In the past, to get some great SEO results, you had to do a few things right. You just had to optimize your content, apply a few tricks, and spend some time on DIY tweaks.
That was, however, while the wilderness of search engines was still untamed, and most of your competitors didn’t spend as much on digital marketing. Today, however, you need more. Today, you need a strategy.
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With that in mind, here are the top five SEO strategies to help your business grow.
1. Double down on local SEO
Many people with a casual understanding of SEO live under the misconception that a local business needs no introduction. After all, everyone knows there’s a bakery on the town square, a flower shop around the corner, and a gym a bit further down the street.
In the 21st century, it no longer works this way.
First, a “local” business doesn’t necessarily mean an old business everyone knows about. Even a new business needs a local presence and a way of establishing a reputation.
Second, if you don’t provide global online services, a massive portion of your sales will happen after a quick mobile search. People just want to check your prices, address, and potentially even a few reviews. This is where mobile SEO optimization comes into the picture.
You are getting listed on GMB, and ending up in a snippet after a local search is your top priority.
Now, one of the ways to get listed better in these local searches is to adopt localized keywords. What does this mean? When using a keyword and trying to get ranked, use the name of the city, region, or neighborhood in the phrase. After all, this is the way most of your audience will do things.
Brand mentions are just as important, but how do you benefit from this locally? Ideally, you’ll get involved with local causes and events and potentially host them. Local sponsorships and even getting on the front page of local media (newspapers and portals) will help boost your local SEO ranking.
Just keep in mind that before you go global, you need to establish a strong local presence. This will even boost your global rank, so never dismiss it as irrelevant.
2. Create High-Quality Content
Writing high-quality content will give you everything that you’re looking for.
If the topic is relevant, people will click on it even without using anything like clickbait. If it’s well-written, they’ll keep reading, prolonging their average duration of visit. A high-quality article will earn you great domain authority, which means that other content creators will have an interest in using your content as a backlink, which will further increase your reach.
Still, how do you create high-quality content, and what even qualifies content as high-quality?
First of all, you need to understand that good SEO writing is an equal part of creative and technical writing. Sure, being good with words and making your sentences will make people like your content more, but you also need to give the gods of the algorithm what they’re due.
Veteran SEO agencies and content creators they employ know these rules by heart. It starts as early as keyword research and topic selection. Then, you need the right (clickable) title form and format, great subheadings (to make the text skimmable), and adequate text formatting.
In the era before NLP (natural language processing), the algorithm needed some ground rules, and these rules were made with user preferences in mind. The idea that a section shouldn’t exceed 300 words, that sentences shouldn’t be too long, and that using passive language is suboptimal is still valid.
Most importantly, the content that you’re making needs to provide value. It either has to be entertaining, informative, or instructive. Also, it needs to be relevant. You must update it regularly and only use the latest statistics.
3. Focus on voice-search SEO
To understand the way you should create and market your content, you need to understand how your audience uses their devices and interacts with content. People use voice search, but they also prefer to consume content without sound, which is why audio to text conversion and subtitle generators are so invaluable. With modern captioning tools, you no longer need to engage in lengthy translation processes.
As we’ve already said, more and more people are using voice search, but not enough businesses are optimizing their content for voice search. This is a great opportunity for enterprises to become early adopters and reap the benefits.
So, how do you optimize for voice search?
First of all, you need to use natural language keywords. What does that mean? When typing, people seldom use proper punctuation, determiners, or even prepositions. Why? Well, because these keys are out of the way, and typing them in takes extra effort. At the same time, it doesn’t take extra effort to utter the keyword in a more grammatical form.
Answering a question directly in a FAQ fashion will greatly help out. Addressing specific queries that users will ask will drastically increase your odds of ranking great.
Most importantly, you want to strike a conversational tone. The majority of SEO specialists are programmed to think about the way people type, which makes them transition into this mindset even when optimizing for voice search. Sometimes, it’s better to ask an outsider (a fresh perspective) for insight and then do your keyword research.
With the growth of Metaverse, you may soon have to start thinking about SEO for VR, as well. For the time being, focusing on voice search is more than enough.
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4. Focus on more user engagement metrics (not just clicks and views)
When analyzing how well your online presence is doing, you need to dig deeper than just visits and clicks. Sure, traffic is arguably one of the most important metrics, but what about other factors that are just as relevant? What about the average visit duration? You can’t put the same value into a visit that ends in a second and one that ends in 15 minutes. Well, neither does Google. Here are a few more user engagement metrics you need to monitor.
- Bounce rate: This is something that Google pays close attention to in hopes of spotting clickbait and eradicating it as soon as possible. This metric tracks how many people leave your page when they enter. In the eyes of the algorithm, they’ve entered an accident (in which case they should be disregarded), or they were tricked to arrive (in which case you should even be penalized). They might have also left because of the low quality of your page.
- Pages per session: sometimes, you don’t know if a person just clicked on the page and went to the bathroom or took their dog for a stroll. Well, this is why you need metrics like pages per session and scroll depth. This way, you measure the commitment of their interaction with your content.
- Conversion rate: You’re not just boosting your visibility for the sake of visibility. You’re going somewhere with this campaign of yours. Do you want people to subscribe to your newsletter? Do you want them to subscribe to your SaaS? Perhaps you want them to buy your product. This is something you need to keep an eye out for.
In other words, to know whether your campaign is a success or not, you need to know which metrics are worth tracking.
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5. Adopt more efficient backlink-building practices
Previously, we’ve talked about how if your content is of high enough quality, people will link to it in their content. This will drastically boost your ranking; however, high-quality content is not the only way to generate backlinks.
First, you need to start guest posting. This way, you’ll build relationships within your own industry and increase the reach of all your posts. If you provide great content, you’ll establish a positive reputation and build a relationship with other bloggers. In time, this can generate so much value for your brand and all the content you produce.
Identify broken links and linking opportunities and pounce on the opportunity to fix the problem. Sometimes, you can notice a broken link via a tool and fix it before it causes a problem. At other points, you can notice a brand mention and ask for a link or a tag. Remember, sometimes, all you need to do is ask.
There’s also nothing wrong with shameless self-promotion. You have social media platforms, and that will help others notice you. Sure, social media links don’t count as regular backlinks, but they help other creators notice you and increase your traffic.
Improving your rank is often just a matter of having the right approach
Having a strategy means having a systematic approach to this problem. This is pivotal for any company that plans to control its growth and create a scalable business model. Keep in mind that as you grow, your online presence needs to keep up. With the right SEO strategy, this will be more than manageable.