The concept of Search Engine Optimization was introduced so that businesses and entrepreneurs could increase their web traffic and rank higher in search results. The great thing about SEO is that it can be absolutely free (organically), while still being a great way to make your website look professional and visible to users. Learn how to master SEO with these expert-backed tips:
#1. Produce quality content
Source: Express Writers
If you don’t have a blog, create one. The more content you have, the higher your website visibility will be. However, always choose quality over quantity. Even if you produce frequent content, your followers will not read it unless it is interesting. To engage your readers in your content, you need to make sure you incorporate the following:
- Use a conversational tone
While educating your readers on a topic, use rhetorical questions, shorter sentences and simple language. Don’t tell them, talk to them! This will add a more personalised touch to your writing, thus making readers feel more engaged.
- Use lots of whitespaces
Which image do you prefer? The right one, yes? That is the right use of whitespace. According to SegueTech, whitespace is one of the most overlooked and underutilised features of web design. The concept is simple. The more whitespace you use, the more the user readability.
#2. Help others
You might be wondering, where does this fit into SEO? Let’s take my own example. ExpressText is a company that sells SMS services. However, its blog has articles ranging from various topics – including social media marketing, competitor analysis and tips on increasing market share.
By posting content about different topics (whether they may or may not be related to your brand) your articles will automatically be shared through links organically, thus improving your SEO.
#3. Post as a guest blogger
Source: Ahmed Nazir
Guest blogging is one of the easiest ways to improve your SEO, so make sure that you have the right friends in your industry. There are two things you need to keep in mind when guest blogging:
- Post on high authority blogs
Since high authority blogs are ranked higher in search results, posting on them will ensure that your content is visible to readers.
- Select the right target audience
It’s great if you partner with a high authority blog, but if it doesn’t attract the audience that you need it to, is it really fruitful? Your write-up will only be effective if you post relevant content targetted towards the right people.
- Partner with influencers
If nothing else is working, try this. It’s the oldest trick in the book that still works. Why? Because people want someone to look up to, someone that they can trust. They idealise celebrities, bloggers, well-educated experts and anyone who has high authority or status.
Suppose you’re in the beauty industry. Partner and guest blog with the best beauty influencers such as Nikkie Tutorials so that your content reaches the masses and your website’s SEO improves.
#4. Make sure your internal link structure works
There are websites that haven’t been updated in a decade and it shows. Their web design is outdated, they load slow and most importantly, their internal links don’t work.
An internal link is one that points to another page on the same website. However, at times when visitors try to open a webpage, they’ll see a ‘404 error’ or ‘Page not found’. That is called a broken link, a common reason behind bad user experience. To avoid that from happening, every business needs to constantly update their website and keep a track of broken links.
Broken Link Checker is a great way to identify and fix your website’s broken links for free. Moreover, it is best to hire a web designer or a whole team to create a better user experience for your website visitors. Check out WebFx, one of the best web designing firms in the US.
#5. Generate backlinks
When one website posts a link of another website, it’s called a backlink. Pages with a high number of backlinks tend to rank higher on major search engines, including Google. There are two things you need to make sure of when dealing with backlinks:
- Replicate competitor backlinks in order to rank higher
- Generate backlinks organically through Twitter, guest blogging and bookmarking to create a diverse portfolio
#6. Leverage the power of digital marketing
Facebook is one of the many places where you can boost your content by paying the social media platform. It’s still one of the most widely used platforms, with 99.4% millennials who are active users. 74% of marketers have stated that social media marketing was ‘somewhat to very effective’ for their business.
Similarly, you can use Snapchat and Instagram to advertise your content targetted towards users who could be potentially interested in your brand. Tactfully market your product/service based on age, location and other demographics so that your online advertisement reaches the right audience.
Learn more creating a powerful social media marketing strategy.
Similarly, Pay-per-click ads are also another great way to drive your SEO up. By adopting this strategy, your ads will appear on the first page of a search engine, thus improving your click-through rate. PPCs ads also improve brand awareness by roughly 80%!
