Have you noticed lately, there's a lot of business’s who are ramping up their SEO efforts? I suspect this has something to do with the focus on content creation and the potential of new traffic through blogs and social media. Whatever the case, there's a few critical rules that every single marketer needs to know when it comes to on-page optimisation and increasing your conversion rates.
With Google now looking at over 200 factors when ranking a website, it so hard for us to know which one to focus on and what steps we need to follow to improve our search rankings? It's like a difficult jigsaw puzzle. Well for those of you that are still trying to do battle against Google and need some quick tips on improving your search results, here are ‘The Four Most Important Rules for Increase Search Rankings’;
The 4 most important rules for increased search rankings
1. High quality, relevant and engaging content
It is a little-known secret that Google and other search engines are making a shift from traditional search engine optimisation (SEO) to a focus on quality and authoritative content. It's now more important than ever to produce quality content, which is relevant and holistic, based around your customer’s needs. This is the type of content that will help improve relevancy online. To write engaging content that ranks high, you must first get to know your audience - intimately. You need to:
- Understand buyer needs
- Understand buyer wants
- Figure out what motivates and drives them each day
- What style of content they read
- Which online channels they find relevant
Successful SEO content will use the audience as a focal point. It's undeniable, quality content with a strong focus on authority that’s now leading the pack. This is the quickest way to improve your SEO rankings.
2. Make sure your pages are well optimised for SEO
A well optimised technical performance of a page contributes to a good ranking, so its important to ensure that technical search engine optimisation is built into your website design and development from the get go. Let's look at some key points on this topic:
- Google displays the first 60 characters of a title, so keep headlines short at punchy
- Reduce bounce rates by including visual media. This helps Google understand user interaction. The longer someone is on your website, the higher signals Google receives
- Drop relevant keywords into the first 100-150 words of your online page content. This helps Google understand page relevancy
- Load speeds are vital for improved search results. Compress and reduce images to ensure a quick load time. Experts suggest your page should load in between 1-3 seconds, before you lose visitors
- Include social sharing buttons on each page because this will improve your chances of receiving inbound links
3. Keep working on those backlinks, they are still important.
When it comes to backlinks, site masters should always choose quality over quantity. Backlink quality is one of the most important SEO metrics as it relates to off-page factors. A website's Google PageRank is largely determined by the ‘quality’ and no so much the ‘quantity’ of its backlinks. If you don't know a lot about backlinks, you’re not alone. I recommend you get a good – no, great SEO company to act on your behalf. It's an art or even more a science these days and you need a qualified team on the job every day.
4. Social signals are more relevant that ever before
Social signals have both a direct and indirect impact on organic search rankings.
Direct impact comes from:
- The number of people that like your brand on social media (including likes, shares etc)
- Number of tweets mentioning your brand name or including a link to your website or it’s content
- Number of people that “have you in their circles” (Google+) or follow you on Facebook or Twitter
Whereas, indirect impact comes from:
- Increased inbound links due to improved online visibility/brand awareness
- Increased positive reviews (in Google, Yelp, review sites etc.) due to happier customers
- Decreased bounce rate, higher time people spend on your site and more repeat visitors your attract
Creating and managing effective social media is a key driver for SEO performance. Techniques to generate a targeted audience on these platforms usually relates to ad spend or sponsored content with a focus on analytics to measure the results.
Good quality original content that’s shared and engaged, on page and on social, has a far greater weighting now than old SEO tactics like keyword stuffing, guest blogging, directory listings and as trying to generate as many links as you can. As well as the main platforms, a couple of social bookmarking sites, Reddit and StumbleUpon also offer high potential for content that is intentionally formatted to be viral in nature.
Your online marketing strategy will increasingly become more about building relationships and less about technical strategies. Right now, a good mix is fine, but the online game is always moving quickly. 90% of research now begins on search engines (Source: Moz), so it's critical that you have a solid SEO strategy to get you found easily and so yield business growth.