SEO Tips to Improve your Website Rankings Part 2

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SEO Tips to Improve your Website Rankings: Part 2

If you want to rank higher in search engines and improve the quality and quantity of your web traffic, you’ll need to master Search Engine Optimization. We asked industry experts to submit their best tips and strategies for SEO. You’ll find a range of tips below, from mastering the fundamentals to planning for the future.

Casey Bryan

Casey Bryan

SEO Specialist, Grand Cru Digital

Make your website clean and functional, and track performance.

  • Ensure all content and webpages are useful, up to date and relevant for your target audience/s. Plus if you intend to attract organic traffic to a page, it should have metadata which explains clearly to users and Google what that page is about.
  • Focus on clean, well-structured websites which organise your content into sub folders (parent and child pages) rather than standalone pages.
  • Images, videos and other media are optimised to be found through search whether that’s via a normal search, image search or voice search.
  • Website tracking using a tool like Google Analytics is essential to understand what is and isn’t working. You should be setting up goal conversions to track key actions on the website and also be assessing multi-channel conversions.
  • A mobile friendly website. Your website should look good and function well across devices (mobile, tablet and desktop). With mobile usage continuing to increase, your website needs to be in tip-top shape for mobile visitors (and that includes being fast loading).
  • Particularly for local businesses and those with a physical location, a Google My Business listing is a must. This listing should be kept up to date and you should be encouraging people to leave reviews on it (and replying to those reviews, even just to say thanks, as the business owner).

Every business is unique and so is their SEO strategy. While SEO best practices are the same for everyone, your strategy should fit your business and your goals.

Shaad Hamid

Shaad Hamid

Head of Growth Marketing for Southeast Asia, Growthops

Make sure to optimize the user experience for any entry point to your site.

To be an effective SEO, you need to play well with other teams. One such team that you should be best friends with is the UX & UI team. The UX & UI team make important decisions that impact a website’s structure that has ramifications on SEO down the line, so make sure you provide your strategic recommendations on things like domain strategy (e.g. ccTLDs vs generic domains) or information architecture, by making sure you perform your keyword research and keyword portfolios prior to finalizing the IA, so they can ensure that the IA they develop is in line with user search demand.

Some UX practitioners look at user journeys with the assumption that a user’s journey begins at the homepage, but you as the SEO have the opportunity to explore what the user-journey would look like if the user’s website entry point was either a category page, sub category page or a content/product page by identifying user intent based on specific search engine searches. These are just a few ways you can save weeks and months of waste by working very closely with the UX & UI team and turbo charge your SEO impact from the get go.

Nolan Barger

Nolan Barger

Internet Marketing Analyst, WebFX

Everything you post provide value to a searcher.

The biggest tip I can give in regard to SEO in 2020 is to provide value with everything you add to your website. Google’s Algorithm is extremely complex, but the core goal of Google is to provide a user with valuable information for whatever the particular search is. Google is constantly updating their algorithm to achieve that goal.

Ask yourself with every website update you make or page you add, “Is a searcher who lands here actually going to find this information useful?” If the answer to that question is no, then it probably isn’t worth your time to make those updates. SEO nowadays isn’t about adding long content and keywords to a page. It’s about learning searcher intent and giving the searcher exactly what they’re looking for.

“How-To” searches are often the easiest way to explain this in layman’s terms. If I search for “how to install a bathroom light,” Google should probably show me a video of someone doing this, or a step-by-step guide with pictures. Those would be the best ways to show me how to do this task, correct? Videos and step-by-step guides are exactly what’s ranking in the top spots and it’s for a reason. Don’t expect your post without video or step-by-step images to ever rank #1 for this query without having at least one, or both, of those elements.

The better you understand intent and what your visitors will find valuable, the better your site will perform, especially as Google continues to tweak its algorithm specifically for search intent.

Steve Wanczyk

Steve Wanczyk

Founder, The Dunshire Group

Write for humans and build your brand’s reputation.

It’s been said for two decades now, but it remains true: Content Is King. How has the meaning of this phrase evolved as we enter 2020? Content strategies should no longer revolve around keyword placement or writing for the algorithm. Think about ways to be unique. Write for humans and add value.

Relatedly, do not fall into the trap of following a formula or a blueprint. Don’t copy or crib from other sites. Don’t “write for the Internet.” Write copy that communicates something about your perspective. Find your voice and trust it. Be authentic.

SEO—both the field and the algorithms driving it—have evolved beyond recognition in the past ten years. Devising ways to build your link count through anything other than merit is foolhardy, and will not be rewarded. Find an audience and speak to it. Don’t overthink links. On the other hand, do overthink technical SEO. In this age of mobile-first consumption, technical performance is more important than ever. Make sure you’ve nailed your site speed, your server configuration, your code, and your sitemaps. Publish content that meets all accessibility guidelines… and, if your business calls for it, in all relevant languages and international markets.

Finally, to bookend this all-too-brief list, Brand Is Content. One of the ways the search engines have shifted to reward accurate and valuable information is to place tremendous importance on brand visibility and reputation. This benefits the big players, but can also allow you to carve out a niche if your audience truly loves who you are. Build your brand through holistic marketing strategies based on mutual trust and respect.

Jon Pickard

Jon Pickard

Senior Manger, eCommerce, Targus

Build a foundation and employ a consistent structure.

Focus on the foundation. I like to think that SEO is like building a house. If you want to construct a house that lasts, you need to start with a solid foundation. Before you launch a link building campaign, interlink pages, or even write copy you need to lay a solid foundation for SEO. What do I mean?

Create your Keyword Blueprint.

