Search Engine Optimization isn’t just a fad that blew up and faded away within a year. Not only is it well and alive, but also more important than ever.
To rank well on the search engine search results, websites need to keep up with the demands of the modern consumer. A desktop site alone no longer does the trick. Top-ranking sites have mobile versions as well. Google recognizes that more people are browsing on their mobile devices, and they reward sites that are aware of this trend.
Loading speed is another major factor that contributes to a better standing on the SERPs. The faster your site loads, the more audiences will engage with your content and act on your call-to-action. Three seconds is the maximum recommended loading time for every webpage, as anything beyond it translates to lost customers.
Although there are some things that change with every algorithm update, the premise of SEO always remains the same: cater to the user. This is why it’s no longer enough to stuff content full of keywords. Advancements in the search engine algorithms have made it possible to determine whether or not the content actually has value. Meanwhile, great articles can get a boost by following SEO-friendly guidelines.
You can try gaming the results by paying for search results, but it will not lead to favorable results because imForza reveals up to 80 percent of people ignore paid searches. Therefore, it’s better to tick as many boxes as possible when pleasing the search engine algorithms as this will increase the chances of landing a top search result.
Page one or nothing
Sports may still glorify second placers, but those who conduct online searches don’t. In fact, 75% of people don’t scroll beyond the first page! There is even a great divide between the first three results for a particular keyword and everything else on the first page.
Backlinko shows that the top result gets ten times more clicks than the tenth-best result. Eighteen percent of organic clicks go to the top results in Google searches while the second and third get ten and seven percent, respectively. Furthermore, a first-place ranking boosts your clickthrough rate to 31.7 percent and close rates to 14.6.
When you look at these stats, it’s really no wonder that SEO is still a vital marketing strategy despite the advent of social media. That said, helping your articles and web pages rank well is no walk in the park. Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here are some tips that will help boost your rankings and improve your conversions:
How to Create SEO-Friendly Content
1. Consider the reader’s preferences
Listening to your crowd makes it easier to develop articles that will attract their attention. Conduct research on what they view as engaging and take note of the topics that gain more traffic. Search engines reward websites that produce quality content that is relevant and useful to their audience. That said, you shouldn’t abandon other essential topics just because other ones have a higher search volume. Rather, you should have a regular stream of content about a variety of topics that your visitors love.
2. Develop high-quality content
There are two crucial aspects to focus on when it comes to content development. The first one is finding suitable keywords for your content to revolve around. Google’s Keyword Planner is an excellent tool that will help you discover relevant keywords to your industry that don’t have too much competition. Take note of these terms and try to type them into a search engine to come up with content ideas.
Content marketing is the second crucial aspect to consider in the content development process. It involves developing articles in three levels: Top of the Funnel, Middle of the Funnel, and Bottom of the Funnel. Top of the Funnel (TOFU) content introduces your brand to new customers. Aside from blog articles on general topics, TOFU content includes e-books, how-to guides, and infographics.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU) content, on the other hand, is for users who are curious about the effectiveness of your product or service. These include case studies and whitepapers that highlight results as well as webinars to educate attendees. MOFU content also involves interactive ways to engage audiences such as color pickers for paint companies and online calculators for financial services.
Finally, Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU) content is for those who are ready to buy your product. Free consultations are an excellent supplement to BOFU content, as are tripwire offers for items or services on sale.
Take note that great content is not limited to text. Keep your audience interested by providing them with information via other engaging formats like images, videos, podcasts, and even infographics!
3. Optimize headlines, subheads, and meta descriptions
Headlines and subheads make it easier for the algorithm to skim through your content. These elements also improve an article’s flow and increase its readability. Aside from that, subheads are a great opportunity to increase keyword saturation, which improves the chances of ranking higher.
Titles containing 60 characters or less often perform better than those that are overly lengthy, seeing as the whole thing cannot be displayed on the SERPs. In fact, data aggregated by Brian Dean found that titles within 15 to 40 characters have an 8.6% higher clickthrough rate. Another important thing to remember is that Google prefers subheaders to be in Heading 2 size and the content under each subheader to be 300 words at most. (By the way—want to optimize your title tags? Learn more about how you can do so here!)
For maximum SEO effectiveness, don’t disregard the importance of meta descriptions. These snippets of text provide search engine users with a preview of the page’s content. Google experimented with a 320-character limit for a while but reverted the maximum to 160. You can include one or two keywords within the description to improve your website’s searchability.
4. Link to previous content
Backlinks are vital for a higher ranking on the SERPs. Great content is often able to acquire backlinks naturally from other websites, but you can speed the process along by reaching out to related sites with methods such as guest posting. Internal linking is also crucial for improving the rankings of your older content and helping search engine robots find your best articles. Linking to your articles also reduces the bounce rate by encouraging readers to stick around and read another article or visit another page. Likewise, placing links to reputable and credible websites increases your validity, which search engines value when dishing out the rankings.
5. Optimize article length
Back in the day, SEO was strictly a numbers game. Websites that published articles with thousands of words and tons of keywords got much more traffic. Today, however, quality trumps quantity. Search engines now show preference to informational pieces that answer common queries. You need not publish as frequently if you produce quality material that your audience finds useful.
Although you don’t need to publish pages and pages of content daily, Google does show preferences to detailed articles because they provide thorough answers to user inquiries. Articles that are a mere 250 words will no longer cut it, especially if they have to compete with one of 1000 words that tackle the same topic. More often, longer articles generate the best engagement because readers stay longer and share them more because of their value. Detailed reports also provide enough persuasion for readers to act on the call to action.
Don’t disregard your content
Many people disregard the quality of their content, simply sprinkling in some keywords before focusing on backlinks and outreach. Although these aspects are important, quality content is vital to growth. Whether you’re writing website copy or blog posts, make sure you write with the user in mind.
We can make things easier
There’s no denying that SEO can be time-consuming. It isn’t a one-off marketing endeavor; rather, it requires a watchful eye and consistent maintenance. With Ranked, you’ll be able to rest easy, knowing that someone is out there making sure your website is noticed by the right audience. Let us make things easier for you!
When selecting the right SEO partner to work with, consider Ranked. We offer affordable white hat SEO services and pride ourselves on delivering high-quality results. Start your free trial today!