How to Improve SEO – A Technical Training
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SEO is a dynamic field and it’s constantly evolving. Therefore, knowing how to improve SEO is extremely important. To keep pace, digital marketers must equip themselves with current techniques, technology, and knowledge of particular search engine thresholds.
In a bid to improve their services, search engine companies keep updating their parameters. This is done to cope with emerging needs and challenges for both website owners and users. But, why the obsession with SEO in marketing?
Perhaps some statistics can shed light here. The Google platform alone commands 3.5 billion searches a day and receives 34.6% of all product searches done online and driven by SEO. That makes SEO very important among product marketing tips you must consider to grow your business.
With the exponential growth in web content in recent times, website owners have to compete aggressively for SERP ranking. They have to work strategically to gain online visibility and this requires some knowledge of basic SEO techniques.
SEO Content Basics
To learn how to improve SEO, first, understand the fundamentals that combine for top page ranking. Users are getting sophisticated and use different devices. So, you need to focus on people-centric content, search experience optimization, and given current trends develop a voice search strategy.
You can then optimize your content for SEO by aligning it to the people’s needs in a way that preempts their search queries. This earns another advantage, increased organic search. It’s a very important element in SEO, especially in the ‘people also ask’ segment of SERPs.
With machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) on the rise, optimize your content to work with Google’s RankBrain to improve your SEO. While at this, do not forget the digital voice assistant that is rapidly gaining ground in the market, with nearly 46% of Americans on the platform.
Move from the passive traditional format to a question and answer natural language SEO orientation that incorporates long-tail keywords to mimic the real-life experience. From a general perspective, using machine learning feedback loop analytics helps you evaluate your SEO performance and predict actionable changes.
Picture 1. Optimizing content is the foundation of SEO
At this stage, you may want to delve into finer on-page technical aspects. They include site architecture, URLs, page speeds, crawling, indexing, and all bits that determine how search engines access your site.
Search experience optimization, which is the ultimate goal, is dependent on these factors. That is why you must have some competency or hire an expert to set up the site. At first glance, these technical aspects appear tailored for search engines. But if perfectly executed, they provide a better user experience from efficient search engines.
Correct technical elements are critical for your site’s performance and interaction with search engines. Site speed is a key ranking factor and an important element in user experience. To improve your SEO, carry out periodic page speed tests using any one or several of the tools available online such as the Chrome developer console.
The key metrics to deploy include time until first byte (initial information), time until meaningful paint (first visual display), and time until interactive (complete screen experience). An all-round improvement on these metrics creates a user-centric SEO focus and yields user satisfaction.
Picture 2. Chrome developer console
A strategy on how to improve SEO begins with understanding the dynamics at play in the situation you are dealing with. In this case, the company. Understand the company’s mission, vision, goals, and objectives to capture these in the SEO strategy.
You cannot market a product successfully without understanding its unique selling proposition. The same applies to the design of SEO for brands. Your company could be in an industry with many others offering similar products or services. So, figure out its uniqueness and use it to formulate keywords, outreach types, and defining target audiences.
If well thought out, company vision can provide a basis for your SEO goals that are important in strategy formulation. With a defined set of goals, it is then easier to select the right metrics and KPIs to evaluate your SEO performance in practice.
While working on how to improve SEO, do not overlook the fact that the effort aims at providing a better user experience for conversion and that understanding your audience is critical. To achieve a responsive SEO, engage your target audience through direct interaction, surveys, or the use of online tools. These will help you to gain insight into their consumer behavior.
Create Relevance, Trust, and Authority
For your SEO to attain high page ranking, consider the dynamics that drive search engines in evaluating sites. Out of the hundreds of factors involved, two stand out and these, make the most difference in how the page ranks.
On-page evaluation looks at your content to identify the relevance and gets it indexed under related topics. Next, the search engines using PageRank assess the links to measure content authority based on external citations. Establishing authority for your page or site increases the incidence of reference and this frequency is favorable for SEO.
