SEO strategies have become as crucial now more than ever. With the global pandemic still at large, people continue to stay at home for social distancing measures. People at home are also online to continue working, studying, or simply to keep themselves preoccupied. Individuals and businesses also shifted to online and cloud transactions and touchless solutions.
Since organic search is one-third of the website traffic you would get on your website, it is critical to practice SEO now, if you are not doing it yet. As the world goes online to adapt to a “new normal” way of life, SEO comes into the forefront.
SEO is Search Engine Optimisation. It is the process of increasing the quantity and quality of website traffic through unpaid or organic traffic results from search engines.
Google search engine is continually improving its search engine algorithms. It indexes more and more factors to provide people with the most precise results on SERP (Search Engine Results Page). Currently, there are more than 200 algorithm factors that SERP indexes.
Here is an illustration of how these factors rank according to importance. These factors involve the “Search Engine” side of SEO.
The optimization part of SEO is the application of different strategies in consideration of these factors, to every content you release on your site. Once you accomplish putting strategies to use and hit the factors that search engines look for, your website and its pages will have improved SERP rankings.
However, you are not writing for search engine bots but people. If you prioritize meeting people’s problems, which they express on search engines, then you will create content that can satisfy their search intent. Alongside meeting people’s needs, just make sure your content is searchable and easy to index by search engine bots as well. If your content is not searchable, then how can you begin adding value to people’s lives through your content?
The seamless blending of both the creative and technical sides of creating digital content is what makes SEO successful. Since around 70 to 80 percent of users ignore paid ads or PPC campaigns, even more, so that website owners need to master SEO.
Here are 10 of the most effective SEO strategies you can use to boost your website, get leads, increase brand awareness, and conversions.
Those who visit your website from Google are most likely the ones who will convert to customers. Digital marketing strategies like email marketing and social media marketing are useful in terms of SEO only IF people click through your site. SERP bots measure organic reach, which is the focus of the following SEO strategies:
On-Page SEO is all the collective measures done within your website to boost your search ranking. These strategies include keywords, meta description, HTML code, title tags, alt tags, and meta tags. It also includes producing quality content, speedy page performance, and navigable website.
On-page SEO factors include:
On-page SEO should be a top priority for digital marketers, web developers, and content creators because on-page SEO affects off-page SEO and the general ranking of the website on SERP.
Off-page or off-site SEO refers to the strategies taken outside of the website to boost website rankings on SERP. It includes improvements in search engine and user perception. Essential factors to establish this is to work on a website’s relevance or value, trustworthiness, and domain authority.
These strategies are carried out through linking strategies, website promotions, digital marketing campaigns, and the like.
Off-page SEO is crucial because it carries 50 percent of the factors that affect a website’s SERP ranking. For example, building more than adequate backlinks is at the core of off-page SEO. Search engines see backlinks as indicators of a website’s quality and credibility. The accumulation of quality, high-value backlinks increase a website’s domain authority.
According to Moz, here are three types of backlinks:
Other strategies that fall under Off-page SEO are social media marketing strategies, guest blogging, brand mentions, and influencer marketing. Off-page SEO relies on the hope that if the website is producing genuinely relevant and valuable content, people will want to share the content, link to it, or make mention of it. A referral is a very effective form of marketing.
Even physical or brick-and-mortar stores rely on word-of-mouth referrals to get their brand out there. It is what off-page SEO is all about.
Google’s algorithms work more meticulously now. What is worth indexing for SEO has changed through the years. Google now looks for websites that are well-designed, user-friendly, accessible, mobile responsive, with high-quality content, and cyber secure.
The reason for these standards is because people want them, and so Google looks for these from websites that want to rank high on SERP. When readers see these factors, it creates a good experience for them, causes them to dwell on the site and even come back again and again.
The competition among websites is intense. SERP is a guide for people to know which sites can give the highest value possible to their search intent. So how does Google’s algorithm updates affect the role of keywords in SEO?
In a recent study that looked into 600,000 keywords, it came out that keywords are still crucial to SEO. Content length still matters if it contains the right keywords put strategically and organically in the content. It accounted for a 45 percent margin in the keywords surveyed.
The survey also showed that referrals play a big part in branded keywords drop. Yes, Google searches for other factors other than keywords, but keywords still matter to SEO a great deal. It is also interesting to mention that 85 percent of highly-ranking keywords came from secured HTTPS sites.
Digital marketing newbies and experts must optimize keywords because they improve SEO strategies. But competing for the top 100 keywords is at 18.5%. Ranking first will be particularly hard. You would need many backlinks and spend a lot on paid or PPC campaigns. So, it is better to target long-tail keywords.
