In the digital business space, getting to the top of search results is a make-or-break situation. After all, the higher your rank in search results, the more likely people will visit your site. It’s no joke: sites that appear on the second page of Google’s search results see 95% less users than websites on the first page.
So what can you do to get your website to the #1 spot on the first page of search results? Well, it’s not a question that has a clear-cut solution (heck, there’s an entire industry that revolves around doing just that), but there are a few ways that you can D.I.Y yourself onto the top.
Optimize Your Website
There’s something to be said about clean, easy-to-use websites that put them right at the top of search results, and there’s a good reason: an accessible website gets more traffic because people prefer using it, and it helps if Google can find it with SEO, and it helps even further when that website can be accessed anywhere at any time.
There are tons of techniques you can do to optimize your website so it’s more likely to appear on search engine results, and while it’s always best to rely on your professional digital services provider, you could work on it with your company’s web development team. If you’re going to work on optimizing your website on your own, here are some things to keep in mind:
Clean Up Your UI/UX
UI/UX refers to ‘user interface/user experience’ and it’s a concept in web design that forwards the idea that a digital tool’s user interface should be intuitive and easy-to-use so as to positively impact the overall user experience. Basically, if a website makes it easy for users to find what they’re looking for and easy to navigate, it makes their experience of your website positive and, ideally, enjoyable.
This means a few things: first, you need to make sure that your site’s sub-pages (e.g. your About Me, products and services pages, Contact Us, etc.) are neatly organized into easy-to-read tabs and categories. This goes a long way into creating a site map that’s easy to navigate and overall better for users and search engines.
Don’t Forget Mobile
One more thing: make sure your site is accessible both on desktop computers and smart devices like smartphones and tablet computers. Remember: more than 2 Billion people access the internet via their smartphone, which accounts for 51% of all internet users. That’s a pretty big customer base that you shouldn’t alienate by having a website that isn’t accessible via mobile.
Of course, if you want search engines to find you (and believe us, you want search engines to find you), you’re going to have do a little bit of SEO.
SEO is the Way to Go
SEO refers to “Search Engine Optimization” and it’s a series of practices that involve making your website more visible to search engines. SEO refers not just to a single discipline, but rather, a collection of elements that web developers need to think about in order for search engines to find your website better.
Here’s how search engines work: when a website is created, it’s logged into the registry of a particular search engine. When an internet user searches for something, the search engine uses a program to sift through the registry to find the most appropriate website. For the search engine to know what the “appropriate” website is, it matches certain words (called keywords) that are present in the website and compares it to the words that a user searched for.
Once the search engine finds websites that match the keywords used by the internet user, it then makes a list of these sites and, using a few other factors, determines which sites go to the top. It’s a complex discipline and it’s best you rely on a dependable SEO services provider to help with your SEO needs.
But what exactly are these ranking factors that Google and other search engines use to find websites? Well, the exact details of that are kept a secret (don’t believe any digital marketer that says they have the one-and-only way to rank!) from the general public, but there are certain factors that have been proven to work, both for ranking websites on Google search results and providing customers with a positive experience.
One of the most important aspects of keeping your website at the top of search results is activity; that is, the more active your website is, the more likely Google will place it as number 1. Active websites are websites that receive a high volume of internet traffic –whether it’s site visits, comments on your blog posts, or constantly updated products and services pages –on a regular basis.
Refresh Your Pages
Google loves seeing websites that get a lot of traffic because it tells them that people like your website, they like what they see, and they trust what you’re giving them. One of the best ways to do this is to refresh the pages of your website with fresh content as often as possible. This doesn’t mean, of course, that you have to change everything about your site on a daily basis; rather, make sure that your pages are constantly up-to-date with relevant information.
But perhaps one of the best ways to have constant, high-volume internet traffic on your page is to maintain a blog. With a blog, you can create content that’s relevant to your customer’s needs and can link back to your main website. More on this later.
Engage Your Customers
Another ranking factor that Google appreciates is engagement; that is, Google likes it when a website interacts with its users, and vice-versa. The more users engage with a website, the more a search engine thinks that the website is relevant for a particular set of keywords and other ranking factors.
But how do you engage customers on your website? There are tons of ways to keep them engaged, and you are limited only by your creativity: start conversations on your blog by having a comments section, site surveys of what customers want to see on your website, heck, some websites even have mini-games. Whatever it is, however, just make sure it’s still relevant to what your customers want and it doesn’t interview with good UI/UX.
