Search engine optimization is a hard thing to pull off. The individual tricks aren’t so difficult alone, but the challenging part is creating a well-rounded campaign. There are a lot of different things to keep in mind when you’re optimizing a site.
We’re going to explore some useful SEO tips and tricks today, giving you a little insight into some of the things that you could do to benefit your site. Hopefully, the ideas below will be enough to kickstart your journey into SEO success.
There’s a lot more involved with an excellent campaign, but the following ideas might be able to shape your future campaign in a way that brings results. Let’s get started.
1. Research The Google Algorithm
SEO is based on the Google algorithm at any given time. All of the efforts that go into a campaign are created in response to the specific set of ranking factors that Google brings to the table.
There are something like 200 ranking factors, and those are what Google uses to list various sites in response to particular keyword phrases. Understanding how this algorithm works is the first step toward knowing what to do about optimizing your site.
You can use various methods without knowing that much about the algorithm, but they won’t fit into the scheme of a larger campaign very well if you don’t know why they’re bringing you results.
When you have the fundamentals down, you can do things that will create significant change instead of just offering short-term benefits.
2. Find Your Target Group
Finding the right group to market to is one of the first things you should do. The internet is a vast place, and there’s a lot of space to miss the mark when it comes to marketing.
It’s a lot like fishing in the ocean. If you’re looking for a particular fish, you have to know a lot about that fish’s habits, its natural environment, and the general part of the ocean that you’re most likely to find it.
If you don’t have that information, there is a minimal chance that you’ll ever catch that fish.
So it goes with marketing. Research your target demographic and find out which sites they use, which social media platforms they’re on, and the type of keywords they’re searching for.
3. Invest in Keyword Research
When you’ve got the target audience, you can start to do keyword research. Keyword research is the starting point in the creation of content and optimization of sites.
All of your efforts are to try and rank for the searches of particular keyword phrases. Google has options for researching keywords, but there might be more sophisticated pieces of software out there that could help you narrow things down even more.
You’re looking for specific keywords that offer a lot of traffic and don’t come with too much competition.
4. Plan to Research Keywords Regularly
Note that it isn’t just one or two keywords that you have to optimize for. Sure, your home pages should be optimized for the terms that you’d most like to rank for.
That said, the rest of your content should be optimized for keywords that are less popular. The more content you optimize and release, the more searches you’ll rank in. The more searches you rank for, the more traffic you’ll get.
When you increase traffic, Google marks you as a site that commands more authority in the niche. That means that all of your pages will rank higher when one does well.
So, the idea is to keep identifying popular keywords in your niche and produce content in response to them. This also allows you to spread your reach and expand your site outside of the niche.
5. Don’t Write Your First Impulse
A big mistake that a lot of site owners make is to just write something that sounds business-like or professional on their page.
A scroll through numerous websites for small businesses will show you that there’s a lot of off-the-top writing floating around on the web. The writing you do should be calculated and meant for a specific purpose.
Sure, your users should feel welcomed on the site and be able to understand what you’re talking about. That said, you should have particular keywords in mind as you create any content for your page.
Whether you’re saying “welcome to the site!” or you’re writing the particulars of the contact page, you should have a keyword phrase in mind.
6. Plan for Content Creation
One of the key vehicles for your site’s success is the creation of content. You can create content on a regular basis, optimizing all of it for specific purposes.
Content should come as a response to the questions implied in the keyword phrases you find through research. A user wouldn’t be searching the web if they didn’t have some query or desire that they wanted to have filled.
So, each search implies what the user is looking for. You can infer that desire, then create a piece of content to meet that need. At the same time, that piece is optimized for the keyword phrase that they searched.
If you can achieve those two goals in each piece of content, try to post as much content as you can. A good content schedule involves a few pieces per week.
Keep quality in mind, though.
7. Focus on Quality First
Google’s intention is to display the most relevant and useful content to its users. Its goal is not, however, to reward the best-optimized content.
This is an important distinction to make, as it’s easy to get caught up in optimization and forget to think about quality. You’ll do better with a set of high-quality content than you will with a set of over-optimized content.
So, after you finish creating a piece of content or optimizing one of your pages, be sure to look over the work and ask yourself if users would find it useful. Further, ask yourself if you’ve answered the question or solved the problem inherent in the keyword phrase you’re optimizing for.
