Having a website for your business helps you ensure a powerful online presence. However if you want to be ahead of your competition you need to do a little more than that. There are multiple aspects of your online strategy that matter, from what you publish on your website to how you use it to attract site visitors. One of the most important aspects when it comes to online marketing is having a good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) strategy. They say that the best place to hide a dead body is page 2 of Google. You absolutely want to appear on the first page of Google whenever someone is making a query using keywords relevant to your business. How can you achieve that? Here are 7 important facts about SEO you need to know:
1. How Google ranks your website
The three most important signals Google uses to rank your website for search is high quality content, link building and mobile user experience.
Quality content is vital if you want to attract qualified prospects to your website. Your content needs to educate and entertain people at the same time. Your audience loves finding out new things, but in a manner that makes them laugh or feel fascinated.
As for the technical aspects of SEO, quality content indirectly improves your ranking, because Google loves content that humans love. When your posts are read by hundreds of people, Google will pick up these signals and place your web pages higher in search results.
Link building is the other major component of search engine marketing. It basically means getting links to your webpages either on other pages on your website (internal link building) or on other websites (external link building). The first method is simpler, for instance you include links to older articles in your new blog post. External link building, on the other hand, requires some networking and online search. One of the best methods for getting valuable external links is writing guest posts for other websites.
It’s already been several years since Google rolled out their new mobile index. This means Google now primary crawls the mobile version of websites as opposed to the desktop version. Mobile optimisation is currently an extremely important ranking factor! It is more important than ever that your content is mobile responsive and that your website is viewed correctly across a wide range of devices and browsers.
Another important fact about SEO that is related to mobile user experience is page speed. Google’s new mobile index loves fast loading websites!
These SEO ranking factors do require a good deal of work and time, but the benefits are well worth the effort.
2. Longer content ranks higher in Google
What you put on your web pages is just as important as implementing the right technical SEO strategies. Overcome your writer’s block or find someone who can do the job for you, because a larger quantity of content will take you higher in Google search results. Don’t write just 100 words, instead aim for web page content that is at least 500 words long. Make sure you also include images with Alt attributes since they also are taken into account by search engines.
As for blog posts, you will have to put quite some work into them. Some experts recommend a blog post length of 1500-2400 words. An analysis of top-performing blog posts has shown that the most-read blog posts at Hubspot had an average word count of 2330. However, 16 of their top 50 read posts were under 1500 words, so a lower word count in not necessarily bad.
Even if Internet users have shorter attention spans these days, they will use short videos and images for entertainment. At the same time, they will still appreciate a longer blog post that is educational and helps them solve a problem. Long content should be carefully researched and provide value.
3. Local SEO brings people to your brick-and-mortar location
A Local SEO strategy is the process of improving search engine visibility for a local business that has a brick and mortar store or provides services to a certain area. Studies have shown that 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information and 72% of people who did a local search visited a store within 8 km. Local SEO is a powerful strategy for a business and if you have not optimised your website for local search you are potentially missing out.
To find the most relevant local results, search engines rely on the following signals; social profile pages, local content, links and citations. Best practices for local SEO include:
- Listing your company on Google My Business and attracting customer reviews
- Optimising online directories and citations
- Creating local content
- Improving internal linking structure
- Add location pages to your website
Moreover, there is a strong connection between mobile and local search, so ensure you website is mobile responsive. Having a mobile-friendly website is vital because potential customers often research businesses on the go.
4. Recycling older content helps you save time
One of the most important facts about SEO to remember is that updating and republishing old blog content with new content and new images can increase organic traffic as much as 111%. Your new visitors won’t mind the repetition, and loyal blog readers won’t be bothered either to go through some valuable content you have published a while ago. Main reasons to repurpose older content include:
- Reducing costs;
- Learning how to time content right;
- Discovering what timing works best;
- Getting as much as you can out of your content and increasing return on investment;
- Focusing on how to create evergreen content that stays relevant for years.
Even this article has been recycled from an older one; we have updated the information to include the latest developments as of 2021 and provide more valuable information to our readers.
