Dreaming of that coveted top spot on the first page of Google’s search results? You’re not alone!
When a potential customer needs a question answering or is looking for a specific product or service, they will turn to Google and other search engines. If your company stands a chance of being considered, you need to rank as high as possible so that your website is clicked rather than a competitors’.
Whilst running a Google Ads campaign is a fast and effective way to boost traffic to your website, 70% of marketers see SEO as more effective than PPC.
SEO (or Search Engine Optimisation) can be a minefield as there isn’t a set of clear steps that will definitely improve your website’s ranking but over the years marketers have got an idea of what to do and what not to do...
Web Crawlers Love Fresh Content
Fresh content is critical in order to rank highly on search engines, especially Google. Web crawlers are constantly browsing your site looking for new, relevant content to index, however it is unrealistic to expect businesses to update their web pages every other day.
The easiest way to get in a routine of uploading fresh content is to start a blog where you can share your business’ latest news and updates in the industry. Not only are blogs fantastic for bringing in users but they’re also great for keeping users on your website and improving your dwell time (the length of time people spend on your site before returning to search results).
Be Clever With Header Tags
When creating written content for your site, whether it’s your ‘about’ page or a blog post, your header tags will help to split up your text making it skimmable, as well as having significant SEO value. You must use your header tags correctly, putting the most important text, including keywords that relate to your title and content, as H1, your subheadings as H2, and so on. Not only will this help web crawlers get a good idea of what your content is about, it will also make it much more readable for a visitor.
Use Relevant Keywords
Want to get found in search results? You need to figure out what words and phrases your audience are using so that web crawlers can match your content with their search.
Before getting started with any piece of content, conduct some keyword research. There are plenty of free online tools that will help you to see which keywords people are using as well as search volume and competition.
Focus on long-tail keywords (longer and more specific keyword phrases) and aim to naturally fit these into your content, from your titles to your URL, your meta description to your image alt text. Don’t forget to look into synonyms to ensure you’re thinking of every possible phrase that your target audience may search to find your business.
Avoid Long Page Loading Times
In a fast-paced world, there’s nothing more frustrating than a slow loading website. In fact, a Google study discovered that as page load time goes from one second to 10 seconds, the probability of a mobile site visitor bouncing increases 123%.
The longer people have to wait, the more likely they will bounce off the page. A high number of bounces will negatively impact your search ranking so it’s important to keep on top of site maintenance, ensuring it’s loading as fast as possible.
It can be time consuming to check every single page to test site speed, especially if your sitemap is extensive. The best way to keep track is to review your Google Analytics at the end of the month. Noticed a page that has an extremely high bounce rate? You can test your site speed on any web page using Google’s free tool.
Optimise For Mobile
If your website isn’t mobile responsive yet then where have you been? Since 2018, Google has shifted to ‘mobile-first indexing for over half of the pages shown in search results globally’. Basically, search engines are focusing on how your website caters for mobile users so that they can provide a seamless experience for their growing mobile audience - 52% of global internet traffic comes from mobile devices!
When reviewing your website, think about how it looks and behaves on different platforms such as mobile, tablet, laptop, etc. You need to consider how your design works across a range of screen sizes as well as functionality.
Build Credibility With Outbound Links
You may ask yourself, “Why would I want to send traffic away by linking to another person’s site?” Actually, outbound links are something that web crawlers take into consideration when reviewing your content.
By referencing your sources, you’re not only coming across as credible but you’re also strengthening the topic signal to search engines. Linking to authoritative sites such as industry news or subject leaders can help to define the content you’re creating as well as showcase that your content is just as informative too.
Actively Seek Inbound Links
While you can create outbound links yourself, you will need to rely on other websites to provide inbound links or backlinks to your content. One way to do this is to reach out to other professional sites to see if they will link to you - the more high quality inbound links you get, the better your domain authority (DA) score will be! Otherwise, you can look into guest blogging to amplify your content’s reach and gain that desired inbound link.
Remember that the more useful and relevant content you upload on your site, the more likely someone else will want to reference it. This could be anything from a blog to an infographic to a video, there are many types of content marketing to explore.
Focus On Local SEO
From 2013 to 2017, there was a 900% increase in "near me" searches. People are getting more clever with their searches - they are able to use location features on mobile devices to discover more localised and relevant businesses.
An easy way to ensure potential customers can quickly identify the location of your business is to correctly set up your Google My Business profile. By setting up an account, you can add a description, images and the services you offer. The more information you include such as contact details and opening times, the more likely you will come across as trustworthy and professional as well as rank higher in search results.
SEO takes time and you can’t just make one single change and expect instant results, you have to be in it for the long haul! Which of the techniques above do you need to invest some time into? Define your SEO strategy and be prepared to put some resources in place to reach your online goals.