Improve Your SEO with These Tips
The best way of getting noticed online nowadays is through search engine optimisation or SEO. While everyone is aware of the term SEO, not many are clear on how it can benefit one’s business. Here, we will attempt to identify some known and some overlooked tips and techniques of SEO. While this may not be an exhaustive list, following it can still help you beat the competition and accomplish success in your venture.
Content is King
“Content is king” is an often-repeated adage among those implementing SEO techniques, ever since Bill Gates coined the phrase.
It is indeed the key to effective SEO and without engaging content, it is hard to generate online traffic for your business. The days when content writing and focus keywords were the only way to attract attention is, however, past.
Nowadays, written as well as video content are optimised with rewarding results. In some cases, embedding a video is considered a crucial strategy because people often don’t have time to read the content but viewing is easy and appeals better.
SEO-friendly content writing
The importance of high-quality content cannot be emphasised enough. If you can ensure this, it would reflect in higher CTR (click-through rate) for your webpage. This, in turn, will mean better page ranking, more visibility and greater scope of maximising profit margin. So, what is the secret of SEO-friendly content writing? Let’s find out.
Content writing can be of different types – technical writing, research and report writing, feature and business writing, press release, blog post, ghost-writing and copywriting. The scope and structure of writing are distinct for each type.
It is thus essential to identify the nature of the content and adopt the definitive style of writing it for maximum impact on the reader.
- Everyone talks about the importance of keywords and phrases as the key to quality content. Choosing them judiciously is indeed vital. However, one thing that often gets overlooked is breaking down long-form content into paragraphs and multiple sections using sub-headings and bullet points. This helps easy readability and when readers can skim through the content smoothly, it creates the desired impact by attracting their attention and holding their interest.
- SEO-friendly content needs to be ranked high in search results to garner interest. It was once the case that writing lengthy articles interspersed with a high dose of keywords used to be a successful ploy. Modern technique dictates optimising the length of articles for best result. While too short content may not be ideal, depending on the type of writing, using too many words to pad up the content is ill-advised, as it can water down the impact on the reader.
The idea of video SEO or using video content to target your audience and get their attention is not new. Reading can be monotonous after some time, but the dynamic value a video adds to content with its audio-visual way of engaging the viewer creates a lasting impression. But do you know how to utilise the powerful impact of video content to aid your SEO strategy?
The scope of your content should determine the video hosting platform you use. So, if you want only to increase your brand awareness, the more common platforms like YouTube and Vimeo are very helpful.
- One thing to remember is that search engine bots can only read a text and the impact of a good video is lost on them. Therefore, adding a video transcript can better help your content get indexed and picked as top search results. Also, for your audience, a video with a transcript is always more attractive.
- Before even a viewer watches video content, it is the thumbnail that creates the first impression of likeability. It is thus imperative to have a catchy thumbnail image for your video that is relevant and compels our audience to click on it to learn more.
- A trick often missed by people using video SEO is to add appropriate title and description, and make it the primary focus of the page. Also, it is not advisable to feature multiple videos on the same page, as it dilutes the impact of the content.
Links to success
An excellent way of implementing SEO successfully is to use backlinks to connect new and previous content. Citing your sources with links to other reputable websites also increases your credibility and confidence of your audience.
It is important to know the different types of links that are used in SEO and how link building can be beneficial for you.Along with content, the most crucial factor behind excellent page ranking is the creation of inbound links to bring visitors from other websites to yours. But rampant and random use of backlinks can backfire. It is thus essential that links of high-authority domains are encouraged, bad links from low-credibility sites removed and link diversity is maintained. But everything must be used in sync with high-value content to ensure that the overall quality boosts your site ranking and maximises traffic.
Outbound links that take visitors from your website to a new one is another SEO tip that is popular and can be very effective if used judiciously. For content where research-oriented writing is main, such links to legitimise the written material adds value to the webpage visitors.
A complete website is a collection of webpages properly linked among themselves. This is the principle of internal links that any relevant information found in one of the many webpages of the portal are referenced and connected.
This is also useful in blog writing which enables users to check out relatable content easily from one post to another. According to experts, instead of generic anchor texts inviting users to click on them, using appropriate keywords or phrases and highlighting them to follow the link can yield more traffic.
