You made your web page, the content is posted, and the pages are well-designed, but despite all of your work, you aren’t getting many visitors. This is a common problem, especially for new sites. Though it may be tempting to just leave your page as it is and carry on with your work, how you use and update your website can have major consequences on your business. According to the 2015 Private Duty Benchmarking Study, search engine optimization (SEO) was the number one consumer and referral marketing source of 2014, bringing in a median 17.3% of 2014 revenue. That’s a significant revenue source you may be missing out on, and the providers who aren’t working on their SEO are losing ground and money to their competitors who are. Luckily, there are simple ways to improve your site’s visibility and ranking, as long as you can stick with it.
1. Cut down your load time
Page speed is a major factor to site usability and improving your SEO. Users generally have a short attention span for websites, and if your page takes too long to load, within a matter of seconds many users will leave. Images with large file sizes are one of the biggest factors to slow load times. To avoid this problem, downsize image files by editing them with a picture editor, like Photoshop, and use standard file formats, such as JPG, PNG, and GIF. Broken links, unnecessary code, and extra plug-ins will also slow you down. You can easily check your site for any broken links and fix them, and sites like WooRank and Pingdom can measure your site speed and offer suggestions for decreasing your loading time.
2. Be original
Google doesn’t like duplicate content, and your users generally don’t either. If you have multiple websites for your company or multiple blogs, post unique content on each. Republishing content from other sites, especially without permission, is not only a potential copyright infringement, but it can also hurt your rankings.
3. Update content regularly
Active sites rank higher than inactive ones. While creating a web page is good for your business, if you haven’t updated your content in the last month, your site’s rankings could begin to drop. Frequently updating a company blog or news page shows search engines that your page is in-use and relevant. To stay active for both users and search engines, you should post at least once a week.
4. Publish quality content
Nothing is as important to improving your SEO as producing quality content. Users visit and return to sites with valuable content, and therefore, it goes without saying that your web content should be relevant to your target audience. If you’re a home care site, you should write to the needs of potential patients and their families or even potential caregivers. You can use your site as a go-to source of company news and quality information on relevant issues.
5. Make your content shareable
If you publish quality content, your users will want to share it. Research by searchmetrics shows that search engine rankings correlate with social signals. High-ranking sites tend to also have a high number of likes, shares, and tweets. To facilitate sharing on your site, allow blog comments and connect your pages to social media sites. Become a presence on the major social networks so that users can follow you, talk to you, and easily show their friends the content you post.
Though improving your SEO may seem intimidating, there are many simple ways to increase your ranking that don’t require extensive web knowledge or hiring an outside company. You’ll find that as you work to improve your site’s SEO you’ll also improve your site’s usability and the customer experience, which makes it worth the effort.