January 28, 2016
We all know SEO is critically vital to online growth and prosperity. Without the means for folks to find your offerings, your site is dead in the digital water. Businesses need to find a way to leverage Google in a way that brings meaningful results.
Many businesses enter the SEO game only to find their dreams of rocketing to Google’s front page have descended into an all-out SEO nightmare. Having a website that lands in Google’s third or fourth page of results has led to many business owners in a constant state of stress. And the truth is, some give up if they can’t win the game.
To help alleviate such SEO night terrors, here are five elements to bail you out of a horrific SEO situation.
1. Optimized Keywords
Keywords are one of the biggest determining factors to where a business lands in the SERPs. If you are trying to rank for words like ‘cars,’ ‘shoes,’ or other generic terms, you are likely getting slaughtered. Keywords like this simply have too much competition, especially for smaller businesses.
In today’s age, where Google’s voice-to-text search function is used frequently, especially for mobile users, long-tailed keywords have become a fundamental instrument in producing the results you crave. Long-tailed keywords are much more specific than the general terms and are typically comprised of three to four keywords. Instead of trying to rank for shoes, you might try ‘red high-heel stilettos’ or something similar. Visitors to pages that utilize more specific phrases like these are more likely to make a purchase because they know exactly what they are looking for.
In addition to optimizing your keywords, be sure to implement your new long-tailed friends in your page titles, header tags, and meta descriptions. This will help Google’s bots understand the content on your page and determine your site’s relevance for any given search. And be sure to double check your robots.txt file to verify you are not preventing the G bots from crawling important pages; this could be detrimental to your SEO efforts.
2. The Might of Mobile
This is a point that is continually covered and discussed, yet many business owners are still brushing off the wisdom. Mobile is a huge element to winning the SEO game. With the changes Google implemented in Mobilegeddon, the search giant now favors those who are mobile optimized over those who aren’t. This had such a major impact in the weeks following the update that sites optimized for mobile received an 11 percent increase overall.
Mobile devices are now used more often to conduct searches than desktops and have become completely ubiquitous in modern society. It is simply not acceptable for websites to not be accessible and responsive to various screen sizes. If you haven’t implemented a mobile strategy, make this your top priority. If you have but you are not seeing the results you would like, run a mobile-friendly test and see where your site needs improvements.
3. Your Need for Speed
There are few things worse than building a gorgeous website, producing outstanding content, and really honing in on your user experience, only to fall flat when it comes to page load times.
If your site is not pulling up in just a couple of seconds you are missing out on loads of opportunity, revenue, and chances for ranking increases. Every second your page takes to load, abandonment rates climb. It is absolutely necessary that your site loads in a flash for you to establish the rankings you strive to achieve. Determine what elements of your site are loading perfectly, what is too big, and what is just dragging you down. You can analyze your websites page load time with Google’s PageSpeed Insight Tool or HubSpot’s Website Grader.
4. Consistently Killer Content
As always, content is your greatest ally in the SEO battle. Producing unique, relevant, informative and useful content is one of the single biggest factors to gaining a leg up in SEO. By consistently producing stellar copy, you are helping to drive brand awareness, visitors to your site, conversions and establishing yourself as a thought-leader in your niche.
It has been proven that websites who publish at least four blogs a week receive substantially more traffic than those who don’t. Use tools like Buzzsumo to help establish some of the top trending content in your niche and help bolster your views. Once you have produced that amazing content, spread it everywhere; on your site, on various social sites, on other blogs you may have connections with. Try to get your content to reach as far as possible because this will be a massive help to ending that SEO horror-fest.
5. Test Repeatedly
So you have everything up to par now and you are good to just sit back, right? Wrong. As long as you have an online presence you need to constantly be testing the various elements to your website to see what works best, what still needs to change, and what just needs some minor tweaks. Conduct A/B tests to see if different versions of your site are more effective than its current incarnation, try different layout and widgets; experiment with everything. Your website should constantly grow and evolve right alongside your business. The Internet is an ever-changing place; your website should be too.
While SEO can sometimes seem scarier than a Stephen King novel, once you understand the most important factors and how to improve your situation, the fear begins to diminish. We fear what we don’t know, and if you get to know SEO in an intimate way, you will hold all the power you need to succeed.
Has your site been in the middle of an SEO nightmare, and if so, how did you get it out? What do you think is the most vital factor on this list to improving your standings?
Conscious online marketer, Web executive, and multi-faceted writer, Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach. Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+.