Search Engine Optimisation, a vast and sometimes overwhelming online arena. Looking for tutorials, tips might be a daily take. Here are some of the top hacks that I found the most helpful.
Top Ten SEO hacks
- Get out of Google sandbox by building citations and sharing on social media
Google sandbox is a place that Google puts your website when it is brand-new and it doesn’t show up on Google. Some people say that their website takes two to three weeks to show up and some around two months and that is WITH content.
The fastest way to get yourself out of the sandbox is to build citations and share on social media
What is a Citation?
A citation is the name of your business, the address of your business or the phone number of your business is showing up on other relevant websites. (NAP) Also, if you can, add in your website as well (NAPW), getting a link from a citation website, it is even better.
Think Yelp, Facebook or Yellow Pages – this alerts google to the fact that other authority websites are mentioning and indexing your information.
There are three categories of Citation websites;
Generic- Yelp, Facebook, Google my business and many more.
Niche Citation websites- Niche – So relevant to the product or service that you are offering.
Location specific- A citation from a website in the same local catchment as you.
Note: The most valuable citation then being if you got a citation from a local niche.
In terms of social sharing, the same thing really goes. Social platforms are considered as authority websites and you are getting signals from other frequently crawled websites, so sharing on the likes facebook or instagram is another way to get out of the sandbox quickly as you are putting the information out, the crawlers are crawling that website and then that spider is going to search for the website that they found. Especially if that website has a lot of engagement.
Google Search Console
Another little tip, go on and register your URL on Google Search Console- remember if you update content, ask google to reindex that URL, aka the new information.
- Niche down, understand your keyword targeting
Authoritative is the most relevant thing that people are looking for. Let’s start with this, so if you are a new website and you are putting content out there that other high authority websites are ranking for, you might find that you are unable to rank, then, in simple terms, it is way out of your authority. This can be based a number of things;
- The amount of engagement that your content gets
- The amount of links that your content gets
- The overall amount of links targeting your website
- The amount of social signals that you get.
That list is not exhaustive, but to change your authority, the first thing you need to look at is your keyword targeting, start building content and ranking, continually producing content and building an audience around a topic, is the fastest way to rank. Just start with keyword difficulty of zero to two, if your authority is in and around that, use your tools to define keywords (AHREFS) and slowly build your way up and see what is the easiest way for you to target.
What niching down means is finding something that is specific to you, but don’t try and hit the ball out of the park in the beginning. Use your tools, an example being keyword explorer option. You want to type in your subject, filter the results, for example by organic traffic, then by domain ranking.
From there you are really starting to get an idea of the sites that have high organic traffic in your niche. If you are hit with a high number of results, keep going, be more specific and use the process of elimination. When you do get there, you will see all the keywords that those websites are ranking for.
You want to start building a following with the content, keeping it within a certain realm or subject field is the key to growing your audience, understanding your keywords is key.
- Setup a content game plan – spend at least half of your SEO budget on content
Your content game plan is so important! Reading this you probably are thinking half is a bit excessive, but think of it like this, if you are trying to rank, you need content right? Well you need to get that content onto the website to be able to rank for it, therefore the money has to go into the content to begin with.
There is little to no point trying to rank your website if you have no content on that site. You will find that you may get traffic, but that you will have a really low conversion rate. People want information, why should they buy from you instead of someone else? Give the people what they want and the people want information.
Understand your authority, your ranking and your keywords. The most important thing is to understand where you are and where you want to go. When you niche down to a certain subject, you can still get high search volumes, but for the relevant and specific topic and slowly but surely, you will make your way up the ranks.
- Cross promote between organic and social media
When you only focus on SEO traffic, the problem is your losing out on the opportunity of getting engagement on your website. The best way to rank well on google, is to ensure that you are getting signals to google, saying to Google, I am getting alot of engagements on this platform.If a lot of people are leaving comments, searching for your topic, then Google will perceive you as relevant for that topic and rank you higher as a result. Focusing on cross promotion on available platforms is the fastest way to rank.
- Create an opt in and engagement game plan
Creating an opt in engagement game strategy. The idea behind this is that if you are getting traffic through your website. Text messaging, facebook, facebook messenger, instagram, snapchat or email list. Wherever you are interacting/communicating with your customers. Keep the people you’re engaging with, retain them, for engagement and user generated content. Build your audience and they will help you reach more people, those social signals they are giving you are invaluable.
