A lot has changed in the world of search engine optimization – and there are plenty of SEO tips out there.
However, certain basic principles remain unchanged.
For example, targeting keywords with the sole intention of improving organic ranking no longer works with search engines, but choosing the right keywords is still an important piece of the puzzle.
Aside from getting SEO juice, keywords reveal a lot more about users and their problems.
With so many SEO techniques, it's almost impossible to determine which ones to stick to and which to ignore.
Is link building a thing of the past? Should you devote your time and energy to on-page SEO? How can you write a title tag to improve your search engine rankings? Where do SEO and social media intersect?
And seriously, what are the really best SEO tips that will get results?
Both B2B and B2C marketers want more searches because they get 8.5 times more clicks than paid search results.
Brian Dean did a great job creating a 200 Google ranking factors post. The post grew in popularity and generated thousands of new leads from organic searches for Brian.
This article may not be as thorough as Brian's, nor will I answer all of the questions asked above. Instead, I want to show you the Top 10 SEO Tips You Need to Know in order for your website to rank now.
If you just focus on these techniques, you will definitely drive more organic traffic to your blog and improve your search rankings without risking a Google penalty.
1. Remove anything that is slowing down your site
Page speed is a critical factor in search engine optimization.
In the past, you could get away with a slow loading site. I remember waiting about five minutes for a popular news site to fully load.
I am sure you can relate to it.
That's never a good experience, but it's the kiss of death in the market today.
A slow site will frustrate users and ultimately prevent people from buying your product.
Data from Strange Loop shows that a 1 second delay in load time can result in a whopping 7% loss in conversions.
A slow site is an untrustworthy site for potential buyers. Period.
Page speed is also crucial for search engines. According to eConsultancy, 40% of users leave a website that takes longer than 3 seconds to load.
As companies become aware of the possibilities of generating targeted leads and increasing sales through search engine optimization, there is a great need for speed.
Ten years ago, on April 9, 2010, Google included website speed as one of the most important ranking factors.
This means that with slow pages you will be fighting a losing battle for the best organic listings regardless of the quality of your content or your professional website design.
Get rid of non-essential elements that are slowing down your website. If you're a WordPress user, you should disable plugins that you don't actually need.
Also, clear your sidebar and only place important widgets there.
Visit Ubersuggest to learn how you can get more out of search engines by improving page speed.
Step 1: Enter your domain and click Search
Step 2: In the left sidebar, click Site Audit
Step 3: Scroll down to Site Speed
This shows how quickly your site loads and how quickly key elements become available to users.
My desktop load time is one second and my mobile load time is two seconds. Both fall into the “excellent” category. As a general rule of thumb, if your website is not rated as "excellent" for speed, you should make changes to improve it.
Please see the expanded breakdown for more information. For example, the “speed index” shows how quickly the content of a page is visibly filled. If your website is left here, there is a good chance that visitors will leave because they don't want to wait for your content to load.
Every other 0.5 seconds it takes to load your website will dramatically increase the number of visitors that will leave your website. Even a 0.5 second improvement will increase traffic to your website.
2. Link to other websites with relevant content
Brian Clark, Founder of Copyblogger Media, says:
Linking to other blogs is critical to growth.
Some people think that linking to relevant and authoritative content pages is bad because it removes people from your page.
But I do not think. Link building remains an essential part of the strategy for intelligent search engine optimization. I link to tons of high quality websites and sources, including my direct competition.
Why? Because it helps you, my reader.
According to Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz,
Linking sends traceable traffic, making your website a more valuable and scalable resource.
If you have read my blogs you will find that I regularly link to different websites. Whenever I write a new post, I may refer to other trusted websites.
You cannot expect to receive from others if you are not ready to give first. For example, if you want to get inbound links from authoritative blogs, the easiest way to do so is to show your willingness to link to those blogs from your own content.
Of course, you should only link to content pages that offer tremendous value. It's good SEO practice.
More importantly, you can notify an influencer when you link with them. If your post is valuable, they can link to you, share the post, or even email it to their large email subscriber list.
Link building is also about quality, not quantity. You will build more confidence in your niche if you have a few authoritative links, rather than a dozen poor quality links.
3. Write for people first, then for search engines
I have noticed recently that more and more bloggers and content creators are resorting to the old method of search engine optimization, where the keywords used to get search results outperformed the real attributes of engaging, valuable content. If it is you, then it is absolutely time to change your mind.
Many people still do not use the long-tail keywords and prefer to try to manipulate search engines.
That is the wrong approach.
Don't prioritize search engines over the actual people who will read your work. Instead, write content for the user, people who have eyes to read, and credit cards to buy your product.
Search spiders are just scripts – they don't buy products, they don't connect with you on social media, and they don't become a loyal customer.
Copyblogger is my first stop when it comes to putting readers first. No wonder Brian Clark is so successful in content marketing. He even turned Copyblogger into a multi-million dollar digital marketing company.
It all happened because a marketer like you was passionate about helping people. That drives me too – and maybe you too.
So what does it mean to write for users first, before search engines?
Well it's easy.
Forget Google and other search engines are there as you write. Instead, create content that will help someone. This is known as SEO copywriting.
Funnily enough, when you put users first, you're writing helpful content that search engines reward because search engines follow users. It's not the other way around. At the same time, you improve the user experience and build trust with your audience.
4. Encourage other trusted websites to link to you
Incoming links are, to a large extent, still the lifeblood of search engine rankings.
When you combine dofollow and nofollow links, you get a natural link profile that even Google rewards.
Content marketing is about creating high quality, engaging content that will get people to link to you and share your content on social media.
Do you know why so many bloggers link to my posts?
