Let’s face it, SEO is complicated. From web design, page optimization, keyword research, and producing relevant content, there is a lot to be done here, and it can quickly get overwhelming. Most businesses either struggle with or skip over essential SEO practices given the lack of time and expertise. It makes you wonder how do the big guys, the top SEO companies do it?
While there is no secret sauce or shortcuts to long-term SEO success, there are specific, actionable, practical, and simple tips you can implement today to leverage the most out of your SEO efforts. Again, these are no replacement for a dedicated SEO strategy but relatively easy to implement practices that might provide a tiny (but much needed) boost to your SERP rankings.
Some of these tips might seem common-practices, others maybe not so much. Either way, there is no real reason not to implement these. Especially considering how easy to put into action some of these are.
Interlinking is when your webpages link back to other pages on your site. It is a factor search engines take very seriously and is vital for securing a good ranking. Why and how does it work?
Interlinking is how users and crawlers navigate your sites. It helps with establishing pages into hierarchies and makes the content on your site accessible.
Understanding your site helps search engines rank it. Another advantage to interlinking is that it can help you pass link authority and drive traffic to your web pages.
For instance, if you write a blog post on a specific topic, you could run a site:www.(your website).com (Your Keyword) command in google to search for your top pages for the given keyword. Pick the top five results, find the keyword within them, and link your new blog post to the keywords. Done! It’s that easy! You now have five of your most popular webpages (for that keyword) driving traffic and authority to your new blog post.
While interlinking can help improve ranks for your webpages, it is important to do it right. Make sure you don’t overdo it or link to irrelevant content. Finding a balance between internal and external links and only linking to relevant content that provides value to the current page is the best way to go about it.
2. Update generic content
Not everything you post online will be a hit. That’s alright. When it comes to online content, the 20-80 rule holds strong. Meaning, 20% of your site’s content will get 80% of your online traffic. This doesn’t mean your not-so-popular content is useless.
Every seasoned content marketeer would tell you to keep your content fresh and updated. It is advised to revisit your older, unpopular content once in a while to update and improve it. You could put a new spin on underperforming content to make it more relevant or rework older posts with recent information to produce a new and better post!
This is called the ‘content relaunch’ strategy. Apart from an opportunity to create fresh new content (out of already existing content), it can also boost your SEO efforts since the strategy helps repurpose your unpopular content and allows your well-performing posts to improve and stay relevant.
A critical aspect of relaunching content is knowing which piece of content will do the best and what improvements it needs. Ideally, you want to relaunch posts that get impressions but don’t rank well. Use popular SEO tools like google analytics to discover how various pages on your site perform before committing to repurposing your content.
3. Make your pages sharable
While not a definitive SEO ranking factor, social sharability is certainly desirable. More shares across social media mean more eyeballs on your content and thus more backlinking opportunities! However, generating social media engagement is not easy.
You’ll need to produce content that is easily sharable; I’m talking about fresh, catchy, creative, and easy to grasp copies. Apart from being sharable, such content can also boost reader-engagement on your own site, which is increasingly becoming a strong ranking factor for Google.
Break free from a generic wall of text and make your posts and pages more interactive and sharable. Use images, videos, memes (whenever possible) and click to tweet prompts as a call to action. Design your page layout to have social share buttons at key positions within your pages and posts.
And finally, simply ask your readers to share your content whenever possible. Asking nicely for a share at the end of a high-value post can go a long way in generating social traction.
4. Optimize for SERPs
The whole point of having a long-term SEO strategy is to rank higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). But you can’t do that unless your content isn’t optimized for the same.
While conquering SERPs can be a mammoth task in itself, given the increasing competition with ads in the top spot, multiple SERP features like snippets and knowledge graphs have made ranking all the more difficult.
Amidst all this, the first organic position has taken a beating, being shoved under paid ads and novel features. Considering which, it is now more important than ever to have actionable and clickable titles.
The best advice here is to have short yet clear and descriptive titles that can be fully displayed and make your value proposition clear. Using brackets and numbers within titles has also been shown to increase the number of clicks a headline can generate. Beyond this, it is advised to have a short and catchy URL and clear and concise meta descriptions that include your keyword.
5. Link to authority sites from your long-form content
Google loves posts that provide a ton of valuable information. This is the reason why long-form content is so good for SEO. You want to be the one-stop destination for your readers and be as comprehensive and value-loaded as possible. Of course, this isn’t true for every page. Sometimes brevity is good and needed. But pages that do go the long-form route have a significant chance at ranking higher.
However, while writing long copies, it is important to link other related and high authority sources. Doing so will help Google recognize you as an ‘Information hub.’ The logic here is that great authority pages are likely to link to other great sources related to their topics. High authority outbound links have been shown to have a clear correlation with higher rankings.
Yes, SEO is challenging, but it’s also necessary. Every business needs an SEO strategy, your’s will too. But it is critical to implement it effectively, without getting overwhelmed. Start small with such easy and actionable guides and later build up to a solid long term strategy with these SEO experts’ tips.
With perseverance and the right strategy, SEO success may not be as far as it seems.