Have you ever heard anyone say that ranking on Google is hard work – and there just aren’t any SEO secrets that can help you boost your ranking?
Well, that’s not true. And we have some search engine optimization secrets for you.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is about delivering relevant search results to users based on their online searches. The most relevant pages related to that search query will rank higher on the search engine results page.
Digital marketing professionals understand the importance of SEO and the need to implement a proper strategy. However, only defining what those keywords are isn’t enough to improve your website’s search engine ranking.
To increase your website’s visibility across search engines, it’s important to follow these basic SEO guidelines. In fact, I have 9 SEO secrets that are sure to have an impact on your website’s visibility.
Secret #1: Understand Google’s Ranking Algorithm
It’s no secret that Google is constantly changing its algorithm. They don’t always announce when a change is made; therefore it remains a bit of a mystery.
This is still the biggest obstacle to SEO success. Moz has a Google Algorithm Change History that will help you research the changes. The Google Webmaster Central tool is also a good reference.
Secret #2: Be Consistent
Search engine optimization doesn’t happen overnight, and it doesn’t happen in a vacuum, either. When you commit to SEO, you must commit to sticking it out for the long haul. Usually, you won’t see immediate results – and if you call it quits, the work you did do will most likely be for nothing.
It takes time for search engines to notice content and start delivering it to users. But the good news is that once the search engines do start noticing your content, they’re more likely to come back and crawl often.
When you regularly update your website with blog posts, new pages, new products or listings, and other content, your site will do much better than one that’s gathering dust. Regular updates show Google and other search engines that your site is active and can offer searchers the most current information.
Secret #3: Create Landing Pages For Different Locations
Location plays a vital role in customizing your website content and SEO efforts. People are becoming increasingly smart about how they search the web and expect to receive the most relevant results for their local area.
Local landing pages can help you attract more of the right customers to your business, because by targeting specific locations, you are narrowing down the pool of people you are likely to attract to your website.
To make the most of this tactic, create a list of relevant local keywords, and develop a range of standalone landing pages on your website that fulfill the needs of these keywords.
Google’s algorithm prioritizes local results, so follow best practice of local SEO as well as targeting these relevant keywords, and your website could shoot to the top of the rankings.
You will find that almost all review and comparison websites have locally relevant landing pages to categorize their content – especially if their industry is location-based, such as travel or food.
Secret #4: Create Content for People Who Can Give You Links
Content that attracts links is highly important from the SEO perspective. Not only are those links direct traffic to your website but search engines also really do care about the links you get, because it makes your content “worthy of the links.”
That is why you should start developing and adopting a strategy for attracting links.
However, not all links are equal. The thing is that the reputability of the website that links to you is highly important too. About 24% of the ranking algorithm Google uses is based on the trustworthiness of your link sources. And, consequently, the higher their reputation, the more it adds up to your own vitality and weight.
Yet, when it comes to creating content that qualifies for gaining links, moreover, from reputable websites, is not all that easy. Then there’s also the outreach procedure which takes tons of time and effort, while not guaranteeing final success.
The good news in this despair is that eventually all websites need strong sources and citations to base their points and content on. Which gives the option of specifically creating source-content.
Secret #5: Use the Adwords Campaigns to Inspire Your Keyword Usage
Because Keyword Planner doesn’t always suggest the most innovative keywords, it’s always best to look over the fence and see how people in your industry promote their products and/or services. It’s clear that, while they’re paying for them, the keywords are very relevant for the targets, so all you have to do is get a fresh perspective on what seems to perform best on the SERPs.
It’s enough to identify the concept behind a search query to associate with anything semantically related to it. And, if you’re out of ideas, the AdWords campaigns are always there to give you a hand.
