by Arthur Dubois, SEO specialist at Hardbacon
Every business aims to generate the highest revenue, which requires proper marketing, planning, and execution by considering the cost. Do you know SEO can drive customers to your business’ website looking for the product, service, or solution you offer?
SEO is about optimizing your website for search results to maximize its visibility and drive organic traffic. Search engine crawlers analyze and understand web pages, then algorithms index pages into the search engine database and organize them to appear in search results.
When a user searches for a particular query, the search engine analyzes its database and quickly shows the relevant search results. The most relevant result appears at the top, and a page’s ranking decreases as its relevance decreases.
1. Improve Google rankings with keyword research.
According to Ahref, at least 90.63% of web pages don’t get any traffic because they do not do keyword research.
Keyword research is about finding words and phrases that your targeted audience uses to search for topics related to your business.
Besides showing the common metrics such as monthly traffic, keyword difficulty, and the average CTR of a particular keyword, it explores industry trends and how your customers search for industry-related topics.
Furthermore, it tells you what your customers are looking for, how they search for the information, and what type of language they use. This helps you understand your customers’ needs and create relevant content to satisfy their search queries.
Almost all businesses create content based on what they think should be useful to users, having no idea what they want in reality. So, if you publish content without knowing the topic’s potential, you won’t attract any traffic from Google.
High search volume alone doesn’t make for an ideal keyword if the keyword isn’t relevant to your content. Therefore, it is essential to satisfy the user’s search intent to rank higher in the search results. In addition, ranking higher in the search results doesn’t make sense if visitors aren’t converting. Keyword research helps you understand user search intent, allowing you to convert visitors into paying customers.
SEO tools like Ahref and Semrush will make your keyword research process easy and fast. However, both tools offer free trials, so once it is over, you will have to purchase their premium plan using a credit card.
2. Ensure that your content is highly relevant and satisfies user search intent.
You can’t rank higher in Google just by stuffing keywords into your content. If you create quality content that users are not looking for, this strategy will not help you rank.
For example, if you stuff “download the wall of street movie” keywords into your movie review content multiple times and think that you will get ranked as a top search result, you are wrong. This is because your audience is looking for a downloadable link; they don’t want to read the movie’s reviews.
Secondly, Google considers word length as a ranking factor. Lengthier and more in-depth content ranks higher, but it won’t positively impact your search engine ranking if your site has irrelevant content. Only relevant content is measured as a ranking signal.
Understanding the user’s intent is essential to creating quality content because Google shows search results based on search intent instead of how many times a keyword is crammed into a particular piece of content.
3. Ensure your site is loading faster.
Google hates slow-loading websites because they result in a negative user experience. Also, if your website is loading slowly, users will bounce quickly and turn to your competitors. When visitors to your website leave quickly, Google will drop its rank.
Furthermore, slow speed also causes trouble for Google crawlers and makes it difficult to index your website. Because search engine crawlers have very limited time (known as crawler budget), if your site is loading slowly, they may not be able to index it completely. This is a major issue for big e-commerce websites. While you can’t increase the crawler budget, you can ensure that they can index your website in its entirety by increasing its loading speed.
Your site must load faster on desktop as well as mobile devices. You can check your site’s speed, for both mobile and desktop, on Google PageSpeed Insights. Ensure the score for mobile and PC is above 75%.
The big catch: data and high-definition images increase page loading time, negatively impacting your SEO ranking and driving users away from your site.
Fortunately, the CMS system WordPress makes it easy for you to fix this with media optimization plugins like WP Rocket automatically.
4. Make your website mobile-friendly.
Nearly 54.18% of users browse the internet on smartphones, and this trend has been steady for the last six years, according to the research conducted by Statista. In addition, studies have shown that people love to shop on smartphones, and they visit favourite business sites while travelling and commuting.
If your website is not optimized beyond the desktop screen, you are losing many potential customers. By considering the future of this trend, Google launched its mobile-first index policy in 2016.
According to this policy, Google ranks mobile-optimized websites higher than websites that are unresponsive on smaller screens.
5. Build links the right way.
A site with a high-quality backlink profile will always rank higher in the search engine results than sites with good content but low-quality backlink profiles.
You should remember that increasing the number of backlinks from irrelevant sources will do more harm than good to your SEO. Therefore, it is always better to create backlinks only on relevant and high-authority sites.
If your backlink profile is not good enough, your site won’t be able to get the rank it deserves, regardless of your on-page SEO and content quality. Any unnatural link-building strategy will cause more harm than good to your site. So:
- Avoid all black hat SEO techniques to gain links and spamming other websites’ comment sections.
- Always follow genuine ways to build a high-quality backlink profile.
- Share content on social media
People follow your social media accounts because they are interested in reading about your brand, business updates, and current events. So, if you constantly share your content in a non-spammy way (not too frequently and not promotional content only) and your audience finds it useful, they will share the links across the platform on their profile, helping you generate more traffic.
The more shares your link gets, the more traffic you will generate. It will also open up new opportunities for you to acquire backlinks. When huge audiences notice your content, they will refer to it through blogs and social media posts.
6. Diagnose and fix your current Google penalties.
So, you have found the right keywords and written the best content around them by following all on-page SEO factors, and you’ve even created tons of quality backlinks on high-authority sites. Still, your site isn’t ranking. Technical SEO might be the reason. Technical SEO is about optimizing your website to help search engines identify and index it.
7. Fix any broken links.
Broken links – 404 errors that indicate a page does not exist – are a nightmare for SEO and users. They increase bounce rates and create a bad user experience, negatively impacting your SEO ranking. If the number of broken links on your website is high, visitors will turn to your competitors. Also, when crawlers visit your website, they will mark the domain as a low user experience provider, which negatively impacts your search engine ranking.
Hopefully, these strategies have convinced you that SEO is an essential and sustainable marketing approach for your small and mid-sized business. Be sure to incorporate one or multiple of these SEO strategies within your marketing plan!
Passionate about personal finance and financial technology, Arthur Dubois is a writer and SEO specialist at Hardbacon. Since his arrival in Canada, he’s built his credit score from nothing and is now one of the go to experts at Hardbacon when it comes to comparing credit cards.