The main factor behind my success is that I invest a lot of time, money, and resources into creating a single post or other piece of content.
How much effort do you take in creating "The Complete Guide to Building Your Personal Brand"?
This wasn't a post we threw up in an hour. It took several hours over several days to create this content.
As you are at the forefront of your industry, creating useful content, and linking to authoritative blogs, you will find that more people are linking to you naturally. This is the essence of effective link building.
5. Provide web analytics to begin with
Now that you have clearly defined your search engine optimization goals, you need software to keep track of what works and what doesn't.
You can track your success with Google Analytics, Google Search Console and other private web analytics software solutions.
Tools like Crazy Egg also show you where your website visitors are clicking and how they are navigating away from your website.
You should have this web analytics in place even before you send the first visitor to your website or landing page.
6. Write unique and relevant meta descriptions for each page
One of the most important SEO tips that most people neglect is the well-crafted meta description.
The meta description is the first section users see when Google serves your page to search for users.
In general, the search engine giant doesn't like duplicate content. Yes, there are times when it is necessary to cite a paragraph or sentence from another site (and go back to the source), but when duplicate content becomes your lifestyle you will find it almost impossible to get a long – to become. Concept of success.
Duplicate meta descriptions can also lead to problems. But even if you don't get punished right away, you still don't deliver a great user experience.
You can't have the same meta description for a page that deals with email marketing and a page for sales. There is a huge difference in these topics and your meta descriptions should communicate that fact.
If you are a WordPress user, you can fix duplicate meta descriptions by installing the all-in-one SEO Pack or Yoast plugins.
Then scroll to the bottom of the page in your WordPress editor and add a unique title tag and meta description.
7. Use a simple, readable URL structure
If users cannot read or understand your URL, search engines may also be confused.
Just check the url of this article: https://neilpatel.com/blog/10-most-important-seo-tips-you-need-to-know/.
Granted, the URL above is long but easy to understand for both users and search engines. There are no numbers or characters other than the words and dashes.
Stay away from page urls like these:
These numbers don't tell users anything about what to expect from the content.
Remember, search engines follow search users.
Brian Clark once said that Google bots are like infants who need to be spoon-fed on a regular basis. And he's right.
Even in this age of search evolution, including RankBrain, search spiders are still programs, not people. You have to guide them accordingly.
Brian Dean's structure is what people should and what I do. It ensures that there are only two to four words in a URL.
This makes the URL memorable, search engine friendly and easy to enter for the user. Copyblogger does the same:
Also avoid stop words like a, an, the, but or in.
For more information on optimizing your page URLs, see this infographic:
8. Build momentum with social cues
Social media is an essential part of SEO strategy and social signals are important. You need to focus on increasing yours.
It's true that Google didn't add social signals to its ranking algorithm factors, but I've personally seen that social signals affect search engine rankings.
Do not you believe me?
Well, several case studies have proven the influence of social shares, likes, tweets and pins on search engine rankings.
As an example, Moz began ranking on Google as a "beginner's guide" after Smashing Magazine tweeted the guide. Shrushti's search ranking has been improved from page 400 to page 1 by Google based on social media.
If you want to get more social signals, the rules haven't changed. Here is the summary:
- Create useful content that can be shared across your social media platforms.
- Add share buttons to your post and make them visible.
- Encourage people to share by asking them to do so.
- Run a social media contest to get more shares.
- Mention and link social media influencers / power users in your post and notify them.
Social media is at your disposal. Use it and use it well.
9. Use the correct keywords in pictures
Images are important for search engine optimization.
Google has devoted an entire section of its search results to images. This should tell you how concerned the search engine giant is with images.
What do users look for when they are looking for a specific image?
For this reason, you should use the correct keywords in your picture names and accompanying text (such as the caption). Of course, this is not a permit to engage in keyword stuffing.
However, if your picture is a "Woman's Blue Hat", do not name your picture "Click here to buy a hat".
Always remember that when optimizing image search engines, relevance is more important than creativity or cleverness.
10. Publish unique content consistently to improve search engine optimization
According to the Content Marketing Institute, creating unique and engaging content is a challenge for most marketers.
Whether you are a B2B or B2C marketer, you need to be disciplined when creating content.
It's even more important than you might think due to what is known as the "fresh factor".
Unique content is one of the factors that will affect that freshness score and, consequently, the search engine rankings for that particular page.
Unless you're Brian Dean, who has mastered the art of content advertising and who can regularly get tens of thousands of users to read a new post and share it on social media, the easiest way to optimize your freshness score is by content create consistently.
If you want to market your business online, creating unique and helpful blog posts is not an option, it is a must.
Bonus SEO Tip: Don't Change Your Domain Name Regularly
The age of a domain or website is also one of the top SEO tips to keep in mind. In fact, it is critical to your success.
Because of this, don't keep changing your domain name. Pick one and stick with it unless there is a very good reason to change it.
That happens – just don't make it a regular exercise.
Hope you found these SEO tips helpful. If you follow the tips above, you will be on your way to higher rankings and more traffic.
Here are some final tips to help you reach your target audience:
If you've published a post in the past that is no longer relevant to users, especially due to recent Google changes, please refresh this page. Or, in the worst case scenario, redirect it to newer, fresher content on your website.
That way, you can retain the backlinks, social media shares, and other site engagement metrics you've already earned.
Eventually, you will learn to focus and create content on long-tail search phrases (e.g., social media marketing techniques) rather than keywords (e.g., social media).
When building links, think of quality, not quantity. Don't forget to make your website mobile-friendly.
If you need help with your search engine optimization, reach out to my team.
What other search engine optimization tips or techniques do you think are most important for improving search rankings? Are there any SEO tips that have worked against you?