We all know that SEO is essential for visibility and a good Google ranking, but it can be difficult to know exactly what you should be doing on a regular basis to effectively boost your SEO without devoting an unmanageable amount of time to the effort.
While SEO can be a complex and involved process, it doesn’t need to be. We’ve put together some essential tips to help you boost your SEO in the most effective (and time-efficient) way possible…
- Valuable content
Good SEO begins at the creation level when it comes to content. Don’t just churn out any old content in the hopes its presence on your site will boost your SEO. The old adage of ‘more is better’ no longer applies. Search engine algorithms are increasingly sophisticated and effective, and are now capable of assessing the quality of your content as well as the quantity. Focus your efforts on creating content that provides your readers with real value.
- Client focus
Just as you are crafting valuable content, ensure you tailor it to specifically target your ideal clients – rather than writing generic content that’s useful to everyone in your field, take the time to determine exactly what type of client you most want to work with. Then figure out what makes them tick, and what types of content will be most valuable to them specifically.
Your analytics data is a gold mine of information when it comes to which topics are most popular and effective, and which search terms are drawing people to your site most frequently. Pay attention to this information and create your content with it in mind. Your analytics will also tell you the most effective time to publish content. By combining the type and timing of your content according to the information gained from your analytics data, you will be well on your way to effective SEO.
- Flexible niches
Niching down to a very specific area is extremely beneficial to SEO and for building a comprehensive audience. But once you have settled on your niche, don’t be afraid of expanding it slightly in order to include other relevant areas that are equally important to your audience, while still belonging to your niche. For example, a website dedicated to information on blogging might very easily expand to include vlogging also.
- User experience
User experience (or UX) is vital to your SEO, with some studies indicating that a user’s experience of your website begins before they have even visited your page.
A customer’s experience begins at the point they perform a search, when your content is displayed in the results. This means that the beginning of your UX is the information and site elements that a search result shows. In order to improve this and ensure each and every visit is as smooth and enjoyable as possible, you will need to do a few things:
Test all the links on your site, identify and mend any that are broken on a regular basis to ensure there are as few error pages as possible.
Ensure that the readability and crawlability of your content is excellent, so that it is appealing not only to readers but also to search engines themselves.
Make sure you have simple and clear navigation to enable visitors to easily browse your page once they’re on it.
Optimise your page for speed, wherever possible, by reducing image sizes and removing any unnecessary scripts or plugins. If your page takes too long to load, readers will simply hit the back button and move on to the next search result.
Google appears to prefer AMP pages so it may be worth looking into investing in this.
One thing you should definitely invest in is more high-quality content on topics that are as specific as possible to areas you want to be known and found for.
The days of stuffing your posts with keywords are long gone, but keywords are by no means obsolete. Your posts should still be optimised to the most relevant keywords in your niche. Consider longtail keywords and LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) as well as short keywords. Using a mixture of different forms of keywords is the best approach. You should also monitor your stats for engagement levels across various topics, and ensure you are focusing your keywords on the most popular areas.
- Visual content
Content with visual elements is increasingly important for SEO. Visuals can supplement your text and in some cases replace it while simultaneously providing a range of different mediums for search engine results. Search engines love to provide answers in various forms (text, images, videos, audios etc.) so the inclusion of strong images and infographics, as well as video content, goes a long way towards boosting your SEO.
Video content is king, especially when it comes to SEO and an astonishing 74% of all content created in 2016 was in video format. That figure is only increasing with each passing year. When creating visual content, don’t forget to optimise it for SEO as you would written content. It requires a few different techniques but it’s just as important:
- Give file names and videos creative and carefully optimised titles.
- Add keywords, meta data and alt text to all visual content.
- Keep your file sizes as small as possible without compromising quality.
- When publishing videos, create transcripts and captions to ensure they are discovered as easily as possible by search engines.
- If you’re creating video content regularly, create a YouTube channel.
- Ensure you always have an up-to-date online footprint.