Whether writing a blog or running an online store, Search Engine Optimisation is the key to getting online traffic. Google users run 3.5bn searches per day, so you can immediately see the importance of being listed and ranking highly. For that reason, understanding SEO can make or break a website. Here are the top 10 SEO techniques for ranking highly.
1. Write great content
Writing quality content will always be the best piece of advice when trying to rank well. Benefit-focused content creation will make your website useful for its readers. Useful articles will generate repeat visitors and signal to search engines that your website is of quality.
2. Research your keywords
Using a tool like Google Keyword Planner can help you understand which keywords to select and target. It can explain how much competition any given keyword has, so you can focus in on relevant search terms with less competition. It will also suggest relevant alternative keywords to focus on.
3. Understand the market
Take a look at the websites in your niche and what is working for them. How long are their articles, what kind of content are they producing, why do they rank so highly? A tool like SEM Rush can be very helpful in understanding a competitor website but, bear in mind, it is not a good idea to copy them verbatim; instead, consider their ethos and what is working for them.
4. Build backlinks
Nothing tells search engines you are running a quality website better than obtaining high-quality backlinks. Building these naturally by producing engaging content, guest posting, email campaigns and partnering with other similar or related websites can all help.
5. Link out, as well as in
When your website links out to good quality information, a programme by Google called ‘Hilltop‘ reads your website as being a hub source of quality information.
6. Internal linking
As with outward and backlinks, adding internal links to other relevant pages on your website can add value to the readers. This is not only read by search engines as a quality indicator but if another website decides to plagiarise some of your content, they’ll inadvertently be providing you with backlinks.
7. Mark up how your search results display
Controlling how your website is displayed in a search engine’s results pages can help. You can use structured data and rich snippets to enhance how your website is displayed in search results. A few changes to neaten how your website looks on the results page can garner lots more traffic.
8. First & last paragraph, bold & italics
When writing a post, highlighting keywords you’d like to rank for can help tell the web page crawler which keywords are most important. Use bold or italics to draw the crawl bots’ attention to specific phrases. Additionally, focusing on mentioning your keywords in the opening and closing paragraphs can help make clear what the article is about.
9. Image name & alt tags
As you do with words, upload images whilst taking into account SEO considerations. Give the image a relevant keyword as a name. Make sure to always add alt tags to each image too. Images also enrich the article, so try and add at least a couple to each post.
10. Build a social media audience
Social media indicators are used by search engines to indicate authority when social accounts are linked to your website. You don’t need to have very many social media accounts to prove authority, however. Keeping the focus on quality over quantity is key here, as it is with all SEO techniques. Using your competitor research, find out which social media channels drive the most traffic to your competitors and pick the top three channels. Then focus on building lots of followers with those key accounts.