Everyone knows that search engine optimization is vital to a proper digital marketing campaign but with so many changes every year what tactics are best for 2021. If you want to dominate the search results for search engines like Google and Yahoo, then you need SEO tips that work.
We’ve created this guide to help you understand the many ways you can improve your rankings and grow traffic to your website for both national and local searches. Don’t let your business suffer because of outdated SEO methods.
Use these many tips to bring your website to a new level of success through search engine optimization.
1. SEO Tips Start with Keyword Lists
While there has been debate on the necessity of keywords with today’s complex search algorithms, as long as there are search queries, there is a need for targeted keywords. When Google bots crawl your website, they look for words connected to the search queries.
Develop a list of keywords that are targeted to your business niche. They should have a large search volume and low- to mid-level competition. A targeted list of keywords can help improve your rankings for those keywords in search results.
2. Develop Compelling Content
Google wants to provide the best search results to searchers and the content on your website plays a major part. Google wants websites that have expertise, authority, and trustworthiness in their search results.
Your site needs to have blog posts and other content that shows your expertise in the business niche. The search bots notice these and use them to improve your ranking. Thin content that doesn’t provide educational or show expertise and will not drive website traffic.
You need high-quality content that shows Google you’re the best choice for the top search results.
3. Schema Markup
Schema is a programming language that provides Google bots context to what is on your webpage. Traditionally, crawlers look at several aspects of your webpage to determine what content is on the page. Many times, it can be misconstrued and cause you to have lower rankings.
Schema shows them what the content is, so there is no confusion. While schema itself doesn’t provide ranking improvement, the ability to eliminate confusion for bots leads to more website traffic and better ranking.
They can also help improve chances for your website to have an expanded search listing and be included in rich snippets such as knowledge graphs.
4. The Value of Backlinks
When a website has a link to your site on their site, it’s considered a backlink. Backlinks have long been an important part of search engine optimization, but thanks to Google algorithm changes, it’s even more important now.
There are three types of backlinks. A toxic backlink not only has no value but is considered negative such as purchased backlinks. Standard backlinks have no value for ranking but bring traffic to your site. Great backlinks show that you’re an expert in your niche and come from other sites in your niche.
Backlinks should be natural and organic, but you can help it along by contacting sites and requesting a link.
5. Local Search with Google By Business
Google My Business lets businesses provide information about their business including address, hours of operation, pictures, and more. It’s one of the main ways Google knows where your business is located.
It uses Google My Business to place your business in local packs. It’s always a good idea to use the service owned by the search engine. Google My Business is also ranked and can help drive traffic to your site.
Fill out your profile as much as possible and include as much information as you can.
6. Build Your Website for Mobile
The days of desktop search are at an end and everyone uses mobile phones for search. Google and other search engines saw this early and have made mobile-friendliness a ranking factor. Your website needs to be accessible and look great on mobile devices.
Cell phones come in several different screen sizes and many people use tablets as well. Your website should be designed for these devices. With mobile-first indexing, your mobile site is used for indexing, so having it not mobile-friendly could negatively impact your rankings.
7. Use Conversational Tone for Voice Search
There have been many Google algorithm updates that focus on the conversational tones people use for voice search. Voice search is when someone uses an interface such as Siri or Google to search for something using their voice rather than typing.
How someone talks to their phone is different than how they type. These conversational searches include asking questions and other queries that are more of a sentence structure. You can use these to help target webpages such as using the questions a blog heading, etc.
8. Improve Page Load Speed
People are naturally impatient. When they use their phone for searching, the page needs to load fast. You only have a couple of seconds to catch their attention before they move to something else. Page speed is a ranking factor for Google.
You can improve page speed by compressing photos, videos, and scripts, so they load faster. Google also has a page speed test, so you can see if there are any slow loading pages. Sometimes, the issues come from your web server, so they may need to be contacted as well.
9. Consider User Experience for Your Site
The ability for someone to visit your site, navigate it quickly and easily, and find the information they need is not a ranking factor. User experience is a major focus for Google and other search engines right now.
Websites should have easy access menus, no orphan pages, and a page depth of less than three. If you have those, then Google considers them low value and won’t rank them well. User experience starts the second they hit your web page and doesn’t end until they leave.
Do your best to make the experience easy for visitors and you’ll see your traffic and ranking improve.