For instance, supposing you own a cat food blog, just type ‘cat food’ into Google and you’ll find these results:
- cat food analysis
- optimize cat food production
- get free food
- find a neighborhood food pantry
All you have to do now is incorporate these newly found long tail keywords in your further blog posts on your website. Needless to say, this SEO tip is only complementary, so it’s probably best not to rely on just this method for your SEO endeavors.
Secret #6: Create Unique Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions help to set the expectation for what information is on the page itself and can help to improve click-through-rate, which may be key to improved keyword rankings. This brief, yet descriptive, copy should be between 150-160 characters and contain a call-to-action that encourages the user to select your result.
The goal of this copy is to drive clicks and capture further interest, so it’s essential that you use emotionally-charged and compelling language.
Meta descriptions give you a little more flexibility than title tags, and are another excellent opportunity to connect with the user before they’re even on your website.
Secret #7: Target Audience is The King, not the Content
You may have come across the phrase – content is the king. However, looking at the way the digital marketing industry is moving, it can be identified that content is just a tool, and the real king is the target audience.
There was a time when high-quality content ranked on the web, but the days of luxury are long over. You may have come across content writers complaining that despite producing the highest quality content, it failed to rank on Google or is getting very little traction.
One of the major reasons for this is the lack of audience research. The biggest mistake that content writers make is to curate content based on what they feel is the best for the target audience. This may work in offline marketing, but when it comes to the web, every other website out there is trying to woo your prospective users.
The only way you can succeed in creating content that converts is by understanding the audience in and out. On a macro level, you should look at their requirements, issues, habits while at the micro level, keywords, influencers, and topics they like.
Secret #8: Optimize for Social Media Sharing
Remember how optimizing for human users over computers was an SEO secret we covered? That secret extends to social media.
Here are some of the approaches you can use to increase your social media traffic on one of the most popular platforms and indirectly help with SEO.
Achieving a win on Facebook may feel daunting.
The best approach? Don’t just post links to your website and call it a day. Instead, create short posts to promote your link. Here are a few tips:
- Emotional content tends to perform best on Facebook. So, ask yourself how your content can make people curious or excited.
- If you start to get comments on the post, stick around and reply to them. People will remember that you engaged with them, and that engagement will come in handy when you post on Facebook in the future.
- Timing is everything. Sometimes, your content will be ignored if you happen to post your update at a busy time. I’ve found that posting close to lunchtime (11:30am-12pm) and close to the end of the traditional work day (4:30pm-5pm) are good times to post on social media generally, but that can vary for different industries.
Secret #9: Implement visuals-first approach
Have you seen those sad posts where the visual is clearly just a later addition to the text and don’t they look outdated? It’s usually stock images of handshakes to indicate business partnerships and smiling people holding paper to symbolize productivity. No more of that!
Visual excellence is increasingly important to provide a good user experience, which is why you need to plan ahead with the visuals. Moreover, it may even be beneficial to adapt text to the graphs, infographics, and other relevant images you’ve decided on, instead of vice versa.
You may be wondering how you can know if the visual is useless or makes your site look like it’s from another time. The rule of thumb is to ask yourself if the content will suffer in some way if you just delete the visual.
If you find that the visitor will not even notice the disappearance, this means the image is not interwoven with the content and doesn’t add much to the equation.
Great visuals typically are able to stand on their own and require the user to spend some time examining them.
SEO optimization is a complex and intricate process and the more time you spend on exploring its secrets — the higher your future content is likely to rank. A few points to keep in mind are:
- Writing for the users as well, not purely for the machine.
- Optimizing for Google Rankbrain.
- Writing quality content and obtaining links.
- Using LSI keywords.
- Optimizing for voice search.
- Creating videos.
- Using appropriate SEO tools.
- Prioritizing visuals.
- Trying to gain featured snippets.
A great SEO strategy has even more facets than we’re able to outline here. And the fact is, no matter what you do, you’re not going to skyrocket to Page 1 in the SERPs overnight.
But there’s good news. Your efforts will pay off, and when they do, things will start to snowball for your website and your business.