If you're an online business, your SEO strategy will play a major role in your business. It is a vital key in any businesses inbound marketing strategy so it's important to understand the basics or hire a SEO strategy agency to assist you.
For those that are fresh to SEO or search engine optimisation it is defined as "the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s unpaid results.”
In normal terms, SEO is the process of optimising your online content (your web pages, blogs etc) so that search engines think your content is informative and quality content or in other words the bomb-diggity. If Google, Yahoo, Bing or other search engines think your content is quality they'll show your page as the top organic search result for a certain keyword.
Search engines try to interpret and predict what the most accurate and helpful content on a certain topic is and what you'd like to see. They are all about maximising the user-experience and ensuring that you see the right content. They see the internet as an eco-system and it's their job to create the best possible eco-system for users.
For those who've dabbled in the world of SEO and digital marketing they'll know it's always changing and what you thought was right today, may not be as effective tomorrow. That's not because you're wrong but because search engines are always updating what makes for good content. That's why it is important to keep on top of the trends, tips and best practices for SEO Marketing.
By following these 6 simple steps we'll help you rank better on Google.
1. Google cares, so so should you.
Back in 2015 Google announced RankBrain, a core component of Google's algorithm which uses machine learning or AI to decide how it will show results for the user.
RankBrain applies possible factors such as the location of the searcher, search trends, past search history etc in order to determine the searcher's true intent. By unveiling a searcher's true intent Google can deliver more relevant results for a specific user.
It will look at past interactions with websites to determine how to rank pages. For example, if a page has a high bounce rate and low session time with users quickly leaving the page as quick as they landed on it, Google will think this page might not be as quality so that pages ranking could suffer. If a user clicks a result and spends a lot of time on that page, Google will interpret this as a valuable page and in turn it will rank higher.
The keys to an epic user experience are:
- Pages load quickly and efficiently
- Accuracy - content is accurate and helpful
- Design - it has to look good
- Useable - no broken links or buttons
When designing pages and content, forget you're the business for a moment, put yourself in the shoes of the user and if it still ticks all the boxes then it should tick the boxes for Google. If you know your users you'll know what they are looking for and how they operate so you should design accordingly.
2. Backlinks are worth their weight in gold and then some
It's widely known that backlinks are absolutely vital. They are the green smoothies to that new health kick you're on or the followers to that annoying friend from high-school who thinks they're an influencer.
Google see backlinks as a popularity system kinda like kids at school where the more popular kids (pages) have more friends (websites linking to them). If a certain page has quite a lot of inbound links pointing to it, then Google sees this as a valuable page and will rank it higher.
It's not all about quantity though, quality is even more essential when Google looks at web pages. What sounds better, fake-nigerian-scammer.scam or knowledge.edu.au?
Generally .gov or .edu websites are considered more valuable by search engine for rankings.
SEMRUSH has a backlinks analysis tool that allows you to analyse your competitors backlinks, identify prospects and even prompts you to send follow up emails. We highly recommend checking it out and spending a little bit of time learning the ropes.
Unfortunately, there is no easy or simple way of link building, it's all about networking online. It's important to create a strategy and work on quality links, not just quantity of links. It won't always work but over time it can significantly help your rankings with search engines.
If anyone has a 100 percent success rate for acquiring backlinks then let us know because you're HIRED!
3. Don't pigeon-hole yourself just on Google Search
I've harped on quite a lot about Google but that's because it is the most dominant search engine out of them all and where the majority of people find their information. However, if you have an app you'll want to try and rank on iTunes or Android app stores, if you've got a podcast you'll want to rank on iTunes app store, Spotify etc.
While ranking on Google is important, it's important to understand who your audience is and to know where they will search for your content. This will vary based on your offering and company so do a little research on how to rank for your particular product. You need to optimise for every platform you feature on, SEO isn't just for search engines.
4. Optimise for that screen that never leaves your hands
Apple now send you a weekly notification of how much screen time you are indulging in each day. I've seen a couple of peoples that are in the scary range of 7-8 hours but even the lower end of an hour or so per day is still a solid chunk of your day.
I'm not here to call you out on your screen time and tell you to get a life, I'm just highlighting the fact that phones have become a huge part of our daily lives. In 2019 almost half of all web searches are from mobile devices and that's expected to increase across the year and into 2020.
When designing or creating a website it is increasingly important to pay more attention to mobile optimisation. If you don't already have a mobile-friendly site we strongly recommend putting this atop your priority list.
The best ways to develop a mobile-friendly website is to use mobile friendly tools, AMP (accelerated mobile pages), HTML responsiveness web design and use mobile plugging on CMS platform. If you're looking at updating your website book a no-obligation meeting with us today to discuss further.
5. Update or modify your underperforming content
Like that bad haircut stopping you from getting a second date it's time to shave off all your under-performing and old content. Simply re-wording, adding more information or deleting repetitive content could have a positive affect on your SEO.
That blog you wrote 5 years ago about how Snapchat is the future may not be accurate anymore or it may not serve your customers like it once did. Unless it's still driving organic traffic, leaving it sitting dormant could actually be causing a negative affect to your website rankings.
Search engines don't just rank based on the accuracy of your most current content, they look at your entire website each and every time so any bad blogs in your closet could come back to bite. That doesn't mean they have to, search engines love fresh content and simply updating with the latest information could be the rejuvenation your page needs.
6. Quality content is King and Queen and all things in between
This is the final tip but quite possibly the most important to adhere to. It's not a new concept, you've heard it thousands of times before but it's not just content is king, quality content is king. The accuracy and design of your content is absolutely crucial. If you are publishing content left, right and centre but it's inaccurate and poorly designed, you'll be found out and search engines will penalise you. I don't know what it is in 2019 but people love calling out inaccuracies online, and search engines can spot a phoney a mile away. To rank highly you'll need to do research and develop content that has all the information relevant to those queries and key phrases you're chasing.
In today's SEO landscape, those with the best information are rewarded and those dishing out poor content will find it hard to rank in organic search results.
There is no sure fire way to skip right to the top of search engine rankings however if you follow the above 6 steps it will direct you on the right path for SEO glory in 2019 and beyond.