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4 Steps to Improving SEO
(last modified2023-02-02T19:43:22.897Z)

4 Steps to Improving SEO

Walmart generated a 1% increase in profits with every 100ms page load increase.

Amber Lough
Amber Lough

Amber is a technical writer and author at Adxsoftware. She has an MFA in writing from the Vermont College of Fine Arts.

4 Steps to Improving SEO

There’s the old SEO, and then there’s the new SEO

SEO itself hasn’t changed, but the way Google looks at it and ranks a website has evolved. Today, Google looks at a lot more than keywords and links—it’s wants to know how useful your website is to a user. 

The new Google Formula is:

SEO + UX = Google Ranking

First, let’s break these down.

SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a set of keywords found within a website’s content that a search engine uses to help the person conducting a search. It’s more than the site’s written copy—it’s also any podcasts, videos, infographics, images, etc., that might answer the user’s question or assist them in some way. The more complete a site’s SEO, the more likely it will be selected by a search engine and placed on the highly curated list the user sees on their browser.

UX is User Experience, or how positive and useful the experience is for the user. From a search engine’s perspective, a website with good UX will not only have the information the user needs, but also make it easy to find and use. The website is easily navigable, has a logical flow of information, and is presented in an accessible way. As far as Google is concerned, the longer a user stays on a website, the more likely it is that they found what they were looking for.

Let’s say a website has minimal SEO and the UX is very poor. Users are arriving at the site, but few stay for more than a second or two because it’s confusing or difficult to sift through and might not have the information they need. This website would be given a lower rank on Google.

Now, as the website’s SEO and UX improve, the search engine decides it is more likely to contain useful information, and visitors stick around a bit longer. This increases the ranking in a Google Search. When the site has very good SEO and UX, it’s ratings will be much, much higher. 

But what if something changes within the site, such as more mobile users, but the pages aren’t compatible with a mobile device—and they leave? This lowers the UX Grade and…you guessed it…lowers the ranking, too.

Once this design issue is taken care of, the users return, stay for longer and voila! Higher scores all around. If your site is listed at the very top of the search engine’s results, it is ten times more likely to be selected over the 10th website on the list.

Creating and Managing SEO

Useful content is search engine gold, but it’s not always easy to create or maintain. Many businesses hire professionals to create and manage their SEO, but some do this on their own.  Fortunately, there are sites dedicated to helping with this, such as Ahrefs, a company specializing in SEO that offers free SEO education.

We’ve narrowed the important tasks down to the basics:

#1 Publish relevant content

This step takes the most time, but it is the most crucial. This means writing the text, or copy, for all webpages on the site, as well as creating any videos, images, audio, charts, etc. The key here is to provide clear, accurate, and direct information that will draw visitors to the site. It helps to check the UX and make it easy for them to navigate the site, as well.

It can be an exhausting step, but remember: the more useful information a site has, the more likely it is to be found in a search engine’s list.

#2 Update the content regularly

Once you’ve got your content created, make sure it’s up to date! If users arrive at the site and discover outdated information, they won’t bother to stick around.

#3 Review and update the Metadata

Metadata is data about data, to put it simply. It’s categorized information detailing what is contained in the larger data. For example, the metadata of an image might contain the creator, the size of the image, date created, what is contained in the image, and so on. It’s particularly useful for any videos or audio files because the search engine can more easily scan the metadata about the files than it can scan the content itself. 

#4 Use Alt-tags

Similar to metadata, Alt-tags describe content by providing text, which is read by search engines. It’s particularly useful for anyone viewing a page with a screen reader and for users with slower internet speeds or browsers that cannot process images. 

Alt-tags are contained within the image tag and should be concise but clear in describing the image.

And don’t forget: SEO + UX = Google Ranking

SEO and UX require concentrated effort, but if you want your site to rise to the top, they’re vital components to a business’ online presence. 

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