Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few years, you’ve likely head of SEO. Maybe you’ve even looked the term up and found that it stands for Search Engine Optimisation.
Now, to us, this means a whole host of things. But we’re a digital marketing agency. It’s our job to find opportunity in areas like this - that’s our bread and butter. For a layman, however, it might be hard to grasp.
Thankfully, we’ve compiled our expert knowledge and we’re giving it away for free. That’s right, FREE!
All you have to do it pay attention and start actioning these SEO tips for 2018 and you’ll be a pro in no time, watching your business soar to the top of Google’s rankings where it gobbles up every last user you could ever wish to visit your site. So, are you paying attention?
Here are the 7 most vital SEO tips for 2018:
- Put the ‘O’ in ‘SEO’
- Get Blogging
- Keyword Research
- Bounce Rate
- Don’t Ignore Social Media
- Be a Backlink King
- Killer Titles and Metas
Firstly, Let’s Clear Something Up
“SEO doesn’t have to be difficult.” - said no SEO expert ever
There’s a general misconception around the topic that suggests you can’t start implementing it yourself, today. The reason for this misconception is that many SEO ‘experts’ are happy to maintain the cloud that surrounds the topic. They do this so they can retain the illusion that you can’t get your website seen on search engines without them. It’s smart business for them, but it’s wrong.
Now, of course, we don’t expect you to become an SEO expert in a matter of days but the point is, you have the power to take matters into your own hands when it comes to SEO.
We live our lives on the internet these days and a large proportion of that time is spent on Google. This should sound the alarm bells in your head and tell you that SEO should be an essential part of every business. If you aren’t optimising your website for these kinds of search engines, you’re missing out on capturing these potential visitors.
When strategised correctly, website visitors shouldn’t be a fancy number that you can show off to your other business-owner friends. At the end of the day, they should convert into cold, hard customers and, ultimately, revenue for your business.
We specialise in making your business more visible online. We use these tactics ourselves for our clients so they can start seeing the website visitors they always dreamed of when they started out.
While we’d love to show you what we do and how we can totally transform your stagnant website into a lead generation machine, you don’t have to recruit experts like ourselves to start implementing these small SEO tactics for your website. In a roundabout way, what we’re telling you is that you can start to earn easy SEO wins right now if you take note to the following:
1. Put the ‘O’ in ‘SEO’
Optimisation is the name of the game.
What this really comes down to is giving your website pages a boost by digging into the data and identifying opportunities for improvement.
Go through your website’s pages and look for the ones that you consider to be underperforming. Take a look at your top performing pages and look to see if there’s anything that can be replicated. Maybe the format, the type of content, the tone of voice of those pages are the reason they aren’t performing as well.
This might sound tedious but if you aren’t constantly looking to give your site small improvements at regular intervals, you aren’t truly optimising.
2. Get Blogging
There are no two ways about it. One of the best ways to optimise your website for search engines is to increase the number of pages you put out there.
There’s a couple of misunderstandings around blogging. Firstly, that it’s only for teenage girls writing about their high school crush, but secondly that it’s used for industry experts to demonstrate their knowledge for people visiting their website.
While it is true that a blog can demonstrate your expertise in your industry, we see blogs as a gateway to your website. When you create a blog post or article on your website, you add another page to your website. This is another way for potential customers to find you on Google.
So, get blogging - it’s FREE. Even if you only have the capacity to produce one short article a month, every piece of content you produce is a small SEO win for your website and gives you a boost in rankings overall.
WARNING: Don’t go blogging willy-nilly!
If you’re looking to get seen on search engines by blogging about a topic that’s currently on your mind that particular day, STOP NOW. Think about it, your potential customers aren’t mind-readers. How are they supposed to know what to search for to find you? You need to put yourself in their shoes and write about topics that are on their mind, not yours.
How exactly do you do that?
3. Keyword Research
A vital part of creating website content revolves around ensuring you fill it with useful and relevant keywords. Keywords play a huge part in drawing the attention of your target audience. The right keywords will attract the right visitors to your site and, in turn, generate leads you can convert into customers.
By selecting keywords that you know people are looking for, and placing that keyword in the title, headings and the text of your article, you give it a great chance of ranking in Google and getting more views.
One thing you do not want to do is fill your content with your keywords to the point they are appearing in every other sentence. You do not want to make your content unreadable by filling it with the same words over and over again. It does not exactly offer the best user experience, and this will not inspire any loyalty from your audience.
There are good keywords and bad keywords, however. Here’s what you should keep in mind when selecting keywords:
- High search volume - You should choose keywords that you know people are searching for. Look for trends and popular topics that are on everyone’s lips at the minute. Jump on the bandwagon so to speak.
- Low competition - Whilst you want to use popular keywords, you also want to ensure that your market is not saturated with information so your website can quickly climb to the top of search results.
- Relevant to your business - It is all well and good finding popular keywords but if they are not relevant to your business or services you offer, it is a waste of time as you know your target audience is less likely to be searching using those terms.
