Search Engine Optimization, or commonly referred to as SEO, is the process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of a website or a web page to users of a web search engine. Or, at least this is the fancy google definition of it. To put it simply, SEO means optimising your website so it can rank better in search engines, thus increasing site traffic.
Now, this is a very condensed and shortened definition of what this form of online advertising is all about. There are so many different factors that impact the search engine results page (SERP) of a website, and we could write a whole book about it (in fact there are loads of them already). So, in today’s article, we’re going to try and focus on the 5 main ways you can improve your SEO.
A huge part of SEO is content marketing – because content is king. Thousands of websites are based on certain types of products and write buying guides about these products. So, naturally, an important part of the text is the title (or header) itself. So, what does a good title consist of?
First of all, try and make it short but sweet, because no one likes reading long and complex titles. Not only is this counter-productive for the reader, but Google can only show a certain amount of characters before your title gets cut off. And consequently, this affects your SERP. If your website is based on WordPress, a great tool to help you out with your title (and meta description) is Yoast.
Most content revolves around keywords. Keywords are certain words that you revolve your text around, and that you try and “rank” for on the search engine. Knowing which keywords to use can boost your SEO significantly.
Ideally, the keywords you’d like to compete for are the ones that have the least amount of competition and the highest amount of web searches. Though these two things may seem mutually exclusive (and a lot of the time are), try and find the keywords with the least competition to searches ratio. Do some preparations beforehand and you’ll know exactly which words to target.
Over 50% of all web traffic in 2018 were from mobile devices. And logically, to achieve good SEO, you need to properly optimize your website for mobile. By optimizing, we mean two things: readability and speed. If over half of the people reading your content are on mobile you must make it your absolute priority to make your site a pleasant experience for them (and their devices).
Firstly, make sure your mobile layout is designed in a way that’s easy on the eyes. No one wants to be squinting or having to try and zoom in to read your texts. Secondly, check your mobile loading speed with Google’s Test My Site. If your loading speed is slow, it will recommend some changes you can do to your website to lower the loading time.
At the end of the day, you may have an amazingly responsive website. You may have it fully optimised from one end to the other, with all the plugins utilised perfectly. But if your content isn’t good enough all of this doesn’t matter. The first and most important thing that dictates the SERP of your website is its content.
Ideally, you’d like your texts to appear in the featured snippets that appear right under the Google Ads. This way, it’s going to be the first thing anyone see’s when they google the search term that your text is about.
Google chooses which site/text they’re going to feature in the snippet. So, your best bet is to have quality, valuable content and follow the rest of the steps we mentioned in this article. That way, you’ll maximise your chances of appearing in the featured snippets.
Watch Your Competitors
We left this one for last on purpose, because it may seem obvious but so many people/companies are oblivious to it. A wise man once said, “If you don’t know how to do it, take an example from someone better than you”.
This can be said for every single step in this article. Don’t know which keywords you should target? See which ones your competitor is targeting. Don’t know if your website is fast enough? Check your competitor’s domain and see how fast their loading time is. You get the point.
With the expansion of the internet and everything being so easily available, there’s never been a bigger safety net for diving into the unknown. If you’re unsure whether you’re doing something right or just aren’t knowledgeable enough on a topic – you can always google it (sorry Bing).
Search Engine Optimisation is a very complex and intricate subject. There are so many different factors that affect it, and Google is constantly changing things up and adding new features. Your best bet is to follow the basic SEO rules, write good content and have common sense. The rest should come naturally.