As one year comes to an end and another begins, businesses all over the globe are reviewing their performance and setting up goals for the months that lie ahead. If you’re an online business, these goals are likely to be based around generating more awareness and conversions – what better way to achieve that than with an effective digital marketing strategy in place?
SEO should be a top priority for all online businesses, as, without it, there’s a very slim chance of hitting those all-important targets. Of course, it’s easier said than done, and if you don’t have a designated team or digital marketing agency doing the job for you, the whole process can be incredibly overwhelming. Luckily for you, we’ve put together some basic steps that will maximise your chances of higher search rankings in 2019. Give yourself the month of January to get these steps in place and then let the magic happen over the following 11 months. It’s time to let the wonderful world of organic search benefit your business! 👊🏼
Get to know the basics
Google is the ultimate hub for users who want quick answers to their queries. If presented with unwanted information, users will grow frustrated, and their perception of Google will become tainted. The same rules apply to your website. If you aren’t clear on what you’re offering, Google won’t be able to find your site and rank it accordingly. Check out this quick video to learn some of the basics of Google’s search algorithm:
Understand your target market
Like any business endeavour, you need to establish and understand your target market in order to know how to pitch to them. If someone types in an unrelated query and finds your site, your business won’t benefit. At all. Market research is a vital part of any campaign strategy, and there is no exception when it comes to SEO. Once you’ve understood your target audiences wants, preferences, active hours and so on, you’ll be able to create a campaign perfectly tailored for your audience.
Quality content, not quantity
Ah, the golden quality vs quantity debate. Our very own Matt Sladden addressed a great point in his recent article ‘why quality is more important than quantity in content marketing’. He states “Stick to a focus on quantity and your content will be lost in the ocean of average posts that litter the internet.” We couldn’t agree more.
When creating quality content, you’re researching what will make your work readable. You will be taking your audience into account, while ensuring that every sentence you construct is SEO-friendly. To put it simply: you’re making it the highest quality it could be.
If you take the quantity route, then your work will become diluted and lose value as you rush to prepare it before the next piece of content needs to be released. You might be putting yourself in the eye of your audience more often, but no one likes a spammer. Focusing on quality will portray you as such – do you want that?
A lot of ingredients combine to make the perfect SEO strategy. You could have the most reliable content in the world, but if your site is lacking some vital technical aspects, Google may consider you as unreliable. Working on your technical SEO will have a positive impact on your rankings – so don’t forget to check it. We recommend checking out the following to ensure your onsite SEO is up to scratch:
Remember your backlink profile
You need strong links to rank. Period.
If strong sites link to yours, then Google is more likely to deem your site as valuable. The more high-quality links you have, the more likely your rankings will soar. With the help from SEMrush backlink checker, assess your current situation and then implement a targeted link building campaign accordingly.
Remember: link building needs to be ethical – Google is not stupid. If you use blackhat techniques, your search rankings will take a negative hit. Play the game fairly, and Google will reward you!
Keep a keen eye
Just like any other business, you need to overlook website performance frequently to ensure everything is running to its best potential. Other than the previous points mentioned, you’ll also need to make sure your SSL certificate is in date. An SSL certificate tells Google that your website is running on a secure channel and won’t pose as a threat to users.
Another essential factor is page speed. This factor ties in with onsite SEO. Page speed is a key ranking factor for Google – the last thing you want is users dropping off your site purely because they’ve been waiting for it to load. There are multiple ways to improve your page speed, and we’d recommend the following guides to help you out:
Track your campaign
How are you going to know if your website is hitting its goals if you aren’t tracking progress? Based on your specific goals, you’ll know which metrics are the most valuable to you. From here, you can review the progress of your campaign as often as possible to ensure everything is running smoothly.
Tracking your progress also allows you to evaluate and improve current tactics which might not be working well. Google Analytics is the absolute go-to for all things analytics – you can even set up goals here, too. As well as this, we’d recommend using SEMrush for keyword analytics and competitor analysis, and Majestic for backlink activity.
Ask for help
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Keeping digital marketing activity under control can be a time-consuming task. It isn’t ideal if you have a billion other things on your plate! If you have a small team or would prefer to outsource SEO activity, we are happy to help. Get in touch, and we can have a chat! 👍🏼