But today SEO isn’t the same as it used to be. What worked 10 years ago may not work today.
In fact, SEO is an ever-changing landscape that requires businesses to adapt fast.
The evolution of SEO
Keeping up with these updates is hard but is the only way to stay ahead in the competition.
Quicksprout recently published an interesting infographic on “the state of SEO today” that shows how it has changed over the years in response to Google’s continuous algorithm updates and changes. It also illustrates what strategies work today.
While looking at the infographic one thing is certain – keyword research ranks 4th. And the companies and agencies alike put social media first when creating an SEO strategy.
The infographic also includes an excerpt from “State of search marketing report 2013” by Econsultancy. The report is based on a survey conducted on over 400 respondents from both SEO services and companies. According to this report, 74% of companies and 82% of agencies responded that social media is either ‘highly’ or ‘somewhat integrated’ into their SEO strategy.
This clearly indicates that SEO isn’t just about ranking higher on the search engine. It’s also about creating awareness, building robust social media presence and connecting with your end customers.
So when it comes to ranking higher on the search engines, what exactly should you do?
Here are few tips and tricks you can follow for an incredible SEO journey this year:
1. It’s all about user experience
Needless to say – the customer is king. And your aim should be to provide great customer experience. Having an online presence is not enough. If you want to convert your visitors into customers, you need to ensure that your visitors have a great time on your website.
Providing a great user experience means better search engine ranking. As search engines are getting smarter, they are focused more on user experience rather than just plain SEO strategies. This means how users are interacting and using your website play a crucial role in determining your SEO rankings. Today, optimizing your website for search engines is not enough. You need to optimize your website for humans too to increase your visibility.
How would like to be treated in a restaurant? Like a king. Am I right?
Similarly, your users should be treated like a king. After all, they are your end customers. These are the people who will help you succeed. And if you fail to impress your visitors, you are bound to fall behind.
User experience is not a new concept. It has been around since forever. However, the only thing that has changed is its importance. As more and more businesses are getting familiar with the importance of enticing their customers with great user experience, it’s becoming prevalent. And you don’t want to be left behind.
How can you ensure great user experience?
- By providing an aesthetically appealing website. Make sure your website has a soothing pop of colors that makes it look visually appealing.
- Make sure your website has easy navigation. You want your visitors to easily find what they are looking for. And providing easy navigation is a sure shot way of doing so.
- The website should not take forever to load. Remember online users are impatient. After all, there are tons of options to choose from. And if you can’t help them in a fraction of a second, there are millions of others who can. There’s a cut-throat competition on the internet. In order to compete with your competitors, you need to stand out.
- Personalize the experience if possible. Do you know why we love Google so much? It’s simply because of the personalized search results. 90% of online users are fond of personalized results. And since Google provides it so effortlessly, they expect it everywhere. If you can provide it in any way possible, you’ll definitely have a lot of following.
2. Don’t overlook content marketing
Content marketing has gained a lot of popularity over the past few years. In fact, it has become the new SEO.
There has been a lot of confusion about the two concept. The fact is you cannot pursue one thing without the other. Content is crucial for the success of a business. According to Placester, 78% of people want to learn about a company through content instead of advertisements. Moreover, 70% of online users believe that providing custom content is a great way to build a connection with them.
As per a report by demand Metric, a business can increase leads by 67% by adding unique blog posts on their blog every month. In addition, these leads cost 62% less than leads generated through other mediums.
Isn’t it what SEO means? To generate organic, cost-effective leads.
Content marketing has become the fuel that keeps SEO going. It helps in generating leads through inbound marketing and at lower budget.
Another thing that drives the success of your online business through content marketing is keyword targeting. And according to Backlinko’s report, the average length of a blog post on the Google search results in 1,890 words.
Does this mean longer content means better SERPs? Yes, and the reason is keyword targeting. Lengthy blog post can help you target more keywords. The more keywords you target, the better your chances are to rank higher in the search engines.
The main goal of content marketing is to drive more leads at cheaper cost compared to other methods.
So what should you do?
You should create engaging content more often.
3. Prevent pogosticking
We all know that getting a website rank higher on the search results is no easy feat. But what’s more difficult is maintaining that top position. Marketers work hard to reach the top spot on Google search results but often fail to maintain it. And obviously, it keeps them scratching their head and wondering what went wrong.
Well, most of them fall prey to “pogo-sticking”.
What is pogo-sticking?
