When you build something online whether it be a website, blog, or a simple article, the primary goal is to have as many people see it as possible. To achieve that, you must follow the best SEO growth hacking practices. That is so you can reach the top of the list when someone searches for the keywords that are related to your business or purpose. It can appear to be a rather complicated process to figure out, especially if you have no prior experience in SEO or search rankings. With these practices, you will quickly watch your content leap to the top of Google and other search engine lists.
Understand the Ranking Algorithm
Google and other search engines use various algorithms to decide which websites and pieces of content to display based on specific keywords. It seems simple enough, but behind the scenes, they are constantly changing those algorithms so that there is no way for anyone to use shortcuts or cheat their way to the top. The big changes are announced, but the little ones that happen daily you have to research. When you discover a change, you have to alter your page content and strategy to match what they are looking for.
Examine Where You Are Currently
Next, you have to find out where you are in the rankings currently so that you can figure out what you need to do to improve. There are several online tools and other resources that can help you through the process of determining your status. While you are exploring that, check out where your site speed is at too. If your running at a slower speed than others, you aren’t going t rank as high. It is very difficult to maintain a keywords ranking position for the long term on google SERP. That’s why in some situations it may be worth reaching out to an SEO agency to get their opinion.
During your assessment, if you find out that you have any penalties against your page, those need to be cleared up right away. Even one small penalty can knock you down quite a bit. If you have too many, you won’t ever be able to build your page to the top spot. When you find yourself in that position, you are better off starting again from scratch.
Update Your On-Page SEO
After generating a list of keywords that you want to use, you have to update your on-page SEO in line with those terms. The areas you should be developing include:
- Title tags
- Meta descriptions
- Image tags
Create New Content
You’ve probably heard it before, “content is king.” Creating content includes creating articles, blog posts, white papers, and every other piece of content that you publish on your page must be the best on the internet in its category if you want to be at the top.
It is essential to use data to back up what you are saying in your writing so that users view you as an authority on the topic you are discussing. When more and more people start to see you that way, you’re going to have a better chance of getting high-quality links back to your page which will organically drive more traffic to your site.
Along with the content being valuable, you must use pieces that people are entertained by. Something that is sharable on social media. You can do that by telling stories through your writing. It evokes emotions in the audience and your conversion rates will increase naturally. You may have to completely delete some of your existing content, or you may be able to make a few changes to update it and continue to use it.
One pointer that is useful is when creating headlines, you need something that grabs the reader’s attention and makes them want to click on it. Research shows that headlines with numbers in them have a higher click-through rate than those that don’t. Take that into consideration when updating as well.
Optimize your images
Images and pictures are part of your content and most people tend to ignore the fact that they have an effect on your website rankings. Just like your word content images are supposed to be optimized properly to improve your rankings.
Optimization refers to properties such as size and file format. Extremely huge images can slow down the speed of your loading page, which we have aforementioned that it has an effect on your website’s ranking. Therefore you need to pick the required image formats and resize them for optimization.
There is more to images than just resizing and optimizing. You can use your images to sneak relevant keywords that boost your rankings as long as you name them appropriately.
For instance, if you have a website that sells perfumes and colognes and you have an image for a certain perfume for example Calvin Klein -Obsession , you can name it as ;CK Obsession – best perfume for summer. An increase in such like keywords – best perfume for summer, will boost your rankings on search engines.
The strategy works for image captions, titles and description as well.
Build Quality Links
Link building is the process of acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own website. Acquiring quality links for your website will therefore earn you a better ranking on search engines. This is because for search engines, links are fundamental in the following ways.
- Links help them discover new webpages
- Links help search engines determine how a page should rank in their results.
Here is how it works. Once the search engines crawls pages on the web, they are able to extract content from the pages and add to their indexes. That is when they decide if a page is quality enough to be ranked well for relevant keywords.
At the time when they are deciding this, the search engines not only focus on the content of the page but they also preview the number of links that lead to that page from other external websites and quality of the external websites as well. To be precise, when the number of high quality websites link to your page, your ranking will shoot up.
