Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing your online content and website to help search engines, like Google, find it easily. Helping Google easily pull up your content will allow them to show it among the top results when users search certain keywords. With the constant influx of content on the internet, applying proper SEO will help your website gain traction in search results and bring increased traffic to your website.
You may still be asking yourself, “Why is SEO so important?”, and that’s understandable. It can be hard to grasp the importance of something until you see its benefits in action. Here’s a concept for you to think over while understanding why SEO is crucial: accounting for WordPress users alone, 2 million posts are published every single day. That’s 24 blog posts every second. You have a lot of content to compete with among top search results.
Now, an SEO strategy can be a tricky process because search engines are always updating their SEO algorithms and implementing refinements. Techniques that may have worked a couple of years ago or even a couple of months ago might not cut it today. In order to help you conquer the world of SEO in 2020, we’ve compiled a list of some of the top tips and tricks.
Focus on user experience
Providing a positive user experience is important to keep users on your webpage. If your site is ugly, slow to load, difficult to navigate, buries important information, or makes it tricky to find things, users will be moving on to the next search result. Think about what they’re looking to find, solve, or learn with your content; then, consider how you could make their search even easier with your content structure, page design, or multimedia use.
- Pages that load within two seconds have an average bounce rate of 9%
- Pages that take five seconds to load have a bounce rate of 38%
Understand search intent
Understanding search intent, the reasoning behind a user’s search, can help inform your content and SEO approach.
- Navigational: A person wants to go to a specific website
- Informational: A person wants information about a topic
- Transactional: A person wants to buy a product
Recognizing the intent of a search will better help you choose the appropriate keywords for your content.
Use keywords in headings and paragraphs
Once you have an idea of the keywords needed for your content, you can begin to research them. There are various free keyword research tools out there for SEO beginners. You will want to research core keywords for your page, along with two to three related keywords. It’s important to include your core keyword in your first paragraph if possible or within the first 100 words of your content. This will help Google decide whether a piece of content is about a specific topic, and its relevance to the searched keywords.
High-quality, comprehensive content
Creating in-depth content about a topic will help Google better recognize it as a top result. Add details, examples, answers, statistics, images, contributor quotes, and anything else that makes it a better piece. Be sure the layout is designed for easy reading to increase users’ time on the page.
Tap the potential of video
According to Google, studies have shown that 6 out of 10 people would rather watch online videos than television. According to Cisco, by 2022 online videos will make up more than 82% of all consumer internet traffic. Optimize your video for search by using relevant keywords in the description and headline that match user intent.
Links are a critical part of SEO — in fact, they are one of Google’s core ranking factors. For Google, internal and external linking is a sign of a genuine website. Use links to back up and enhance your content by sharing a statistic, graph, study, or another supporting piece of content.
What does this mean? Simply that Google now recognizes the mobile version of your site as the primary version. If your site isn’t mobile-friendly your rankings may take a hit, and if your mobile site URL contains an “m” in the beginning for ‘mobile’ Google recommends switching to a fully responsive site to recognize it as a mobile-friendly site.
When it comes to SEO, there’s a lot to think about. It is not something that can be learned overnight, but with plenty of research and some professional help, your site can begin to see high levels of traffic and engagement.