Keep People on Your Site Longer
One of the main goals of engaging content and fresh pages is to keep people on your website longer. The amount of time people spend on your time is measured by digital marketers in terms of ‘bounce rate’, and it refers to the number of people who leave (i.e. bounce) the site rather than staying. The lower a website’s bounce rate, the better, because it means people are staying on your website, and the longer they stay, the higher your chances of converting them into leads, and potentially, turning them into customers.
It also looks good on search engines: in particular, Google loves websites with low bounce rates because it lets their algorithms know that the site is relevant to a user’s needs and is engaging enough for people to stay, which ultimately means that the site is trustworthy.
Content is Always King
So now we know that your website needs to be optimized and it needs to be active, and that to do those things, you need content that is relevant. But what exactly does that mean? Well, to put simply: your website needs content that people actually care about. In the 21st century, marketing collaterals that exist solely to advertise a product or service simply don’t cut it anymore.
Rather, consumers in the digital age want more than just being told to buy something, which means your content needs to be able to address key issues and pain points they have about a particular topic. Having a blog in your website is one of the best ways to not only drive traffic to your site, but it also works to increase your website’s trustworthiness and overall value for your customers.
Of course, no one can accurately predict every single your customers will have about a particular issue that your company is involved in, but there are certain types of content that remain ‘evergreen’, which means it will be forever relevant to what your company does and the kinds of issues your customers face.
Take a good, hard look at your products and services and the most common pain points and issues people have about the industry you’re in and create content that addresses them. Remember, this is better than creating post after post about topical issues that would be irrelevant to users in the future.
Personal Value = Engagement
The more value your content offers your customers, the more likely that they’ll be engaged, which ideally leads to them being more likely to patronize your website. Again, the digital age has made marketing much more customer-centric, which means consumers are looking to buy products that add value to their lives; the age of ‘brand-centric’ marketing is over, and people want products that have use rather than prestige.
It’s one of the reasons why evergreen content is important: it’s the type of content that answers important questions and issues people have over a particular topic, and if you’re able to provide that in a concise, informational, and overall enjoyable manner, then you’ve already won half the battle of coming up at the top of search results.
Getting your website to the top requires a complex series of disciplines that professional digital marketing service providers can do for you, but if you want to do it on your own, just make sure you have the bandwidth to learn as much as you can about these ranking factors to, ideally, get your page at the top of search results
Top 7 SEO auditing and monitoring tools in 2020
Are you a newbie or an expert in digital marketing?
Are you using the right professional SEO audit tools to optimize your content on the website?
Don’t worry, here I am going to give you the few tools that improve your skills in digital marketing.
Each and every digital marketer should know how to perform a professional SEO site audit, but doing so entirely “by hand” is a time-consuming and difficult task.
Instead of spending much time on manually handling the SEO, a digital marketer should focus on the most reliable SEO audit tools. These tools will help the digi people to address critical website issues, that creates or brings a negative impact on the site performance.
As a digital marketer, if you want to know more trends, pitfalls and how to establish your business, there are certifications like digital marketing course, SEO marketing, etc.
To help you, I have presented the best SEO audit tools that help to make your website more search engine friendly and achieve success.
Yeah, now let’s walk through each and every SEO audit tool in -depth.
Top 7 SEO auditing and monitoring tools in 2020
Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that enables advertisers, web developers or site administrators to easily track their appearance in Google Search results.
Google Search Console provides tools and reports that help users identify some of the most common technical SEO issues. You can use the platform to check that Google’s web browsers are able to access all pages on your site, ensure that new pages are indexed as planned, and receive updates when Google detects indexing or spam problems on your website.
Aside from the professional SEO features, the console enables businesses to browse the complete backlink profile of their website and track all their keyword ranking positions on the SERPs.
Screaming Frog is among the leading companies in the field of technical SEO auditing, with a consumer base that includes Google, Apple, Amazon and Disney. The company’s SEO Spider tool is a web crawler that quickly analyses web pages of any size and provides technical SEO personalized recommendations.
Use an SEO spider to recognise broken links on your website, find sections with poorly customizable or missing metadata, generate accurate XML sitemaps that speed up indexing, diagnose and fix broken redirect chains, find duplicate pages, and more.
Semrush Site Audit
SEMrush is one of the most reliable and popular all-in-one search marketing software platforms in the world. The system enables its professional Seo audit capabilities through a single site audit tool that diagnoses over 130 technical and on-page SEO issues.
SEMrush covers the full range of technical SEO performance concerns in the execution of a website audit. The major difference between SEMrush and these other tools lies in their dashboard and reporting capabilities. SEMrush offers thematic reports, custom reports that users can access that are specific to one aspect of technical SEO.
Custom reports for crawlability, site performance and international SEO are available – just to name a few. The tool also highlights the major technical issues affecting performance, making it easy for digital marketers to prioritise their workflow optimisation.
