SEO: Steps to Improve Your Rankings

Content Author:
Hannah Schultes

SEO Rankings CoverIf you've been paying attention to the tech world lately, you're aware of the rising emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). It's impacting on most industries in one way or another, including search! Search engines are competing to win the market for the best AI search tool, while searchers are simply looking for the quickest answers to their problems. Though we don't know how the search algorithms may change for their AI machines, we know that, more than ever, it's essential to have high-quality content on our websites. 

Steps to Improve SEO

SEO = Search Engine Optimization; that is, optimizing your content for search engines. You can improve your SEO from a technical standpoint and with content strategy.

Technical SEO

Performing technical SEO is the process of ensuring your web pages meet the technical requirements of search engines. The good news is that once you know the requirements, you can perform any new website updates with them in mind! 

  1. Always view your page on a mobile display before publishing. Fix anything that doesn't work correctly. 
  2. Review the page's load time. If it's slow, the first thing to check is whether or not any large images on the page can be optimized.
  3. Name image files appropriately and include descriptive alternate text after uploading. Consider adding keywords (identified below) to your naming efforts.
  4. Fix any broken links on the page. It's important to provide the best user experience you can for your visitor. Review Your Siteimprove Dashboard Explained to learn more.
  5. Audit the headings on your page and ensure they create a clear and concise content outline.
  6. Review your sitemap for missing content. Your sitemap tells search engines about specific pages on your website. It's like saying, "Hey! Please crawl these pages when you get a chance!" You can review yours by adding /sitemap.xml to your home page URL (E.g., If you notice pages on your website need to be added to your sitemap, contact us at

Strategic SEO

Strategic SEO is about improving your website's content to meet your audience's needs, so that your audience finds your content.

  1. Perform Keyword Research and Competitive Analysis
    This works best if you know your audience well. Spend some time thinking about what phrases they are searching for and create a rough list of potential keywords you would like your website to rank for in Google. 
    1. Analyze your target audience and create a rough list of keywords based on their common search intent.
    2. Use a free online SEO tool (such as ahrefs, Moz, or SEMRush) to narrow your list based on the average monthly search volume and how difficult it will be to rank for each keyword. Select keywords that aren't too far out of your reach.
    3. Next, you can do a competitive analysis. Plug each remaining keywords into a search engine and review who and what type of content is already ranked there. If there is content featured on other sites that your site doesn't cover, consider how to add it for your visitors!
    4. Optimize your current content to include the keywords where it makes sense. 
  2. Outreach
    Now that your content is optimized for search engines, identify other websites that could feature your content. The goal is to show Google and other search engines that other sites find your content valuable and worth sharing.
    1. Turn unlinked mentions into links: if your project was announced in a preemptive press release, go back and add your website link. 
    2. If you have partners, make sure you are featured on their websites.
    3. If your research would make a great addition to another site's content, suggest that they share it with their audience by linking to it from their website. 

Still trying to figure out where to begin? We recommend downloading our checklist and starting with the pages in your main menu! Once those are optimized, you can move on to your remaining pages. SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. Be sure to monitor your progress as you go.

Soon to come: AI-O in addition to SEO? As always, may the best page win.