There is a higher chance to outrank the competition with long-tail keywords. It also creates a more significant impact in SERP rankings on a long-term basis. With long-tail keywords, you get less competitive keywords, at around 70 percent of all search intent. You can search for long-term keywords in Google Keyword Planner.
If you target long-tail keywords, you will begin to find high-value visitors that are close to making a purchase. More conversions happen with long-tail keywords because more precise searches get most of the sales conversions.
A 2015 survey revealed that 86 percent of adults aged 18 to 29 years old prefer smartphones over tablets, and desktops. Currently, there are 5.19 billion users of mobile phones, around 67 percent of the world’s population.
Digital marketers, web designers, and content creators then need to prioritize content that is mobile-friendly and mobile-responsive. It means that the content can adapt to any device or platform without distortion. Users would not have to zoom in or scroll horizontally to view the entire content. It creates a comfortable reading and viewing experience for the users.
Here is an illustration of how mobile-responsive content can adapt to different screen sizes, based on the device, whether it is a phone, a tablet, a desktop PC, and the like.
If you are not doing this yet, go back on your designs and tweak them, so every page is mobile-responsive. If not, you will be losing more than half of internet users that are on their mobile, usually exiting websites that are non-responsive the sooner that they get in.
Search engine bots look for how long your readers dwell on your website. A page with substantial, repetitive, dwell time would register as a high-value page or content. It is what every content creator must aim for.
Yes, all other factors such as keywords and design are essential, but without value, the reader will not stay and read on or continue consuming content.
Boosting your content’s quality will boost your dwell time, and also your SEO.
To get high-value content with longer dwell time, it is natural to write long-form content. Google and other search engines regard content from 2,000 to 2,500 words to be long-form. To rank higher on SERP, consider producing articles in long-form too. You can integrate long-form content with other forms of content, but at least once a week or so, create long-form content to improve your website’s dwell time.
Provide more useful data, relevant keywords, and adequate backlinks that can help your readers get more content related to or in support of your topic.
Valuable content gets bookmarked often and gets a lot of repeat visitors or readers as well. Google search engine bots index all of this. As you reach these conditions regularly, your content registers as high-quality and boosts your SERP ranking.
Brand awareness also needs to be strong. Can your readers or customers identify you or set you apart from other similar websites? You need to carve your uniqueness and produce content guided by your brand or website’s identity. It helps you create high-quality content that further promotes your identity to your niche.
Optimize connecting your content to other platforms like social media or email campaigns. Use different kinds of content apart from text, like
good quality photos, unique videos, and other content forms that will engage the audience more.
High-quality content extends the life and usability of your content. It also diversifies your content, which makes your website more engaging. It improves your SEO value, increases conversions and sales, increases multi-visit buyer journeys, and leads to better differentiation for your brand or site.
Aim for high-quality content. Doing so steadily builds your credibility, not just to your readers, but also to search engines.
“Content marketing is the only marketing left.”
Marketing strategies need great content to succeed. But what makes a good content marketing strategy through SEO?
“Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action.”
SEO makes content marketing more successful because it gives an aim and a validation for content marketing efforts all at the same time.
SEO recognizes the best practices of content marketing. If you have been continually producing good content, your SEO rankings will show for it. SEO also helps content creators refine their goals to release material that is always relevant for their users or readers.
Similarly, boosting SEO ranking is best done through content marketing. Content marketing is a long-term process of regularly creating content that hits SEO factors excellently, bringing great value to your readers. Content marketing helps keep index ratings and SERP rankings improving.
Without good content marketing, SEO strategies will fail. Without good SEO strategies, content marketing will not deliver what the people in your niche need. Using both SEO and content marketing strategically and seamlessly brings your website digital marketing success.
Here is a video that talks about the power of content marketing for SEO:
Email marketing is a digital marketing strategy that uses emails sent to customers and leads to generate website traffic. Emails need to be optimized, so it is not only used as a point of contact with your customers, but also as a source of new leads and web traffic.
Website traffic happens either via clickthroughs or through Google organic search for your website because of the email campaign.
Currently, there are 3.7 billion email users worldwide. The market is vast, and email marketing is a great way to tap this market. Email marketing yields high revenues at 28.5%, digital marketers’ biggest source of revenues.
Email marketing leads to other marketing strategies like SEO, affiliate marketing, and social media. If you want to see significantly profitable results for your digital campaigns, start integrating your email marketing campaigns with your SEO strategies.
Whatever content is released on your website, echo it in your emails and maybe on your social media content. Your email campaigns need to start complementing your SEO goals. Doing SEO strategies side-by-side with email marketing successfully increases ROI and get more leads for more conversions.
