6 Basic SEO Strategies
I’ve written these six basic SEO strategies to be short and sweet. That being said, let’s get at it.
There are two main aspects in developing great content, quality and quantity. Google scans sites faster and with increased accuracy these days, so jamming keywords on your homepage just won’t cut it anymore. Blogs, news, or insight sections on your website are a terrific way to boost content quantity. However, simply backlogging a bunch of ‘stuff’ onto your site, relevant or not, will not suit the quality aspect your potential clients are looking for.
While the quantity of your content should range from 300 to 500 words per page, the quality must be there as well. To bring quality, answer a need you believe your client will have when coming to your site. Give them something of value, teach them something. Not only will this type of content keep your clients coming back, but it will have them recommending your site as you can position yourself as an expert in your field with quality content.
Keywords have evolved. Back in the day, you could mention what your site brings to the table in a bunch of punchy keywords on your homepage and make the first page of Google, sadly this is no longer the case. I mean, how could it be? Today, it is so easy to build a website and join the fray. So, Google has adapted to the mass of sites by looking beyond simple keywords. Long-tail keywords and conversational (natural language) searches are the norm.
Users are searching with feeling and not just traditional Boolean methods. We are asking Google full sentence questions instead of accurately punching in the keywords we need, hence my Boolean reference. To tie-in with content, Google now looks for long-tail keywords, which are keywords reaching over two or three words in length. These long-tail keywords can be found in relevant content and will match a user’s natural language search. The more relevant your content, the easier it will be for Google to match long-tail keywords with your long-format, conversation style, natural language search.
You should already know who your competition is, if not, find out right away. Look at their content, what do you believe they are doing right, what do you believe they are missing? How are their keywords lining up with what’s popular in your Analytics? This is, of course, assuming you have checked your analytics to discover what people are searching to find you. If you haven’t, do that now. And if you don’t know how simply sign-up to Google Analytics for free and become certified with Google Analytics Academy. Start with their basic course, this will show you where to find your keywords and how to understand them.
Take a look at your competitor’s reviews, how many do they have? Are they positive? Positive reviews are great for search results and negative reviews provide areas to improve on over the other guys. Take a look at how often they post on social media, what forums they are a part of, and what sites are publishing their content, all of these facets are contributing to their backlinks.
Backlinks are linkable content that help people find your site. Think of them as breadcrumbs leading back to your site. Social media is a major source for backlinks, as every content post, be it news, blog, or insight, leads back to your site. Niche publishing sites are another great way to collect backlinks, and often they are happy to post your content as you have done the legwork of writing it for them.
Google ranks your site by how many backlinks you have, and you can optimize them by indexing all your backlinks with Google Search Council. Indexing your backlinks will help Google understand your site better, making it easier for them to bring traffic your way. But, be careful, broken backlinks will have a negative effect on your site. Google will check the links and if a site that previously published your work is now offline, the link is broken, and Google’s not going to like that one bit. So, no link farms!
Social media might just be the best way to spread your content out to those who are interested. Not only will this expand the reach of your business, but it will expand the reach of your backlinks. More reach means more traffic. However, is it the right traffic? Hitting all the socials can be time-consuming; try to refer to the competition section and find where your competitors are tapping into. See if you can expand on their strategies, or improve on them.
If your business is not overly ‘social,’ such as a highly professional company like a law firm, you can still net those backlinks by sharing interesting and informative content once and awhile. Or, if that isn’t your angle, use it to promote your charity work. If you believe your clients will find it untasteful or tacky that you’re all over social media, make it about your work in the community, everyone likes to see this and it is a legitimately good thing to do. You can’t go wrong helping others.
6. Mobile Site
If you ask someone to give up their laptop or their phone, most would keep their phone. Heck, my iPhone is almost more powerful than my five-year-old laptop! WordPress, GoDaddy, and Wix template style site builders will have a ‘how my site looks on mobile’ plug-in or section available. Use this to optimize your site for handheld and tablet devices. If your site is heavily e-commerce focused, be sure the payment links are secure and easy to find on an Android or iOS device, or, you know, a Windows phone, if people use those. Either way, if you’re new to mobile, hit the big boys first, Android and iOS.
On your desktop website, but even more so mobile, it is important to optimize your images. Be sure they are high resolution but under 500 MB in size. 500 MB should be the absolute maximum, use that mark as a general rule of thumb. In the digital age of instant gratification, people waiting for an image to load will simply leave your site and move on to the next guys.
Do you have any additional basic SEO tips that I might have missed? Please let me know in the comments.