There are a number of strategies you can use to get other sites to link to you and they are briefly outlined below.
Content creation and promotion – you should create unique, high quality and above all compelling content if you want people to naturally refer and link to. You can then tell the people about it in the name of promoting it. People can only use it when they find it, and they can not just find it, you have to spread the word and even market your content.
Mentions and review – Put your website in front of a number of influencers in your industry. Influencers could be people with a large social media following or popular bloggers. Once you start getting influencers to link your website your rankings on serach engines will go higher.
Links from partners and friends – Ask people around you or even the people you work with to link to your website. It may seem small relevance but having links that fall in your niche matters better than having more value links from unrelated or random sites. You can also opt for an enterprise link building solution.
For your own inbuilt links, they are just as important as the content that you publish on your page. You should only be using quality links from trusted pages. Not following the proper linking guidelines can lead to penalties by Google. You want links that are relevant to your page on a local, regional, or international level that builds naturally on the page. You should stay away from linking to wiki pages, other blogs, or press releases.
Improve Page Load Speed
Your website page load speed is a critical on page factor that determines your rankings. From a user-experience perspective, this makes a lot of sense. A slower site usually leads to a poor user experience, particularly on mobile.
In a study, Backlinko found out that slower sites tended to rank poorly and could not rank at the top of SERPs.
Even without adding backlinks and changing the content, improving your page load speed is one of the powerful ways you can improve your rankings. For instance, if there are two identical domains, the faster one will definitely rank higher between the two.
There are several ways you can improve your page load speed; from buying a quality hosting to monitoring server time response to optimizing page components. There are more strategies and ways to improve your page load speed other than the few core ones mentioned above, but when implemented correctly, they will increase the speed of your load page and eventually grow your search rankings.
Create Content for Questions and NOT Necessarily Keywords Only.
As an entrepreneur who is focused to hack a way into top search rankings, you need to create content for the next successive generation of consumers and not the initial ones. Walter Gretzky once said; “skate where the puck is going to be, not where it has been”. The legendary words have stuck on.
For online businesses and SEO’s the saying is meant to inspire them to be aware of the recently developed trends that are changing the world of computing; voice computing and Artificial Intelligence.
Reports from CBInsights show that activity in Artificial Intelligence space has risen exponentially in a couple of years as the image below shows.
The same analogy reflects in the search results. For instance, Google increasingly generates answers to given queries instead of having to direct you to a web page. To give an example, if you happened to Google, ‘Who is the director of Titanic?’ you will see results like from the image below and not a link from the popular movie website –IMDB.
Almost at the same time, voice computing is slowly gaining popularity and it is becoming a choice interface for most users in the new generation. As it stands, approximately 20% of queries on Google done through mobile phone have been purely voice-only. On the other hand, Amazon sells out its well-known Alexa assistant/speaker routinely.
The bottom line here is, keywords are gradually growing irrelevant in the new world of voice computing and AI. That means, a focused entrepreneur has to try and implement natural language queries. Natural language queries are in other words actually questions people need answers to. Therefore, you need to come up with content that will pop up as the top answer in most search engines, for example, Google Now, or content that will rank in a voice search like Siri.
If you want to find and use natural language queries, it is time to do away with your keyword tool and instead use AnswerThePublic.com. It is an essential PR tool that creates when, what, how, and who related questions.
Quora is also a platform where you can find ready content ideas forthe future. It’s a channel with curated and community asked questions and you will be able to see topics people actually want answers to.
Do Keyword Research
As much as we have talked about ditching the keyword approach in improving your SEO rankings, they are still important. They have been the ‘key’ in separating highly ranked websites from low ranked websites ever sinve and somehow they still are.
You likely have some keywords on your page that you are using to draw visitors to your site. However, what you used in the beginning may not be what people are searching for anymore. You have to use the Keyword Research tools available online and input your keywords to see how often people are inputting those specific terms. For those that aren’t getting as much performance anymore, you have to alter them by researching what people are using.