Everyone knows that your business’s web presence is important. However, it can be a struggle to get your website to climb to the top of the search results.
Over a third of all clicks go to the first result, so how can you get there? By using the best SEO techniques.
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. In practice, this means convincing Google that your website is worth a top spot. Since Google’s market share is over 86%, that’s the engine to focus on.
Google uses an algorithm to determine how valuable a given site is to a specific search. It tracks user activity to refine this algorithm and revise its recommendations.
Organic search results exclude advertisements and appear on paginated lists. In this blog post, we will be going over some SEO techniques on how to boost your organic rankings.
We now have an excellent understanding of what makes Google happy, and we use these techniques to reach the top of the list.
Why Does SEO Matter?
According to Forbes, making it to the first page is essential.
Anywhere from 71% to 92% of clicks happen on the first page, with well under 10% going to the second page.
If you can’t get your page to break into the top ten results, people just aren’t going to see you. This separation becomes even more apparent when you look at the top five spots: they receive over two-thirds of all clicks.
Your competitors have probably already put SEO to use and may be rising while your page sits stagnant. So, how can you change that?
Although Google uses over 200 ranking factors to determine page rank, you don’t need to consider all of them.
In fact, with just these five, you can significantly improve your chances.
It all starts with how your site is designed.
1. Implement Proper Site Design
If you don’t have much web design experience, then it’s quite possible that you’ve missed some of these crucial first steps.
Your website should use the HTTPS protocol, which is secure. Google prefers to recommend safe sites.
You may also want to create a sitemap and upload it to Google’s servers. This lets them know your site exists and how it is laid out. Submit your sitemap to Google by using Search Console.
If you have images, always include alt text that explains what the image is. Google uses a robot called a crawler to review your page, and when it comes across images, it can process them using AI. However, the alt text makes it much easier for the bot to understand the picture and rank the page.
Finally, make sure your site works well on mobile! More searches are done on phones these days, so if your site is not well designed for mobile, chances are Google won’t give it the time of day. To see your website speed on mobile, use Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.
2. Rewrite Your Content
If your site is following the basic rules, then it’s time to think about your content. Text online differs from what you might find in a textbook.
You should use shorter paragraphs of about four sentences at most. Break up your content with frequent headings.
Today’s online reader likes to skim and get the gist of a page, so make it easy on them. We repeat, people rarely read web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page. Keep things simple and to the point.
One reliable way to improve your visibility is to cover as many search terms as possible. For example, if you are a company that provides IT support, create a page for each type of service you offer. Don’t repeat keywords all on one page, and make each page unique.
You can also add blog articles that discuss problems your customers might have. These tend to be common searches. The more search terms you can cover, the wider your dragnet.
The goal of a dragnet strategy is to catch as many people as possible and draw them towards your home page through your secondary pages.
Your cornerstone content pages are your most essential subpages, right under the home page. These will often have links to your lowest-level pages.
A good analogy is a grocery store. If the grocery store represents the home page, then a cornerstone page could be the produce section. Within that page, you would have links to articles about oranges, bananas, lettuce, and more.
Careful with Keywords
Don’t overdo it with keywords. Twenty years ago, spamming keywords (called ‘keyword stuffing’) in an article was an effective SEO strategy as algorithms were much more straightforward. Today, that’s a sure-fire way to end up in the basement.
An example of keyword stuffing:
We sell custom cigar humidors. Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at email@example.com.
Try to place keywords in a couple of headings and sprinkle them throughout your article or page. Use them naturally as well. Google can tell when it’s forced.
Read our blog post ‘On-Page SEO Tactics for Small Business -What You Should Know‘ for a more detailed breakdown on how to set your web pages up for SEO success.
3. Get Backlinks Wherever Possible
Now that your site is well designed and has amazing content with proper structure, it’s time to convince Google your content is worth something.
One of the best ways to do that is to get links from other sites to yours. This is called backlinking or link building. Think of it as a virtual word-of-mouth recommendation. If a trusted site links to yours, that makes you trustworthy, too.
Start by working with local business owners and community centers by asking them to add your business listing on their site or to feature one of your helpful blog posts (if it’s applicable).
Find review sites like HomeStars and Yelp, create a business profile and encourage your clients to leave reviews. Backlinko has a very detailed guide on how to get started with backlinking in 2020, check it out!
And always make sure your pages have plenty of internal links.
4. Add Video to Pages
One of the factors Google uses today is time spent on a given page (bounce rate). After a certain amount of time, Google classifies this as a “long click.” Long clicks mean that someone clicked and stayed a while.
Video is one of the best ways to keep people around. Even short ones can be good at getting someone to spend an extra minute on your page.
As a bonus, you can put the video on YouTube and link it to your website in the description. Now you’re using two SEO techniques in one!
5. Improve Your Local SEO
Nowadays, local searches are becoming popular.
These are searches that contain the city’s name or the phrase “near me.”
Searches in Google Maps default to this mode, while regular searches require those key phrases to be used.
When someone performs a local search, Google gives them the three best local results. They are not always the three closest options, but rather the ones Google deems “best” for your needs.
So, how can you improve your Local SEO? One of the best local SEO techniques is to use Google’s very own app.
Use Google My Business
This app allows you to list your business easily in Google Maps and update your business’s information.
Ensure that the following contact information is up-to-date:
- Company Name (with keywords)
- Phone Number
- Hours of Operation
- Business description (with keywords)
Also, you can see how your business is reviewed on Google. Use this if you take walk-in customers or want to improve your local visibility.
To activate your Google My Business page, you must verify your listing. After setting up your account, Google will mail you a letter to your address with a code. Once received, input this code in your account, and your listing will start to populate in search results.
Add Schema.Org Markup
Improve the way search engines crawl, index and rank your site in search results with this one trick.
Schema.Org Structured Data are tags or microdata that you can add to your site’s HTML code to give more information to Google on what your site is about.
You can add data markup for:
- Restaurant Menu
- Service locations
- And more
How to Add Markups:
- Go to Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper.
- Select the type of data you plan to markup.
- Add your URL and click on ‘Start Tagging.’
- A page will load in the markup tool; you’ll see your site on the left and the data items on the right.
- Start tagging your items by highlighting elements!
- Once done, click ‘Create HTML.’
- Download the HTML file and copy/paste it into your Content Management System or source code (or get your developer to that for you!) and click ‘Finish.’
- Once the code is added, test your structured data by clicking on ‘Structured Data Testing Tool’ and entering your URL. It’ll show you what the page will look like in search results.
Tip: You can do this for all pages on your website. This will not only simplify indexation but will help you stand out in search results.
Seek Professional Help
Although these SEO techniques aren’t too difficult to implement, the process can be time-consuming, and there are other variables to consider. If you’d like to get some professional help with your SEO, book a 10-minute call with us. We can help you get on the first page and the path to success.