SEO is an ever changing and evolving industry with the search engines updating their algorithms on a weekly and sometimes even daily basis. And while some strategies may go out of fashion or no longer deliver results there are some strategies which have stood the test of time and we believe will always play a critical role in how your website performs in the search engines. In this article, we’ll take a look at these strategies and give you some tips for getting better SEO rankings.
Write for humans
Over the years many people have tried to game the system by creating content that is stuffed full of keywords in the hope that repeating their keyword phrases over and over again will in some way get them to the top spot of Google. While this tactic may have worked in the 90’s and early 2000’s it is time to put this to bed and stop creating content that is written solely for the search engines. These search engines have evolved and now recognise and reward natural language so the best piece of advice is to write naturally and for humans.
When creating new content ask yourself: what the goal of that content is? What information do you need to include? Who is your target audience? What language do they use? What questions your visitors looking to answer? By taking a moment to think about real humans and your target audience you’ll be able to create content that will not only rank well in the search engines but lead to better engagement with your website visitors.
Give visitors what they want
Writing for humans is just the first part of your SEO strategy and one that works with our next tactic, namely giving visitors what they want. As well as great quality content you need a website that is easy to use and provides a great user experience – in other words, don’t make your visitors think. If your website is hard to navigate, information is difficult to find or the design is too busy then visitors are unlikely to stick around no matter how well written your content is.
In addition to your user experience, there are also a number of other factors that affect the usability of your website such as website load speed, server uptime, broken links, cross-device compatibility, learnability and clarity. By making sure your website is easy to use you’ll be helping to ensure that it can perform well in the search engines and will also help to convert your visitors into customers.
Build links the right way
Despite countless claims over the years that have proclaimed the death of link building it is still very much alive and kicking. Not only is it still alive but it remains one of the most important ranking factors and is in the top two factors in Google’s ranking algorithm. Over the years there have been many dubious link building practices such as link farming, buying links, comment linking on blogs and many other low effort practices.
Link building is hard and getting high-quality links is a time-consuming process. If you’re tempted by quick win strategies or tactics then don’t be surprised when your rankings start to dip. Creating great quality and link worthy content will help your business gain links naturally and there are also a few tactics that you can use to acquire new links.
Utilise existing relationships with suppliers, partners and even customers to get links to your website. For example, if you sell a supplier’s products see if they have a section on their website that lists places to buy their products or distributors and ask if you can be added to this list. Other sources of links are industry specific directories where it makes sense for your business to have a listing.
Finally don’t forget the importance of local links so chambers of commerce, council websites and other localised business directories as these are all places where it is natural for your business to be listed.