Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a very powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal.
While advanced SEO strategies require a lot of hard work and probably the help of an SEO management agency to pull off, there are tons of basic tips and tricks you can follow to help boost your site’s SEO. Here are some 4 our top tips for maximum impact.
1 – Start with a website SEO Audit
The best way to know where you stand when it comes to your site’s SEO is to have your website audited. Digital marketing agencies often offer an SEO audit service. An SEO audit is where an SEO company will look at your current search engine performance, as well as looking for any SEO problems on your website that should be corrected or improved. A good SEO audit can give you a very clear picture of what you should do in order to improve your site’s ranking on Google.
It is also useful to get an SEO audit before you move on with more time-consuming, complex, or expensive SEO practices. This ensures there aren’t any obvious on-site issues holding back your campaign.
A more comprehensive audit is where you will see the real benefit. An advanced SEO audit compares your website to that of your competition. Once a comparison can be made, only then can a prioritised list of SEO actions can be proposed.
Not all SEO metrics are equal, and some are more prevalent than others, depending on the target keyword, the sector and the website in question. For example, a website with a high domain authority may be able compete with more competitive keywords.
Tools such as SEMrush and Screaming Frog are both particularly useful for obtaining the necessary data to form a comprehensive site audit. The key is to proritise your SEO actions based on the maximum amount of impact. This can be established by looking at what the top 10 competing websites are currently doing.
What you are looking for here is high-impact / low-effort SEO changes. These can include adding the target keyword to the title / meta description, or improving the internal linking to the target page.
2 – Create quality content
A lot of SEO is related to making your site more valuable and useful to general readers. That’s because while the mechanisms search engines use to rank websites are relatively mysterious, the goals of those mechanisms are obvious. Search engines want to offer the best possible result for any given search query, so writing great content is a must. It’s not just about getting people to click on your site, it’s about giving something that will keep them engaged after they click. Focus all your SEO efforts on the same end goal as Google: to provide a relevant and high-quality user journey that solves the problem or need of the person searching.
Good quality content often focuses on answering a question or solving a problem. If it’s a feature-led selling approach, then people will often buy based on price, whereas if it’s a benefit-led sell, then customers will buy based on want rather than need and often be willing to pay a premium for it.
Fundamentally, content needs to be more insightful and beneficial than any other of the websites currently ranked within the top 10. Combining and expanding on their content can be a great place to start. Add to this tools such as AnswerThePublic and Ubersuggest and you have content ideas that the search engines will love.
With this in mind, make sure that your content appeals to the audience, we will explain how to do so in the next point.
In addition, your article should go into more detail and provide more value to the reader than any other article and you can only do this by having more words on the page. Check the total number of words used on average and exceed this with your content.
Good content gets shared and that’s what generates links.
3 – Target the right keywords
We prefer to call them search queries, but for the sake of consistency, we will call them keywords.
Keyword research can be a complicated science, that’s true. However, in short, it comes down to finding keywords that are both relevant to your target audience and are under-served in terms of quality content and then writing content targeted for those keywords.
To perform well in SEO, you need better quality content than the next website. With this said, ranking for certain keywords is not as simple. There are many factors at play when it comes to how a website ranks for a particular keyword.
To begin, you need to find keywords that your customers will use when trying to find your product or service. You can use Google Keyword Planner or Uber Suggest for potential keyword ideas, or connect to Google Search Console to see how you are already performing on Google. Alternatively, SEMrush will show you what your competitors are generating traffic from with regards to keywords.
The key focus with keywords is ensuring that the volume is sufficient to make it worthwhile.
- Keywords need to have sufficient search volume.
- Keywords need to not be too competitive.
- Keywords need to produce more qualified potential customers.
In order to ensure that a keyword is appropriate, consider where your keyword falls in the Phase of Intent (Idea, Browse, Compare or Buy).
Following this, check the competitiveness of the keyword using Search Operators such as Allintitle, allinanchor and allinurl. You are looking for low numbers here.
Lastly, use Google Trends to ensure that your keyword isn’t decreasing in popularity. You want to ensure that you are operating in a growing market.
4 – Focus on the user
Whether it’s Pagespeed, mobile usability, click-through-rates or on page analytics, it always comes down to one thing: the user. Great SEO isn’t about trying to beat Google, it’s about providing the very best for the website visitor.
This is why user-generated content works so well from an SEO perspective. It is why Q&A websites do so well in terms of SEO, such as Reddit or StackOverflow. Create a platform for users to engage, reward them for doing so and Google will love it.
By focusing on the user first above and beyond anything else, you are creating an optimal user experience and your SEO will improve.
One of the main downsides of SEO is just how long it can take. You may spend months on a campaign while seeing very little progress on your rankings across multiple keywords. On the other hand, when changes do happen the results are often staggering. There are plenty of reports of sites that spent months working on SEO with little results, only to suddenly find their organic traffic exploding when search engines finally started bumping their site up the ranks. Note, only the most deserving of websites achieve good SEO performance and retain it.
This means that SEO marketing requires patience and consistency. Few companies have the resources and patience needed to constantly put out content for months, but it is an important step for long-term success.
This is why balancing your SEO efforts with PPC is highly beneficial, as you can find out which keywords work on PPC before targeting them in terms of SEO.