Pogo-sticking happens when a user clicks on your website on the search results but then ‘pogosticks’ back to the Google search results to find something better.
Google keeps an eye on such activities. If a person pogosticks from your website, Google quickly registers the activity in its log. And it reads this log as a message that says “I didn’t like this website”.
So Google downranks your website if you fail to make your users happy. In fact, Google hates Pogosticking.
Now how can you prevent pogosticking? The main cause of pogosticking is immediate dissatisfaction with certain characteristics of your website. But there are plenty of things that could go wrong in those precious 3 seconds. Getting to know these causes can help you prevent pogosticking.
Here are some common causes of pogosticking:
Problems caused by content
- Content available on the website does not match the meta title. (Title: 8 facts and statistics of SEO, but the blog is about SEO mistakes.
- The website has spammy content. (Title: “6 tips to improve your SEO strategy this year,” but the blog is only one paragraph and has tons of keywords targeted with unnecessary calls-to-action.)
- The website’s focus is different than the content. (Content about recipes on a digital marketing services website.)
- The content is full of spelling and grammar mistakes.
Non-content related causes:
- Lack of usability.
- Slow page loading time.
- Auto-play videos on homepage
- Annoying pop-ups
- A complicated or outdated design
Here’s how to fix it:
The optimal load time of a website is anywhere between 2-3 seconds. Does your website take more than 2-3 seconds to load? If so, it’s high time you optimize it for speed. Most websites that rank higher on the search results usually takes even less than 2 seconds to load.
According to Neil Patel study, it was found that 40 percent of users abandon a website if it takes more than 2 seconds to load. Moreover, a one second delay in website load time can cost you 7% reduction in conversions. Marketing experts highly recommend optimizing your website for speed and keeping the load time less than 2 seconds.
- Use appropriate subheadings and bullet points
When your content is easy to read, online users will spend more time on your website.
(And this will also prevent them from clicking the back button.)
It has been seen that subheadings and bullet points make even complicated content easier to read. Break down your content into bullet points with appropriate subheadings.
- Keep relevant content front and center
Remember online users want quick results. And if it’s not easy to find what they’re looking for, they will bounce like a rubber ball. Make sure you put the relevant content front and center. They should be able to locate what they’re looking for in a blink of an eye.
4. Bring back your old content
Do you have some blog posts that are buried deep in your archive?
If so, you’d be glad to know that you own a treasure trove.
A treasure trove that can get you tons of traffic.
Bringing back your old content can drive traffic and improve your search engine rankings. The fact is you need to produce unique content regularly for a successful inbound marketing. But it’s not an easy task. More than 2 millions blogs are published online every day. It’s not only difficult to write a new blog but also time consuming. The time you would spend on creating a new blog post can be dedicated to promoting an old blog post.
When it comes old content, half the battle is won. You don’t have to create a new post from scratch. All you have to do is update it with the latest facts, figures and information.
Small tweaks, big rewards!
Moreover, promoting your old content also help you get rid of any ‘zombie pages’ you may have on your site.
What are zombie pages?
Well, they are the pages that no longer drive traffic to your website. Zombie pages have the potential to destroy your rankings. Moz explained how pruning your website can boost your search engine rankings by 31%.
If you have an abundance of old content, put them to work. And if there are other pages on your website that don’t drive traffic, get rid of them.
SEO is crucial for any online business. Whether you generate traffic from other sources or not, you cannot overlook SEO. As a matter of fact, it’s a 65 billion dollar industry which is expected to reach 79 billion dollar within the next two years. And it’s because the number of people using internet to find products, services and information is increasing.
There are already 3.2 billion people who are using the internet. The number will only increase over time and so is the demand for online businesses. SEO helps you improve your website’s visibility by ranking it higher on the search results. According to Statista, more than 1.17 billion people use Google everyday to search for information. You cannot reach so many people without ranking on the first page of Google. Using effective SEO strategies get you to these 1 billion people without having to invest a lot of money.
Remember, SEO promises constant organic traffic. But it keeps changing. And to stay ahead of the competition, it’s intrinsic to learn new SEO strategies and implement them.
I have explained few SEO tips that will help you streamline your SEO marketing and achieve desired results.
What do you think?
Do you have any effective SEO strategy that can provide effective results?
Share with us in the comments section below.
About the Author
Fraze Towne is a passionate blogger & works with FWA Marketing, the Best SEO agency in Los Angeles which provides reliable digital marketing services. He has been blogging since 2008 & loves to write about SEO, PPC & marketing strategies.