Ahrefs SEO audit
Ahrefs competes for high positions among the best and most reliable all-in-one SEO resources. To its credit, Ahrefs offers one of the most detailed and user-friendly technical SEO audit resources you can find on this list.
Ahrefs would provide you with all the computing tools you need to conduct your audits and other services. The Ahrefs site audit software automatically identifies over 100 technical and on-page SEO issues that could have a negative effect on your SERP rankings.
The best thing is that such issues are organized by category and analysed into full-colour chart reports that you can print and either share with your team or present to your customers. The types used here include output, HTML tags, social tags, content quality, incoming and outgoing links, broken images or scripts.
Hubspot Website Grader
HubSpot launched a Web Grader tool that helped companies explore search engine optimization opportunities. Since a lot has changed since then, the company has developed a new and updated version of the tool for 2020.
It is a free online SEO audit tool that generates personalized reports based on the performance, mobile-ready, SEO and security, etc.
To get the grade of your website, go to the Grader website, enter your URL and email, and then get your ranking. In a matter of seconds, you can see a ranking between 1 and 100 as well as a comprehensive chart.
When you have received your study, you can see actionable insights into how you can boost the efficiency of your website to drive more traffic.
BuzzStream could be the cheapest way to handle your outreach to people who can provide inbound links to your website.
While backlinks to your website are vital to Google ranking well, the outreach you do when building a connexion may feel a lot like a cold call. BuzzStream makes it easy to find the right people, come up with interesting email addresses, and watch who’s going to approve them.
BuzzStream lets you recognise outreach candidates based on their profession and how they are active across different social networks — so you know who would be most open to your backlink request and raise your Google ranking.
Moz’s Pro tools
The Moz Pro subscription is used as an all-in-one tool to increase the search ranking of your company. Moz’s range of research tools provides subscribers with the information they need to identify SEO opportunities, monitor progress, report and maximise their overall efforts.
For example, the Crawl Test tool uses Moz’ own web crawler, RogerBot, to examine up to 3,000 links on a given URL. When completed, users will receive an email report describing the data for each page linked to the site.
All the above-mentioned SEO audit and monitoring tools help digital marketers to improve their website performances to a great extent. Each and every tool has its own importance in terms of efficiency. Try them one after the other, based on your requirements. Even if you found any other helpful tools just comment on them.
How to Boost Search Traffic Using Long-Tail Keywords
Are you tired of trailing behind on the search engine results pages (SERPS)?
I get you. Nobody likes losing out to competitors. But what should bother you most is when you invest effort and money in SEO but don’t get the desired results.
If that sounds familiar, you’re reading the right article.
Your SEO efforts may be failing if you are investing in outdated SEO techniques, like targeting short, popular keywords.
You need to revamp your SEO strategy and start focusing on long-tail keywords.
Actually, it’s a sound strategy, backed by research and successful use cases.
In this post, I’ll explain how you can take advantage of long-tail keywords to top the SERPs.
But first, let’s talk about what long-tail keywords are and why they matter.
What Are Long-Tail Keywords and Why Do They Matter?
Long-tail keywords contain three or more words. They are very precise but unpopular search terms. By “unpopular,” I mean they generate fewer searches than corresponding shorter keywords. Then, why do I recommend using them?
That’s because long-tail keywords convert exceptionally well. They closely resemble the actual search queries that people type in search engines. Since they match user intent so precisely, they get more clicks and your website gets more targeted traffic.
One of my blog posts about Instagram Spaces is getting a lot of traction on Google. I compiled the keywords it’s ranking for, and here is what I found:
Note that “how to space out Instagram captions” (a long-tail keyword) beats its shorter counterpart (“Instagram spaces”) in most aspects. It’s generating more clicks, click-throughs (CTR) and gets me to position two on the SERPs.
Though it’s lagging in impressions, that doesn’t impact my website traffic as much as the other parameters.
If you’re still not convinced about the efficacy of long-tail keywords, take a look at their main advantages below.
1. Long-Tail Keywords Have Low Competition
There is fierce competition to rank for short keywords. But their targeting is not as precise as long-tail keywords.
Fewer marketers target long-tail keywords, though the trend is changing after Google’s Panda update. Lower competition means more opportunities to rank as well as more cost savings (more on that later).
Image via Instapages
To verify the low-competition claim, I did some keyword research of my own.
I compared the keyword difficulty (KD) of three semantically-similar keywords (LSI): “lose weight,” “how to lose weight,” and “how to lose weight fast.” Take a look at the results:
Image via SEMrush
The longest keyword had the lowest difficulty score (KD%). That means you can reach the top of the SERPs faster if you build your content around longer keywords. That’s good news as moving up one spot on SERPs can improve your CTR by nearly 30.8%, according to Backlinko.