Once you have the topic you want to write about, your keyword selection isn’t done. You want to turn this ‘pillar’ keyword into a ‘long tail’ keyword. A long tail keyword is a keyword phrase that takes the topic and makes it more niche. Long tail keywords are easier to rank for and give you a foot into the door for that topic.
If you want to write about lighting options, your pillar keyword might be ‘light bulbs’ but this would be extremely difficult to rank for due to it being a broad topic. Be realistic and choose a long tail keyword like ‘fluorescent light bulbs’. The competition for this phrase will be much lower and will be more likely to give your content visibility for that topic.
When potential customers are searching for something they keep their search specific. Taking time to plan your long tail keywords throughout your content will encourage search engines to find you and point potential customers in your direction.
4. Bounce Rate
It’s important to focus on the next stage of content generation and look at overall website maintenance.
Google, and other search engines, look at a metric on your site’s pages called ‘bounce rate’. This is the percentage of website visitors who landed on your site and ‘bounced’ directly away.
A high bounce rate tells google that those who land on your site and its content aren’t finding it useful or relevant to the keywords you’re ranking for. Google will, in turn, punish your site for a high bounce rate by demoting your content and making you harder to find.
Take a look at the pages of your site that have a high bounce rate and try to determine, based on your best-performing pages, what could be done differently. Are you including links to other sites at the top of your articles? That might be why people are clicking away.
The content you publish should also be meaningful to your audience and relevant to the problems they are facing as there is nothing worse than working your way through poorly-written content that has no engagement with your audience. The more relevant content you produce, the longer visitors will spend on it, giving you a low bounce rate and a boost from Google.
How’s your SEO education going, so far? Easy, isn’t it?
5. Don’t Ignore Social Media
Another key thing for you to consider, when looking at SEO, is social media. The more active you are on social media, the more likely you are to be found by search engines. This means that when your audience searches on Google, for example, your social media posts will more than likely appear.
Make sure you are optimising your social media accounts and post to give maximum visibility. If you’re producing content and just expecting people to find that post through organic Google rankings, you’d be wrong. Make sure that, when you produce a new web page or piece of content, you’re sharing it as far and wide as possible.
Adding social media sharing buttons to your website is vital as this gives your customers a chance to share your content across their social media profile. The more people that share your post, the more visibility your content or service will have.
6. Be a Backlink King
It’s not just the amount of content, or how well you write it, that dictates SEO performance. Backlinks are a huge part of a successful SEO strategy and you need to get to know how they work if you want any chance of getting seen on Google.
You likely know what a link is, but what’s a backlink? When a webpage links to your website in some way page, that's called a backlink. In terms of SEO, it’s less about the quantity of the sites linking to you and more about the quality. If your content receives backlinks from sites with a high domain authority, Google sees that as justification that your site has value and your content is worth ranking on their pages.
One way to gain backlinks is to reach out to other websites and ask them to link to your content. Explain to them that your content would be of value to their visitors. Find articles that are similar to yours and look who is linking to that article. Contact those people and tell them that you have a more relevant and up-to-date piece of content that would be worth linking to.
7. Killer Titles and Metas
You might have noticed the title of this article. Why did you click on it? It might be the fact that you were looking for this exact type of article or perhaps you searched SEO tips into google, saw our ‘ULTIMATE SEO TIPS 2018’ and couldn’t resist.
We could have simply called this article ‘How to Rank Highly On Google’. But that wouldn’t have popped up on your results age now, would it? We’ve spoken about why you need to include keywords in your title to capture visits but the actual format and structure of your title can also help to attract visitors.
On the search engine results page, you’re jostling for attention and competing with all the other industry experts out there. We’ve shown you how to get to the first page of Google but what do you do once you get there?
Don’t let a glorious opportunity like that slip through your fingers. You need to make your title as attractive as possible. First, make sure that your chosen keyword is as close to the beginning of the title as possible so it’s clear how relevant the content is. Second, numbered posts are more popular than non-numbered posts and, strangely, odd-numbers are clicked more often. So, rather than ‘6 Ways to Boost Your Twitter Followers’, make it ‘7 Ways’. For some reason, it works.
It can also be a good idea, if you’re writing about industry trends or ‘tips’, like we are here, to include the year to make your content appear more timely than those that appear around it. In the same way, using the word [UPDATED] in your title can make it seem more relevant.
When it comes to meta descriptions, it’s a good idea to also include the keyword as early as possible and to provide some information without giving anything away. Leave your potential visitors wanting more so they have to click on your content and read on.
And that’s it! We hope you enjoyed our SEO tips for 2018 and found it useful.
SEO is a vital part of a marketing strategy for any business and it’s easy to get started. Try adopting some of these practices and see if you start to gain some valuable SEO wins.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the successful SEO strategies that we provide for our clients. If you’re still unsure about how your website can benefit from our help, book a FREE Marketing Assessment with one of our team today and we’ll show you how your site could be performing better.
We’ll take a look at your business and show you where you could be improving online and how this Manchester SEO Agency can help with that.