Do you want your competitors to perceive you as fierce competition? Do you want to steal their customers away from them? Do you want to consistently receive traffic on your site? If your answers to these questions were a loud YES, then white hat SEO is the legitimate path to reaching your traffic goals.
Today, tricking Google with exact match domains or phoney backlinks simply doesn’t work. So what does? The following strategies I’m gonna share with you in this article will help your platform rise to the occasion and leave the competition struggling behind to catch up!
Site Loading Speed
Google’s number one job is to give their users the best results for a given search and it simply cannot deliver that promise whilst users wait longer than they should. Technically Google and other search engines do not reward fast loading websites, it penalises slow loading websites.
Google publicly confirmed that they use website speed as a ranking factor and lots of SEO marketers can testify to this from their own experience. Google PageSpeed Insights is a great tool to test your website loading speed. However, when using the tool, it’s best that you test an article or some other page that your users click through from the Google search results.
Google PageSpeed Insights will mostly tell where your page’s code needs a tune-up. To get a more accurate feel for how your site loads to real life users, check out Gtmetrix which will show you data on how your page actually loads and other measurements of how your site speed stacks up.
Check Your Technical SEO
You can have the best site with the best content, but if your website has serious technical SEO issues, you’re not going to rank. Fortunately, identifying and fixing these sort of issues can be super easy. Log in to your Google search console and check in the crawl errors section. If you see any issues with DNS, server connectivity or robots.text, you certainly should fix those ASAP.
But if they all show a green check mark, you’re all set. Don’t forget to click the crawl errors button which will take you to the URL error section of the search console. It’s perfectly okay to have a few server errors and broken links. Nevertheless, if you see hundreds of errors in that section, then you’ll want to fix them ASAP.
You need to produce content that is not as heavy in keywords as it is in quality. You may add keywords here and there, but filling a 500 word article with unnecessary keywords will result in a poor page rank. If you can, include keywords in the title, tags, and some in the content, then that shall do. Do not fill the content with jargon or meaningless words, but with information people can understand and use.
Three quick techniques for finding awesome keywords:
1- First up we have Google Suggest. To use it, enter a keyword into Google, but do not press Enter. Google will suggest long tail keywords that you can target. And when Google actually suggests a specific keyword to you, you know that it’s a keyword that lots of people search for.
You can also use other keyword suggest tools on the web that gather hundreds of suggested data into one place.
2- Now sometimes the best keyword is a term that you already rank for!
What do I mean?
I’m talking about finding untapped keywords in the Google search console. Here’s exactly how it’s done. First, log into your Google search console account, and click on Search Analytics. Sort the results by position. Then scroll down until you hit positions 11 through 15.
These are keywords that you’re already ranking for on the second page of Google, and with some extra on-page and off-page SEO help, you can get them to the first page pretty darn quickly.
3- Our last keyword research technique is to use SEMrush which is my favourite keyword research tool.
And here’s why:
With most keyword research tools, you search for a keyword into the tool and get a list of suggestions. But SEMrush is unique and instead of entering a unique keyword into the tool, you enter a competitor’s website, and SEMrush shows you all the keywords that they already rank for. The tool will also show you the competition for that particular keyword and how hard it is to rank it.
When you create a post on another site, you insert anchor text in it, which links the content back to your website. Anchor text has always played a pertinent role in establishing an effective SEO strategy that works well. However, you should not overuse this technique, as it is supposed to blend in with the rest of the text and not look forcefully inserted. In your anchor text, include keyword or phrases and keep things diverse to not come up as spam.
Back in the day, Google would reward sites that published lots of unique quality content. That’s why so many blogs started pumping out mediocre 500 word blog posts.
But the truth is this
The whole publish lots of unique content approach simply doesn’t work anymore. Today Google’s number one priority is to show their user the best result for a given keyword, which means they don’t care how many pieces of content you’ve produced, or how often you publish.
So if publishing lots of unique content don’t work, what does?
Publishing less often but making each piece of content that you do publish better than the first three results. In order to pull this off, you must make your content insanely attractive, informative and well organised.
