Search Engine Optimization (SEO) involves multiple processes that require attention to detail across different areas. From your website design and marketing, which includes backlink building and other strategies, there are some effective things you should know about.
For many SMBs, when searching for how to improve SEO, some of the first advice that comes up is to pay for backlinks. The argument is that this allows you to scale more rapidly and build a larger network of new references in a shorter period. Link sellers offering low-quality backlinks can get penalized by Google, and it can hurt your website rankings.
In this article, we’ll uncover some of the most useful ways to improve your SEO.
2 SEO strategies
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
1. On-page SEO
On-page SEO is all about user experience and engagement. This is done by optimizing your web pages and blog posts. If you can create a site that answers questions and engages with users, it will be more effective than a static site with the same content it’s had for years.
While backlinks are the most important SEO factor, they are not the only ones. Without the right on-site efforts, you’re going to have a hard time building credibility and maybe even getting those backlinks. Fortunately, this is also an area with set rules that you can follow according to best SEO practices.
Here are some important things you should be doing to improve your SEO with on-site optimization:
Ensure your URLs are short, easy to read, and relevant to your content. Don’t use the full article title as the URL slug; use your focus keyword instead.
Google likes keyword matches in page titles and descriptions. They also look for well-written and descriptive content that clarifies what your page is about. When you show up in the search results, the title and description will help determine if someone clicks on your web page.
Even though Google has stated that you can go to town with H1 headings, a good balance of one H1 heading followed by H2, H3, and H4 is better because it provides a structured hierarchy with the information you’re presenting. It breaks it up, making the content easier to read, and improves the user experience (UX).
Internal and external links
Include relevant links in your content. One of the most effective ways to make something relevant is to link to related materials. Backlinks to high DR websites that can verify your claims are important and internal links can help make your website rankings stronger on Google.
This one is a little more complicated. The good news is that there are plugins to help get it done. Schema Markup is the series of tags that add things like review scores, length, and other data to the search listing. This adds value to Google and your readers.
For your site to grow on Google, it needs to contain a consistent volume of high-quality content. Posting blogs regularly, building links to that content over time, and providing value that is reflected in low bounce rates, high engagement rates, and conversions is important.
2. Off-page SEO
When learning how to improve SEO, off-page is the big one. This is where you generate links to your content that act as “votes” in the Google algorithm. It tells people that your content is of good quality and worth visiting. Enough votes from many high-quality sites, and you’ll move up in the search engine performance ratings (SERPs).
But how do you get backlinks without paying for low-quality links? Let’s find out!
Plenty of websites accept guest content from outside contributors. Look for sites with a Domain Rating (DR) of 30 or higher and 500+ monthly traffic so you can gain traction to your site and earn a high-quality backlink.
Another tactic is to go directly to the journalists who share blogs on news sites. Help a Reporter Out (HARO) is a website that matches search queries from journalists with thought leaders and experts in specific fields. You’ll find hundreds of search term every day for topics in different industries.
This might sound simple, but it could work. Look for articles that cover the best and most useful resources in your niche. Here’s how you would do it on Google search:
- Target industry + “helpful resources”
- Target industry + “useful resources”
- Target industry + “useful links”
Then, email those sites with a link to your content.
Now, your content needs to be high-quality useful for relevant resource pages. If you have been doing your inbound marketing correctly, this could be a good way to get new backlinks.
Broken link research
Websites fail, they get moved and updated, or pages get taken down. In fact, there are millions of broken backlinks online with reference URLs that no longer work but that you could replace.
One of the best ways is to search for indicators of a relevant site being shutdown. Look for this on Google:
- Target industry + “out of business”
- Target industry + “shut down”
With inactive sites, you will often find these listings in Google Maps, Yelp, or other online directories where those businesses were once listed.
Building the right mixture of SEO tactics
Whether you are just launching a new website or working on a site that has been stagnant for years, learn how to improve SEO the right way. If you lack the skills and time, reaching out to an agency specializing in quality link building for SEO, is a clever idea. The results are often stronger, longer-lasting, and help funnel more traffic to your site in the long haul.