If you want to run a successful business these days, you need to have at least a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimisation. There’s no more getting away with creating a website and just letting it do its own thing. Competition is immense, and digital marketing remains one of the most effective ways to get – and stay – ahead of your competitors.
Thankfully, some of the easiest SEO techniques can pull your site out of Google’s low rankings and drive it towards the top spot. All you need is a basic understanding and a commitment to seeing your website succeed.
Take SEO out of the too-hard basket with these five simple hacks for reaching the top spot!
Google loves web pages that offer a great user experience. The better the experience, the longer your visitors will stick around and the better that page will rank.
Try these simple ways to create a better user experience on your website:
Your website design is the most important element of user experience. A good website needs to be easy to navigate and easy on the eye. Keep your design simple, avoid excessive text and ensure your website follows an appealing, logical structure.
If your visitors have to wait for your page to load, they’ll give up on you. A quick and uncomplicated way to improve site speed is to ensure all images are sized correctly and remove any unused images from your image library.
Secured sites reassure visitors that their information is secured. For eCommerce sites, in particular, HTTPS provides better data security, giving customers a safer shopping experience.
Calls to action
A call to action invites visitors to take the next step, whether that’s learning more information or purchasing a product. Catchphrases like “Sign Up Now”, “Join Today”, and “Get Started” are some popular time-sensitive calls to action that prompt visitors to move through your website and stay there for longer.
Content has always been crucial to improving search rankings, and this isn’t about to change anytime soon! While it’s a tried and true technique, the approach to creating content has changed a lot over the years.
Why? Because everyone’s doing it. You need to step things up and create the kind of content Google loves. Ultimately, you want to keep your visitors on your site for as long as possible to signal to Google that you’re offering something useful. Google loves content that is:
Long-form (700 words minimum)
Title Tags And Meta Descriptions
Behind every great piece of content is a great title tag and meta description. Title tags and meta descriptions are pieces of HTML code that are displayed in search results. This small piece of information tells search engines what the content is about.
Title tags and meta descriptions are responsible for your CTR (Click-Through-Rate), which measures how many searchers see your result vs how many searchers click your result. Users will click the most appealing link, and you want that link to be yours.
If you’re updating your eCommerce site’s SEO, for example, you might include terms like ‘Free Shipping’. If you are a business that offers services? Then you might leverage your reputation with terms like ‘20 Years Experience’ or ‘Award Winning’.
The more clicks you get, the better your site will rank. Search is an incredibly competitive environment, and your title and description are the first things searchers will see. So, make a good impression.
Keywords And Phrases
Keywords and phrases are what searchers use to find what they’re looking for online. You’ll likely have a list of terms you’d like your website to rank for, but, like all things SEO, there’s a little more to it.
Selecting the right keywords starts with a keyword research tool that provides metrics to help you choose the best ones. Once selected, grow your keyword authority by enriching your content with your chosen terms. Use your keywords in:
Here’s how to choose the right keywords:
Check out the competition
Use an online research tool to find keywords that your competitors are using. If you have any of the same terms in your list of keywords, you’re going to need to work harder to rank for these terms. Don’t shy away from using your competitors’ keywords, but be prepared for a fight for the top spot.
Think like your audience
Your keywords are the terms that your audience will search for. What words and phrases would lead them to your site? Think like your audience to find relevant terms that meet the needs of your searchers.
Assess ranking difficulty
There will always be some competition with your keywords, but you need to be realistic with your ranking potential. Use an online keyword research tool to assess the ranking difficulty of each term. Ranking difficulty estimates how hard it is to make the first page in Google on a scale of 0-100 (100 being the hardest). If it’s anything higher than 30, it will be tough to rank for that term.
Now that you’ve got your keywords, content, and website optimization underway, it’s time to get other websites to link to yours. This process is known as link building, and it’s a tried and true SEO technique.
Link building is a method of growing backlinks, and is one of the most effective ways to move stagnant search results. Here are some easy ways to build links:
Submit guest articles to authoritative sites within your industry (don’t approach competitors!).
Ask non-competitor sites to add a backlink to your site.
Create long-form, high-quality content that authoritative sites will be happy to link to.
Find your top ten local online directories to submit your site to.
Play the long game, get the results
There’s no ‘quick fix’ when it comes to boosting search rankings. SEO is a journey and one that needs constant attention and monitoring. While there are plenty of technical elements, you don’t have to be an expert to carry out the techniques outlined in this post.
If you’re in business for the long haul, then you should be in SEO for the long haul, too.