2. Long-Tail Keywords Help Drive Qualified Traffic
I already mentioned how content that is optimized for long-tail keywords satisfies user intent.
What exactly is “user intent” or “search intent”? It is what triggers users to turn to devices (the web, in this case) in search of information. User intent can be transactional (buying-type), informational (educational-type), or navigational (locational-type).
If you understand a searcher’s intent, you can present them with content they are looking for, which can push them down the sales funnel.
Long-tail keywords help you align content with user intent.
When a searcher types a query like “affordable camping gear in Texas,” (a long-tail keyword), you know they are ripe to convert. You can serve them listicles of top suppliers or tools to search for vendors, or to your own product pages (if that’s relevant).
For doing this, you can create SEO pages with exact-match keyword anatomy. You can include the long-tail keywords in the page copy, meta-tags, and images so that Google crawlers don’t miss your page. You can create an SEO friendly landing page using the best landing page software.
If your content is insightful and high-quality, there’s a good chance that the searcher will engage with it. Being broad terms, shorter keywords don’t have scope for such precise matching. That’s why long-tail keywords are more effective in driving targeted traffic organically.
3. Long-Tail Keywords Are Cheaper
Now, we come to the best part about long-tail keywords.
Long-tail keywords have lower cost-per-click (CPC) compared to their shorter peers.
Image via Instapages
CPC is the actual amount you pay when you invest in pay-per-click (PPC) advertising. If you build your Google ads around long-tail keywords, you incur lower advertising costs since these keywords have a low CPC. As a result, you can draw more mileage from your advertising spend.
Refer to this image from the “lose-weight” example we saw earlier.
Each click on Google ads that target “how to lose weight” will incur you a cost of $1.21. The cost goes up as the target keyword gets shorter.
In short, long-tail keywords can help you excel at organic as well as paid searches.
How Can You Use Long-Tail Keywords to Drive Website Traffic
As you can make out, long-tail keywords can help you win the coveted top position on Google. No matter how often Google algorithms are updated, targeting long-tail keywords remains the preferred strategy of experienced content marketers.
Yes, long-tail keywords are the secret weapon to win more website visitors. But that doesn’t mean that you should stuff them in your landing pages and other pages. After Google’s RankBrain algorithm, such marketing ploys can get you a red flag.
Here are five ways you can use long-tail keywords naturally in your website content.
1. Write Keyword-Rich Headlines
Your page headlines grab the attention of Google crawlers first. So, front-load your long-tail keywords in your page titles.
If you’re wondering how to write catchy headlines, use Google’s Keywords Planner, Just insert your target keyword and hit the “Get Ideas” button.
Image via Google Keyword Planner
Google will list variations of your target keyword.
Next, identify the search intent of the keyword variation you select. Simply, copy-paste the keyword into Google’s search bar and click on “Enter.” Analyze the kind of pages ranking on the SERP. You will learn what kind of content Google indexes for the keyword.
Image via Google
In this example, I can see that service pages are topping the charts for the keyword “affordable search engine optimization.” So, I can either create a new, optimized service page or keyword-enrich my existing service page.
Whatever format you select, ensure that the keyword should fit naturally in your headlines and sub-headings. You can try LSI keywords in the Related Search section or auto-fill suggestions.
2. Write Long-Form Content
When we compare long-form and short-form content from an SEO perspective, longer content wins, hands down.
Why, you ask?
Because longer content offers more opportunities to add long-tail keywords. Your page’s keyword density increases. Plus, they allow you to deep dive into the topic and deliver value to consumers. All these factors add up to make your page attractive to search engines and visitors.
Since our key concern today is attracting website traffic, you need not worry about losing social audiences who don’t have the patience to read lengthy content. You can also use tools like LinkedIn automation tools, Facebook tools, etc to get best results for your social audiences.
3. Optimize File Names
Lastly, don’t forget to add long-tail keywords to your page URLs. Enrich your image URLs as well. The Backlinko research I cited earlier shows that if your page URL perfectly matches your target keywords, the organic CTR soars.
Image via Backlinko
Even Google recommends this. Their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide says that site URLs should resonate with the page content, which is molded around keywords.
Image via Google
Are You Ready to Be a Long-Tail Pro?
Long-tail keywords are effective but underrated. However, seasoned marketers vouch for their effectiveness, especially for driving organic traffic. Today, I’ve explained how they can help you excel at PPC marketing as well.
Do you have any questions about SEO for website optimization? Leave them in the comments below. I’m always happy to answer.
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