Many people think of SEO as content to improve rankings and, more specifically, the keywords you add to this content. This is only partially correct. Whereas content and keywords are a major part of SEO, there is much more to optimization. For the best results, you need to infuse SEO into your entire site.
1. Change Your Approach to Keywords
Instead of looking at keywords in isolation, think about search intent. Choose topics according to what kind of information users are seeking. With intent in mind, choose appropriate search queries — rather than performing keyword research first and then fitting content around the terms.
In addition, use better keywords. Whereas long-tail keywords do see better performance, too long is ineffective. For this reason, you should keep terms to no longer than four words.
2. Increase Inbound Linking
Publishing great content and expecting users to find it is a recipe for disappointment. You need to take action to improve the visibility of your content. One way to do this is with inbound linking. The trick is to find people who are willing to link to your content.
Run a few Google searches using your main keyword plus “best resources,” or something similar. Use the results to gather the contact details of bloggers and industry experts with popular online articles. Send each of them a short message, mentioning your content and asking them to check it out. There’s no need to directly request them to link to your post — if your content is relevant and high quality, it is beneficial for others to give you an inbound link. After all, it will improve their SEO, too.
3. Focus on Quality Over Quantity
Good news for those struggling to meet their content publishing goals: there’s no need to be posting new content constantly. Google does not use publishing frequency as a ranking factor. Quality of content is far more important.
One thing you do need to focus on is releasing longer pieces of content. This will give you the chance to delve deeper into topics — to show the full extent of your knowledge and present yourself as an expert. Plus, you’ll be able to answer a number of queries in a single post. Both of these contribute to better SEO.
4. Delete Duplicate Content
Duplicate content could be negatively impacting your SEO. If your business is in quite a specific niche, it is easy to run out of ideas and start covering the same topic more than once. This is a particular risk for sites that have existed for many years, as you may have forgotten what content you covered before.
In addition to manually looking for similarities, use a tool like Moz to crawl your site for duplicate content, titles, and meta descriptions. If just a title or meta description is a duplicate, replace it. If a whole page of content turns up, delete it. Be sure to add a 301 redirect to send users to the other page.
Alternatively, in the case you do need duplicate content for some reason (such as it also appears on another site, like LinkedIn), add a canonical tag. This will stop Google flagging the content as a duplicate.
5. Speed Up Loading Times
This year, the Google algorithm will start giving even greater weight to the loading speeds of websites. The simplest way to increase speed is to run a test to locate problems on pages and then delete the slow-loading elements. Images are a common culprit — aim to keep them under 200 kb.
Another thing to do is enable accelerated mobile pages (AMPs). They improve the experience on mobile devices by telling browsers to load content before media elements. AMPs also require less mobile data than regular optimized pages.
SEO is far more complex than performing keyword researching and creating quality content. A successful SEO strategy will take every aspect of your website into consideration. By including all the above in your strategy, you’ll be on track for optimizing traffic, leads, and conversion rates.