This article shares a comprehensive roadmap for planning and executing your SEO strategy. It discusses the most viable SEO tools, methods, and ranking tactics that have restructured the SEO scenery.
It provides thorough insights to get novices up on their SEO feet while providing an extensive reference to veteran SEO practitioners to support their ongoing engagements.
SEO And Why It Matters
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the art and science of optimizing individual web pages or the whole website to make them acquire high ranks in search engines. It is an art because it requires most of it dwells around creativity.
For instance, one needs to understand copywriting and marketing to achieve SEO. It is a science because it entails complexities such as those requiring complex search engine algorithms and coding techniques. SEO’s creative and technical bits play in unison to help you attain top search engine rankings.
So, why should you strive to achieve visibility in Google? What value do you get by ranking top of your competitors’ pages? Check out the following mind-boggling stats:
- The first result in Google’s organic search accounts for a 27.6% Click-through-rate (Backlinko).
- Moving up a single spot in Google’s SERPs increases CTR by 2.8% (Backlinko).
- Google has the highest search engine market share (Statista).
From these figures, it is crystal clear that SEO is extremely valuable. Failing to optimize your web pages for search engines puts you on the line or losing your customers to competitors, losing traffic, leads, and reducing conversion rates.
SEO Tips To Rank Higher on Google
With so many websites existing today, it is difficult for search engines to find a surefire way to rank them. And this explains the frequency of changes in ranking algorithms.
As such, ranking factors gain and lose value with time. This section will teach you some of the best SEO strategies to help you rank higher on Google.
Target reasonable keywords
Keywords are the linchpin between what your target searchers are looking for and what your web page provides to fulfil their search intent. The keywords you choose to include in your web copy will determine the kind of traffic you get. And so this means one thing: know what you want to rank for. When choosing the keywords for your web copy, you have to factor in the following:
- Relevance: Ensure you select keywords that drive qualified traffic to your website.
- Volume: Choose keywords that are highly searched
- Competition: Choose a keyword that users are searching for but which competitors are yet to leverage fully.
- Domain Authority: Your domain authority also plays a critical role in determining how easy it is for you to rank. So you stand a huge chance to rank if your website has been around for a while and you have been publishing quality content.
Luckily for you, you can leverage these keyword research tools to identify relevant words and phrases that searchers use. The tools will help you analyze how the keyword phrases you use rank based on their search volume.
Keyword Pro Tip For You
If you have a brand new website or are just starting off your SEO strategy, it is best to target low-competition, low-volume keywords. These keywords will massively help you gain traction and shape a road map for building a more robust SEO strategy.
Check the Search Intent
Search intent is among the most critical factors you must consider in the course of your keyword research.
It helps you to better meet your users’ needs and craft content and landing pages that meet users’ expectations. From an SEO perspective, checking search intent establishes you as an authoritative website, boosts your brand awareness, and helps you to create content that directs searchers to your website.
You can optimize your website for user intent by doing the following:
- Start by mapping your search intent
- Extract data from search engine results pages (but do it in incognito mode and clear your cache once you are done).
- Evaluate your existing content to ensure it fulfills users’ intent
Write long-form content about it
You should never overlook the value of long-form content because it can do a lot for your brand. Long-form content helps you to build authority and credibility, drive traffic, attract more links through brand awareness, and generally play much in favor of your SEO.
The thing with long-form content is that it is copy-rich and easy for search engines to crawl, index, and understand. Besides the ease of crawlability by search engines, long-form content makes it easy to target a wide range of keywords and topics.
This means that it is easy to have your content ranking high in search engines for multiple keywords. But then comes the big question: how long should long-form content be?
To execute long-form content, you must start by understanding the basics of what you want to write. Remember to pick the topics and subjects that resonate well with your audience. To write content, you must then assess your credibility, knowledge, wisdom, and expertise. In everything you do, put yourself in the shoe of your web visitors. Remember not to write so much to the point of boring your web visitors.
