SEO (aka search engine optimization) is a top objective of businesses both small and large. It’s the perennial question: “How do I rank on the first page of Google?” Answering the question can be complex and depend on a wide mix of factors. And, to add to the challenge, the rules are often changing as Google updates its algorithms with no warning and no roadmap to follow. Some make it seem like magic behind a big screen. Not to worry though, this compiled list of things to know about SEO will help demystify SEO.
6 SEO Strategies You Need To Be Working On Right Now (And ASAP):
- If nothing else, check your speed. Your site load speed is one to the top ranking criteria that Google holds important. Many free (or paid for deeper breadth of features) tools are available to help you keep your finger on this area of your website, and using them is key if you want to succeed in the SEO channel. In March of 2018, Google rolled out its mobile-first index policy which made website speed more than just a user experience metric. Best practices dictate that your website should take less than one second to load. The long and short answer is the faster your website is, the higher Google will rank it.
- Content holds onto its throne, but quality matters. The days of proliferating as much content as possible to increase SEO rankings are gone. Content remains king, but quantity has taken a backseat to quality. Google is always on the lookout for ways of gaming its algorithm and using AI it can now gain an understanding of the relevance of your content, taking things a step beyond simply sprinkling a few keywords into pages of shallow content.
- Understand and accept where you are at this point in time. Google uses expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness in relation to your business and its domain authority which has a deep impact on your success with Google’s algorithm. The factors that Google uses to determine a website’s authority are not clear, but most SEO experts and marketing consultants generally agree that backlinks from authoritative sites, strong CTRs (Click Through Rates), content quality and even online reviews have impact.
- Google is not the only game in town. While Google reigns supreme, there are other search engines you should be considering – especially if it’s relevant to your industry, product or service. Apple and Amazon are the two to watch if it applies to your business. Apple is of particular concern for your SEO if you have a mobile app, while Amazon is the number one online product company in the world, making it an imperative if you are selling products online.
- Voice is ramping up. From Siri to Alexa to Google Home, everyone is starting to use voice to search for things online these days. Getting up to speed on the best practices for SEO ranking on voice search is no longer an option or a far-off technological advance, it’s right here, right now and growing. In fact, Google estimates that voice search is currently somewhere near 20% of all mobile searches and poised to grow to 50% by 2020. Other reports show the use of voice search much higher.
- Don’t overlook the low-hanging fruit. Many businesses have SEO success on their agenda, but neglect to take basic steps to get their site ready to rank. Easy, low-hanging fruit such as:
- Meta description – Page titles and descriptions that include keywords help with CTR and overall SEO.
- Image optimization – Don’t over the SEO importance of adding alt tags, descriptions and paying attention to size and file formatting to help with image search.
- URLs – Featuring keyword (topic focus) of the page is another easy-to-implement SEO best practice.
- Headers and subheaders – Tag your headers and subheaders in the code H1 or H2 and include keywords.
- Internal Links – Backlinks (or links for authoritative external sites are better, but internal linking also signals to Google that you feel this content is important.)
- Site health – In addition to site speed, checking for broken links and technical issues on a regular basis can prevent small issues from hurting your SEO.
Unless your business is completely offline, SEO is important – across all industries, across all products or services. If you don’t pay attention to it, your competition will win the number one spot on Google’s first page! The good news is, I can help. I’d be happy to provide a site audit and a plan of attack to get your site ready to rank.