Every house needs a blueprint and the blueprint of SEO is keyword planning. Take the time to determine target keywords for each of your pages (or at minimum your top pages), maintain this keyword to page map, and make it available to your wider team so that they understand your goals.

Build the forms of your URL structure.

Tailor your page URLs to your keyword targets and keep the structure simple. I recommend lowercase, hyphen separated words, with no unnecessary “filler” words (e.g. and, with, or, etc.). Maintain this structure across all pages, communicate it to your team, and even enlist developer help to dynamically enforce the structure.

Pour the concrete of your Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and H1 Tags.

Refer to your keyword blueprint and include them in your page titles, meta descriptions, and H1 tags. Include relevant CTAs so users know what to expect on the page (e.g. shopping vs. learning) and ensure you only include one H1 tag per page.

You may have read everything I wrote before, but the real key is discipline. Discipline is what ensures that you build and maintain the foundation of your site’s SEO so all your other SEO efforts can be as successful as possible.

Matt Carter

Matt Carter

Digital Marketing Manager, CG Life

Employ a backlinking strategy and optimize your site.

Optimize your on-page elements.

Craft keyword-optimized Title Tags, Meta Descriptions, Headers, Alt Tags for your site. Make sure you’re taking the necessary steps to get everything optimized right the first time, so you can begin to rank for a variety of organic searches relevant to your business.

Match your target customer’s search intent.

Whatever keyword you choose to focus your content around, make sure that content is solving a specific problem for someone searching a particular query. If you’ve done your keyword research correctly, you should be able to tell what someone is after.

Links.

Link building is probably the most fundamentally important aspect of SEO. Without it, you’ll never outrank competitors for your target search terms. Ensure you’ve got a solid backlinking strategy to help ensure you rank as high as possible in the SERPs (search engine results pages).

Provide a solution.

Sites that are able to articulate a specific solution to a specific problem will never go out of style. The more you can provide useful information to someone performing a search query for a specific problem, the more likely you are to enjoy evergreen organic traffic as a result.

Optimize your site for mobile.

As Google moves ever-increasingly towards a version of search results that favor mobile devices over tablets and desktop computers, sites that are set up to function well on mobile devices will continue to see increased performance vs. sites set up for desktop computers.

Nancy Kapoor

Nancy Kapoor

Senior Digital Marketing Associate, Grazitti Interactive

Use local SEO if you’re a small business and employ hooks in your content.

Implement Schema Markup or Structured Data.

Schema Markup helps search engines to find out and show information in an enhanced way from the website. It can be reviews, ratings, job listings, etc. It will simplify the understanding of your content for search engines. This can help in improving click-through rate and overall local SEO strategy. 

Optimize for Voice Search.

Voice Search is very critical due to an increase in the number of mobile users. Create conversational content that can address questions of the users straight away. 

Quality Content & Backlinks.

Quality content will remain the key in 2020. Make your content user-centric to make sure your content serves the purpose for which users are carrying out searches. Any pro tips on how to create content better or differently? Add your hook to create better content.

Great list of 9 hooks that you can use to make the content intensely powerful:

  • Complete in-depth insights/knowledge database
  • Tell a story
  • Include humour in your content
  • Use mystery to make your content more compelling
  • Add an element of surprise (any common misconceptions or surprising facts)
  • Incorporate data/numbers/pop culture references in your content
  • Create unique content on the same topic
  • Keep an eye on your backlinks. Best practices to build backlinks in 2020:
    • Create linkable assets
    • Types of link roundups posts
    • Broken link building technique
    • Guest postings 
    • Infographics and other visual assets
    • Use HARO
    • Link reclamation
  • Mobile Experience.

Mobile experience is critical since mobile users are increasing at a rapid pace. Seamless experience across different devices is going to be very critical to perform better in organic search. The font should be big enough to understand and images should convey the message properly.

Local SEO. 

Local SEO is very critical for small businesses. Add local keywords wherever possible in your website content. It increases the probability of a website ranking higher for the local search terms.

Scott Dailey

Scott Dailey

Vice President of Sales and Marketing, Carl Stahl Sava Industries

You need to show up in more places than just the first page of organic search.

For manufacturers largely doing business with other manufacturers or resellers, being on Google’s page 1 is not enough to garner the attention of a buying public short on time and patience. What was once an exercise in simply showing up on page 1, is now merely the price of admission. Today, if you want to get any clicks at all, your company will need to craft a strategy where success is measured not by how often you show up for precisely the coveted keywords your entire marketplace competes over. So now showing as an organic listing is only the start of a successful digital lead gen campaign. Your website appearing on page one, even for the most sought-after keywords, is merely “cute.” Now you need to show organically, sure, but also in your geography’s map pack, as well as among the paid ads, shopping and PPC, and the imagery, video and answer box options available to searchers.

This buckshot approach to appearing on Google means also showing up among other websites as well. Where to show up has evolved and continues to daily. For instance, we’ve been conditioned to consider our website’s product or services pages as among the most important pages for which to rank. Separately, we considered our blogs as an entirely different property from which to seek clicks too. And from there, we did things like trying to acquire earned media clicks through press, trade publications and other 3rd party websites like popular aggregators such as Thomas. And yes, those channels remain smart and practical ways to improve our page 1 visibility. But in today’s lethally commoditized digital markets, the buyer no longer delays gratification. So the goal is no longer visibility, as much as it is shortening the burdens of the buyer. In other words, the quicker you can sell the thing the searcher seeks, the more share of the market belongs to you. And so today we now ask ourselves new questions like, “Can we be better at being Amazon than Amazon is good at being Amazon?”

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