide image.
Then it compresses that image using an algorithm that gives you remarkable quality and you can’t tell the difference which one is which when you keep the compressed and original one side by side.
Next important this adds a proper Image Alt text aka alt attributes or alt tags.
Alt text helps better user experience and accessibility it also helps search crawlers interpreting the image.
Adding Image alt text can get you some on-page SEO points. It gives you a chance to add some content relevant images and includes your target keyword in it.
The best practices to write good alt text:
Good: img src=”red-car.jpg” alt=” red car”
Bad: img src=”1590041.jpg” alt””>
1. If you close your eyes and if someone reads the image alt text to you the imagination must be a fairly accurate version of the image.
2. Keep it brief and simple
3. Use focus keyword
4. Avoid unnecessary keyword stuffing
7. Rich snippets
The SERPs look totally different from what it looks like over the last decade or so. When you search for something on Google you will see PPC ads, local listings of Google my business, Video suggestions, etc.
Google tries to update itself adding more and more features to maximize better user experience. Rich Snippets is one of the major features in terms of SEO improvements.
In simple terms, Rich snippets are additional data that are displayed with a search result.
For example, look at the image below. When we search Chocolate recipe, the rating, reviews, preparation time and calories are rich snippets.
Types of rich snippets:
There can be many types of rich snippets some of the prominent once are:
How to add Rich snippets on WordPress?
Install a plugin called – Schema – All In One Schema Rich Snippets
8. Add a table of content
This one is a kind of a Ninja technique for SEO improvements on your website. When you apply this you’re actually gonna see a bump in your traffic.
When you post articles use tables wherever you can. It’s a great way to add list type rich snippets.
Go through your old blog posts and arrange the information into easy-to-read points. This is going to help you with SEO because it’s gonna help you win a lot more snippet.
It’s surprising that snippet optimization is huge in SEO right now and nobody is talking about it.
To add the table of content tries following WordPress plugins:
1. LuckyWP Table of Contents (The one I use!)
9. WP old date remover (WordPress Plugin)
When you search something on Google to make sure its time relevant you check the date the article was posted. Some people don’t even click if an article is 2 or more years old even though its an evergreen topic.
So even if Google doesn’t care and still sees the content as relevant users that see that date showing up in the search results they may not click on your article because it looks old or outdated.
So, it’s important to make sure you hide your date from the search results.
The WP old date remover plug-in will do that for you or your theme and may be able to just remove the date Meta tag from your search result and then no date will display.
10. Find and redirect broken links
Having broken or dead links have a huge negative impact on your website’s search rankings. Because they restrict the flow of your website links and they generate bad user experience.
It’s better to check your website periodically for any broken or dead links. If you don’t know how to check for broken links and redirect them here is a list of some tools you can use:
To check for broken links
To fix the broken links
Even though the Hilltop Algorithm adopted by Google over 15 years ago it still plays a huge role in getting better search engine ranking. It’s one of the most essential SEO improvements you can make on your website.
It’s basically an on-page SEO technique to tell Google that your page is related to what type of content.
The outbound links tell the type and relevancy of the web page.
The other benefit of linking other websites is no matter great your content is you cannot cover every aspect of a topic linking other resources that makes your webpage mare valuable and trustworthy.
12. Setup Google AMP on your website
AMP stands for Accelerated mobile pages and by setting up AMP on your website you can make your website load faster on mobile devices.
Fast loading of mobile websites is one of the major SEO improvements that can skyrocket your website traffic.
Sometimes even with all the efforts, it gets very difficult to increase your mobile page load speed.
Setting up AMP can be a quick and easy way to boost your mobile page load speed.
Here is how to do it
Install an AMP plugin on your WordPress website. Some of the popular once are –
Follow the steps given in this article-
13. Optimize your content for voice search
The number of voice searches is increasing year by year. It’s been estimated that 50% of all online searches will be voice-based by 2020. This is a huge change as far as SEO is concerned.
If you want to rank well on Google in the future you can’t ignore voice search in your SEO strategy.
Optimizing your content for voice search may seem difficult but trust me it’s not as difficult as it sounds. And it can be one of the massive SEO improvements you can make on your website.
So what changes must be made to optimize your content for voice search?
1. Focus on long-tail keywords when writing an article because voice queries are usually long sentences.
2. Create content in a question-answer format.
3. Use Structured Data because for voice queries the device read back the information from the featured snippet box.
4. Focus on Local SEO as most of the voice queries are local.
5. Boost your website speed.
14. Add your website to Bing webmaster tool
By following the 1st point in this article I’m sure you’ve signed up and got verified by Google search console.
Also, by now you have submitted your sitemap on Google search console so that your website could be indexed.
Google is the largest search engine and most of us use search console to index our website on Google but people usually Bing webmaster tools.
Sure it’s not as big as Google and won’t get you as much traffic on your website as Google does. But it’s still the second-highest source of organic website traffic.
Even if it could comprise 20% of your organic website traffic it would be stupid to completely ignore it. Are you willing to lose precious organic traffic from Bing?
Bing powers Yahoo’s and AOL’s organic search results and simply just adding your website to Bing webmaster tools. Bing, Yahoo, and AOL users can access your website organically.
How to add your website to Bing webmaster tools
If you have already verified the Google search console account you can import your website on Bing webmaster tools. By doing that your account will be auto-verified and you don’t have to go through the manual verification process.
1. Signup on Bing Webmaster Tools
2. Then click on Import as shown in the picture below
3. Click on continue to search console
4. Sign in to your google account and click allow
5. Select the website and click import
6. Your sitemap will be automatically submitted
7. Wait for approval.
Once you are verified you’ll have a lot more new features and enhancements at your disposal. You’ll also get additional data so can create more accurate strategies. This can be a huge advantage and one of the major SEO improvements.
15. Pay attention to Local SEO
Almost half of the Google searches are from people who are looking for local search results.
- Local businesses
- Contact information
- Opening hours
If you are someone who provides some type of service in addition to the blog posts you cannot afford to ignore local SEO.
Let’s say you write about digital marketing and also provide services related to digital marketing than you should register on Google My business and add your website URL on it.
This is a great way to generate traffic on your website and get some local clients.
Here are some tips to optimize your website for Local SEO:
1. Completely fill Google my business profile and add images, tags, and keywords.
2. Optimize your web page to target the location where your business is located. For example, let’s say you are a dentist in London, so your focus keyword for the page should be ‘dentist in London.’
3. Optimize the Meta title of the page and add the focus keyword.
4. Add a proper descriptive Meta description to your page.
5. Optimize your page structure with header tags
6. Add alt text to your images with the focus keyword
7. Improve your website’s internal linking
8. Add schema markup to the business address of your content page that is linked with Google my business profile.
9. Try to get backlinks for that page from other local websites.