In today’s quickly shifting world, SEO techniques can change on a dime. Hacks that could have won you a first-page result as lately as 2017 are not only outdated now and they may even hurt your website’s rankings.
However, certain basic principles remain unaffected.
For example, targeting keywords with the only aim of improving organic rankings no longer works with search engines, but keywords are still vital.
Beyond getting SEO benefits, keywords disclose a lot more about users and what they are struggling with.
With so many SEO techniques, it’s become just about impossible to settle on which ones to stick to and which you can safely overlook.
If you focus on some of the best SEO services, you’ll definitely drive more organic traffic to your blog and improve your search rankings without risking a Google penalty.
Let’s get started:
Remove anything that slows down your site
We are sure that everyone can relate to the past, when businesses could get away with a slow-loading site. A time when we had to wait for about 5 minutes before a popular news site is fully loaded.
Gone are those days!!
Now, page speed is a critical factor in SEO.
Page loading time is one of the most crucial factors that decide the performance of your website. If you are still in doubt, then you should know that 40% of users leave a webpage if it takes more than 3 seconds to load.
A sluggish page can degrade the user experience and ultimately discourage people from buying your product.
Earlier this year Google has released some research in which they concluded:
“The average time to fully load the average mobile landing page takes 22 seconds.”
However, research also shows that 53% of people would leave a mobile page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
Also in 2010, Google included site speed as one of the all-important ranking factors.
This means that if your WebPages are slow, you’re fighting a losing battle for top organic listings, regardless of the quality of your content or your professional website design.
On the other hand, faster loading pages decrease operating costs and get better user experience, among other benefits.
So it’s important to get rid of irrelevant and non-essential elements that make your website inactive. If you’re a WordPress user, consider deactivating plugins which you don’t need at all.
Also, rebuild your sidebar and put only necessary widgets there.
Link to other websites with relevant content
To most people, linking out to relevant and authoritative content pages is bad because it takes people off your page.
However, it’s not true. Link building will always remains an elementary part of smart search engine optimization (SEO) strategy.
According to Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz,
“Linking out sends trackable traffic, it makes your website a more valuable and scalable resource.”
You can’t expect to get link from others if you are not willing to give first. For example, if you are looking to get inbound links from trustworthy blogs, one of the ways to do that is to show your readiness to link out to those blogs from your own content.
Remember, you should only link out to content pages that offer great value. It’s a good SEO practice.
More significant, you can inform an influencer when you link out to them, and, if your post is helpful, they can link back to you, share the post or even email it to their huge email or newsletter subscriber list.
Link building is not all about quantity, it’s about quality. You’ll build more trust in your industry or niche if you have a few reliable links rather than a dozen poor quality links.
Humans first, search engines second
Don’t let your content sound like an old story which signifies nothing. Instead, write with a strong voice, point of view, and descriptions. Write with the plan of prompting emotions in the mind of your reader and create a sense of wonder and urgency, and you see more engagement, social sharing, and conversions.
How do we do that? Well, it’s simple.
When you are writing any content, forget about any search engine and create content that will help someone. This is known as SEO copywriting.
Tip: Many people still aren’t using “long-tail keywords”; instead they are trying to manipulate search engines. For long tail keywords, it is much easier to get a higher position than for more common keywords in both organic search results as well as paid ad results
Loot Your Competitors’ Backlinks
Do you think your competitors are performing better than you for your targeted keywords? Then most probably they have a solid backlink profile
“Inbound links” are the most crucial part of the SEO puzzle.
You get a natural link profile only when you have both dofollow and nofollow links, which will be eventually rewarded by Google.
But if your competitors have tons of backlinks, is it a bad thing?
Websites that link to your competitors are same websites that could link to your website. Analyzing the structure of links of your competitors often reveals very helpful information.
By backlink analysis of competitors, the goal here is to identify links that we have talked about previously: “ Link to other websites with relevant content”.
Try to analyze all of the websites linking to a specific topic.
If you have already have content on that topic or a similar one, that is great.
If you don’t have, then you may need to write a new post. But if you can get 10 links from it, then it’s completely worth it.
Try to target on exact links that your competitor is getting related to topics that you’ve posted about.
Once you have figured it out, repeat the process. Write guest posts, conduct outreach campaigns, or do anything you can do to get that link.
But always remember: Be natural and don’t beg for links.
Have web analytics in place at the start
After deciding on your search engine optimization goals clearly, you will certainly need different software to track what is working and what is not.
A critical part of SEO is reporting and analytics, which are crucial to improving marketing strategies.
By setting up analytics to track both small and big changes, you can understand your customer’s journey from your sales and marketing funnel.
Even before you are sending the first visitor to your site or landing page, you should have these web analytics in place.
Unique and well-crafted Meta descriptions for every page
Well-crafted Meta description is the most important SEO factor which most people neglect.
When it comes to utilizing content to perk up the value of any website, it isn’t just all about the copy on the page.
There are also many unseen HTML aspects and metadata blurbs to send useful signs to both search engines and users. An essential part of those text snippets are SEO meta descriptions.
It is the first section that people see when Google serves up your page to search users.
Text from SEO Meta descriptions also appears on SERP. The blurb includes a:
- Title Tag: Page title which is added to the HTML which can be different from the headline that appears on the page.
- The URL for the page.
Collectively, the title tag, URL, and meta description create the snippet that appears on a search results page.
If you use WordPress, you can fix meta descriptions by installing the Yoast plugins.
Use readable and meaningful URLs only
A friendly URL is a website address which is easy to read and includes keywords that describe the content of the page. They are called friendly URL’s because 1) They can help visitors remember the website address, and 2) they can also describe the content of page to search engines.
Stay away from page URLs with numbers or characters like;
It is good to match the title of the page with the suitable URL.
Use the right keywords in your images
We’re living in an increasingly visual world. And in this world, the value of image optimization can’t be ignored.
Google has dedicated a whole section of its search results to images.
Adding keywords and alt text to every image on your website not only tells Google what your image is about, but increases user-friendliness on your website for those who are blind.
Their computer will read the alt text to them, letting them know what’s there in your page.
If you have published any post in the past which you feel is no longer important to users, mainly due to any recent Google algorithm changes, then work to update that page, instead of writing a new piece of content from start.
Eventually, SEO is quickly changing from one month to the next. Business owners and marketers are adapting swiftly, but it is still possible to outrank your competition.
Just remember to focus on above mentioned fundamentals, engage your viewers deeply, and stay updated with technical trends like backlinks, site speed and analytics.
Taking an effort to understand even the basics of SEO will help your site gain higher click-through rates, engagement, and of course, rankings. A little bit of reading and researching on your own can still go a very long way.