On-page SEO entails tweaking a website’s tags, internal linking structure, and tags to boost its rankings. This bit of SEO deals with three important elements: website architecture, HTML, and website content. So, as you can notice, unlike off-page SEO, On-page SEO deals with things that happen on the website.
Optimizing these elements is key to the success of your website. The following are some of the on-page SEO tips you can apply to your website to boost your visibility in SERPs:
- Publish high-quality content
- Optimize your page titles and meta descriptions (ensure to integrate keywords in your titles and meta descriptions).
- Consider formatting your content with heading (H1) and subheadings (H2, H3,…).
- Use original images with optimized sizes
- Optimize your URLs by adding a breadcrumb menu and making use of categories
- Leverage internal and external links
Install SSL Certificate
The Secure Socket Layer (SSL) certificate, also popularly known by its new name Transport Layer Security (TLS) certificate, is a small data file installed on a web server that helps to build an encrypted connection between a web server and a browser. But what place does this security tool have to ensure high search engine rankings?
The SSL certificate initiates HTTP-HTTPS migrations. A website with the certificate will have its URL start with HTTPS and not HTTP (for those websites without the certificate). The HTTPS factor was included in Google’s ever-changing algorithms for SEO ranking.
In their announcement, Google says, “We’d like to announce that we’re adjusting our indexing system to look for more HTTPS pages. Specifically, we’ll start crawling HTTPS equivalents of HTTP pages, even when the former are not linked to from any page.”
This announcement changed the course of website security as more and more website owners strived to purchase SSL certificates to boost their ranks. To date, HTTPS websites have outperformed their HTTP counterparts in search engines.
A previous study confirms a positive correlation between HTTPS and high search engine rankings. If you would wish to rank keyword higher in search engines, all you have to do is buy an SSL certificate.
Add LSI Keywords To Your Page
Latent Semantic Index (LSI) keywords refer to the search terms that relate to the main keyword you are targeting. They are a critical piece of SEO since they support your website content and add more context to make it easier for Google and website visitors to know what your content is about.
Consider an instance where you are writing a blog post about the best SSL certificates to buy. Some possible LSI keywords for your content include the following:
- SSL certificates for 2023
- Is Wildcard SSL the best?
- Where to find the best SSL certificates
- Best SSL Certificate for eCommerce
As you can notice, each of the phrases above is suitable for accompanying the main keyword. And finding LSI keywords is not that hard. You can start by creating a base of vital keywords for your website. Several tools, such as Google Autocomplete, Google Related searches, People Also Ask, and LSI graph, can be used to find your LSI keywords.
Build Backlinks to Your Site
Backlinks are among the most significant components of an SEO strategy because they demonstrate to Google that yours is an authoritative website, especially if more high-authority domains have linked to it.
But how to link your website to other websites? Here are some backlinks SEO tips for you:
- Look for guest blogging opportunities. Guest blogging gives you organic backlinks to your website because you are able to link to your own resources.
- Ask your partners, suppliers, and distributors to link to your site
- Find an influencer’s blog that operates within your industry domain and ask them to give a review of your products
- Publish original research content
- Publish ultimate step-by-step guides
Track and Monitor Your Results
Implementing these tips will make your website jump higher in SERPs. But how would you know that things are working? The best strategy to evaluate your SEO strategies is by leveraging Google analytics. Google Analytics will help you to track your organic traffic. More traffic means that your SEO strategies are working. You can also use the Google Search Console to measure impressions and clicks.
Use Internal Linking
Looking for an easy way to boost your ranking in the SERPs? Use internal linking. In other words, consider linking one page on your website to another page on the same website. This strategy will help direct your web visitors to other sections on your website, which could positively impact your ranking.
And that is it, folks! Implementing these tips will bring positive SEO results. Ensure you implement all of them if you want to leverage the power of SEO. Also, remember to be patient. The fact that you won’t see an increase in ranks a week after implementing these strategies does not mean they aren’t working. SEO is a journey, and you must be patient to reach your destination.