10. Local Pages Help Show Service Area
When it comes to local search, most businesses only want people from a certain area. Google uses your address to rank you for the city of your business, but it’s difficult to rank for other cities. You need to tell Google that you want traffic from those cities.
Create pages dedicated to the various cities or counties you want traffic from and create high-quality content around it. The content cannot be thin or else Google won’t consider it quality. It will lower your rank.
Try to add reviews and testimonials on the page to add more clout. This will improve traffic in those areas and ranking.
11. SEO Continues on Technical Side
When most people think about SEO, they’re talking about the on-page content and keywords, but there is a separate area of SEO that involved the back end. Technical SEO is usually done by programmers because it involves accessing the nuts and bolts of your website.
They can help improve site speed and other aspects that you may not have the expertise to do yourself. These can help both on page rankings and overall ranking for your website. Many of the behind the scenes work involves optimizing for mobile phones.
12. Keep Track of Rankings
Before you begin your SEO, find your ranking for various high priority keywords. As you do SEO, keep checking to see if the rankings improve. SEO isn’t fast but takes time.
You won’t notice significant rank changes for several weeks or months after beginning. It takes time to make changes and for Google to see and make adjustments. The rank increase will be gradual. Don’t let small improvements worry you.
You’ll eventually reach the rank you want if you work hard and give it the time required.
13. Watch Your Competitors
Certain keywords can be difficult to rank for because they are highly competitive. Check your competitors and see where they stack up on keywords and rankings. If they have a high rank for a high competition keyword, then consider changing the keyword to something different.
After you have improved your rankings for other keywords, you can go back and try for the high competition keywords. There is no reason why a small business can’t dominate a large business or chain for certain keywords.
14. Keep an Eye on Traffic
Third-party platforms like Google Analytics and Google Search Console can help you track the traffic that comes to your site and what pages they visit. You can even see the keywords used to get to your website.
These tools are invaluable because it shows how well your SEO strategy improves over time and if the quality of traffic leads to conversions. There is a learning curve with these platforms, but what they can show you is worth the time.
15. Don’t Be Afraid of Change
When you create an SEO strategy, it’s expected that things go as planned, but that isn’t always the case. SEO can be fickle and no matter what you do, sometimes ranking isn’t in the cards for certain keywords.
Don’t be afraid to change things up and try something different. Implementing new strategies can change the direction of your marketing.
16. Watch for Google Changes
There was a time when Google gave people a heads up when they make a major change to the algorithm. Sites could see dramatic changes up or down, depending on what they did.
Today, they make several changes a month and may roll back changes later. They only let people know if it’s something major. Keep an eye on Google to see if they make any announced changes to the algorithm.
It may mean you need to change your SEO strategy based on what they did. This is another reason why keeping an eye on your ranking is a good idea.
17. Occupy Best Digital Real Estate
The search results page changed significantly over the years. Ads are more prominent than ever and look just like search results. Local packs, knowledge graphs, and other rich snippets cause search results to drop lower and lower on the page.
This is valuable real estate, so try your best to rank for these packs and informational areas. People often see and click on them before visiting the search results.
18. Bullet Points Help Grab Attention
We talked about user experience and an important aspect of that is bullet points. While long-form content is great for blogs, there are times when more succinct information is best. If you’re dealing with large swaths of data that would bore the average reader, then consider using bullet points.
You’ll improve the user experience and make your customers happy they don’t need to read a ton of information.
19. Fill in Image Alt Tags
Every image on your site has something called an alt tag. It was designed for people with visual impairments to understand the pictures on your website. Alt tags describe the image.
This is great for SEO because you can add keywords in the description and is also vital for Google image searches. Millions of people use Google image search every day and they can help you rank for standard search results pages too.
20. Page Titles and Meta Descriptions
There was a time when the page titles and meta descriptions helped you rank, but not anymore. These days filling them out completely and using keywords helps with user experience and thus improved ranking and traffic.
The page title is the title you see on Google search results and the meta description is the paragraph below it. It’s the first thing people see for your website, so make it interesting for them.
SEO Can Grow Your Business
There are many ways to help your website from pay-per-click ads to social media management, but when it comes to organic search there is nothing more powerful than SEO. These SEO tips can help grow your business and increase traffic and conversions.
If you want to learn more about SEO and digital marketing, then please contact our professionals today.