Welcome to Week 2! We are looking at ways to improve your website, making it a 3-week challenge that will pinpoint some beneficial changes for the new year.
Last week, we discussed how to go through your site with an eye toward better organization and structure, as well as ways to improve performance and site speed through optimizing files and removing unnecessary plug-ins, among other tips.
Week 2: Search Challenge
After last week’s work, you now have your site in a better place operationally, so what comes next? Time to look into some deeper SEO with some testing. But first, we need to know a little about how testing works.
In essence, testing allows you to see what is working and what is potentially harmful in terms of SEO. It helps you make better decisions regarding your content by allowing you to take a page template, title tag, keyword, or other website data you wish to test and then create alternates to test them against. Once you split your test into control (original data) and variant (changed data) groups, you can measure the impact of the changes you make. If the variants improve in their performance while the controls do not, you can consider the test a success and roll forward use of the new data in your website.
Day 8: Title Tags
Using social media, you can search for effective and attractive title tags. By using media like Twitter, you can test multiple titles all pointing to the same link and use the data you collect to determine what appeals most to users.
This can be verified by going to Google Search Console and selecting the appropriate site. Click on search traffic followed by search analysis. This will show you all the keywords that are providing you with traffic, as well as the number of clicks, impressions, etc.
Day 9: Keywords
Day 9 concerns keyword density and thoroughness. Specifically, which is more important? You will likely hear quite often that keyword density is important, and you’ll be advised that your keywords should be inserted whenever possible– into your first sentence, the title H1 tag, in the URL and more.
Keyword density does play a role, of course, but what will really make you shine is being more thorough. When addressing a topic, cover it from every possible angle. Check out your competitors and see what they are doing; then be sure to be more thorough than they are.
Day 10: Bounce Rate
Today you will be determining the effect of the bounce rate on search traffic. You can try various means to reduce your bounce rate, such as compressing images, writing in shorter paragraphs and larger text size, and looking at the content above the fold. Test each one individually to find out which ones make the greatest difference. You may also consider changing an entry pop up to an exit pop up to see what sort of effect that might have.
Day 11 URL Relevance
Does your URL affect ranking? In short, yes it does, but why?
Google will look at your URL to see what it relates too. By having your URL clearly indicate a page’s purpose, and relation to your site as a whole, Google will better understand what your content is about and its relevance to your site, which will aid in its performance.
Day 12: Featured Snippets
You want your featured snippets to be as clickable as possible. So, much like your titles, you want to see what will capture a user’s attention and bring them to your site. You can test this by writing 2 or 3 snippets and testing each one for a month to see which is the most effective.
Some ways to catch attention and make your snippets more attractive include the use of questions such as “how to” or “what does,” or countdowns such as providing a “Top 10” of your subject.
Days 13 and 14
As with last week, you now have two days off. Enjoy them! You are doing great in this challenge and your site’s performance is going to reflect that. Just be sure to check back for the final part of the challenge in week 3!