Let’s face it: more than a decade has passed since SEO changed the way we do business, and a lot more had happened within. Various tips and tricks have been developed, tested, and used to boost traffic and convert audiences into customers-some of them worked and some did not, some lost their lustre after being trendy for quite some time. But there are also those strategies that proved to be fool-proof, meaning that they have stood the test of time.
You know what makes these tricks so good? It’s the fact that we have tried them first-hand, and what you will read next are insights from our experiences throughout the years of being in the industry.
But what exactly are these tricks? Surprisingly, they’ve been hanging under your nose all along.
- Get rid of everything that slows down your site.
Way back in the early days of SEO, everyone was after eye candy. Hence the glitter, the graphics, and eventually the fancy plugins that makes one site unique from its competitors. But aside from entertaining visitors for a moment or two, what else do they provide? Nothing. And mind you, these same visitors get annoyed once the pages start to lag, and in the end they feel like checking out your site was the biggest mistake they’ve ever done in their entire lives.
So yes, this is one of the primary things you need to consider in SEO. Remove everything that eats up your site speed. Fix your codes, make do with unnecessary plugins and widgets, scale down your graphics, and put videos only when necessary.
Aside from the practical need for site speed, when a webpage takes more than 3 seconds to load, it puts you at risk not only to losing around 40% of your visitors, but also up to 80% of your target audience (consisting of people interested in your niche but won’t visit your site in particular). Also, Google has already cited site speed as a primary factor in putting a site on the top of search engine rankings several times throughout the years.
Would you be exposing your site to these unnecessary risks? We don’t think so.
- Link in. Link out.
SEO is a community. Site owners share content with each other to make their chosen niche industries stronger, and make them more credible as individual businesses to the same set of clients. Sure, you can stand out from the crowd, but hey, as the saying goes, “no man is an island.”
Linking out to relevant websites helps a lot in keeping you on top of the SEO rankings. Linking not only strengthens your online reputation, but also drives organic site visits from different audiences. You also get the support of other blogs and websites and they would be more than happy to pay your deeds forward by linking you up in their respective pages as well.
The same logic applies to linking in; you need to create the need for other sites to link to you, to use your content as reference, as these will strengthen your clout towards your audience. And yes, with inbound links on your site, the more enticed investors would be towards your business.
- Keep in mind that your readers are humans, not machines.
Back during the day we churn content not necessarily to reach out to audiences, but to make search engines happy. That’s no longer the case today.
Apart from Google doing random spot checks on websites, having quality content on your webpages establishes your credibility as an online business entity. Visitors come to your site to learn by reading your content, and if they see that your posts are merely for compliance and make no sense at all, they not only leave your site-they also give you a nasty review.
Besides, it is through well-written content that you get the opportunity to showcase your brand in a way no one else could, so why miss out on this opportunity? Humans love stories, and you have to tell them yours so they would love you too.
- Put your web analytics running first before even making your launch.
Let’s get straight to the point here: when setting up a project, it is important that you have your metrics in place, so you know how to track your progress anytime. The same applies to SEO. It is essential that you have your analytics up and running before you even launch your site, so that once you go public you can gauge your performance right from the very start.
It would also be easier for you to see which of your content are performing well, how your site is perceived by your target audiences, and from there you can make tweaks and refinements without the extra effort. And most of all, with your analytics running you know how to steer your site to the direction you want to go.
- Say no to duplicate meta descriptions.
Google hates duplicate meta descriptions. Humans may not realize it, but they hate reading the same descriptions over and over again. Thus, you should say no to duplicate meta descriptions. They not only make your overall content dry, they also catch Google’s attention in a not so good way.
It would be better that you write unique meta descriptions. This is your time to tell something about your content in a short but sweet manner, in a way your audiences would want to remember and for Google to keep cool about. Writing meta descriptions also hone your skills in copy writing. Just imagine-you get to sell your site in 60 characters or less!
- Use readable URLs.
Who says Google doesn’t know how to read? Well, it’s true, but Google, and other search engines, monitor search users. Thus, when humans do not understand what you placed on your URLs, then the more confused search engines would be as well.
While it doesn’t really matter if the URL is pretty long, you may want to consider using phrases that catch the gist of your content in the length of 2 to 4 words. The point here is for your audiences to get a grasp of your content through your links.
- Your social mentions are gold.
When social media first came out, it was seen to be the kryptonite of SEO. Platforms such as Facebook and Twitter dealt more on live, organic following, which is a stark contrast to SEO’s thirst to reach the top of the rankings by outsmarting Google algorithms. But in the next few years we have witnessed a marriage between the two, with SEO taking charge of the classic approaches to search engine rankings and social media nurturing human users.
Google has never made any clear study on the impact of social media in SEO, but case studies have shown how utilizing social media communities make a difference to your business. It is because through social media that you create a cult following.
With a following on social media, the more power you have in converting audiences not just to customers, but loyal and caring fans as well.
- Do your keyword research.
SEO is still about keywords. And if you want to make your mark in SEO, you need to use the right keywords that represent your business. But it’s not just about the relevant and related keywords that we’re talking about here. It’s about the keywords that rank and those that don’t.
Using vague keywords may not be helpful to your site rankings since you will be competing against other more established online entities in the same industry. This leads to a harder road to the search rankings, unless of course you use black hat techniques.
Hence, when trying to improve your site performance, it is important that you research for keywords that not only represent your brand, but also those that are effective in securing you a place in the relevant search engine rankings. You may be new in the industry, but with the right keywords at hand, you can be noticed by your audience without feeling the pressure of competing with other well-known sites.
And yes, no to keyword stuffing. Always a no-no.
- Content is King!
There is no other way to express this, but it is through quality content that you are able to shine in the world of SEO. Content has evolved from being mere text stories to photos, videos, and podcasts, but regardless of the format, it all boils down to one requisite: you have to be unique.
Unique content keeps your star shining. It maintains your fresh appeal to your audiences and with this at hand they will never be able to resist your charm. Remember, your audience is always hungry, so constantly feed them with content that they can digest, content they can absorb, and content that they can use. And yes, make them crave for more so that they’d keep coming back to you.