8. Create a Linking Strategy
Linking is an important and often forgotten piece of SEO. The network of links that your site exists within dictates which niche you’re a part of. It also helps to situate you in terms of domain authority.
Domain authority is the position of influence you hold in a particular niche. Linking out to other sites through your content adds value by reinforcing the information with other sources.
That shows Google that you’re creating content with the intention of producing value, not just for the sake of making more content. When other sites link to you, however, you’re granted a big token of respect.
Google sees links to your site, also known as backlinks, as a sign that your content is worth reading. Other sites wouldn’t link to you if you didn’t have something valuable to say.
The art of generating backlinks is tricky, but it’s essential if you want to rank well. Take a look and find out How Many Backlinks Does A Website Need To Rank On Page One?
9. Work on Your Site Structure
Something called “site architecture” plays a big role in your user experience. Sites that are convoluted and complicated are difficult for users to navigate. Any page on your site shouldn’t be more than two clicks away from any other.
If you can, try to organize your website in a way that makes logical sense. This might be something to work with a graphic designer on, although most ready-made websites are optimized for site architecture already.
10. Look at Competitor Sites
A great way to boost your success is to peek at what other sites are doing. Search some of the most popular keyword phrases in your niche and examine the contender that has the first ranking.
What you’re looking at is a template of good SEO. There’s something inherent in that page that Google likes. Maybe it’s the brand recognition of the business, but it probably has more to do with how the page is arranged and where the keywords are placed.
Look at websites that aren’t too popular, but that have great SEO rankings. When the name of the brand isn’t what’s driving rankings, it’s the optimization that’s pulling most of the weight.
11. Establish Clear Goals
It’s very easy to jump into an SEO campaign without knowing much about what you’re trying to do. The idea is to get better rankings and increase sales, right?
Well, sort of. Those are the end goals, but there are a lot of sub-goals that have to be achieved before you see significant results. Try to make benchmarks on things like site visits, click-thru rates, conversions, and repeat visits before you look at rankings and sales.
There are a number of metrics to look at on whatever platform you’re using to monitor your SEO.
12. Monitor Data
In order to monitor your goals, you have to look at the data with a close eye.
Each factor of your SEO campaign is fueled by metrics you can look at. Site visits, click-thru rates, and the other metrics mentioned above are all easy to look at and monitor.
Further, the data you see gives you insights into what you could be doing wrong. If your click-thru rate is high, for example, it means that people are visiting the site and leaving right away.
You might be getting more traffic, but that doesn’t matter if nobody’s following through to a sale. That implies that you have something to change about your user experience.
13. Utilize PPC Ads
PPC ads are what most people know as sponsored posts. These ads show up in optimal locations within the user feed, whether that’s on social media or in search results.
Those positions are the ones that you’re trying to achieve organically through SEO. You can pay to advertise yourself in these positions and that visibility can bring a lot of traffic to your site.
The more traffic on your site, the more positive karma you generate with Google. So, just because advertising is a direct route to sales doesn’t mean that it won’t help with your small business SEO.
14. Support With Social Media
If you have a knack for social media outreach, one of the best SEO strategies you can use is to push your content through your social media profiles.
When users follow the link to the content you share, they’re sent straight to your website where they can engage and boost your rankings. The more activity you have on your website, the better you will do.
So, share all of your content on all of your social media platforms. Users can share and engage with that content and benefit your optimization efforts.
15. Hire a Professional
All of the tactics described above take some time and effort. Further, you need to spend a while sitting with each strategy to understand how it applies to your actual website.
That work can end up looking like a full-time job on top of your other work. The importance of SEO is too great to ignore, though, so you have to find a way to make it work.
One common method is to hire an SEO for small businesses agency. Agencies are experts at treating good rankings and using all of the tricks above. They’ve already got it down, so there’s no learning curve and you can start seeing results right away.
It can be tough to put your website in someone else’s hands, but the professionals will take good care of your digital presence. Plus, the results that they bring are likely to be a lot better than the ones you could produce yourself.
That’s just because they’re working on SEO night and day, while you have other priorities.
Need More SEO Tips and Tricks?
Hopefully, our small business SEO tips and tricks were helpful to you. There’s a lot more to learn about search engine optimization, though, and we’re here to help.
Explore our site for more insight into the importance of SEO, more SEO strategies, backlinking tips, and much more.