SEO: 10 Key Factors To Consider

People use search engines to find anything from trivia, to recipes, to sports scores.

Google is often the search engine of choice.

Research shows that Google controls roughly eighty percent of the market share.

If you want to be on the cutting edge of SEO in 2018, you need to optimize your site to what Google likes.

But how can you do that?

We can help you there.

We're going to list the top ten SEO techniques that you can use to climb higher on the SERP and boost traffic on your site.

#10 Link Building

Google primary objective is to ensure the best user experience for their users.  Because of this, they are very keen that the top ranking search results are of the highest relevance and useful for the users.  To ensure this happens, they need to determine those sites that are 

  1. Hold Authority topics that people search for
  2. Are not fly-by-night websites

The best way for them to do rank and evaluate against this is by examining the longevity of a website but also how many other relevant and highly authoritative sites link to your website.  Think of these backlinks as website that vouch for your website.  The more high authority sites that vouch for your website the higher you will be ranked within search engines.   

#9 Research Competitors 

Let's face it, SEO is a cut throat industry. Google processes around 40,000 search queries per second.  If you're not out in front of the competition, all those eyeballs are going to miss your site.  Look into the companies that occupy your market niche.  Find their strengths and their weaknesses.  If you see something working for them, appropriate it for yourself.  If you find something not working, then capitalize on that vulnerability.  For example, if your rival generates traffic through a large email subscription base then you can set up email collection for your site.  If that same opponent has a limited social presence, you can take advantage of that shortcoming by increasing your social visibility.

#8 Use a Sitemap 

Google loves sitemaps.  Sitemaps allow crawlers to index your site and show any relevant search information.  The two most common types of Sitemaps are XML and HTML, both of which can be submitted to Google once you build your website.  XML sitemaps are exclusively made for search engines. They detail the inner workings of your site. HTML sitemaps are more general and are mainly intended for users to create a better on-site experience.  So, which one of these SEO techniques should you use?

Both.

XML sitemaps offer Google precise site data and make it easier to notify the search engine when you add new pages.  HTML sitemaps also improve your SERP standing by making your site more user-friendly.  By employing both, you get double the love from Google.

#7 Capitalize on Broken Link Building Opportunities 

At its core, broken link building is the practice of searching through web pages for links that don't work and replacing them with your own.  This tactic is one of the oldest SEO techniques in the book, but it's an effective way of generating links if scaled correctly.  Using tools such as the Check My Links Chrome Extension, you can scour pages relevant to your corner of the market and scan for broken links.  Any errors that pop up (preferably the 404 variety) are highlighted in red and visible next to the text.   Simply email the webmaster and inform him or her of the error, and they may reciprocate by allowing you to provide a link to your site.

#6 Stay Active on Social Media

While not directly a factor of Google's search algorithms, social media is a great way for your site to gain visibility.  An active social presence connects you to your customers.   Create Facebook and Twitter pages for your business.   Encourage people to comment and ask questions.  This interaction also fuels content creation because you can address these questions via blog posts on your site. 

By engaging customers, you generate more likes and content shares, all of which leads more potential customers back to you.

#5 Keyword Research 

Alright, we're in the top five with one of the more obvious SEO techniques.  Keyword research is the backbone of SEO.  Without it, how would customers be able to find your site?  Keyword research doesn't just constitute a single word, however.  The most useful keywords are often a part of a phrase, referred to as long-tail keywords.  Research shows that long-tail keywords comprise seventy percent of all search traffic. You'll need a few tools if you want to mine this resource.  Services like Google AdWords and Yandex allow you to type in keyword phrases and check their popularity.If you find a phrase relevant to your market niche, then you can craft content around that phrase.  Your content then becomes more relevant to your customers and your SERP rank increases.

#4 Use Semantic Markup 

In 2017, it's not enough to just have good keywords.  Users want answers to their questions, and semantic markup helps find those answers.   The best part of semantic markup is that it's one of the most underutilized SEO techniques.  If you make use of it now, you will be that much better than the other guys.  Semantic markup doesn't require you to learn any new code; rather it augments the existing HTML microdata to create rich snippets.  These bits attract the human eye and increase your click-through rate and site traffic.

#3 Speed up Your Site

Never underestimate the power of off-page SEO.  In today's society, nobody likes to wait.  If your site is too slow, users will abandon it in the blink of an eye. Google doesn't like slow sites either. If it takes their crawlers longer to index your site, your ranking could suffer as a result.  Optimize your site by recalibrating the website to speed up the time to first byte.  Try to get content to appear as quickly as possible and then load in images and other assets.   A strong technical team with SEO knowledge can help with evaluating your website to maximize these optimizations. 

#2 Be Mobile Friendly

Smartphones are steadily outpacing traditional computers.  Around thirty-nine percent of people only use smartphones to search the Internet.  Because of this trend, Google has announced plans for a mobile first index that will rank pages based on mobile site content.  If your website is a mobile enemy, you could be missing out.  Make sure your structured markup serves both the desktop and mobile versions of your site.  You can test this by using the Structured Data Test Tool and comparing what comes out.

#1 The Best of the Best SEO Techniques: Compelling Content

I'm sure you've heard this phrase before: "content is king."  It's used so often it's become a cliche.  That doesn't mean it isn't true.  In fact, we use a similar process.  Relevant content drives traffic by answering user questions, addressing user problems, and providing articles they want to read.  Search FAQs and forums for questions or issues your audience has. Acknowledge those concerns with a well-researched blog post.  Show how you can meet those customer needs better than the competition and market what you wrote.  

Additionally, in recent years, search engines seems to give higher value to pages that contain longer form content that dive deeper into topics.   Typically, a website that has greater than 1000 words benefits them in the ranking algorithms.  If you think about it, it makes sense as they wants people to find resources in the search listings that provide strong value.  However, the content needs to be of value and not just long for the sake of it. 

To Wrap Up

As we move ahead into the future, SEO will dominate the realm of marketing.  With these SEO techniques, you will end 2018 with greater traffic, higher revenue, and a leg up on the competition.Want to learn more?  Contact us for more information. 

 

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