When it comes to traffic, organic search wins every time. For this there is need to know about SEO Basics. In fact, organic search counts for one-third of the traffic that business websites get. And this is more than paid and social traffic combined. So, no matter what industry you’re in, it’s important that you know the basics of SEO.
But here’s the problem, SEO requires you to have an intense amount of knowledge about the search engines actually work. And this takes both time and practice. SEO is an ever-changing landscape due to the constant updates and changes in the search engine algorithms. There are also over 200 ranking factors that Google goes by when analysing your website. Its almost impossible to be up to date and playing the game right unless you have an SEO expert by your side. Luckily, learning the basics can help to put you ahead of most of the competition. Here are 5 tips.
Links have been a key ranking factor for Google for years. Not only are they a factor, but they are considered to be one of the most important elements of SEO. Without them, your search result is likely to remain at the very bottom of the listing. In fact, a study that analysed over 1 million links shows that the fewer links a website has, the lower their ranking.
But what makes links so important? Well, whenever you get links from high authority websites, this signals to Google that your website can be trusted. It’s very similar to having someone recommend or vouch for you. The more recommendations you get, the more Google trusts you.
It’s no secret, it can be a challenge to get the best links. This is especially the case if you are not familiar with link building strategies. But luckily, there are a few techniques that you can use to get your links. And the good news is that it doesn’t require any specialised technicals skills whatsoever.
1. Publish case studies or create your own.
If you want to get natural backlinks, then you should carry out an original study and then publish your results. Your study and results need to catch your industry’s attention. This way, people will feel compelled to discuss your study with their audiences and link to it.
If you don’t have any data, then you could always offer case studies. Your case study may center around one, specific result. And this to can result in a lot of links.
2. Offer to write a testimonial for a company that you’ve done business with.
One of the most underrated and least talked about ways to get backlinks is to write testimonials for the companies that you have worked with. The best part about offering testimonials for the business’ website is that in many cases, the website will publish your name and position at your company as well as a link which leads people back to your website.
Create a list businesses that you have worked with over the past year. Send each of them a personalised email thanking them for the services they provided for you. You can them mention that you would be willing to offer a testimonial for their website if needed. If they accept your request, then make sure to politely ask for a link back to your website.
Another huge ranking factor is content. You see, Google wants websites to produce as much content as possible. This way, it can be sure that your website is still active. Also, content is what helps to attract people to your site. And the more people visit, the more signals it will send to the search engines that your content is useful and relevant.
Perhaps one of the most obvious benefits of content is that it allows you to use your most important keywords. Keywords are the best way to rank your website. A study conducted by Ahrefs showed that the top page ranked number for 1,000 other keywords. So, focus on creating SEO-friendly content. Here’s how:
1. Write content that is long-form.
Research suggests that Google’s average first-page result has 1890 words. The longer your content is, the more depth it has. And this means that it will be useful to your visitors. It will also serve as more space so that you can use more keywords.
2. Create various types of content.
When it comes to content marketing, variety is a good thing. So switch up your blog posts and content. Don’t just write blogs, create videos. Give tutorials. The best thing about posting videos is that they tend to get a significant amount of shares. And you still get all of the benefits of a written post if you use keywords in your descriptions and tags or transcribe your video and post it on your blog.
3. Repurpose your older content.
The best thing about creating your own content is that you can do whatever you would like with it. More specifically, you can repurpose it. You see, in the field of SEO, things change quickly, which means that you need to be prepared to freshen up your content every once in a while. You may also turn your old content into a different medium such as an e-book, infographic, or slideshare.
3. Headlines and Meta Descriptions
The first thing that people see in the search results is your headline and meta description. Being that it is your first impression, you need to leave a good one. You need to get people to click on your result. Click-through rate, or CTR, is the way in which people engage. It compares the number of individuals who click on your results to the number of people who actually see it. CTR is another crucial ranking factor. So optimise your meta descriptions and headlines to improve it. The more people clicks, the higher your ranking.
Just remember that an optimised headline may not necessarily be appealing. This means you need to work to find a sweet spot–one that is good for both the audience and the search engines. Here are a few tips that can help you with this process
1. Position your SEO keywords at the beginning (or close to it).
You should make sure that your headline reads naturally. However, you should also make sure that your keyword is as close to the beginning of your headline as possible. This ensures that Google and other search engines know exactly what you’re talking about.
2. Make it eye-catching.
If you have ever paid attention to viral headlines, then you know that these headlines to have a formula. Buzzsumo analysed 100 million headlines to find out what makes them popular. They found that certain phrases got more clicks. Specifically, they concluded that emotional headlines as well as those that inspire curiosity tend to get the most engagement.
Whatever your headline, just make sure that your title and meta description honestly represent the content. Otherwise, it could result in a high bounce rate. If it’s not what they are looking for, then they will definitely hit the back button.
4: User Experience
Search engines also tend to care about the user experience, also known as UX. Google collects all of your data on the way that your visitors behave when they get to your website. If the user experience is poor, this impacts your SEO negatively. If your website does not load quickly enough then people will leave. And the more people leave, the more it signals to Google that your user experience is not quality.
When you’re working with a UX expert, keep in mind that users don’t so much care about the design of your site, they care more about the overall experience. They want it to be easy. Here’s how you can make sure that happens:
1. Increase your website speed.
While speed can sometimes be a matter of technical issues, there are a few things that you can do without the help of a professional web designer. For instance, you can crop your images so they are the proper size and compress them using tools like Tiny JPG or ImageOptim. This ensures that your pages don’t take a long time to load. You may also delete plugins any extra plugins that could be slowing your site down.
2. Keep it simple.
When users visit your page, they don’t want to be greeted with an image slider which discusses each of your services one by one. This is much too overwhelming for them. You need to make sure things remain as simple and straightforward as possible. Your messaging needs to be clear so that visitors can always find what they are looking for.
3. Go easy on the ads.
If you have too many ads on your site then it’s bound to frustrate people. This is especially the case when it comes to mobile. Studies show that ads should take up less than 30 percent of vertical space. Pop-ups can be terrible when it comes to mobile UX and should be avoided altogether. This is because many of them don’t resize to the mobile screens. It’s also very hard to get rid of them as the ‘x’ is often too small to select or hard to locate.
Mobile SEO has never been more important than it is right now. This is especially the case since Google has gone mobile-first with its indexing. Most searches are coming from mobile. The best way to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly is to use Google’s mobile-friendly test. It only takes a few seconds. And the best part is, if your website fails the test, Google will give you a list of errors o that you can fix the problem. Here are a few mobile SEO tips:
1. Optimise for local SEO.
Take a moment to consider how your search on your mobile phone. It’s very likely that there are times in which you use it to search for local restaurants or shop when you’re away from home. Well, 89% of people search for local businesses on their phones at least once a week and more than half do it daily. So you need to work on your local SEO.
2. Optimise for voice
There are a lot of people who use voice search on their phones. It’s estimated that 20 percent of mobile queries come from voice search on mobile.So voice search is becoming more and more important. This means that you need to consider the natural language people will use whenever performing voice searches. And then take time to add these discoveries to your list of keywords.
3. Don’t hide your content.
Avoid displaying your desktop and mobile content differently. Put simply, you should never store your content hidden behind expandable menus, sections, or buttons. Make sure that Google can see all of your content.
SEO can be challenging. It’s ever-changing and there are always updates going on. But if you are familiar with the SEO basics, then you can put yourself ahead of the competition. The methods that we have just mentioned are simple and will allow you to become more acquainted with the process.