Here is one of the challenges of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation): Google uses over 200 signals to determine organic rankings and no one knows how that is calculated. Now, that is not to scare you aware from implementing an SEO Marketing Strategy.
Rather, it is to help ensure that you are providing value in all your efforts and that your SEO strategy is aimed first at meeting visitors’ needs and then the search engines.
With that, I give you 20 solutions that will help you make a success of your search engine optimisation efforts. Here goes:
This sounds obvious, however, over 80% of sites have duplicate title tags and this could harm your search rankings. In fact, without we’ll optimised title tags, your CTR (click through rate) in the search results will be low and will affect your traffic volumes. Use your Google Search Console account (formerly Webmaster Tools) to identify duplicate titles and change them as soon as you can.
You can view your organic CTR in your Search Consoles account and this reveals the number of people who’ve searched with your keywords and how many clicked through to your website.
2. Create Google Search Consoles account
In case you have not created your Search Consoles account, now is the time to do it – you will need it. This free tool from Google should be a part of every SEO marketing strategy because of the wealth of information it provides. One of its popular features is the search terms reports which show how you are ranking and which ones are driving traffic to your website. This feature has become even more important since Google started showing ‘no results’ in 2011 for people who are logged into their Google account as they search
Bear in mind that this tool reports only Google traffic for the site you have verified and not for other traffic sources like Bing or pay per click traffic. For that you need Google Analytics.
3. Keyword density
WordPress plugins like SEO Yoast help you maintain the ideal keyword density for your pages. The ideal density is 2-4%, so that means for every 100 words of text, your keyword should be mentioned about 3 times on average. If it’s too high, say like 10%, then you could suffer a penalty for keyword stuffing, especially if it’s excessive throughout your website.
Below 2% and you will struggle to achieve high rankings because your pages will be deemed as not being relevant for that keyword by the search engine robots.
4. Link Search Consoles and Google Analytics
Link your analytics and search consoles accounts in the admin section of your analytics account. This helps to analyse your site and improve your onpage SEO and check your site impressions.
5. Submit sitemaps to Bing Webmaster tools and Search Consoles
WordPress for example has sitemap plugins that you can use to create your sitemap and submit to Bing and Google. If you want to ensure that your pages are discovered and indexed by the search engines, then you need a sitemap. That’s true especially if you have a large website that has many deep page levels.
It also helps to ensure that your pages are indexed faster and appear in the search results quicker.
6. Create organic search KPI
Create organic search objectives and KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to track and measure your progress towards achieving your goals. Examples of KPIs for organic traffic are:
• Percentage increase in traffic
• 10%conversion rate for organic
• Reduce bounce rate below 50%
7. Compare on Alexa
Use a tool like Alexa to see your performance against competitors for traffic volumes and how popular your website is. It also shows your visitor demographics and you can compare with your competitors to see how targeted your website is. Many websites have an Alexa ranking and its good to see how you are ranked to other sites.
8. Use keyword planner
Use this tool to see how well optimised your landing pages are. You can search for keywords either by using keywords or your own website or a competitors to come up with keyword ideas for your campaigns. If you search with your site and find that the results have many keywords that don’t reflect what you do, then it is time to change or update your website content and add your most important keywords.
9. Streamline your keywords
Focus on keywords that will bring you the greatest returns. That means you should eliminate any high traffic keywords that are very competitive and that will be difficult to achieve rankings for. Focus on long tail keywords because they collectively represent about 80% of searches for many sectors.
Get links from sites in your industry. This is not easy of course, considering that Google has been penalising sites that buy links. However, there are many sources for good links including blogs on authority sites, directories, article writing, internal linking, and creating great posts that people will link to and publish on social media.
11. Do some guest posting
Follow other experts in your industry and suggest some articles or blog ideas for their sites that may be of interest to their followers. You will gain more exposure for your website and business and this will lead to more connections and more business coming your way.
12. Follow a thought leader
Follow an SEO expert like Danny Sullivan on Twitter to gain some insights into the best tactics and SEO marketing strategy solutions for your business.
13. Get Google+ Reviews
Request reviews from past clients for your Google+ account. These will show up in search results and on Google Maps and will increase customer acquisition for your business. The more reviews you have, the higher you will rank for your keywords.
14. Optimise for Bing and Yahoo
Bing and Yahoo are high traffic search engines and although they are far behind Google which has about 65% of traffic, they are still a great source for organic traffic. So your SEO marketing strategy should include these two sites and from what I’ve discovered, their ranking algorithm is quite different from Google. Do your research according to your niche and work towards achieving page 1 listings for your keywords on these sites.
Social media is one of the fun activities of online marketing and you can quickly build a following of people who are interested in what you have to say and are receptive to your offers. There are hundreds of social networking sites and book marketing sites and the top ones are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Stumbleupon, among many others.
16. Check for manual penalties
If you’ve seen a drop in traffic or are concerned that you are not seeing much traction with your SEO marketing strategy, then it’s time to investigate. In your Search Console account you can check if you have been penalised manually and if this is the case, then you should investigate the cause to fix it. Don’t contact Google to ask why you’ve been penalised because they won’t give a reason. You should just work towards making sure you have a great website that is not doing any black hat methods.
17. Start blogging
Regular blogging is one of the best ways to see a massive increase in traffic and a corresponding boost in search rankings. It also establishes you as an expert and you will see more enquiries and sales for your business. It’s getting harder to achieve high rankings for thin sites with only 10 pages or so, so creating an authority site is the way to go.
18. Optimise your images
Image search is big and it is one way to gain more traffic for your website. So ensure that your keywords are added as alt text and this will help to improve rankings in the Google Image search vertical. Alt text is also important for visually impaired people who use screen readers to read your website and for search engines which currently cannot read images.
19. Use SEO ranking software
SERanking.com is one of the most impressive ranking software programs and one of the cheapest. From just £5 per month, you can monitor your rankings and make changes accordingly. When you first setup a website, it prompts you to connect with your Analytics account and pick keywords from your reports that you want to rank for.
It has an easy interface too and will only take a few minutes to understand. One of my favourite features is how the interface lists your sites for each keyword and search engine when you click the ‘All Rankings’ report for example.
20. Don’t give up
Lastly, don’t give up. Achieving high rankings can be difficult even for less competitive industries, however, when done well, the rewards can be huge and your business will be highly profitable.