Always remember that people are your asset, they help to promote you, so retain them in any way you can. Brand searches, social signals, user generated content signals. All of these signals interconnect and they will help you rank everywhere as you are being associated with valuable high quality content.
- Respond to your customers
With all the work that goes into running a business, responding to reviews is something that employees can easily fall behind on, but think of comments and responding to those comments as content. It is content and your ranking does improve from your responses, you will do better in local SEO and have a much higher chance of appearing in the pack results; the top three in Google.
Google encourages responses for a reason:
“Interact with customers by responding to reviews that they leave about your business. Responding to reviews shows that you value your customers and the feedback that they leave about your business.”
It really is as simple as this; people trust what other people say. A staggering 92% of customers will jump over to the reviews section before completing a purchase. Reviews, in a customer’s eyes, are authentic experiences. Responding to these reviews builds an impression of your business in their head, did you fix their issue or thank you for their custom.
The general time frame is quite tight, that being 24 hours, or from there it becomes generally speaking, too late to change a customer’s mind. Thankfully there are so many softwares at your disposal to help you with this sometimes daunting task.
- Check your analytics and optimize accordingly
There are so many software’s out there and to use one, is really putting yourself in one lane, when in reality, you want to be in all of the lanes. Use multiple softwares, pull the information from those softwares and combine them to get the most accurate and most relevant information and then begin from there.
Daily we utilise the likes of Yoast and SEMRUSH, Moz, SEO Minion, combining these analytics with SEO max deficiency reports, which informs you to websites that are ranking ahead of you and tells you what to do on page. Alongside this, manually getting to grips with your content, it’s relevance and the keywords velocity. All of these elements combine and work together.
Whether you are looking at your information, or digging into competitors, look at the analytics data, which is tied to the URL and keyword difficulty metrics as well as the search console metrics. It is then that you get a comprehensive view of what’s going on with the website. It gives a list of detailed keywords, their impressions and click through rate, keyword difficulty, bounce and conversion rates, crawl depth, meta descriptions so you have a really great view of exactly what is going on. When you look at this data from an analytics standpoint, it makes it a lot easier to optimize form there. And when you combine the analytics based optimizations, with the points made above, you pretty much have an unstoppable SEO game plan.
There is conditional formatting available, so you don’t have to spend your valuable time looking for the errors, they simply highlight themselves and you have a quick negative view and then instead of changing things that might not be performing too badly, you can focus on say a red click through rate that needs your attention. Make easier optimisations for faster results.
- Stop focusing on low priority tasks or super technical SEO
You don’t need to go in and make an abundance of changes, if you go through and check your analytics, see where the problem(s) are and address things like the meta description or the title that are being displayed as low performers, rather than attending to a bounce rate of 60% which in actual fact is not that bad.
If you already have good scores for things, don’t change them, there is no need to over analyse SEO.
This is about using your brain, but also understanding that you don’t always have to do in depth technical SEO. The problem that most people have is that they are optimizing when they don’t have anything to optimize.
What should be done is content, without content, you will not rank, without content you will have a high bounce rate, without content you will have a nearly non-existent conversion rate. If you aren’t investing in content, if you have no content in the first place, your not working on your authority game plan, your not driving traffic, your conversions are non existent, your not getting opt in, your not building your audience, then THAT is the reason you are not winning. That is why you need to focus your energy on the high priority SEO tasks.
- Get a few tools (screaming frog and ahrefs)
As was mentioned above, use your tools. Utilize those tools and draw out the information that you need to improve your content and rank higher and faster. Use the information from all of these sources combined and you will have an unstoppable SEO machine.
Don’t focus too heavily on your SEO score, or using a certain keyword an exact amount of times. A good audit and a focus on keyword targeting is the key to success.
Now, if you aren’t a natural born writer, then there are an abundance of websites that have heavily filtered writers that you can hire, or you can always come to us for that and we have skilled writers that can create content for you.
- Index your site through google search console
This point again, shines light on the first tip that we talked about, it is here just to reinforce its importance. Get your website indexed as quickly as possible on google search console, if you have new content… INDEX IT, straight away. Get seen, get faster results.
I hope that everything you read today was of help to you and if you have any questions, give us a call and we tailor plans to each client individually as there is no one size fits all. It is a big and vast landscape out there in the SEO world, and we are here to help.