That’s why search engines reward those posts after generating thousands of social signals and hundreds of backlinks. Also, longer content significantly outperforms short blog posts. In fact, many studies found that the average first-page result in Google boasted 1,890 words. That’s not an exact rule and mostly applies to content websites. However, your main focus should be quality and uniqueness, and once you outperform your competitors in these two, search engines would definitely want to reward you for your hard work.
Next, you’ll wanna make infographics part of your content marketing.
BuzzSumo did their own study into what makes content go viral, and they discovered that infographics get an average of 2.3 times more shares than other content formats.
Search Engine Optimisation
Now that you published an awesome piece of long-form content, it’s time to optimise it around your target keyword. Here’s how.
- First, make sure that you publish your page on a short URL. As many studies found short URLs tended to outrank long URLs.
- Include your target keyword once in the first 100 words of your article. Google crawlers put more weight on keywords that appear at the top of your page to identify what your content is all about.
- Lastly, add outbound links to your post. Google wants to see that your content is a comprehensive resource on that topic, and that’s only possible if you link out to other trusted web sources.
Social Media Marketing
Small and large businesses included have caught the social media bug. They have jumped on the social media bandwagon and established accounts on popular social media sites such as Twitter, Facebook, Google plus and others.
Social media helps marketers gather feedback, gain a following and bring users together. They’re great tools to publish your recent updates, interact with your followers and increase social media traffic.
Find bloggers who share the same interest as you. Ask them if you can post content on their site, similar to theirs, as a guest blogger. This enables you to link back to the content on your website and get more exposure and authority backlinks.
Not done yet!
After you have optimised your on-page SEO, promoted your content on social media, conducted an off-page SEO campaign, you would think that it’s time to chill. No, No, No….
Your job has just begun!
Content promotion and link building are never-ending jobs, especially when the competition is high. The following SEO technique is my favourite method to rank higher for 2017 and we save the best for last, without further ado, I present to you…
Click Through Rate (CTR)
As you know, Google wants to show their users the best result for a given keyword. And they determine the best result by looking at things like backlinks, on-page SEO, social shares and more.
Google also uses your sites click through rate [CTR] to determine where you rank on the first page.
Pretty cool right?
Well, it depends. If for whatever reason your title and description tag doesn’t generate the clicks that Google expects, they’ll drop you like a stone. And that means less organic traffic. That’s because this low click through rate tells Google this result isn’t a good fit for this keyword.
On the other hand, let’s say that you’re ranking number six. Normally the number six result gets about four percent of all clicks. But let’s just say that for whatever reason your result is getting 15 percent of all clicks.
This tells Google, wow, people want to see this result, let’s move it up so more people can easily find it. And that’s the power of your CTR.
How can you ethically get more clicks on your result?
- Step one, find Adwords ads.
- Step two, include words and phrases from Adwords ads in your title and description tag.
- Step three, get more clicks.
Let’s break down each step in detail.
1- First, you need to find Adwords ads for your target keyword or for related keywords.
Adwords advertisers spend thousands of dollars on advertising for one main goal. To get clicks. That means that Adwords ads that you see are often the result of hundreds if not thousands of split tests. In other words, when you see an Adwords ad in Google, you know that it is optimised to maximise clicks.
I also noticed that these same Adwords ads used terms like build, grow and boost. You also must use similar terms that attract your targeted audience and help you get the highest number of clicks possible.
2- After doing keyword research and learning from your competitors’ ads, it’s time for you to add your own keywords and phrases to your title and description tag.
3- Voila! You should find yourself with more clicks and more organic traffic from Google.
These SEO methods will help you achieve popularity and increase organic traffic. If any small businesses are currently out there struggling to overcome their competitors, they should definitely use these SEO methods. I have employed these SEO techniques for my own projects and other clients, and I couldn’t be happier with the results generated.
About the Author
Yassine is a web marketer and copywriter who has enjoyed a career of digital marketing and being self-independent. He is a senior content creator for various establishments and publishes guest posts for newborn platforms. He is a consultant on white hat SEO, social media marketing, keyword research and SEO content.