In this follow up article to “Quick Wins: 3 Cost Effective Ways to Market your Business on a Tight Budget”, we’re going to explore three more cheap ways you can positively impact your website’s organic rankings.
1. Make sure Google Search Console is set up and functioning
Google Search Console, formerly Google Webmaster Tools, helps you monitor and maintain your website’s presence in Google Search results. The tool monitors a number of important organic rankings influencers, including one often over looked data point: 404 errors. A 404 error appears when a visitor clicks on a link to a page that doesn’t exist on your website. Put yourself in your visitor’s shoes. How would you react if you were navigating through a website and unexpectedly got a 404 error instead of the page/content you wanted to read? You’d probably immediately leave the website.
Your organic search engine rankings are impacted by, among other factors, the quality of the visits to your website. The more time people spend on your site, the more content they read, the more likely it is that you’ll rank for your important keywords. If many visitors come to your site and quickly leave, you’ll receive a high bounce rate. Your organic rankings will take hit because Google will conclude that visitors are leaving your website because they aren’t finding the content they’re looking for.
2. Optimize your website for mobile users
By optimizing your website for mobile users, we’re not talking responsive design – that’s a given. What we’re talking about is the small details that can have a large impact on the success of your website. Make sure fields in forms for mobile users that ask for numerical input only show the numerical keypad. Providing only the numerical keypad for fields such as phone number and zip code improves the user experience.
3. Conduct a backlink audit
Google not only looks at the content and coding of your website when assessing how to rank you on its organic search results page, it also looks at the external sites that are linking into yours. Google figures that if spam sites, link farms, and malicious sites link to your site, then your website must be of similar quality.
Use a tool like SEMrush to see what sites are linking to yours. The backlinks report will show you all the domains that are linking to your site. Take a look at websites with a domain authority of 40 or below (out of 100) to make sure the site is legit. Use Notepad to put together a list of sites that appear to be spam, link farm or malicious, and then upload the file to the Google Search Console as a “disallow file”. By doing this, you’re telling Google that these sites aren’t permitted to link to you.