Looking to Boost Your SEO? Here are 5 Tips You Need to Know
What’s the deal with SEO in 2019? Are keywords still relevant? Should you build backlinks?
Search engine optimization (SEO) can be a complicated beast. However, if you stay on top of the relevant trends and keep yourself informed of any changes you’ll have a much better chance of ranking high on Google.
With that in mind here are five SEO tips that you should be following right now:
1. Yes, Keywords Are Still Relevant
Targeting keywords with the sole purpose of improving organic rankings is not a great approach. Google algorithms are sophisticated and they can tell when you’re faking it. However, keywords are still a vital part of SEO because they reveal a lot about your content relevance and if you’re addressing your target audience’s pain points.
When creating content you should always be thinking about how you can help your target market with your content, so when you pick a keyword, you want it to be something people are actually searching for. The context of how you use those words and how they fit in with the rest of your copy will impact how Google perceives your website.
Pro tip: Use Google Keyword Planner. For any search phrase, this free tool will show you the estimated potential.
Remember, even though keywords are important it’s not about keyword stuffing. Always write for humans, not search engines! That means make your content something people actually enjoy reading that’s helpful to them, and the search engines love will follow.
2. Your Website Needs to Load Fast
SEO doesn’t just apply to the content you write; it’s all about your website. And one way to ruin your SEO is by having a slow-loading website. In fact, a study by Strange Loop found that even a 1-second delay in page load time caused a 7% loss in conversions. Yikes!
Google sees site speed as one of the most important ranking factors. So even if you have stellar content or a beautiful web design, you’ll never reach your full SEO potential with a slow-loading website.
To ensure your website is loading as quickly as possible, eliminate plugins you don’t use and make sure your sidebar has only the essential widgets. You’ll also need to make sure your website is being hosted with a reliable company. If your homepage includes your blog roll, don’t forget to make sure your homepage is optimized to show excerpts instead of whole posts.
3. Don’t Forget Featured Snippets
Only 11% of search results show featured snippets but the ones that do stand out!
A featured snippet is what appears on search engine result pages after the ads but before the ranked results. They’re typically alongside an image, table, or video, which helps them stand out even more… and that helps you get you more clicks!
Here’s a helpful tip: If you’re trying to answer keyword questions like, “how can I improve my digital marketing” or “What is SEO?” then it’s better to use a paragraph format for your snippet. However, if you’re trying to answer a preposition (including “for,” “to,” “like,” etc.) then it’s better to use a list format.
For more information on how to create and update snippets check out our post here.
4. External Links Matter
Although some people might think linking to pages that aren’t your own only takes people away from your content, the benefits far outweigh anything you would lose in traffic. Link building is still a fundamental part of smart SEO practices because Google relies heavily on external links to figure out how valuable your post is.
However, you should only link to credible, trustworthy sources that offer real value to your target market. And don’t think you need to have five or ten links per post. Link building is all about quality, not quantity. You’ll create more trust in your brand if you link to a few authoritative sources instead of several poor quality links.
The best situation is when other credible sources link to your content—that’s when you can really start to rank high on Google. Don’t be shy to reach out to influencers when you link out to them and ask if they can link back to you. You might even ask them to share your post with their subscribers.
5. The More User Engagement the Better
The more your readers engage with your content, the better it is for your SEO. To help maximize your audience’s engagement make sure your content is easy to read. Your content should use whitespace, sub-headings, short paragraphs, and images. All of these elements will help your readers stay on your page for longer and make it easier for them to absorb what you’re writing about.
Try to make sure that your content doesn’t only answer one question your target audience might have but that it’s also providing additional information to other relevant questions too. This can be done through internal links to other valuable posts you’ve shared before.
Finally, implement more than one way for your readers to absorb your content. That means don’t always create blog posts when you can also create videos and graphics too. And don’t forget to use social media such as Instagram Stories to help engage your audience with your content.
Contact Barker Social
If you’d like more help with your SEO strategy or creating SEO-optimized content then don’t hesitate to get in touch with Barker Social today. We offer a FREE consultation to find out how we can work with your business and reach all your SEO goals.
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