Be where you need to be when people are looking for you.
SEO doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. And that’s too bad because it’s a pretty massive part of your company’s digital puzzle. 93% of online traffic is still flowing through search engines like Google, Bing, and DuckDuckGo. And companies who aren’t marketing their products and services at the exact time that potential customers are looking for what they’re selling are leaving far too many sales on the table.
Search engines are an integral part of the customer experience. Today Google uses their algorithms to rank pages against more than 200 factors, including internal links, user engagement, mobile-friendliness, page speed, etc. Their algorithms are complex systems that crawl and analyze data to ensure that they deliver the best possible result to any customer query. Google now makes thousands of changes to their proprietary algorithms annually in an effort to ensure we can all find exactly what we’re looking for, whenever we need to find it.
And with the massive uptick in e-commerce over the last year, businesses who previously put SEO on the backburner are now hustling to address any search related gaps in their digital marketing plans. If you’re reading this, you’ve most likely already covered off all of the basics. But we’ve included a brief refresher as a starting point (that would be a basic SEO audit as outlined in the first point below) to several advanced tactics that can take your search game to the next level. A little bit of effort usually turns up some pretty impressive results. Start with a basic audit to see how you’re covering off the technical and foundational elements – and then give yourself a little freedom to test new things. That’s where all of the magic happens.
Complete an SEO audit of your website
Completing an audit of your business’ website may seem like a baseline requirement, and you’re right. But you would be surprised to learn that many businesses don’t take the time to fulfill this essential first step. Before taking your SEO to the next level, it’s crucial to ensure that the foundational elements are covered. An audit is a great way to get this done quickly and efficiently.
Below are a few things to consider when completing your audit:
- Mobile Friendliness
- Safe Browsing
- Keyword Usage
- Content (including images and video)
- Website Performance (with importance on page speed)
Create landing pages to optimize for SEO
Landing pages are designed to lead customers to a specific product, service or offering that encourages them to take action. A well-executed landing page can improve conversions and help generate sales.
An effective landing page is clear and direct in hopes of improving your user experience. A strong landing page doesn’t distract your user but instead guides them to take the action you would like them to take.
Here are just a few best practices to follow when creative SEO landing pages:
- Let your keyword strategy guide the content
- Help search engines understand your content’s structure
- Pay attention to the URL used
- Monitor page speeds
- Build backlinks
Aim to rank against keywords that journalists search for
Ranking against keywords that journalists search for can be a powerful way to build a successful backlinking strategy. When a journalist is looking for key statistics for a piece, they’ll typically start with Google to find the answer.
If your website is SEO optimized to rank against keywords journalists are likely to search for, there’s a strong likelihood that your website will get cited in their articles. A fantastic way to promote backlinking. And that’s important because results that show on Google’s first page have 3.8 times more backlinks than those below them.
Leverage comparison keywords
Using comparison keywords not only attracts quality traffic to your website (people searching using “comparisons” are less likely to be looking for generic content and more likely to be searching very intently),
Comparison Keywords typically compare different things like:
- Advanced SEO vs. Basic SEO
- WIX vs. Square Space
- WebMaster vs. Website Designer
Creating content focused on “You vs. Competitor” content can be a cost-effective way to rank because they typically don’t have much competition.
Write a roundup post
A roundup post is typically aggregated content that collects opinions from experts in a specific industry.
Roundup posts can be a fantastic way to showcase multiple points of view on any given topic. And because contributors have a vested interest in promoting the content, it can also be a great way to drive traffic to your website and build additional backlinks from credible sources.
Re-purpose old content and re-optimize
It’s essential to keep a scorecard of your content and ensure that low-performing pieces are re-optimized and re-purposed.
If you have existing content that isn’t getting the desired results re-look at the keywords that have been optimized to see if there are opportunities to re-purpose again.
Here are a few quick ways to accomplish this:
- Make sure your title is search-friendly and shareable
- Redo your keyword research
- Ensure your new keywords have been incorporated in the first two sentences and throughout your article
- Refresh content with new imagery
- Repost and promote via your social media and networking
Optimize your images for search
It’s important to make sure that you optimize your images for search to ensure that you’re capitalizing on all potential traffic opportunities for your website. To do this, it’s important to think beyond ALT tags. Once your images have been properly optimized, it’s possible to rank prominently for image search engines and steal from your competitors.
Here’s a quick guide to optimizing your images:
- ALT Tags
- Files Names
- Creating an Image Sitemap
- Reducing Files Sizes
Make the most of your internal links
Web pages ranking on page 2 of search engines can sometimes benefit from internal links that point to these pages. By adding internal links, the website can often see keywords ranking on page 2 suddenly get a bump to page 1.
To fully leverage internal linking, you first need to find opportunities to boost page 2 positions. This can be done using an organic research tool. Identify which search rankings are currently in a page 2 position and benefit from an internal linking boost.
Create a comment section on your blog
Enabling comments is a great way to impact a website’s SEO ranking positively. Google experts recently shared that the Search Engine takes all content into account when crawling (including User Generated Content).
Comments also allow users to interact with a website longer which can also impact session times (something else Google considers).
It’s not good enough, however, to enable blog comments. It’s important to remember that by allowing the comments, you’re signalling to your readers that you’d like to have a two-way conversation – which means you should participate as well. Do your best to interact with everyone who takes the time to engage with you.
Optimize for Google Discover
So, you might be wondering, “what exactly is Google Discover” Google Discover is a highly personalized feed for your mobile phone that is curated for you based on your online activity. Because it tracks a users’ online behaviour, its algorithm can serve content relevant to the user, like baseball or politics.
According to Google, the following data is used to generate a personalized feed: General activity across Google products (i.e., Search Engine activity, YouTube history, etc.), location history and setting, topics you follow.
The team at Google has shared just some ways you can increase your chances of showing up in its curated feed.
- Having a website that is mobile-friendly
- Including unique images that are high quality
- Aligning content and metadata
Use Podcasts to build backlinks
Podcasts have taken over as the new guests posts and can be incredibly effective at helping your SEO ranking.
Getting featured on a podcast can be a great way to reinforce authority and then drive a new audience back to your website.
To publish a single guest post, you need:
- Find a website that accepts guest posts
- Pitch your story idea
- Write a draft outline
- Go through rounds of edits
Once complete, your post will be published and all of a sudden, you have a credible link that is driving back to your website.
Advanced SEO techniques can be a great way to boost your search marketing efforts. They’re also a good way to decrease your reliance on paid digital ads. Ideally, you want to find a balance between the two in order to drive quality traffic to your website.
If you’re interested in learning more, get in touch with our team of Search Experts to set up a free 60-minute consultation.