Search Engine Optimization (or SEO) has emerged as not only one of the best ways of getting people to see your websites through search engines - it's also become an increasingly profitable business practice. Reaching the top of the search engine results pages has always been a priority for larger businesses that depend on internet transactions however smaller businesses haven't always recognized the value of Search Engine Optimization. Over the last few years, however, it's become apparent that businesses cannot afford to ignore SEO - regardless of their size or scope.
As traditional SEO techniques become redundant due to Google's ever-changing algorithm, companies specializing in Search Engine Optimization have popped up everywhere, offering a myriad of marketing and up-to-date optimization techniques. Contrary to what you may think though, this is not the only way of getting yourself to the top of Google's search results pages. The truth is that you can improve your rankings yourself, by following a few simple steps and considerations.
1. Optimize your website for mobile first
It should come as no surprise that the majority of internet users are now using mobile devices to access websites, however, it might surprise you just how many people are browsing on their phone. Various reports have shown that as much as 50% of all web traffic originates from a mobile device! It stands to reason than that it's more important than ever to make sure that your website is optimized for mobile devices. This means ensuring that your mobile visitors have the smoothest, most user-friendly experience possible. After all - would you spend long on a website that doesn't load properly on your mobile phone?
As well as ensuring that all of your website's assets load properly on mobile phones, you have to consider responsiveness in your design, as well as readability and usability in terms of your website's user interface. Mobile optimization is one of the most important factors that Google's algorithm now considers, so don't make the mistake of forgetting about it. Having a good web hosting provider and a fast web hosting plan can make a world of difference, so it's always a good idea to consider hosting your website on a powerful, high-speed hosting plan such as a Virtual Private Server hosting package.
2. Maximize your social media use
Social media has seemingly taken over the world and is one of the greatest ways of promoting your website to an engaging, ever-growing audience. As well as being able to market your business to people around the world and grow your brand awareness, you'll also be aiding your SEO efforts - whether you realize it or not! Since most internet users now also use social media networks, having a presence on social media has become somewhat of a necessity. People will simply be put off by businesses without any presence on social media because it shows that they aren't up-to-date with the current trends. Another factor to consider with social media is that search engines will index your social media profiles - meaning if people search for you or your business, they'll be able to find your affiliated social media profiles easily.
3. Utilize video content
I'm sure you're familiar with the Youtube platform and the massive user base it has, but what you might not be aware of is that Youtube is also technically considered to be a search engine in itself! So on top of being able to provide valuable, engaging content to your viewers and attract new customers, you can also boost your search engine rankings - helping people find your business more easily. When people search for a particular product or topic related to your business on Google, they will see related Youtube videos on the first page!
Being one of the most used websites in the world with billions of searches every month, you should try not to avoid Youtube SEO. You don't want to forfeit the chance to increase your traffic numbers and generate new customers to your website. Remember though that your Youtube videos also need to be SEO friendly in order to rank well. Brian Dean from Backlinko has a great article on how to rank on 'YouTube SEO: How to Rank YouTube Videos in 2019'.
4. Use LSI Keywords
One of the more recent SEO tactics has been to use Long Semantic Indexing (or LSI) keywords in your webpage content for Google bots to crawl. This new type of keyword has been introduced to help search engines properly determine the relevance of your content, as well as what it actually relates to. In other words, it's to give Google a better idea of how it should rank your website. This is in stark contrasts to older techniques of keyword stuffing - which Google now heavily penalizes. LSI keywords are more detailed and longer than traditional keywords, so you can structure your textual content to be more specific to your industry, as well as to differentiate yourself from any similar sounding keywords.
Many tools for helping you generate LSI keywords have popped up recently such as LSI Graph and LSIKeywords.com, so choosing your LSI keywords is often the easy part. What content writers can often struggle with is actually fitting these keywords into the website text in a natural way - which brings us on to our final point.
5. Focus on long, high-quality content!
One of the statements that marketer's throughout the world echo is "Content is king", and this has never been as accurate as it is in the world of SEO today. Google's algorithm has adapted to recognize high-quality, informational content as the most important factor to consider when choosing where to rank web pages. This isn't specific to textual content though, and also includes other forms of media such as video content.
Websites that have a high word count (typically over 1000 words), will most likely rank much higher than a website with a word count of 300 for example. This is because Google now considers websites with higher word counts to be more informational and relevant for the reader. Coupled with the use of LSI keywords, long-form content can be one of the best ways to organically increase your position on the search engine results pages. Longer content is also more engaging than short content, provided the content is of a high-quality. This can, in turn, increase the chances of your visitors sharing it with their friends or family, which helps to further increase your brand awareness.