Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the techniques used to improve a website’s search engine rankings.
When someone enters a search term in the search box, google will return a list of pages considered the most relevant (and authoritative) with respect to the user’s query.
Authority and relevance are evaluated by the google’s algorithm using a myriad of parameters and factors. Such factors include the content a site has published online as well as the type of links it gathered from other websites.
Google likes to promote so-called authority sites at the top of its result pages. So if you run a business and you have a website, and if you want to rank high in google, you should create in-depth articles that can become authority pages in your niche. This involves not only writing informative and useful content, but also content that responds to the questions people have about a specific topic. If you keep on publishing such great content, over time Google will pick up authority signals and increase the rankings of your site.
But this is only half of the equation. In order to rank at the top of google, a site must also acquire a good quantity of quality backlinks. Such backlinks serve as reference, or votes of confidence for a specific page, indicating that the content of your page is valuable and can be trusted.
It is by mastering your content and your backlinks (your on-page and off-page profile), that you can hope to be rewarded with higher rankings in google.
The above is just a brief overview, as SEO is a broad and complex field. In a nutshell it can be broken down into two main categories – on-page and off-page optimization. To help you understand the techniques you need to adopt in order to rank well and gain traffic and sales from such increased visibility, read the pointers below.
I. On-Page Optimization
This is the part of SEO covering everything on your site. This part is 100% within your control. It commonly refers to optimizing the pages of your site.
You probably heard the expression “content is king”, which has a lot of truth in it. But did you know that your content serves two purposes. It tells your visitor what your business is and what products or service you provide. But it also shows google what your site is about. Because google can understand (to a high degree) the text on your site, they can infer what your website is all about and how good your content is.
So the goal of producing content is twofold, as it serves both users and the search engines, and they will each interpret it in their own way.
Read below some tips to deploy great content that the search engines will like.
a. Produce Content for Customers
Although some black hat techniques can boost your ranking rapidly, most of them are frown upon by google. If caught with unorthodox techniques your site could get penalized and lose all its credibility and the hard work you have poured onto it. There is also a possibility that you will never recover from such sanction imposed on your site.
So do not use short-cut methods like article spinning and keyword stuffing. These are outdated techniques that may work for a while but can get you into big trouble later on. Only publish very high quality unique content with real value. This is the safest route.
b. Use Keyword Variations
Keywords or key phrases are critical to the google algorithm. It helps it understand what your content is all about via a concept called Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI). Using variability in the terms you employ instead of a small range will give your site a wider clout within your niche and make it more authoritative. Since you know your business better than anyone else, you need to use keyword variations to describe your niche, products or services.
Just make sure to stay away from repeating similar phrases as your page may appear to be stuffed with keywords. Google is smart enough to know that “house painter” and “house painting” refer to the same thing. Just pick your keyword variations and naturally insert them into your content. If your content is about your SEO services for Oklahoma City or London SEO, then do not repeat London SEO all over the page, other terms could be digital marketing, SEM or online marketing for example.
c. Take Advantage of Titles and Headings
For google, the URL, title and headings are crucial pieces of information regarding what a page is about. Any piece of content can only have one title, but it can have multiple headings and subheadings. The most important among these three is the title as it is the one that shows up in the Google search results. It should contain your primary keyword and make it compelling enough to attract visitors by making them click on your link. Then headings and subheadings are there to help your readers see the main points while reading your content.
d. Tailor the Page URL
The URL is the most important on-page factor, so make sure to make the best choice with respect to your keywords.
You may find that your default page URL is based on the title of your post. Most content management systems like WordPress use your title post as the default page URL. If you find that your post utilizes an alphanumeric URL, make sure to edit this and use your titles instead. This is not just better for your rankings, but it also increases your chances of getting clicked by a user.
2. Add Your Name, Address and Contact Details
Your business name, address and contact details should be displayed on every page of your website. The easiest way to set this up is to place the details in the site’s footer. If you operate in multiple locations, you need to have a different page for every address and contact details.
It is vital that google knows you have different branches in various places as google searches depend on location (geo-located). To take this concept to another level, you can use a schema markup. It is another concept in SEO that allows you to label your content in a way that google understands best. As markup is a special coding mechanism designed specifically so that google could understand concepts (like an address), not just words.
II. Off-Page Optimization
Now that the essentials regarding your website itself are covered, it is time to look at off-page optimization to help you rise in the search results (SERPs). To improve your rankings, you need to work on relevant links, social media presence, and citations.
1. Getting Relevant Backlinks
Getting more backlinks will be essential in boosting your rankings. Whenever a reputable site links to one of your pages, it means some trust is transferred to your site, thereby elevating your rank. However some link building strategies can hurt your rankings. There have been numerous strategies years ago that are no longer acceptable today. So you have to be particularly about the way you get backlinks, as this is a double-edged sword.
The best way to identify a good link is when it is created naturally. But these types of links take time to acquire, so you may have to take matters into your own hands. One way of doing it is by writing guest posts.
Do not waste your time submitting guest posts to unrelated websites though. Only write for sites in your niche. As you build your guest post portfolio, you can begin applying to the more reputable sites with good domain authority. Sites like these are the most powerful when it comes to link juice transfer.
When guest posting, you will often be provided an author byline where you can link to your blog and social media accounts at the bottom of the page. Other link building techniques you can use are infographics submission, blog commenting, posting in niche forums and email outreach to influentials.
2. Social Media Presence
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest are the raging social channels you must be seen in. These media have engaging users that you can potentially attract to your own business. Therefore it is essential that you claim your brand name on these major sites regardless of the amount of time you spend on it.
There are two reasons why you should set up your own account on these channels. First it helps google further identify what your brand is all about. Second having these gives you the opportunity to gain more quality backlinks and visibility.
Websites such as Manta, Yell, Foursquare, and Yelp are trusted business directories where you can and should list your site. Often you can also acquire backlinks from citation sites. Signing up for these citations is especially beneficial for helping your site show up in the map listings that are on some local searches.
Getting ahead of the competition is not easy. And it will get harder!
But if you study and execute the suggestions listed above, you will surely find your site gaining more traffic soon. If you belong to a highly competitive industry, implementing these primary measures will not be enough to propel you further up. This is where proper services from the experts come in to help you out.
So give us a call at 020-7261-1848 for a free consultation.