5 Ways to Improve Your SEO Long Game
October 23, 2019
Search engine optimization isn’t a short-term plan. It’s a long game, but it doesn’t have to be a complicated one. SEO is all about the current search engine algorithms and determining the best way to get on top. Google ranks websites on a series of very specific guidelines. Understanding how the system works improves your chances of achieving success in your own web ranking.
SEO isn’t a new topic, and most businesses now have a sense of the basic dos and don’ts. However, algorithms are constantly shifting, and it’s important to stay on top of these changes. Throughout this blog, we’ll examine 5 top tips for SEO success. Whether you’ve seen them before, or this is the first time you’re reading about them – they’re sure to help.
1. Use Metadata
Metadata has a huge impact on your SEO and traffic. This is due to its ability to point all internet users (bots included) in the right direction. Crawler bots are a digital employee of Google that move around the web looking for information on websites which match the algorithms set forth by Google. Metadata describes the site you’ll visit before you get there. This helps internet users decide which link to click after a search. Sites with well-organized metadata receive more visits than those who don’t.
When a website offers deceiving Metadata it could be penalized by Google. One thing the search engine has really cracked down on is something called “click bait”. This is when a title or Meta description offers something juicy and outrageous to the viewer, which isn’t relevant to the website itself. For example, if a shoe company uses the description, “click here to learn more about the crazy wild night this hot new music artist had in Las Vegas last weekend”, and clicking delivers a page of wedge cork heels for summer, you’ve mislead the consumers and could take a negative hit in ranking.
2. Keeping Content Relevant to Your Brand and Purpose
Another area around which Google has become picky is content quality and relevance. It’s not enough to have 1500-word blogs once a week, those blogs must make sense. In the past there’s been a problem with sites ordering content from companies who recycle old articles or put together rushed articles which sound convincing but seem out of place. Google has picked up on this and penalizes websites who publish content which appears irrelevant, manufactured, plagiarized, or spammy material.
3. Use Keywords Naturally
It’s tough to get keywords which work with your brand and aren’t completely overused by competing businesses. You want your keywords and keyword phrases to link consumers to you when they search for them. To do this, those keywords must appear throughout your website, blog, social media, and ads. But, how do you do this without making it look forced? That’s the tricky part. This is especially true for brands that choose specific locale keywords, such as, “chocolate shop Minnesota”. Placing this naturally without adding something between the words, “shop” and “Minnesota” is tough.
Using keywords at a 2% rate is optimal. Most SEO experts suggest using it in the first paragraph, as well as in at least one subtitle or H2 heading. After this, they should be sporadically placed throughout the blog or article to look like they weren’t planned for SEO purposes.
4. Mobile and Social Media Friendly Sites and Content
Mobile internet use is on the rise. It’s not just people streaming songs from their iPhones anymore. Now, many internet users are shopping, doing business, and even watching full-length movies from their mobile devices. Never before has there been such a need for websites and content to be mobile friendly; not only mobile friendly, but social media friendly as well.
When you visit a website from a mobile device, there’s nothing more annoying than only having the content fit on the page; except maybe having to wait more than 5-minutes for the content to load; or, having content which won’t load at all. This is particularly frustrating for internet users who visit sites where large ad banners run across the page. Sometimes on a mobile device, all you can see is the ad banner blocking your website content.
To avoid these issues, we suggest testing your site or content on a mobile phone. You may have to change some of your coding, images, and videos to fit more compactly, load more quickly, and be better viewed from tablets and phones.
5. Use Intentional Internal and External Links
The links which send internet users around your website, or to your site form another location are extremely important to SEO ranking. The number of hits your website receives is an indicator to Google that your site is popular among its target audience. A great way to increase these numbers is by being strategic with your internal links and back links.
When possible, placing a link to another page on your site in a neighboring page, do so. This improves the length of time consumers are spending on your site as well. Another factor Google considers when ranking your site. If somebody is on your home page and finds a link to your shopping page, not only are they more likely to spend money on your products, but they’ll stick around longer; win-win situation.
Search engine optimization isn’t always straight forward. Working with an SEO specialist or website/social media manager helps improve your chances for success. Some companies hire on their own management team, while others use a third-party. Both methods work but differ in price and availability.