Every business website dreams of ranking first on Google results and retaining that position. The year 2024 will be no different.
Unfortunately, that endeavor is easy to dream about but quite tricky to engender. Ranking first on search results from Google or wherever requires a deep understanding of search engine optimization (SEO for brevity) and website optimization.
More importantly, SEO is crucial if you wish to increase website traffic and brand awareness significantly. Considering Google’s ever-changing algorithms, however, this can be pretty complicated. At one point, you may feel like you are getting the hang of it and see that you are getting the results you want. But just as suddenly, you will find that the landscape in which SEO techniques work has changed.
Indeed, there are plenty of times wherein you will feel like SEO techniques are changing faster than you can keep up.
And as a marketer, it is your responsibility to keep up with these trends.
Luckily, it is still very much doable.
It may sound impossible, but thousands of people are looking for content like yours. All you need to do is find these people, which you can do by knowing everything you can about SEO.
You should remember that forty percent of website traffic is initiated with a search query. Therefore, SEO is essential, considering that such a significant fraction of web traffic starts with a simple search query. Moreover, millions of people input queries daily, which means the potential to increase your traffic and brand awareness is already there. Therefore, you need to tap into it.
Once you understand Google’s algorithms and the techniques you need to do to have your website rank on the first page, you can expect more visibility. As a result, your website will see more traffic and conversions. Eventually, you can even see an increase in revenue in the long run.
All that considered, getting on page one and ranking first on the search results are paramount.
Because most users do not even click past the first page.
And if your website is buried somewhere deep in the recesses of the second, third, fourth, and so on page, you are losing innumerable potential customers to your competitors.
Now that you know what makes SEO so important, it is time to move on to the next part of this article and discuss the SEO techniques you can implement to propel your website to that much-coveted #1 position.
Having more visitors enables you to convert more people into customers as well. However, keep in mind that there is more that goes into conversion optimization than just getting traffic. You also need to ensure that you have a sales page, a clear lead capture form, and descriptive product pages.
These would be useful if people are already visiting your website to see them.
So, let us get right to it!
Top SEO strategies to use to propel your site to the #1 position
1.) Complete an SEO audit on your website
Conducting a website audit assists you in figuring out the reasons why you are not getting the numbers you want in terms of traffic and sales. While plenty of SEO companies offer this as a service, you can save money by doing this step yourself. By definition, an audit is a systematic monitoring of an event, a concept, or a financial book. It is done to figure out where you currently stand, and the numbers it produces would help you determine what decisions to make in the future.
In SEO, auditing is basically a growth hacking technique that will help your website attract and retain customers. An SEO audit closely examines overall site performance. Likewise, it creates goals based on what you can find and implements tactics to attain those same goals. As a result, you can increase profits by leveraging your website’s existing content and fixing any SEO issues.
During an audit, you should look at whether ALL of your website pages have SEO meta titles and descriptions and if each page is optimized for SEO keywords. Moreover, you must ensure that your URL structure is optimized for search engines, have each web page and blog post is formatted correctly, and have links in your content.
While this technique may not sound like an advanced SEO technique, it works. Unfortunately, several websites, whether big or small, are missing basic on-page SEO, such as descriptions or page titles. These are just some aspects that are easy to overlook when creating your website. Luckily, these are easy to fix with a simple audit.
2.) Improve user experience across your entire website
Google’s primary goal as a search engine is to find the best possible results for each user’s query. Users are less likely to use their search engine if they fail in this endeavor. That said, Google is the most effective search engine in existence which is why it is recognized as the largest search engine in the world.
So, how does this all connect to your website?
Well, for one, poor-quality websites are less likely to rank. And in this time and age where algorithms constantly evolve, Google has gotten much better at determining website quality. So if your website appears untrustworthy, amateurish, outdated, or slow to load, visitors will likely go back to the search results page and click on a different website. So not only did you lose a website visitor, but you also lost a potential conversion. As a result, the bounce rate of your affected pages will increase.
And while Google might not have formally announced it, there is significant evidence to show that they reward sites with better rankings and low bounce rates. This is because Google finds logic in the reasoning that if a user spends more time on a website, it is probably because they found it more useful. As a result, Google will likely push websites with solid engagement up on the results page to ensure they can deliver the best possible results to their users.
3.) Prioritize design for mobile users
Today, smartphones are compelling pieces of technology—akin to a small computer that fits into your pockets. That said, a significant majority of users conduct searches using their smartphones. More importantly, Google has recently gone mobile-first. In fact, it was announced just last year that Google would primarily use its mobile smartphone user agent to crawl sites.
This means that you need to ensure that your website is mobile-friendly. Today, new websites should focus on the mobile experience as it is the platform most search users use. Of course, how it appears and performs on a desktop should never be overlooked or totally disregarded. But, design your website for mobile needs first.
4.) Focus on topic clusters in lieu of keywords
As we have said plenty of times in this article, Google is constantly evolving and as it evolves, so do its algorithms. Today, Google’s primary objective is to understand the users’ intentions. That said, they have shifted focus on what users expect and what they are looking for. More specifically, Google looks into what search results would best help answer their queries. Therefore, it is imperative to put something relevant in the snippet box.
All that considered, do not expect your website to appear on the first page of Google simply by just creating keyword-focused content alone. Instead, look beyond keywords and check the context around them. This is also referred to as “user intent.” That said, you should focus on what your users are looking for.
To determine which keyword tools to use, look for something that enables you to check a high volume of keywords broken down by relevant themes. Moreover, choose a tool that allows you to track all of your competitors—from large corporations to small, up-and-coming firms.
5.) Write longer content
Studies have shown that longer content tends to accumulate more backlinks. In this regard, better rankings and more traffic can be something you expect. Unfortunately, coming up with 1500 words for every blog post takes a lot of work. This can be quite challenging if you consistently come up with new articles daily. Writing long posts is a task that is not only intensive and time-consuming but can also be unnecessary.
However, this does not mean you should disregard writing long articles altogether. When it comes to satisfying user intent, only a few search queries are from people looking for a long blog post to read. Most of the time, they only need to read a few words or sentences to get their answer. This means that your long article will all be for naught.
Unfortunately, there is no quick way to determine how long your content should be other than what common sense dictates. That said, ask yourself what kind of information someone would be looking for if they use a keyword you are targeting. Then, you can start from there.
If you struggle to write long-form content, you can revisit your old posts and expand your existing pages by adding more information. Your old content already has authority, and in some cases, it even has an established readership. In lieu of writing a new blog post, it may be simpler to give an existing post’s performance a little boost in the search results by including new and updated information. To choose which blog posts to refresh, look for time-sensitive content with subjects that have information that requires updating. Similarly, you might want to look at posts that are getting organic traffic but have the potential to get so much more.
You can get all of this information from your Google Analytics page.
Wrapping it up
By now, we all know how quickly and rapidly SEO is evolving. As entrepreneurs, marketers, and business owners, we must adapt if we wish to stay relevant.
That said, you need to dedicate time to studying the fundamentals of SEO as well as solid content creation and copywriting. Stay on top of technical trends and look at the impact of elements such as backlinks, schema, and site speed.
These may seem like a lot to consider. However, there is no rush in learning. You do not need to become an SEO expert to see results but try to understand SEO basics. You can already witness a big difference in your website’s engagement and rankings.