If you’ve got a website, you’ve probably heard about the benefits of search engine optimisation (SEO) and how it can help your website rank higher in search engines like Google, DuckDuckGo or Bing.
How does it work? Google holds the majority share of search traffic, so most SEO techniques focus on offering the greatest influence for your Google page rank. It’s worth noting that Google takes into account hundreds of criteria (known as ‘ranking factors’) when deciding how to rank your website for specific keywords.
In this article, we cover 7 ranking factors that you can focus on to help your business get found online. These are:
- SEO keywords
- SEO copywriting
- Responsive website design
- Relevant and engaging blog posts
- Social media engagement
- Titles and headings
- Meta descriptions
Ready to get started?
1. Conduct targeted keyword research
One of the most important SEO techniques is to use the keywords your customers are searching for.
What are SEO keywords?
SEO keywords are the collection of words and phrases that you embed in your site to boost your search engine ranking. They can relate to the products, services or topics in your industry and what your customers are searching when they’re looking for services and solutions. The more SEO words and phrases you include on your website, the more likely you’ll be found in search engine results.
How do I perform SEO keyword research?
To perform SEO keyword research, start with general and obvious terms that apply to your business. It’s worth testing these meta keywords with an online keyword tool to find other related terms. You should also include ‘long-tail’ keywords that are specific to you – these are longer, more specific clusters of keywords.
Once you’ve made your list, check the keyword search volume and start using these words throughout your site. A rough guide to work with is 2% keyword density. This means that 2% of all words on your site can be keywords. Any more and your strategy could be flagged as spam.
2. Learn or invest in SEO copywriting
SEO copywriting is the process of combining SEO keywords with compelling written content to encourage and entice customers to take specific actions on your website, like signing up for a service or buying a product.
The best SEO copywriting starts with a great headline. It should attract people to click on your website or blog post. Without attractive headlines, your search rankings could suffer.
Should I write with my customer in mind?
It pays to know who your target audience is and what they like to read. So, in addition to SEO keyword research, take a look at what your competitors are doing and what they’re writing for their audiences. This will give you ideas about what content may work for your own audience.
It’s also helpful to work with a professional digital marketing service or experienced marketing copywriter to help you develop SEO-friendly content.
3. Develop a responsive website
A responsive website is visually appealing, functional and usable no matter what device your customer is viewing it from. In other words, responsive websites function properly and look great on desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.
Many website designs already use mobile-friendly features and can scale to a screen of any size. This is essential, as Google’s algorithm will reward responsive websites that deliver great user experiences on desktops, tablets and mobile devices.
If your website isn’t responsive, you can work with a web developer to optimise your website. It’s also good to check that your website works on all major browsers, including Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox.
4. Publish relevant and engaging blog posts
The more you publish relevant content that appeals to your audience, the more you’ll encourage new and repeat visitors to your website. Google likes fresh, relevant content. Its algorithm is built to rank sites higher when they seem to offer more than promotions and product descriptions.
How do I build a blog that will be SEO-optimised?
SEO copywriting is about more than publishing quality content on a regular basis. It’s about mixing things up and keeping it fresh. You may like to add the following content types to your blog:
- short-form content
- long-form content
- case studies
- quotes from trusted thought leaders and influencers.
Offering a variety of content will keep your blog interesting and relevant and provide your customers with content that they may not find elsewhere. In turn, it encourages them to come back for more.
Why is it important to publish content on a regular basis?
Publishing content on a regular basis signals to Google that your site is live and active. The frequency of SEO keyword use in your blog will also help your search engine ranking.
5. Experiment with social media
There’s a strong connection between social media and SEO. If you don’t make the most of social media platforms, it may impact your search engine ranking. So if you haven’t tweeted for a year and you only have 10 followers, your customers will see this when they search for your business. This shows a lack of ‘social proof’, which is why it’s important to maintain your social media presence to help your SEO efforts.
Be sure to leverage the power of social media SEO and marketing to help you generate content. Social media promotions will help you encourage people to share and talk about your business online.
6. Consider title tags versus heading tags
A title tag is the copy that shows up as the link in search results and in your browser’s tabs. Here, it’s good practice to include your brand name and words that are specific to the page. Keep it short so it fits, too.
SEO heading tags is one of our more underrated SEO tips. Heading tags tell search engine crawlers important information about page contents. Use H1 for headlines and H2 for subheadings. H1 is the most important for crawlers, so only use it once per page – think of it as the main headline. Be sure to include your keywords in headings so crawlers can relate your content to your industry with ease.
7. Include meta descriptions
The terms ‘meta tag’ and ‘meta description’ might sound complicated, but they’re fairly straightforward. Simply put, they are the two lines of copy underneath your website’s URL in search results. Without them, the search engine might use random, meaningless copy from your website. Keep your meta description character limit to fewer than 155 characters and make it a call to action, like ‘Find out more about our…’ or ‘Start your no-obligation trial today!’. You can get inspired from other meta descriptions by searching your favourite brands and businesses.
To change the meta description length or phrasing, you’ll need to edit your website’s HTML. So consider how your website function can help you do this easily.