While they are important for PageRank not all links are equal, resist the temptation to throw in just any link without assessing relevance to your content. To gain more from these links, be careful to use appropriate anchor text that indicates relevance discernible by search engines.
Before importing links into your site and content, carry out some background check on the sources. It is useful in establishing their trustworthiness to avoid harming your online profile. Any links offered for sale have questionable trust and could get you penalized by search engines. Of late, brand recognition is equally important in SERP ranking regardless of other factors.
The Power of Brand Recognition in SEO
Knowledge panels on Google, for example, provide enough information for the user without further clicks. A search engine provides information without displaying the source except one brand featured in the panel.
Whereas that information could be from your site, a bigger and more recognized brand in your industry will feature instead of your disadvantage. That means to improve your SEO, build your brand to earn recognition in the market and online world. This will help you in competing effectively for ranking with the top guns.
Estimates indicate that nearly sixty percent of customers prefer buying new products from familiar brands than emerging ones. Brand recognition generates trust and is key to the making of purchase decisions by consumers as well as the conduct of their organic searches. In one survey, nearly 70% of consumers said they search for a known retailer in SERPs before clicking on one.
Basically, what this means is that brand recognition is dictating the SERP click-through rate (CTR) in search engines regardless of position in SERP ranking. Your takeaway here must be the marketing and brand building to attain recognition in the market and improve your SEO.
Picture 3. The importance of brand recognition
Optimize Mobile for SEO
Smartphones have dramatically changed the online search scene. Mobile website traffic is at over 50% searches worldwide in Q2 of 2020 and Google is fine-tuning their mobile-first index.
What this means for SEO is the need for realignment of strategy towards mobile-friendly content for better ranking and improved user experience. However, having the same content for both desktop and mobile creates a seamless, responsive design that perfectly serves SEO goals. Mobile has faster page load times. It is due to AMP that increases ad view capacity, improved server speed and performance, and less data consumption.
To know how to improve SEO and get the best out of mobile SEO, pay attention to content format. Ensure that it’s easy for indexing and crawling in mobile besides being similar to the desktop version. Optimize text, images, videos, and meta titles for mobile applications without forgetting the emerging voice search preference.
With the emphasis on speed, know how to design accelerated mobile pages or AMP to provide a superior user experience with high speeds and light pages. You may have to prepare and send your mobile content to Google for caching, pre-rendering, and preloading before presentation in links for users. The appearance improves in mobile SERPs and earns you more conversion rates, fewer bounces, and enhanced time on site.
Keep Your SEO Clean
Search engines have thresholds that all sites must adhere to or risk penalties. Understand these standards to keep your site from SEO related penalties and to retain your site integrity for better ranking. The penalties are often due to poor link usage and it pays to know what best practice is and what to avoid.
Paid links are especially risky as Google assumes you intend to skew their search results-based link authority. To avoid the penalty for this when you buy ads, invoke the ‘no follow’ attribute to guide the search engine. Article and web directories may be unnecessary. They add no value to your site, including international links from places you do not operate.
Clean your SEO to rid it of coupon codes, affiliate, and comment spam, substandard widgets. Also reduce the percentage of link exchanges, poor anchor text, and non-editorial links.
To work your way around this, start by compiling a list of all links to your site using two or three different tools for comprehensive results. Identify and address problem links by requesting the responsible sites to remove them. Or if they fail to act, use the Google disavow tool to communicate intent to discount the links.
As we covered how to improve SEO, you now know it’s a dynamic field that requires continuous learning to stay abreast. Always be on the lookout for new trends and changes in standards by search engine companies. Learn from industry experts to improve your skills and your SEO for business success. Leading search engines provide write-ups and tools on how to improve SEO. That can help you stay current in the SEO field while leveraging new tactics and technology. Google webmaster has a helpful YouTube channel besides tools and guides to enhance your knowledge.
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