1. Check Your Title Tags

When you search for anything using a search engine, you’ll get a list of results, each with it’s own small description. This little description is called a title tag, and it’s one of the most important parts of an effective SEO strategy for your organization.

Every page of your website that can be found by a search engine will display title tags. If you have not written them yourself, search engines will scan a page for content and create a title-tag for you.

When a search engine has to automatically generate a title-tag for one of your pages, it will penalize your page and rank it lower than others with custom-written tags. This is because Google and other search engines first priority is to connect users with valuable information. Computer-generated title tags are always going to read worse than human-written ones, and they suggest that your website is not fully developed, making search engines less likely to give good rankings to pages without title-tags.

How to Make Title-Tags

Depending on the tools used to build and manage your website, creating page title-tags works differently. Below, we’ve linked guides to a few of the most popular ways. If you do not see yours listed, consider Googling a tutorial to creating title-tags for your given website management platform.

Title-tags in WordPress

Title-tags in HTML

Title-tags in SquareSpace

2. Build Backlinks

One of the most prominent factors influencing your rankings on Google or any other search engine is the quantity and quality of backlinks pointing to your site.

A backlink is created whenever your domain is linked to from another website.

Generally speaking, the more backlinks a page has, the better it will rank.

For a lot of member-driven organizations, building backlinks can be very easy. All it takes is asking your members to host a link on their website that points to yours! Offer members a little logo or graphic with HTML pointing to your website that they can use to present their membership in your organization on their homepage, and you can both enjoy a little boost to your rankings!

3. Check Load Times

The longer a page takes to load, the more likely a user is to leave before ever seeing it.

Google knows this, and will test your website for load times before it decides how to rank it. It doesn’t want to send it’s users to websites only for them to leave, and so will give priority to websites that load fast!

How to Check Load Times

The best way to check load times for your website is to run them through Google’s Page Speed Insights.

This tool is the exact same one that Google uses to evaluate your website, with a few extra goodies that can help you make your site load faster.

Simply take your URL, copy it into the tool, and run the tool. In a few seconds, Google will do it’s work, and give you an overall score, as well as a list of opportunities you can take advantage of to make your website load faster, and therefore rank better. Some of this information can be confusing to those without experience in web design, but take a look through and you might come across a few thinks you can take care to quickly improve your SEO!

Make Load Times Faster

There are a wide range of methods to improve load times, some easy and others technical. Below, you can find a few quick and easy techniques to substantially boost the speed at which your website loads. Note that these guides are not necessarily specific to your website management system. In order to find the one that works for you, simply Google how to perform the technique using your website management platform.

Image Optimization

Generally, the ‘heaviest’ elements on your website are images. By optimizing them, you reduce them to their smallest possible size without sacrificing image quality. Doing so makes them load faster, and prevents your website load from ‘bottlenecking’ as it tries to load.

Lazy Loading

Lazy loading is a technique that strategically optimizes which parts of your website load when. It works by prioritizing the images and content a user can actually see. Instead of, for example, loading content at the bottom of a page (that user cant see when landing on your website), it will load the top of the page first. As a user is reading at the top of the page, it will then load the bottom. 

4. Be Mobile Friendly

For years, internet users have been moving away from the desktop, and toward mobile devices.

This is why search engines rank websites that are optimized for mobile better than those that are not.

For a lot of older member-based organizations especially, this is a big deal. If your website was developed before the prominence of mobile internet devices, and has not received a major update – investigate ways to update your website for mobile-friendliness. Doing so will not only give your website a significant boost in search engines, but ensure that your website is not abandoned by those who visit from their phones, tablets, and other devices.

Updating Your Website – Pros and Cons

Most older member-driven organizations have non-mobile-optimized websites due to the difficulty of smoothly transferring content from an old platform to a new one. These websites are generally quite complex, having been built up over many years to serve a variety of membership-management functions.

If you find that your case is something like this, while updating your website may be difficult, consider seeking out a professional web developer to help you with the process. Tools and techniques exist that might make the process a lot easier than you think. The benefits of doing so are worth it!

5. Register with Google and Bing

All the major search engines companies offer suites of tools that you can integrate with your website to improve it’s ranking. Simply registering a free account for their services will help your pages rank. Once you’ve done so, Google and Bing offer a range of support tools and learning resources that you can use to further improve your ranking.

Offering comprehensive tutorials and easy set-up, registering web development accounts for Google and Bing takes only a few minutes. Follow the links below to be brought tot

Google Webmaster Tools

Signing up with Google ought to be a basic requirement for any website that takes SEO seriously. It only takes a few minutes, and will provide an immediate and lasting boost to every one of your pages on Google.

Bing Webmaster Tools

While Google certainly dominates search, signing up for a Bing Webmaster account is still a very good idea. While fewer people turn to the search engine from their browser, Windows uses Bing to return search results via the start bar in Windows 10. Not many member-based organizations take advantage of this, making it more likely for your organization to rank high, and fast, on these search results.