4 Easy Ways to Improve Your SEO
SEO is an integral part of any digital marketing campaign. As long as search engines continue to be widely used by the masses, organic results will continue to exist and hold incredible value for marketers. The higher your brand appears in widely used search queries the more traffic you’ll drive to your website because users are most likely to click on results towards the top of the page. Even with the recent reshuffling of paid ads pulling clicks away from organic results, many users still trust and more often use the “real” organic results that appear on a search page.
Recently however, it has become harder than ever for brands to rank for keywords, as Google is getting better at recognizing who industry leaders actually are with updates like Penguin and Panda becoming a part of their core algorithm. While it can be difficult to improve your search rankings, it’s still an important aspect of digital marketing that shouldn’t be omitted.
Ultimately Google wants to deliver the best and most relevant results to their users, so if you can provide content that is the most relevant and best in its space for a specific query you’re more likely to achieve success. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure that your pages have the best chance of ranking, and offer a great experience for both users and search engines:
First and foremost, your onsite content must hold value to your target audience. It’s very important that your content be of the utmost quality and be updated whenever possible. Search engines like Google take “freshness” into consideration when it comes to rankings. The more frequently you update your content, the more accurate Google can safely assume it is, and therefore they see it as capable of offering more value than an older piece of content. Ultimately, search engines want to offer users the greatest and most relevant information based on their searches.
Great content goes in hand in hand with social media shares. While social media doesn’t directly impact SEO, it’s more probable that content with lots of shares is going to capture the interest of more users, and also be more likely to attract the attention of media outlets looking to cite your content as a resource to improve their articles. As a result, these outlets are more likely to link to your website as a result of social media exposure, and in doing so providing one of the key elements of good SEO: quality links.
2. Building a Backlink Profile
Search engines place a strong emphasis on the amount of authoritative links pointing at your website when determining rankings, so building a strong backlink profile is important. More links to your website from reputable media channels indicates to Google that your site is valuable and well-respected. If you have a lot of high quality links to your website, other users and professionals have clearly found value in your content.
So, if you’re trying to rank for certain keywords, it’s best to implement a digital PR strategy based on traditional PR best practices to improve your ranking. Dated SEO tactics don’t always use ethical strategies, and aim at garnering links through directories or paid listings which are now considered “black hat” SEO.
Instead, reach out to authoritative bloggers in your industry or work with journalists that cover stories in your niche and are likely to include a link to your website in their next piece if it’s related to your services or products. Help A Reporter Out (HARO) is a great tool that connects journalists with expert sources in a timely manner to create compelling stories for readers, and is a great place to start with this process. It is undoubtedly better to use best practices to secure links as opposed to “quick wins” that will negatively impact your SEO in the future.
For obvious reasons, SEO is typically associated with keywords. If you’re simply inserting the keywords you want to rank for in places where they don’t make sense, or on pages that aren’t relevant, you run the risk of being penalized by Google and removed from search results altogether. Focus on relevant content that fits with your products or services, and create content around those subjects. Anything non-topical or seemingly unauthentic will provide no real value to your brand or to your users, so focus on discussing the topic of the keyword you’re looking to rank for without focusing too much on exactly how many times you use the keyword in question.
Targeting and writing around topics is a much better way to rank for keywords, and also provides you with more opportunities to rank for other related and valuable keywords that you initially might not have had in mind initially.
4. Technical SEO
Onsite optimization should focus on all the nuts and bolts of your website to help Google effectively read your site. These technical tactics that you can implement or fix on your existing website can greatly improve your relationship with search engines.
Make sure site speed is as efficient as possible by optimizing file size on all images and selecting a reputable hosting server. Title tags should be between 55 and 60 characters, descriptive, and relevant so that they are seemingly natural when they appear in search results. Include meta descriptions (or a brief description) for your content and keep the total word count under 160 characters to meet search engine guidelines. When it’s time to create a new page that will replace an older one, remember to use 301 redirects so that when pages are removed the SEO value flows properly to whatever page is going to be replacing it.
SEO Strategies to Improve Business Growth
An effective SEO strategy can play a significant role in the growth of businesses online. By meeting the guidelines set by search engines you can efficiently improve your search engine rankings, allowing your brand to reach more users each day. Focus on onsite optimization and creating content that your users will find value in, and you’ll be able to benefit both potential customers and search engines as well.