Meta description or meta tag is an element in a web page’s HTML code that provides a snippet description of your content. It is wise to optimize your meta descriptions, rather than let Google generate auto-generated meta tags. If you set up your meta tags right, you can use it to carry your primary keyword or to act as a free advertisement for your content.
Well-written meta descriptions boost your CTR and brand identity. Remembering that readers usually ignore PPC or paid ads, optimizing meta descriptions increase the impact of your website every time it appears on SERP. It encourages more readers to click on your website link if they already have an idea of what to find after they do.
This SEO strategy works well because readers usually skim through sites when they are looking for content. They also scan through SERP and click only the website that they think will genuinely help them. Design your Meta tags to be compelling, so that when readers skim through it, they will want to click rather than skip.
Higher CTR rates contribute to higher rankings and domain authority (DA) for your website. Meta descriptions can even be included in your rich snippet plan. Rich snippets can make meta tags more CTR-friendly. Rich snippets can contain links, ratings, reviews, icons, images, like the example below:
When creating meta tags, use your primary keywords, and position them near the front of the title. Indicate what value readers will get in your content. Limit your meta tags to 50 to 60 characters. Create unique page titles for each page you do as well, which will help your meta tags be more successful.
Users have advertisement-fatigue, so optimizing meta tags for subtle advertisements is a wise SEO strategy you need to take advantage of.
There is such a demand these days for video content. Video content dramatically increases audience engagement. Digital content creators use video to increase website traffic further, boost conversion rates, and outrank their competition. Among consumers, 54 percent like more video content from brands they follow.
Video content also generates more social signals, especially when your video content goes viral or popular in social media. Going viral with video content is much easier because videos are easier to consume, more impactful, and highly engaging than text or image content. Thousands of words that can be consumed in an hour can easily be compressed in a one-minute video. That is the power of video content.
You can also boost SEO keywords through video transcriptions, titles, descriptions, and video captions. Millions of users consume hours upon hours of video content through YouTube, Vimeo.com, Dailymotion, Twitch, and other video-content sharing sites. Among these video sharing platforms, they share billions of monthly visitors, top of which is YouTube.
Even startup websites can produce video content like a pro with several video editing software catering to non-video content experts. Do not get left behind in using the power of video to boost your SEO rankings.
One of the often-ignored SEO strategies is keeping your website safe for improved SEO. But it is crucial to note that among Google’s 200 ranking factors in determining SERP rankings, site security is the top highest priority.
SEO optimization will fail if your website is a big security risk. You can also get penalized if your website is unsafe for users. Google, Firefox, Bing, and other search engines are strict on this. For instance, a slight 503 or 404 error on even a single page of your website might lead to immediate sanctions from these search engines.
Your ranking gets affected when search engines detect DDoS attacks, ransomware, and other malicious activity on your website.
When your site is penalized, people searching or clicking through your site will find a 404 page. It results in lost leads and decreased revenues.
Sadly, 90 percent of spam websites are left unflagged, though, which hackers take advantage of. So, it is crucial to get an SSL certificate for your site so sensitive data are encrypted and safe from malware and data privacy breaches.
Do not ignore whenever Google sends alerts so you can act on website issues right away. Register your site in the Google Search Console to confirm the sent notice. Another option is to immediately go to Security Issues and look for the hacked URLs identified by Google.
The key here is to act quickly. Being penalized even for a day can cause you to lose a lot of conversions and sales. But beyond being penalized, if malware gets into your system or any data is stolen or breached, you will lose much more, including your website reputation.
Regularly perform security audits on your website. There are paid providers who can do this for your site, like SiteLock and WebsitePulse. Be updated with the current threats and trends in cybersecurity, to maintain a website that is secured and SEO-friendly.
If your primary goal is to help people and serve them by providing some answers to their search intent, then this is a good standard to guide you in creating quality content. Creating quality content helps you hit those SEO factors that search engines look for.
So, put people’s needs at the forefront of every SEO campaign you do. Mix and match different SEO strategies to produce content that adds value to people’s lives.
Guest Post by Mayleen Meñez
Mayleen worked for seven years in TV and Radio production, and also as a Graphic Artist/Editor. Finding her true passion, she devoted 15 years in NGO and community development work, where she experienced being a coordinator and teacher, travelling both in the Philippines and countries in Asia. She homeschools her three kids and reinvents Filipino dishes in her spare time. Writing has always been a hobby and pursuit, and she recently added content writing with Softvire Australia and Softvire New Zealand up her sleeve, while preparing for her next adventure in the nations.
You can find her on: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIN, Instagram
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