SEO is an ever changing and evolving industry with the search engines updating their algorithms on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis. And while some strategies may go out of fashion or no longer deliver results there are some strategies which have stood the test of time and we believe will always play a critical role in how your website performs in the search engines. In this article, we’ll take a look at these strategies and give you some tips for getting better SEO rankings. Simply put, engagement is the ability to hold a user’s attention. In SEO terms, it is a measure of the amount of time spent on a page. Although Google hasn’t officially declared it, there is evidence to suggest that this search engine giant does reward sites with strong user engagement with higher page ranking. You may not be familiar with Schema mark-up, however it’s increasingly important and can do wonders for certain site’s visibility. Search engines are very clever in reading every little detail about your web page in order to rank all the sites that they store. It is advisable therefore to get some structure in your website files, rather than having them all loose in one huge folder. Great content marketing is essentially the bait you put on the end of your hook to attract the fishes. And SEO, in this analogy, is the fishing rod. SEO and Content Marketing work together to not only reel in your audience, but also keep them revisiting your page and engaging with your website (all good stuff).
Link building, of course, is a science in itself
If you are still basing your SEO strategy around keywords you should probably start to think a little bit deeper around user intent. In order to please both the search engines (who will reward you with high rankings over time) and potential customers and return visitors, you need to offer value above and beyond search engine optimization. When working on your content, you should take the next biggest thing into account: voice search. Yes, it’s been around for a while. But with the advent of Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s nameless Home assistant, things are moving fast right now. Google is good at crawling all types of URL structures, even if they're
quite complex, but spending the time to make your URLs as simple as
possible for both users and search engines can help. Since the Penguin algorithm update in September 2016, Google has been watchful for anchor text keyword density. Leaning on exact anchor text too frequently appears suspicious to the search engine, which could result in worsened SEO rankings.
Looking at Competitors’ Authority and Trust
If your website code is not search engine friendly, then the search engines cannot read your valuable content targeting specific keywords. If you do not have worthy content that contributes to the wealth of knowledge that is the Internet, then you probably are not going to earn backlinks or social share activity. Backlinks and social media activity act as votes of confidence from external sources praising your content. They heavily influence a web page’s ability to rank for a target keyword. Google and the other search engines use image-recognition software as part of their search algorithm, so they know if those pictures have been used elsewhere before. When you think about keywords what are they really? It’s an interesting thing to think about isn’t it, for one thing, keywords are usually short and common. Because people won’t often type in long sentences into search engines. One way to approach SEO is to write catchy headlines. The search engines focus on quality content, with articles that are longer than 2,000 words often being featured on page one. With that in mind, it’s worth scheduling some long-form posts into your content calendar. Yes, contextual link building is important, because they boost results on search engines. But, the number of links on a particular content page also matters to Google.
Think hard about sharing
We asked an SEO Specialist, Gaz Hall, for his thoughts on the matter: "SEO’s journey to a technicality driven practice of giving priority to the subject-matter elucidates how content marketing fits the bill. As the web is becoming more interactive and conversational, content marketing will see bigger duties resting on its shoulder in the future." Modern SEO is about so much more than keywords and meta tags. If you have plans to be in business for more than five years, you need to invest in SEO. You likely won’t see an immediate impact, but it has the potential to be the best return on investment for your business. The focus of many website owners has definitely gone social. I focus a lot on Social Media myself, but the reality is the social media craze has also left the SEO window wide open. Do you sponsor any events? Ensure you get a link from their website to yours as part of the deal.
The more value you can provide, the better
SEO can be a frustrating activity. Yesterday your website was on the first page of Google. You were delighted. Flushed with your SEO prowess, you performed the same search today and found your site was on page two – what went wrong? Has your website been pawed to pieces by a panda or pecked full of holes by a penguin? If you’re an SEO-newbie you’ll probably hear lots of new and complicated terms. Google normally takes into account bounce rate and the time spent on a site as ranking factors. If visitors are bouncing away due to navigation confusion and poor content structure, you can be sure that the search bots are too. People like to be engaged and feel involved. Having a question as a title will start a conversation by piquing people’s interests. They will want to know what the answer is. Doing research on your targeted audience will help you come up with questions to ask. (Ideally, they should be questions members of your audience would naturally ask.) Reacting to reviews appears to be a wise thing to do. That does not mean you should respond to every single review. In my opinion, you should react to negative reviews. Responding to negative reviews will show potential customers how you handle problems and solve solutions to dissatisfied customers.
The title tag is a visitor's first exposure to your site
Social signals like those from Twitter and Facebook are increasingly valuable, despite being no follow. The key is to build your brand – don’t think of what links are good for SEO, but instead think what links are good for your business, your brand, and what links can help establish you as an industry authority. Remember that links, no follow or not, build trust. Avoid thin, insubstantial content, duplicate content and of course spammy-looking keyword stuffing techniques. Errors record page requests that failed. Server errors are identified by status codes. HTML markup errors are identified passively by crawlers. Major search engines report errors in their dashboards Search engine optimization works best when errors are identified and corrected. A 301 redirect means that the move is permanent. If you need to change the URL of a page as it is shown in search engine results, then you should use a server-side 301 redirect. Meta search engines are search engines that aggregate results from multiple search engines and present them to the user.