Every website can use an SEO campaign to improve ranking. This is true of websites that have been established for years, or ones that are brand new. It’s true of sites that are already benefiting from search traffic and ones that have only the rarest of visitors.
There is always room for improvement when it comes to search engine optimization.
So how smart marketers improve their place on the search engine results pages today?
1. Assess Where You’re At With SEO
You can’t move forward until you know where you’re at. This will give you so much information on what you need to do to improve.
Use a tool like Google PageSpeed Insights to see how quickly your pages are loading. If your site doesn’t load fast, your bounce rate will be high.
While you’re thinking of that, take a look at Google Analytics and see what your bounce rate is at. Your bounce rate is the number of people who load your site and then leave within the first few seconds. The goal should always be to get that number as low as possible. Take a look at the main page of your website and consider why people might bounce. Often, that’s due to a slow-loading page. Other common culprits could be difficult navigation, a design that loads poorly on mobile devices, a design that turns people off, or simply that the information they were looking for is not on this page. Make some notes on what it could be and what you might do to improve.
2. Have You Done Your Keyword Research?
Who do you want to visit your website? What are they searching for?
If you’re going to improve your search engine optimization and rise up in those rankings, knowing your keywords is essential. That starts with thinking about who you’re trying to bring to your website. What are they searching for when they find your page?
Use keyword research tools to create a list of words you want to rank for and make sure you have a good idea of related terms. This way, you can create natural-sounding content that uses your keywords, related words, and sounds like you’re writing to appeal to real people and not just search engines.
3. Create High-Quality Content
Maybe you’re tired of hearing it, but this advice is too important not to be a priority. If you want to run a great search engine optimization campaign, and you want to show up on the search result pages, then you want high-quality content.
This content should use your keywords. It should appeal to your audience. It should be beautifully formatted, with headlines, lists, and short paragraphs all working together to make it easily scannable by readers who’ve just loaded the page.
Write content that people visiting your page will actually find useful. Make sure it meets the needs they had when they searched for your page. If possible, longer content is doing better on the search results pages today. Think 1,500 words or more if possible.
4. Use Schema Markup On Your Pages
How do the spiders Google send out to index web pages know if a page is selling a product or just giving information? How do they know they’re seeing a blog post? Mostly, this is by the way pages are structured. Search engines know how to read the code you put on pages to create things like product pages and well-formatted recipes.
How do you make sure your code reads properly?
You can use a tool to create proper Schema markup. There are plugins you can use with your content management system (like WordPress) or Google has a markup helper tool you can use.
When your content is properly formatted, it’s more likely to show up in the snippets Google shows on their search results pages.
5. Employ Internal Linking Strategies
When you create a new piece of content, you should be able to link back to other pieces of content on your website that are also relevant. Since your entire website surrounds a specific topic and keywords, this shouldn’t be too difficult.
Make a habit of occasionally going back through some of your old content and update it to include internal links to your new content.
Why are you working so hard on internal linking? Because it signals to Google that these pieces of content relate to each other. This also signals to Google that your website surrounds these topics and has relevant and rich content on the topics that would be useful to their users.
You want the search engines to see how your pages link together. You also want users to know you have more content on the subject. To both parties, this signals that your website is an authoritative resource on this topic.
As with any linking practice, don’t go overboard. Make sure the links you’re placing are well and truly relevant and useful.
6. Update Your Old Content
If your website has been around for a while, updating your old content may be a useful strategy for improving your ranking.
Take a look at your analytics for your website. Do you have any content that could be doing better?
Make this content longer. Include internal links or an external link or two. Perhaps you even want to better optimize your keyword usage. You can add more headings, bolding, lists, and more to make that content fresh and well-optimized for both users and the search engines. Bring interest to the newly updated page by mentioning it on social media to bring new life to it again.
This tells the search engines that this content is staying up to date and relevant for the results.
Doing this can take a lot of time if you have a lot of older content. Make a practice of updating one or two pages a month. This can be done when you do your monthly review.
7. Perform a Regular SEO Review
Make an appointment on your calendar for a monthly review. At that time, take a look at your analytics for the previous month. What pages are ranking? What search terms are bringing people to your website?
Each time you do this, end the session by setting goals for where you want to be with search traffic next month. Try to make these goals realistic. The more often you do this, the better idea you’ll have of what realistic goals look like for your search traffic.
With that in place, you can look at your analytics during these reviews and compare how you wanted to do this past month with how you actually did. Watching your growth is a great way to encourage you to keep going. It’s also the best way to learn about your customers. What’s bringing them to your site? What search terms bring customers that stay the longest?
The more you know about your visitors, the better content you can create for them.
Remember You’re In This For The Long Term
There are many types of digital marketing today. Search traffic remains unique.
With search traffic, you’re marketing in a way that thinks long term. It will take a while to get your pages ranking. Once they do, they can stay that way indefinitely.
An SEO campaign involves many small things you do to your website over time. Often, a page may seem like it’s never going to rank, and then it jumps to the top. It can sometimes seem a bit unpredictable, but that’s part of what’s exciting about search engine optimization. It’s always changing. Today, we’ve seen the trends with Google. They’re moving more and more toward a search experience that is optimized for what customers want.
What does that mean? Websites designed to please online users will do best with SEO. Those who create websites meant for robots will lose ranking over time.
Search engine optimization is for the business that wants to bring in targeted traffic with clear search intent. It’s digital marketing for businesses willing to put in the time and build to get their sites working for them.
Today, consumers expect to be able to find your website on the Google search result pages. Being patient, and building a site well-optimized for consumers and search, is a strong way to bring in the right customers for your business and build trust with a quality website.