SEO is a tricky business, but there’s plenty of simple things that can have a major impact on your website’s performance, and keep you ahead of your competitors on those all-important search results.
According to EngeniusWeb, around 3.5 billion searches are performed every day! Search engines drive 70.6% of all traffic: shocking!!
If you don’t conduct SEO on your website, you won’t be found online.
So how can you implement SEO best practices and drive traffic to your website without being an expert?
1. Create relevant & unique content
If you want search engines to find you, content is one of the most important elements of your SEO strategy. However, new content is constantly being written by individuals and companies every day; the best way to stand out is by writing unique content that your audience will find useful.
Search engines know better than to send a reader to a content piece that offers no value. You can offer multiple content formats such as videos, written blog posts, infographics- anything you can think of. Just remember, when it comes to SEO:
QUALITY > QUANTITY, ALWAYS
As our friends at Hubspot say, “great content isn’t optimized for search engines. It’s optimized for the people using search engines.”
When creating new content, keep the following in mind:
- Have a short (preferably 65 characters long or less), straightforward title that tells the reader exactly what they’re going to get if they click on your link.
- Always make sure your content has clear and specific metadata that doesn’t exceed 160 characters; this is what Google prefers nowadays.
- Most important thing of all- focus on content that adds value to readers that are your ideal customer.
Don’t forget to also close your content with a specific Call to Action that will guide the reader on what steps to take next. This isn’t necessarily about SEO; it’s about making all your efforts pay off!
2. Optimize for featured snippets
Featured snippets have become an important element for users to get a quick answer on a topic they’re interested in. A featured snippet is a piece of text that Google serves on a search engine results page (SERP) itself.
You’ve probably seen these before, and they probably caught your attention 100 times more than a normal result that shows up on Google. Take a look:
There are many different types of featured snippets: the most relevant are paragraphs, lists, and tables.
So, how do you optimize for featured snippets?
- In your blog posts make sure to answer a specific question in a concise paragraph.
- Make sure the heading is a question.
- Answer the heading question in the following paragraph in under 50 words.
- Give facts on the question you’re answering or create a bullet point list or steps- Google loves lists!
There are tools you can use to find featured snippet opportunities such as Semrush, or Answer The Public to find out what people are asking about the topics you write about.
3. Utilize keywords and long-tail keywords throughout your copies
Nearly everyone doing SEO works to optimize their website with keywords and long tail keywords. This is by far the easiest step, but only if you do it right. Adding random keywords throughout your content won’t necessarily work.
When doing your keyword research, make sure your keywords are:
- Relevant to your offer, whether it is a product or a service: Always keep in mind the intent of the person using the keyword: are they looking to buy my product, or just doing research? Where are they in my marketing and sales funnel? Do I want to optimize for high intent or low intent keywords?
Whatever keywords you decide to work with, make sure they help you stay aligned with your goals and not the other way around.
- Popularity and amount of searches online: You can use tools such as Google Keyword Planner to find out the number of searches a specific keyword has. Just remember optimizing for the most popular keywords can be hard when you’re just starting out, and competitors will likely have higher trust and authority on search engines. Optimizing for less competitive keywords can work in your favor here, as your website will likely show in the first results for a specific keyword. Play around with them, and make sure to track keyword activity every now and then.
Here are some easy-to-use tools that will help you find the right keywords for your website. I’ve used them in the past and they’ve worked wonders!
4. Offer a clean and friendly User Experience for both desktop and mobile
This is often overlooked by many marketers, and it’s one of the most important SEO elements you need to have in mind. Years ago, SEO was all about keywords; nowadays, this is just one of the factors search engines take into consideration when ranking your website.
Why is UX so important? In simple words, if your website is showing up on search engines but visitors don’t stay there for long, it means your content and UX isn’t good enough.
If you have a clean UX and a friendly website structure, you make it easy for Google to crawl in your information and understand what you’re offering.
There are plenty of factors Google takes into consideration when ranking your website and giving it authority:
- Having desktop and mobile-optimized versions.
- Having a clear and concise website structure.
- Reviewing user behavior on your website.
- Making sure your site speed is good and the content, structure, and images upload quickly. Google offers a tool called Page Speed Insights where you can find out how your website is performing and what you can do to improve.
- Headers, title tags, and metadata. This also applies to videos and images.
- Having a clear URL title that explains the content in the site, between 50 to 60 characters.
5. Have proper titles and metadata
Throughout your site’s copy, make sure you’ve marked all your headers and that each page of your website has a proper title and metadata description.
The most important title or idea of a site should always be marked as H1, and you should only have one per page. Just one, and use as many H2s, H3s, H4s, H5s, and H6s as you want on each page.
It’s important that you utilize headers strategically, as it tells Google how the text on your website is structured.
6. Index your website
Indexing is a way of telling Google that your content exists; it’s how you add your site to Google Search, and it can be done in 2 different ways.
The organic way is where Google Search eventually discovers your website, crawls into it, understands your content, structure, offer, and decides to show your website in their search engine.
The faster and more advisable way is by creating a Google Search Console account and submitting a sitemap (if you don’t have a sitemap, you can look into your web design tool. Most tools instantly provide you a sitemap link) by providing your link and waiting for the magic to happen.
By submitting a sitemap in Google Search Console, you are telling Google your website is ready to be crawled, so make sure that you’ve addressed all the items in this article before pushing the button!
There you have it! You don’t have to be an expert to work on SEO: you just need to dedicate time, do proper research, and constantly track your website’s performance to improve and optimize your content.
If you’re struggling to structure your website and improve your online presence, don’t hesitate to ask our team for help! We’re always happy to assist.