For years, SEO has been an essential marketing strategy for businesses large and small. Most people now begin their search for information, products, and services in a search engine, and that means you really want to be showing up in the top results for the most important keywords.
But SEO has changed drastically over recent years, and it will continue to do so. Here are some of the most important factors that affect SEO, which you can use to get ahead of the competition.
Content has always been a bedrock of good SEO, but these days it is more important than ever. It’s simple. Google wants to provide searchers with the most relevant results, and that means the best information on a topic. And so they will reward the best content with higher rankings.
There is a lot more to it than that, of course, which we’ll look at in a bit. But the simple fact is this: If you don’t create high-quality content in the first place, you are going to struggle.
That often means long content. Content that answers your prospects’ questions and concerns in detail. Authoritative content that goes further than other guides on the topic. It also means a mix of content like images, videos, infographics, slideshows, and more. Aim to make your content better than any other content, and you will enjoy the SEO benefits.
People are more likely to share content that provides them with genuine value, and they are more likely to link to it-and that brings us onto the next point.
Better Promotion of Content
High-quality content is a great start. If you create valuable content, more people are likely to link to it and share it. These signals tell Google that the content has value, increasing its likelihood of getting better rankings.
Backlinks are still very important. As this article in Entrepreneur.com states, they are still the top ranking signal. But all links are different, and some are much better than others.
For a start, you need a range of links from different sources. And a link from a more authoritative resource is going to be a lot more powerful. Some of the best links are those where authoritative media sites mention you, and they are only going to do that if you have excellent content.
But you can’t just expect others to come across your content, and you will need to promote it properly. This can include PR, outreach, making contacts, and building relationships with influencers.
And this is where social media comes into play. You need to have a presence on social media to encourage people to share your content. Social signals play an important role in SEO, and at the same time you will build your reputation as an authority.
Lower Bounce Rate
Content is not just good for SEO: It also lowers your bounce rate. The longer time that people spend on your site, the greater the odds that they will buy your products and services.
But it’s not just content that keeps them there for longer. You also want faster-loading pages, which is a huge factor in improving the user experience. People will get impatient and leave otherwise. It is also a ranking signal, and slow-loading pages will affect your search engine positions.
So find out how quickly your pages load using the Google PageSpeed Insights tool, then take action based on what you find.
Google has made clear that mobile friendly websites now have an advantage in mobile search results, and it changed its algorithm last year in what became known as “Mobilegeddon.” But it’s just common sense. When people search using their mobile devices, they want to find results that are mobile friendly.
And it’s not hard to do. Get an experienced designer to create a mobile-friendly responsive website, and you will instantly give your site a boost in the mobile search results.
Use Specialist Tools & Services
Use the tools that are available, from specialist keyword research tools that allow you to create content around the right keywords, to specialist services like PosiRank LLC that allow you to set your SEO on auto.
There are many to choose from, and they all help you to improve your SEO and your rankings. Some are free, but some you have to pay for. It’s up to you to experiment with them and work out which ones are worth the investment.
Keep an Eye on Your Competitors
Finally, make sure you keep an eye on what your competitors are doing. Who is ranking in the top spot for your most important keywords? Find out, and then find out what they are doing right.
Examine their website, read their content, look at their social activity, and find out who is linking to them using a tool like Moz’s Open Site Explorer. Then go one better, and make sure you don’t get left behind in the rankings.
Consistent Effort Pays Off
SEO is not something you can dip into from time to time. It requires consistent, even daily, effort if you want to enjoy the results. Focus on the techniques that work right now, and avoid wasting your time on techniques that have long stopped being effective. Then you can enjoy better rankings, more traffic, and more conversions both now and in the future.
Kyle Leonard is a marketing professional who enjoys sharing his knowledge online. He mostly writes about SEO and SEM. Look out for his articles around the web on business sites.