A knowledge of links is, however, not enough nowadays. The technique of using these discussed links is another aspect that has far-reaching outcomes in successful SEO. Thus, when proper techniques are used to influence optimisation methods in search engines, it is often known as white hat SEO. In contrasts, black hat SEO involves the manipulation of page ranking through keyword stuffing and bait-and-switch sales tactics. Modern search engines are equipped to identify black hat SEO and assign a low rank to such websites. That’s why it is essential to know the tips to keep your website relevant and trustworthy by engaging in white hat link building.
- Affiliation links – Networking through affiliation links is a sure way of promoting white hat link building. Partnering with other credible websites to include a link to your portal in their page and making it a mutual arrangement can increase web traffic.
- Directories – There is no death of online business directories in recent times. During the process of assigning ranks to webpages, search engine bots are designed to check out the business profiles on universal directories. If the algorithms find multiple references of a profile in their search, the resultant ranking is bound to be high. Thus, having business profiles in directories and providing links back to your website is a smart way of engaging in white hat SEO.
- So, when some content about your products and services are posted on other webpages, it is useful to accommodate a link back to your site.
- Using these links in future content also is a good practice.
- Regular and guest blog entries – White hat link building cannot flourish with regular entries being added to a well-maintained blog section on the website. Fresh blog content highlighting your products and services, along with the benefits of availing them and offering new tips regarding them, is important. When there is new material available as content, linking the information pages internally can be an ideal way of garnering attention. A new white hat SEO technique related to this is getting a guest to contribute an entry in your blog section. The next step is then optimising it to your website. Along with opportunities to link guest entries, this also leads to networking and fostering strong business relations.
- Visuals – Analysts and experts confirm that people generally show more positive response towards infographics than running content. So, instead of blurting out statistics, it is visually appealing to use colourful standing-out graphics to mention the facts and figures. When audiences show interest in the way you depict key information, link building is easier and high traffic is guaranteed.
Site Speed to Guide Traffic
It is great to have quality content and white hat link building at your disposal, but they alone cannot determine if traffic to your portal is on the rise. This is where site speed becomes an essential factor. It is well-known that user experience is directly related to a good first impression.
Thus, it is a pre-requisite that your website is fast-loading to hook your target audience, and also to reel in a higher number of return visitors. A quick overview of how to boost traffic by optimising site speed can be very helpful.
If expense is not a concern, then it is advisable to invest in a content delivery network or CDN instead of hosting your website on a single server. By doing so, you can ensure that users are never too far from a server as they are redirected to the nearest one with CDN. The subsequent user experience is positive as increased site speed means faster website and lower load time.
- Compression of images is one of the most beneficial ways of surging your site speed. This is especially critical in e-commerce websites which have a lot of images loading when the website is opened and visitors move from one page to another. There are several online tools as well as image production services available these days to help compress images without compromising its quality.
- Like links in and out of your site are important in SEO-friendly content, plugins are essential tools in website development adding third-party features. But too many plugins can slow down website leading to excessive page load time and frustrating user experience. Moreover, more plugins mean more elaborate database and slow-working website. Therefore, for optimum site speed, using a lesser number of complex plugins as part of your content management system is the best solution.
Experts agree that too many users accessing a particular page at the same time is the direct cause why many servers become sluggish and the webpages, in turn, require more time to load.
- Besides, the type of hosting platform you choose can also impact site speed. Depending on whether you have opted for virtual private servers (VPS) or dedicated servers as your website hosting platform, there are various approaches to creating caches and speeding up your portal. Though very popular and cheap, shared hosting has the definite disadvantage of being slower than the other platforms and not giving the option of website caching too.
- A modern technique of pushing your site speed up is to use prefetching techniques. With artificial intelligence and machine learning becoming all the rage, modern browsers are equipped to prefetch data by default. They analyse user behaviour pattern and can load some content and links ahead of user action to enhance website performance.
- DNS prefetching is a resolution mechanism for domains before any user clicks on a link.
- Link prefetching is a mechanism that utilises idle time to download and store webpages in the browser cache based on pre-set prefetching hints. So, when the user does visit the predicted page, site speedis incredibly fast.
- Prerendering happens when not some links, but the entire page is rendered for loading in advance.
