When someone talks about SEO strategies, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? You may think about link building or content creation, right? Well, these two items are certainly valuable, and you’ll find them on our list. A quick search on SEO strategies will inundate you with a host of strategies that you can use, and we’ve got our own list below for you to use. Our list offers you a few of the top essential SEO strategies that you should focus your efforts on.
1. The Site Audit!
If you’re not sure what a site audit is, then you absolutely need to start here. A site audit is an audit of the various aspects of your site such as broken links, images, missing titles or descriptions, duplicate items such as content or titles and descriptions , and so much more. There are a lot of different tools out there, and each one does it a little differently. Some tools see more issues than others based on how they observe site issues.
The site audit is just the first step here. The next step is to begin cleaning up those issues, especially anything labeled as ‘broken’ such as internal and external links as well as images. Fixing these ‘broken’ items will not only help you with search engines but more importantly, they help the people that come to your website. Broken links can confuse and make people leave your site permanently. Broken images reduce the quality of your pages, which can also cause people to leave because they think the site is outdated or abandoned.
You’ll also want to work on those metatag issues dealing with the titles and descriptions of your pages. If you’re getting duplicate errors, then these should be addressed first, followed closely by missing metatag data. Duplicate anything confuses Google and does nothing for your chance to rank as Google will ignore the duplicates. A site audit is necessary if you have a large website as trying to comb through each page to find issues to fix is not only daunting but extremely time-consuming. Your time is valuable and what time you spend hunting down problems could be better spent elsewhere.
2. Content Creation with Voice Search and Mobile in Mind
It’s no secret that creating valuable content is essential to driving quality traffic as well as improving your rankings on search engines, but what about focusing your content on voice search results? Voice search is growing in use, especially with nearly everyone having a smartphone. What do you need to do? Optimize content to answer questions , which not only helps with voice search results but also helps in regular search results as well. With the advancements in voice recognition and everyone’s smartphone having a digital assistant, this is an area where you can’t afford to be trying to catch up.
Also, optimized content for a mobile audience is also a big hit, as such content is also easy to digest on a desktop or laptop. Content written for desktop users doesn’t always translate well to mobile . Google is now ‘mobile-first,’ which means that they index your site based on the mobile version first and then pepper in pages from your desktop if they aren’t available on mobile. However, your website should be fully visible on a mobile device, so that shouldn’t be an issue. What we want to do is optimize the format of the mobile content, especially if there are links or calls to action.
3. Internal Linking: The Struggle is Real
What are internal links? Well, they’re the building blocks of your website that ties everything together. When you create a page on your site and then link to another page on your website, you’ve created an internal link. This means a visitor doesn’t leave your site when they click the link. This should be something you do regularly to tie in ideas or to share an idea with a user who may not be aware of some other page on your site related to this idea .
Tying your web pages together is important, and this is where cornerstone content comes in. Your cornerstone content is dedicated to answering questions, solving problems, entertaining, educating, or all of the above. Check out this page for a quick animated video on cornerstone content. With your cornerstone content, you can start linking common ideas together by making sure that they link to your cornerstone piece.
As you develop more content around these conventional ideas, you may even want to update your cornerstone content. Whatever the case, making sure to create internal linking helps to funnel both users and search engines where you want them to go. It also helps them from getting lost. It’s not a good idea to randomly link articles together with no focus as you could confuse and lose users. Plan for your content to include internal links, and make sure that you focus those links to cornerstone pieces.
Also, an unfortunately common mistake when creating an internal link is to use the entire URL instead of a relative one. By this, I mean copying the URL from your browser’s address bar to insert into the link field. Don’t do that! Instead, remove the domain information to allow the URL to be relative to whatever your domain name is rather than a hard-coded link. Example of a hard-coded link: “https://www.example.com/awesome-content.” Example of a relative link: “/awesome-content.” You only need the full URL if your linking to a different website. This way, if you change domains for whatever reason, you can keep your links in place so long as pages don’t get renamed.
4. Use Markup Language – JSON-LD or Schema
This one is extremely crucial for ecommerce sites and other sites with media. The markup language is used to describe the structure of data in a way that search engines can understand it. A great example would be on an ecommerce site that sells a product. What you’d do is find the code that works for products and encapsulate that information around the various parts of the product. By this, I mean to markup what the title of the product is, what the price is, what the options are, etc., so that search engines can quickly see what the product is, the price of the product, etc.
. Give search engines the information they need to better place you in front of clients. Now, this markup code can be a bit overwhelming as you can markup all kinds of things, but it is important to focus on what drives traffic first and what brings you increased conversion rates.
With these four essential SEO strategies, you can enhance your website for search engine success. Perhaps more importantly, these strategies will help the people who come to your website. No longer will they be stumbling through broken links or pages; the site audit fixed that. No longer are mobile users passing your website by; they’ll find you through voice searches now. No longer is your site a mess of random links; you’ve creating links to cornerstone content. No longer will search engines be confused about your products; you’ve clearly marked up your products with a language they’ll understand.
Authorship: Doyle C.