We all want to improve our organic traffic, it is after all the most cost-effective way of generating enquiries and sales. In this blog we examine some of the most relevant SEO techniques for 2018.
Unfortunately, it’s not an easy process, in fact it’s multi-layered and time consuming to get right. Results can’t be won overnight, but with the right approach you can see consistent improvement over time.
But before you bury your head in your hands we’ve taken a look at the key components of a successful SEO strategy, and picked out some useful tips that will improve your search ranking and increase that all important organic site traffic.
In 2018 Google has made site speed a key determinate of how well your site will rank. This makes a great deal of sense, as slow loads make for a poor user experience particularly on mobile where recent research suggests that 80% of users will move on after just 3 seconds if a page doesn’t load.
There are many tools that test the speed of your site such as GT Metrix. Many factors such as; large files, particularly images and video, Cache plug ins, and hosting that affect speed. Google’s page insight tool helps identify the causes with suggested remedies.
Speed up your site and you’ll see you ranking improve.
Great content can be one of the best ways to improve the ranking of your site. But what makes great content? Great content is whatever your visitors want to read or engage with. If you’re getting high dwell times it’s a good indicator that you’re getting it right. Google looks at this measure to determine how relevant your site content is to users searching around the subject. When you’re creating content try and think about it from the user’s perspective, is it up to date, informative, fun, engaging and relevant. If you stick to these rules you won’t go far wrong.
The page URL is the first thing a search engine will see on your site. It’s important you thoroughly research the keywords associated with the content of a particular page and include those words in the URL. Good resources for keyword planning are the Google Keyword Planner or Moz’s keyword explorer. These will show you the volume of searches associated with a particular keyword. These are the ones you should try and include in your URL. A good URL has a simple structure and is under 75 characters.
When a search engine crawls your site’s pages it doesn’t see them as we do. Instead it reads the code of your site which in turn comes from the meta data you attach to each page. Your meta data will also be the first thing a person sees when your site displays in the search engine results. By including relevant keywords in your descriptions you’ll make the subject clear to the user. It’s therefore important to write relevant and attractive descriptions. This in turn will improve your click through rate.
The language of descriptions has been proven to impact click through rates. Words such as latest, new, 2018 and best will have a positive affect, so include them in your title. There is an additional benefit beyond higher click through rates(CTR). Google will reward high CTR with a better ranking, as it is seen as an indicator that users are finding your site content relevant and useful.
Website pages have differing authorities. Those with lower authority will sit on the second and third pages of search results. You can help improve the authority of these pages by internally linking them to pages on your site with higher authority. This effectively lends the authority of the better ranked pages to the lesser. This technique also has the benefit of helping a search engine crawl your pages more easily, always a good thing!
Much like internal linking, external linking can lend your site authority. It helps Google discover the subject matter of your site and lends credibility. If you have several links to external authority pages your website is seen as a Hilltop Hub. Google rewards sites considered to be Hilltop Hubs by moving them up their search results. A good rule of thumb is to have three external links per 1000 words of page copy.
Previously the focus of SEO technique was to focus on a particular key word and use it repeatedly on a given page. In 2018 things have moved on. Search engines focus on Semantic searches to discover the intent behind a search. They look to establish the context of a users search through a number of variables such as topics, location and word variation rather than an individual keyword. This means the old technique of keyword stuffing is now easily flagged, and will be detrimental to your page ranking in search results. It’s therefore important to focus on a subject and then break it down into narrower topics.
This is undoubtedly one of the best ways of improving your search ranking, and yet it’s one of the hardest techniques to execute. A few years ago it was a simple as exchanging a few links with other sites. Over time this has changed. Influencers, people who are seen as authority figures with in a sector, have realised the value of offering links to their content and the process has evolved into a business. Whilst it can be a time consuming, and sometimes costly endeavour, getting these links is highly beneficial to your search ranking.
The good news is there is a great backlink hack involving wikipedia that many people are unaware of. It’s a fairly difficult SEO technique and often left to professional SEO agencies. Essentially it involves finding content around the keywords pertinent to your site and looking for “dead-links”. These are links that no longer exist, and you can replace with a link to your site.
In practice this is not as easy as it sounds and can take a great deal of time with no guarantee of finding any dead-links. But don’t despair!, there is a work around that allows you to find those links. Site:Wikipedia.org [Keyword] + “dead link” This will find all the content associated with your keyword that has dead-links. It is important that the content you link to on your site is relevant otherwise Wikipedia will have your link down in no time.
Improving the areas discussed will have a significant impact on your search ranking, and given on average 53% of site traffic is organic this can have positive affect on your business. If you feel you could benefit from some expert help to get your site ranking better the our expert team can give you a free SEO audit. Just get in touch.