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Last year, the majority of desktop searches, or 79% of them, around the world came from Google. Most websites have some type of valuable content that they want people to see, but if it’s not on the first page of results, it’s highly unlikely that it will ever be seen.
So what’s the point of creating content if you’re never going to be seen?
This is why it is so important to employ the cutting edge strategies that will produce better results and rankings for your website. From the experience of an SEO company in Toronto, these are some of the quintessential changes you must make to your site this year if you want to leap onto the first page of results for your keywords.
1. Increase Your Site Speed
This is probably the most critical step if you are experiencing a poor ranking but have great content. If you go to the Page Speed Optimization tool by Google, you can check your site’s speed and get all sorts of recommendations on how to fix other problems to. The tool will give you a score that should be close to 100 if you are doing everything right.
While it’s impossible to get a perfect score, you should look out for server errors, Java blocking scripts, and image sizes that are dragging down the speed of your site. Google’s ranks site speed as one of the top factors for how to rank your site. If it’s slow, you likely won’t get on the top page of results.
2. Great Content Over Content Quantity
Some websites may have 10 articles published a day, but is it really helping them if it’s not written well? What if it’s not useful but just regurgitated articles from somewhere else? Original, long-form content always wins when it comes to authority and usefulness to the visitor.
If you produce insightful content on a regular basis that people really enjoy and want to interact with, you are almost guaranteed to get more social signals, shares, and links, which ultimately leads to a better ranking for your site.
3. Optimize Your Site Structure and Headings
Is your page set up to provide the best SEO? The URL structure of your site is very important to how search engines see your content. After all, you wouldn’t put a “Map of Europe” under “yoursite.com/map-of-disney.” While you may think your URL structure is difficult to change, you can actually work with your developers to make changes to site structure without hurting your overall site in most cases.
In addition, the headings of your pages also matter, and it’s very important that you have a proper SEO format to your content.
4. Schema Markup
If you have not already done so, it’s time to mark up your pages with Schema.org elements. These are tags that you place in the code to define images, links, names, and other forms of content for the benefit of search engine crawlers. Search bots see content differently, so if you provide a reference list in your code of things that can be found on that page, you are more likely to get a featured snippet and rank well in SERPs.
Here is the full list of schema markup tags.
Remember you don’t have to use all of these, which could drive you insane. This is a beginner’s guide to how to pick the right schema.
5. Use Headers, Subtitles, Captions, and Quotes
This goes along with making your content more readable, but you also want to stylize your pages so that they bold and outline the most important pieces of the content, especially when you are including keywords. You should make sure that every page has H1, H2, and H3 headers at least.
6. Mobile Responsive Design
This is a big one that is not always easy to do, especially if you have an older website design. However, it’s almost unheard of that a site isn’t mobile-friendly in today’s world, so it will only grow more important in the next year. In fact, most sites that are not mobile-friendly are currently obsolete and not well-ranked in Google unless the site has a historical SEO prominence.