SEO is often viewed as an ever-changing algorithm that is impossible to predict and just as difficult to keep up with. For businesses who are beginning to realise the importance of search engine optimisation, putting all the pieces in place can seem like an intimidating task.
In this article, we’re going to look at three key factors that you need to consider for a good SEO strategy. there’s nothing overly complicated about any of these strategies, if you do them well your chances of success in the search engine results pages are very high.
1. On-Site Optimisation
Think of on-site or on-page optimisation as the content structure and layout of your website. Google and other search engines use this content to gain an understanding of where your website should be positioned in the search engine results pages.
The keywords and key phrases that you use across your website have a big impact on how search engines rank your website. We won’t cover all of the on-site rating factors here as we have previously covered them in-depth, the real intention behind this article is to give a broad overview of how SEO can be broken down into smaller more manageable segments.
If you are going to take away some key on-site optimisation strategies from this article, they should be:
Title tag: This is the first thing that Google skims when reading a page so they play an important role in setting the theme.
Meta description: While Meta descriptions don’t have a direct impact on the way that Google ranks your pages, they can have a significant impact on the click-through rate. Remember, there’s no point in ranking high in the search engine results pages if people aren’t clicking through your page. Remember to keep them short and concise.
Internal linking: The relationship between your pages on the website, and where you are sending authority, has an impact on the way that Google ranks your most important content.
H1 tags, H2 tags, H3 tags: the H tags that you use on your page provide a strong ranking signal for search engines. Much like the title tags, it’s important to include your most relevant keywords in your H tags. there’s no limit on the number of tags you can use on each page, but the general rule should be to retain readability.
Content-length: In 2016, Backlinko analysed more than 1 million search results and found that the average length of page 1 results was 1890 words. This doesn’t mean you should churn out long content for the sake of it. Focus on creating content that provides value to the reader and you’ll be surprised how much you end up writing.
URL structure: Don’t go over the top with optimising your URL for every single target keyword. Your URL’s should be easy to read for search engines and easy for users to understand where they are on your site, how they got there, and how to get back to main landing pages.
2. Off-Site Optimisation
Off-site SEO refers to the external factors that affect the search engine ranking of a website. Off-side SEO is often lugged into the same category as link building, but in fact, there is much more that goes into off-site SEO than just link building.
Google uses more than 200 factors to determine its search ranking algorithm. Off-site optimisation involves creating a profile for your website that improves popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority.
According to SEO Moz, off-site SEO factors account for more than 50% of Google’s search ranking algorithm. Therefore, it is critical to place just as much emphasis on off-site SEO.
The biggest factor that Google uses to evaluate the authority or trustworthiness of a website is inbound links from external sources. To put it simply, the more links that you have pointing to your website from high authority sources, the greater your perceived authority is going to be and the higher your website is going to rank for its target search terms.
Off-site SEO is much more complicated than it was a decade ago. Previously, webmasters could simply build hundreds (or thousands) of low-quality spammy links to a website and expect them to rank well. Googles penguin update in 2012 eradicated spammy link building tactics and placed a greater emphasis on high authority links.
The safest way to ensure you’re building links that are safe and good for the long-term success of your website is to avoid any potentially shady link building tactics. Googles guidelines state that links should appear in a natural way. The easiest way to build good links for your website is to create great content that people genuinely want to share. If you are publishing interesting, relevant content, it’s bound to attract links.
3. Quality Content:
Creating quality content is the backbone of any successful search engine optimisation campaign. It’s important to remember create content that your users are going to enjoy – not just search engine robots. You need to offer value above and beyond search engine optimisation.
In other words, don’t produce content that ranks well and get clicks but doesn’t provide any additional value to the reader. Google may reward your website with short term, however, a high bounce rate and low dwell time (time on page) will mean that your website will suffer in the long term. Sites that produce low value content run the risk of being penalised by Google.
Whenever we speak about content in terms of SEO most think of blogging, however, there is much more to it than that. SEO content can include any of the following:
Product/Service Pages: Product or service landing pages are the bread and butter of any e-commerce or service-based website. A good product page can serve as both SEO content and pay per click landing pages.
Articles: Don’t limit yourself to creating blogs. Think news articles interviews and feature pieces. Crowd source information from industry experts and curate them into press releases that position your business as an authority.
Videos: The Google search algorithm has changed significantly over the last 5 years. In many cases, it can be easier to rank on the first page for a competitive keyword by creating a video in place of an article. Videos can be a great way to attract and reach a new audience. Consider creating video tutorials in place of blog posts.
Infographics: Infographic’s serve two purposes. Firstly, they provide more value to your reader by creating a visual summary of the topics discussed in an article. Secondly, they are a great link bait tactic that can lead to hundreds of links from High authority websites. Sites such as Canva allow you to easily create infographics that improve the quality of content you are putting out and increase the likelihood that they will be shared by high authority sources.
Creating content on a regular basis is one of the most difficult aspects of SEO. An editorial calendar is a great way to plan and schedule new content. Having an Editorial or Content Calendar will help you to stick to a regular schedule, as well as prevent you from scrambling to come up with a topic at the last minute.
There you have it, SEO broken into three manageable categories. If there is one thing that you are going to take away from this article it should be that great content underlines every successful SEO campaign. If you are focused on creating content that is valuable to the user then you’re on the right track. If you need help with your SEO Strategy, Safari Digital is a specialist SEO Agency helping small to medium businesses to grow through strategic search engine optimisation. Contact us for a free consultation.