5.Google continues to dominate the SEO world
You might want to enter this giant’s graces, since Google accounts for 91.86% of all global desktop search traffic, followed by Bing at 2.71% and Yahoo at 1.46% (data from January 2021). The good thing is that Google keeps no secrets except for their exact search engine algorithm and provides plenty of advice and facts about SEO on how to make your content more suitable.
6. Taking advantage of the latest technologies
Doing SEO like a professional allows you to make use of the latest technology developments so you are up-to-date with the latest facts about SEO and helps keep your business relevant in today’s economic environment.
Let’s take voice search, for instance.
Since our last review of this article, the percentage of voice search has increased from 10% of all search volume (according to the Internet Trends Report 2016) to 47% of all online searches in 2021.
With the increase in smartphone use, voice search trends are only going up because it is quicker and easier to speak than to type. Currently, more than a quarter (27%) of the global online population is using the voice search feature on their mobile devices. Smart speakers are now present in a large number of homes and this feature is also incorporated in a variety of other devices, such as TV sets.
7. Solve possible issues with your website
Focusing too much on how to add new features can make you overlook existing issues. Websites need constant updating and maintenance to work properly, so make sure you look at the following aspects or have someone to do it for you:
- Remove anything that slows down your site
User experience is a critical SEO factor. One way to provide excellent user experience is ensuring good page speed. Slow pages frustrate users and discourage them from navigating on your website. Search engines also look at how fast web pages load to determine their ranking, so taking minutes to load a page is ‘the kiss of death in today’s marketplace’ as Neil Patel put it. Even a one-second delay in page load time can decrease your conversion rate significantly! You lose credibility and people abandon your website once they have to wait for more than 3 seconds to load.
- Fix your penalties
There are several reasons why Google could give you a penalty: spammy links, overusing anchor texts, using excessive keyword-rich anchor text, and adding irrelevant links to your website. Good keyword research is paramount if you want to do inbound marketing the right and effective way.
- Remove duplicate content
Google will penalise you if they find duplicate content on your website; there are tools such as Copyscape that can help you search for copies of your page on the web.
- Using keyword stuffed content
At the beginning of SEO, some website owners used to make their pages more relevant by including dozens or hundreds of a certain keyword. Today this reflects low content quality and should be eliminated immediately!
- No sitemap data
Your XML sitemap parses your website’s structure and shows Google how your web pages are put together. Always make sure the sitemap is available and updated.
- Having hidden links on your website
Avoid links the same colour as the background of the page even if your actions are not malicious. Google will penalise you for this.
- Featuring broken external links
Check if your external links are still functional. If they send the user to a broken 404 error page, Google will consider you don’t care about user experience and lower your ranking.
- Having long website downtimes
Sometimes websites do go down, but if it happens too often, Google will de-index it. The reason is that search engines do not want to keep sending visitors to a dead end and offer them a bad user experience.
- Overusing landing pages
Landing pages can be very effective at encouraging customers to take action. However, having too many landing pages with the purpose of improving your position in search engine result pages will turn against you. Google penalises bad practices such as creating one-page websites optimised for a single keyword just to send users through to another site.
8. On-page SEO optimisation
Out of all the facts about SEO this one is the most important, optimising your website for search engines. Why is on-page SEO so important? Google will look at your pages’ content to determine whether it is relevant result for a search query. Keywords do play an important part however so does the relevance of the content.
On-page SEO includes:
- Optimising title tags and meta description
- Quality content
- Internal linking
- SEO friendly URLs
- Keywords included in Alt Tags
- Speed and mobile friendly optimisation
Keep in mind that it does take time to optimise your site, as well as see the results from it.
Professional SEO Help
SEO is a long-haul effort that requires knowledge, time, and resources. That is why most businesses outsource to an agency to manage their SEO efforts. However finding a reliable digital marketing agency that can handle your SEO together with other related services can be difficult. The team at Visual Marketing has being helping Australian businesses with SEO and other digital marketing service for 12 years. We know all the facts about SEO, the strategies and best practices to improve your online presence so you can grow your business. Contact VMA now for a free 30min consultation to learn more about our SEO and digital marketing services.