Most people know by now that they can’t ignore the importance of optimizing their website to receive referrals from search engines. They also know that SEO is exceptionally important. Ranking well for searches relevant to your content and what your business offers is the best way to grab free website traffic and leads that will hopefully convert. It is likely your goal to have these site visitors take an action: sign up, subscribe, make a purchase, connect with your, etc. But how can that be accomplished if your site isn’t ranking well in relevant searches?
SEO is a complex strategy that takes time, care, energy, and understanding of how to “play nice” with search engines so that they will see your website as authoritative and reward you with great rankings. Here is some of the best FREE seo advice we can give.
1. Write Content for Readers, Not Search Engines
Many people try to get higher rankings by writing content they think will appeal to search engines. This is pretty straightforward “no no.” Write content that will appeal to people, not search engines.
2. Quality Content Over Quantity
Simply because you have a large volume of pages indexed with search engines, doesn’t mean you are going to garner great rankings for your site or even attract a high volume of traffic. Search engines place ranking value on the quality of content rather than simply how much you might have. SEO experts will tell site owners or webmasters to get rid of shallow blog posts or pages that contain superficial content (also called “fluff” content) and to focus on creating meaningful content.
The best type of content will be meaningful to the intended audience and will be engaging enough to capture their attention on a level that encourages a full-article read. Content should be well-written and deep. If your post or page contains high-level information that leaves a reader thinking, “well I could have figured that out,” or doesn’t help them learn anything, search engines will feel the same and place no ranking importance on that page anyway. You are wasting your time writing a dozen articles that search engines will glaze over when you could be writing one high-quality, in-depth article that will give you some real ranking juice with search engines.
3. Use Video for Untapped SEO Success
Video marketing has become highly tangible for SEO rankings, yet some marketers are still ignoring video as a concrete element of their SEO strategy. Video SEO has evolved significantly over the past few years. Optimizing your video to be indexed on Google will allow it to rank on the search engine results pages when users search enter relevant search terms, generating traffic and feeding your entire website’s authority in the eyes of search engines.
Users love video because of its simplicity and directness. A user might click to watch a 2-minute video, but that same user might not have enough patience to read through your article. Cisco projected that video will comprise 80% of digital content by 2021. As an added bonus, videos are excellent ways to generate engagement and social shares.
4. Create Evergreen Content that is Comprehensive
Evergreen content that is high-quality and informative will continue garnering more links and social shares over time. Evergreen content was named for evergreen trees that keep their leaves year-round. It simply means that it is content that will always be interesting and relevant. Taking the time to write a piece of well-researched, comprehensive piece of content that will be just as relevant two years from now is how you gain the most links. You will see the best results from the work you put into creating evergreen and long-form content if you make it a longer piece, generally 1,500-2,000+ words. These long-form content pieces have a tendency to outrank shorter content, as search engines see the length and it sends a signal that they must be quality articles if they have so much content depth.
It’s true that the majority of content posted on websites gets little to no quality backlinks. However, a piece of content that is well-researched and authoritative on the subject at hand can serve as reference content for other writers and sites. This is a great way to gain backlinks to your site, making search engines see your site in a better light and increasing your rankings for searches relevant to your business or that specific topic. As an added bonus, authoritative content also positions you and your business as a thought leader and an industry expert, launching your brand’s reputation to new heights. For this type of content, you will also want to stick with longer content that is around 1,500-2,000 words.
6. Update your Past Content
Search engines dislike stale content that was written five years ago and contains information that isn’t pertinent to today’s user’s interest and search terms. Don’t let your content go stale. If you have a blog post or article that is generating a good deal of traffic and contains information that a lot of people are searching for, take the time to update it. This is a simple refresh. For example, if your well-performing blog post contains statistics, don’t include ones from 2008. What are some recent statistics? Similarly, if an article has a quote from someone that is no longer relevant or has been involved in a scandal, seek out a new quote.
Don’t discard the role that links play in your SEO strategy. There are still three major types of links that are relevant:
- Inbound Links. These are inbound links from other websites that direct traffic to your website. These are the most important for gaining a higher ranking as it shows your site as authoritative and high-quality if other sites are sending links to you.
- Outbound Links. These are links that you place within your own content that link out to other websites. These are important because they show search engines that you are a quality website that isn’t afraid to send visitors to another quality site. Make sure that the site you link out to is a high-quality, authoritative site as well.
- Internal Links. These are links that send readers of your content to other pages within your website. An example of this would be in a blog post where you reference how many locations your company has linking directly to your Locations page. These connect your content and give search engines a picture of your website’s structure, allowing them to better understand which pages hold the most importance.
Make sure that your SEO strategy contains a focus on continual link building. You will also want to monitor the inbound links to your website using a tool like Google Webmaster Tools (free) or use a third-party (paid) tool like Moz’s Link Explorer. This is important to monitor to ensure you aren’t receiving inbound links from spammy sites. If Google sees that these spam sites are linking to you, it raises an eyebrow from Google and will flag your site to see if it is a spam site as well.
8. Focus on User Experience
Search engines are incredibly intuitive. They know that users want a sleek, seamless user experience. If your website isn’t optimized or designed to provide that great user experience, your site will rank lower. Take the time to do a user experience (UX) audit of your website. Look at things like how effective your above-the-fold website is, what are users looking for (what pages do they go to) after landing on the home page, load time, time on site, bounce rate, mobile bounce rate, etc. If you provide a great experience for your visitors, search engines will recognize that and reward you with higher rankings.
9.Take Care with Images
This easy little tip can help optimize your site’s SEO performance. By simply compressing your images you can increase your website’s speed, giving you a thumbs up from search engines that know searchers want a fast-loading website and won’t wait around for a site to download. Also, take the time to optimize your images with tags, at least on your top-level pages.
10.Focus on Mobile SEO
Last, but certainly not least, is a focus on mobile. First of all, your website should definitely be optimized to be mobile responsive as more than 50% of traffic on search engines now comes from people searching on mobile devices. If you are still using a mobile “version” of your site such as “m.bobsplantstore.com” it is highly recommended by Google that you invest in a fully mobile responsive website.
Thanks for reading "The Best Free SEO Advice About How To Get To The Top of Google", by the Linchpin Team in Chicago, Raleigh, and Wake Forest.