Every site wants the same thing – to rank page one, top ten. Why? Well according to Backlinko, only 0.78% of Google traffic click on results from page two. Only 0.78%, let that sink in (I’m sure we can all relate too!). Improving your overall conversions and Click Through Rate (CTR) means improving your SEO and site visibility – the two go hand-in-hand really. So, what can you do to ensure SEO success?
With roughly 500 to 600 algorithm updates each year, it can be hard to keep track but there are a few quality control factors that Google always looks out for. We’ve identified a few key things we think will help you get started on your SEO journey!
1. Prioritise your page speed.
The biggest movement in the digital world is mobile-first. Mobile is no longer the future – it’s the now. Platonik found that over 63% of Google’s organic search traffic comes from mobile so if your site isn’t optimised for mobile, you’ve probably seen your Google rankings drop.
Start with simply looking at your site on mobile and whether it’s optimised for medium to low bandwidth. Mobile users are often connected to poor Wi-Fi or are running off mobile data, meaning internet connection is slow. If your page takes longer than three seconds to load, your bounce rate will likely reflect this. Opt for smaller images and reduced file sizes for mobile sites. The faster your site loads, the more likely it is a user will stay and convert.
If you’re concerned about your page speed, get in touch with us about a Core Web Vitals report. Launching in Google’s May Algorithm Update, crawlers will now crawl your site for speed, responsiveness, and visual stability metrics. Utilising your site data our comms team will analyse your scores and offer recommendations to improve your site. It’s as simple as that!
2. Look for quality backlinking opportunities.
Backlinks to your website are a signal to search engines that others vouch for your content. If a bunch of different sites link to the same webpage or website, search engines can infer that the content is worth linking to, and therefore is worth providing to Google searchers. So, earning these backlinks can have a positive effect on a site's ranking position or search visibility.
While backlinks are important for SEO, not all backlinks are equal. Some sites have a super high authority such as .Gov or .Edu sites, while some have a low authority like spam sites. Your authority is based on the quality of the links to your site. If the NZ Parliament site linked to your site, Google would see that as considerably more important than a link from your friend’s blog.
There are two key ways to get backlinks through to your site:
- Creating compelling, shareable content that other sites link through to like blogs, studies or thought leadership pieces.
- Look at opportunities for content syndication within your network. You might be mentioned on another site in the text but not with a link, which is a major missed opportunity!
3. Focus on content - actual content, not just stuffed keywords.
None of our advice is relevant if your writing isn’t up to scratch. It doesn’t matter if you’re on page one of Google or if your site loads in 0.3 seconds - if the content doesn’t entice users to stay or convert.
We recommend you utilise the inverted pyramid style of writing when it comes to your content – and get to the point. Readers won’t scan a whole page of text to find what they’re after. Start with the most newsworthy facts, then move on to the main story, finishing with any supporting content. This tip also works when talking to your mum on the phone!
While SEO of the past would have you put keywords everywhere you possibly could, search engines have become so much smarter, with a huge emphasis being placed on quality over quantity. Since Google points users to the content that best matches their search, ensuring you’re answering their query is the key content goal for SEO.
4. Make sure your metadata is filled out!
Metadata plays a massive part in your site visibility. So, what may seem like a small or insignificant addition, could be the difference between a user finding your page or your site drifting into the oblivion. While metadata may seem irrelevant, it can be the key to telling Google about your page long before a person searches for it. Metadata can include everything from your page meta titles to your meta descriptions to canonical tags, so ensuring all of these are correctly filled out is an important first step.
Having well-written and engaging meta descriptions, that highlight your site will increase your site click-through rate, which can in turn positively affect your search rankings. Unfilled metadata leaves google to pull a mish-mash of information from your site to fill in the blanks. What would you click on?
5. Use keywords in the right places.
For best practice when it comes to SEO, you should properly place keywords within the copy and metadata to ensure the greatest success (without keyword stuffing). You should look to include your top keyword for each landing page within the site. Key things to fill out are:
The title tag tells search engines what the page is about and that the page on your website is relevant for that keyword or keyword phrase. Title tags should be unique for every page. Your title tag should be written like this: Primary Keyword – Secondary Keyword | Brand Name
Meta descriptions; while not as important in search engine rankings, are extremely important in getting users to click through from the search engine results page (SERP) to your website. Meta descriptions should use keywords wisely, but more importantly, they should include a compelling description and entice a user to click!
Header tags and keyword phrases
A header tag, also known as an H1 tag, is much like the subject line of your web page. You should only use your keyword phrase once in the H1 tag. This should be included on a page to which you are trying to drive unique traffic.
Search engines look to provide the most accurate and specific information to searchers. The more concise your keywords are, the more likely it is that users will find your website!
SEO can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. If you want the best results, get in touch with our friendly team to find out what we can do for you.