3.2 million blog posts are published every day, that means that roughly 34 articles are read every second!
If you’re a business owner with an active website, you don’t need the above stats to understand that your content is forever competing with millions of other websites trying to rank specific keywords on Google…
Nor do you need us to tell you that SEO has 20x more traffic opportunities than any PPC ads.
As a savvy entrepreneur, you already know the importance of SEO and the results it can bring, and the reasons you’re here is to learn the ropes of SEO and exponentially increase your website traffic.
Every digital marketing expert, SEO agency, and the social agency has loads of information to share but here’s something that no one is telling you…
The search engine’s job is to help users find the most relevant piece of information assisting with one’s query. Therefore, if your site is optimized for humans, it is optimized for the search engine also.
In this article, we bring you the top 7 SEO tactics which are crucial for every beginner.
Top 7 tactics for SEO beginners
1- Website Speed
How many times have you waited for more than a few seconds for a site to load? Can’t remember? Me too. It’s because we have a small attention span of eight seconds.
Even a delay of one second can affect your conversion rate by 7%.
Now that you know that a slow speed spoils the overall user experience, let’s look at it from an SEO angle.
A site with a longer load time will have a higher bounce rate, sending a negative signal to the Google algorithm.
Feel free to use this Google tool to find the speed of your website for desktop and mobile.
Once you know your page load time, here’s what you can do to improve it:
- Deactivate and delete the plugins that no longer serve any purpose. You can find all plugins in your WordPress dashboard area.
- Use the Smush plugin to bulk-compress the size of your images
- Download a website cache plugin
Here’s a detailed and practical guide on how to increase your page load speed.
2- Secure Website
Just search anything on the internet and you’ll notice that all the page 1 results are HTTPS sites.
HTTPS gained importance for the first time when Google announced it as a ranking factor in 2014. Today, having an HTTPS site is almost essential. Visitors to an HTTP site are shown frequent “not secure” warnings. If you’re still running an insecure website, you may have noticed high bounce rates.
Here’s a detailed guide on how to install HTTPS on your site.
3- Keyword Research
Word on the street is that keyword targeting is dead. The reality is that keywords aren’t only just required for SEO alone. They reveal a lot about your audience and what they are searching for.
What doesn’t work nowadays is targeting an individual keyword or targeting a single page for a single keyword. On the other hand long-tail keywords and queries do work.
Here are some free tools to find what your ideal customers are searching for:
a- Answer the public
Answer the public is a keyword tool that visualizes search questions and suggested autocomplete searches in an image called a search cloud.
If you’re writing on the topic- content marketing, then running a simple query will give you popular questions asked around content marketing in a visual format.
Here’s how this clever software looks.
Another great tool is Buzzsumo.
Buzzsumo allows you to run a search audit and find popular content ideas trending on different social media platforms.
For example, if you’re writing on the topic- ‘content marketing’, then a simple query will give you top trending topics around those keywords
3- Quora/ Reddit
4- User Intent
Marketing today is customer-centric. Understanding user intent is imperative to creating content that your audience actually wants to read.
Coschedule skyrocketed their traffic by 594% by aligning their SEO content strategy with user intent.
Here’s how it works-
Say, you’re looking for a quick recipe for a sandwich and the top-ranking video/ blog shows a watch time of 20 minutes. If you are looking for a video with the intent to prep a sandwich ‘quickly’ (based on your intent of getting something in your mouth fast) that 20min piece of content is probably missing the mark. Based on your intent you’ll be more likely to click on a 3/4-minute quick guide. Each and every click the link gets will help the content automatically crawl its way up the rankings harnessing the power of user intent content.
Once you know what your customers want to hear from you, you must then understand the underlying reason beneath it.
There are three major forms of user intent-
Informational: When people search for a piece of information to learn something
Transactional: When people look for a product or service with the intent to buy.
Navigational: When people look for a particular website or redirection link.
So, what is the best way to discover User Intent?
- Have a topic of focus around what you want to write; then take a look at the SERP result to find what type of content is ranking in the first place. Chances are, these are the content pieces that have triggered the user intent well and answered their queries to their satisfaction.
- Another smart way to find user intent is your Google Analytics. Navigate to Google Analytics> All Traffic> Channels and now click on the organic search. Here you’ll find the keywords that people are searching for. If you see your company name in organic searches, these are navigational search terms. Similarly, you can also find informational search terms like ‘hire a blogger’. That means people are looking for information on how to hire a blogger, maybe its pros and cons and average salary, etc.
5- Quality Content
Do NOT create content to rank high. Create content to help your audience find the answer to their questions and help them make the right decisions. A good SEO agency will always prompt you to avoid getting into low-value tactics like creating multiple geo-pages of the same product and having thin content on all.
Provide valuable information on your site.
Finally, review and update content on your site regularly.
6- On-Page SEO
A law firm witnessed a 62 percent increase in organic traffic by merely updating H1 tags. Another company increased its organic traffic by 48 percent by cleaning up metadata and internal linking structure.
So what are the key on-page SEO areas of focus?
- at the beginning of the Title Tag
- in the URL string
- in the Title description/ metadata
- Keyword in the Heading and body text
Have proper headings in your article: H1, H2…
Big chunks of dense text are scary.
Having headings makes your content easier to scan with the intent to act as a breather. As a result of that, the readability score of your content goes up.
Internal link building is also crucial for on-page SEO and your overall digital marketing. You must add a relevant article to your blog posts to always keep your readers engaged. Not only will this help the users problem-solve, but it will also increase the time spent on your blog. Consequently, this will send another positive signal to Google.
7- Earn high-quality links
Inbound links will remain the lifeblood of search engine ranking and online marketing, no matter what. Links from high authority sites to your site send positive signals to Google – and always WILL!
So how do you encourage good sites to link back to you? Here are a few ways:
A- Create high-quality content
B- write expert roundups and submit requests to high-authority sites to share them with their audience
C- Focus on the clients’ success stories. They may like to share it on their sites
D- Publish surveys and real data studies
Every year we have major ranking shifts and new factors that go to impact Google indexing.
In 2015 it was mobile usability. In 2016, the focus shifted to content development. HTTPS websites regained importance in 2017 after a major drop-off in 2014. The following year, the focus changed to mobile speed.
In short, ranking factors will keep on changing. But here is one thing that never will –
Google will forever keep rolling out new updates (roughly every few months) so it is your job to keep well informed and stay ahead of the game.