Source: HubSpot Blog
#7. Create authority
The best way to create authority is to display confidence. People are likely to believe someone that knows what they are talking about. The perfect example is Neil Patel. Take a look at his blog and you’ll notice how his style of writing is the reason behind his fame. His blog is the go-to for entrepreneurs and businesses working towards success:
He may not be more of an expert than many others out there, but his style of writing makes people trust him (that, along with his success rate). Here are a few ways you can create authority:
- Use statistics to back your claims. Your audience will trust you more if your content is verified through other sources
- Know what you are talking about. Use key terms, explain them to your audience and write in-depth articles that your readers won’t find anywhere else
- Guest blog with the top blogs in your niche to create a name for yourself
By creating authority, you’ll organically drive traffic towards your blog, thus improving your Search Engine Optimisation.
#8. Use Meta Descriptions and Headlines
There are two reasons why meta descriptions and headlines are crucial for your website’s success:
Firstly, a headline creates the first impression so it has to be catchy. You know the saying, your first impression is your last impression. Your heading will determine whether viewers will visit your website or not. Your goal should be to improve your Click-through rate i.e. the number of users who click on your website. A better CTR will help your webpage rank higher. Statistics show that longer headings tend to drive a better CTR.
Source: Neil Patel
The second reason why headlines are crucial for your SEO is that Google software can easily decode what your content is about, thus ranking it higher when users search for it. Make sure you use clear H1 and H2 headings with relevant keywords that users are likely to search for.
#9. Use strong keywords and place them strategically
When users search for a specific word or phrase, Google will rank content based on the number of times the searched keyword has been used on each webpage, among other things. However, you need to strategically place your keywords to make sure that your website ranks higher:
- Place your keywords at the beginning of the content. This small hack can help rank your webpage over others with the same amount of keywords
- Use the right keywords. Know what your customers search for. If they’re searching for the ‘best mountain bike’, use this phrase repeatedly in your content
When competing in the race for optimising your webpages, don’t go overboard. If you stuff too many keywords in your content, it may temporarily rank your website higher, but you would be violating Google’s policies. There’s no set limit for the use of keywords, but make sure you don’t overdo it or you’ll risk being penalised.
To find the right keywords for your business, you can use the Keyword Tool:
#11. Make sure your website provides an optimal user experience
This is one of the most important things about SEO. All businesses are striving to be the best, but while doing that, you need to remember that success comes from making your customers happy. If you focus on providing them with the optimal website user experience, you will automatically achieve better SEO. To be professional in your approach, make sure you consider the following:
- Bounce rate
A high bounce rate occurs when a large number of your website visitors navigate away from the site only after viewing one page. This is what you’ll want to avoid. Businesses aim to maximise time on site as it not only helps their SEO, but it also means that visitors are engaged in the content. If you have a high bounce rate, these might be the reasons why:
- Too many pop-ups/ads
- A bad web design
- Poor navigation and usability
- Not mobile-friendly
To reduce your bounce rate and provide visitors with better user experience, keep your web design minimal. Test your website to see where there is difficulty navigating and revamp areas that are inconvenient for users.
Remember, 2 out of 3 people prefer a good web design, so if you’re not providing that, you are losing more than half of your traffic.
- Conversion rate
As opposed to your bounce rate, you’re going to want to maximise this. A conversion rate refers to the percentage of visitors on your website that purchases a product or service. A high conversion rate means higher SEO and better yet, higher revenues.
Your conversion rate has a lot to do with how fast your website is. According to statistics, a minimal one second delay in loading speed will lose you 7% of your conversion rate! The average conversion rate for e-commerce is 2%, but it varies from industry to industry. To improve your conversion rate, add infographics. A picture or video on your page can improve your CR by more than 80%! As you might have noticed, every aspect of user experience is linked to one another. A good loading speed will help you improve your CR. Good web design will reduce your bounce rate, and so on.
Search Engine Optimisation doesn’t seem so hard after all, does it? Good SEO is something even startups can achieve, and then use it to their advantage by getting ahead of their competitors fast. Don’t undermine the importance of this tool, because technology is the life of the business world. Do your SEO research and incorporate it into your marketing strategy.