Getting a website to rank higher is what every business owner wants. It may seem like SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is some kind of secret, hocus pocus but it’s really not that difficult to jump up a bit in rankings pretty quickly.
Yes, it’s true that for higher-competition industries and national websites, it’ll take quite a bit of work to rank higher but if you’re a local business, then you could start ranking higher by just taking care of two, main things:
- Make sure your website is forcing HTTPS (using SSL)
- Make sure your website loads quickly
Before getting into those two things, there are some other pretty basic things to do:
- Make sure you have a canonical version of your website set
- Make sure you’re not using duplicate content
- Use good page titles, meta descriptions, and headings (heading 1, heading 2, heading 3) that are optimized
- Take care of 404 errors and other errors found in Google Search Console
There you go – 2 main things and then 4 others, which are really important. This is on-page SEO, which is SEO you can control with your website.
1. Make Sure Your Website is Forcing HTTPS
All pages must load securely. Google wants this. If your website isn’t doing this, you’re just penalizing yourself, really. This has been out a while now and it’s a known ranking factor. Still, we run into websites that aren’t doing this.
2. Make Sure Your Website Loads Quickly
Google is all about the user experience. They want to be the best search engine, right? To be the best search engine, they need to give the best results. The best results are websites that load fast. Simple.
This has been tested over and over and… it just plain works.
This means fast hosting, optimized images, a design/theme that loads fast, all errors cleaned up, and rendering the way Google wants.
Your website needs to load fast and this isn’t a one-time thing. You must keep up with it. Keeping up with stuff like this is called “website maintenance” and it’s checking your website on a regular basis, which is:
- Keeping all website software up to date:
- Core software
- Plugins / extensions
- Keeping content up to date:
- Products / services
- Your NAP (name, address, phone)
- FAQs page
- Checking Google Search Console for errors and fixing errors
- Check your website load time every month to make sure it’s loading fast
Google wants all of these things and all of them fall within website maintenance.
You’re lucky to be here because Webstix has a Website Maintenance Department. Yes, we have a department with staff waiting just for maintenance requests like this.
Here’s the story we love to tell…
A little after Webstix started as a company (in 2001), we started noticing clients needing updates. We did them but as our team started doing more projects, we saw that updates weren’t being done quickly enough. This was a problem but a problem that’s understood. You see, web developers get into their work – into their projects. They need momentum on them to get things done. Interruptions absolutely kills that momentum. You know, where they have to stop working on a project to update an image or something. This made sense but we didn’t like it.
Our solution was to start a Website Maintenance Department to take care of these requests. This freed up other developers to keep working on their projects and maintenance work was done more quickly… which our clients really liked!
Webstix is the only company we know of in our area with a dedicated Website Maintenance Department. And believe me, they’re busy. They’re doing our Website Care weekly where they check our clients’ websites for software updates. This keeps our clients running more smoothly and it’s not too expensive either – like $12 a week… wow!
Get Your Website in Shape!
Make sure your website loads securely – every page and in a way where every page is forced to load that way. Make sure your website loads quickly – Google loves that and rewards you. And make sure your website is maintained. That’s it. Do that and you’ll see an instant increase in rankings if you’re not currently doing it.
If you want even more help ranking, then get our SEO report where our staff looks over your website, gives you a report card on your website, and gives a list of recommendations to get it to rank higher – like adding schema and other cool stuff!
Now you know!
Start ranking above your competition by getting your website in shape. Get higher rankings, more traffic, and more conversions (phone calls, sales, likes, etc.) – we just told you how to do it… with no hocus pocus!