Using any of these techniques, you can ensure fast site speed and provide enriching user experience, thereby realising the potential for a successful business venture.
Is Voice Search important? An FAQ
Did you know that, according to Google, in 2017, voice search accounted for 1 out of 5 searches made using the Android app? Whether you use Siri, Cortana or OK Google, the convenience of getting helpful answers read out to you, or being directed to relevant website search results instantly thanks to voice search is an excellent idea indeed.
You might be intrigued about applying this to benefit your business, but still have a lot of unanswered questions. Let’s see if an FAQ session can clear them up.
Q: How is voice search different from traditional SEO?
A: Most people, when they type in a search, use short phrases with or without correct grammatical syntax. But when they make a query in a voice search, it is different as they are speaking to the voice assistant as they speak naturally to everyone else – in a proper sentence. So, using long-tail keywords, phrases and conversational questions is the essence of voice search optimisation. It is not mandatory for traditional SEO, but still, good practice, as it takes into account those users who do type out a complete question while entering a typed search.
Q: What is your target audience looking for that can be helped by using voice search optimisation?
A: You must be aware of the types of questions that people ask when they do voice search. Most of the keyword research tools available nowadays give related searches based on the keywords you use for a search. Knowing the variations of searches made by different demographics can help you structure your voice search optimisation strategy in the best possible way. User intent linked with high probability is a guiding factor in understanding this.
So, for example, if a user does a voice search for “Oscar nominations”, it is more likely that the desired result is for the most recent ceremony than a reference to past years.
You need to provide content accordingly by keeping in mind expressed as well as intended search by the user. Consequently, the chances of your website being relevant and ending up as one of the top search results increase.
Q: Why are featured snippets important in voice search?
A: Getting online information using voice assistants has been on the rise in recent times. The direct answer that comes on top of a search engine result page in a boxed format is called a featured snippet. Its importance to voice search is incredible as this is the result that the voice assistant will read out loud out of all the results that are returned by the search.
Q: How are page speed and structured data related to voice search?
A: As mentioned, apart from reading out aloud the most relevant answer to a voice search, voice assistants also load top results relevant to the search. It, therefore, stands to reason that users might check out more than one website to get the desired information. Good page speed ensures that your website feature among the voice search results making this an important strategy. Besides, it has been noted that implementing structured data can significantly benefit your website by helping it secure the desired featured snippet position in voice search.
Stamp Your Class with Domain Authority
A frequently asked question concerning SEO is what is meant by domain authority and how it can be improved. Domain authority is the metrics that measure the predictive ranking strength of a whole domain and all its sub-domains, instead of being restricted to a single webpage. Earlier, people used to focus on a given webpage and measuring page authority.
The modern approach has seen a shift to the entire website domain using the same methodology for measurement. Average domain authority ranges between 40 and 50 while a good web domain will have a score between 50 and 60. Anything beyond 60 ranks the domain in the excellent category.
To the question, if domain authority can be improved to better business prospects, the answer is yes.
- One of the most important ways of improving domain authority is to submit your page link profile to an audit. This is related to link diversity as the list of backlinks for your website shouldn’t be concentrated on a few other sites with low page-authority. With links to a variety of credible and high-authority sites, your website linkprofile and, as a result, the domain authority of your portal is strengthened.
- It must be admitted that there is no alternative to engaging and high-quality content. If your content appeals to your target audience making them visit your website more often, the resultant high traffic can give a huge boost to your domain authority score.
- There is a popular SEO practice called the skyscraper method that can be used to score high in domain authority. Using this technique, first, using standard SEO tools, you need to identify the keywords and links in the content of your competitor that is giving a high rank. Next step is to earn high-quality links by creating better content and asking relevant sites to replace your competitor’s links with your own.
It stands to reason that establishing an excellent domain authority is not a short-term strategy. Using the 3-point steps, you can consolidate your position towards the top and continue to maintain and improve it over time.
So, several useful ways can help your business to the top. It can be the usual SEO strategies such as focusing on content and links or cranking up technical features like site speed. Other aspects include using the evolution of voice search optimisation or scoring high in page ranking through domain authority. If you want to beat the competition and taste success, it is highly recommended that you adopt a combination of these techniques without delay.