So, now you have the basics downpat, let’s look at some concrete tips and techniques you can use to boost your website’s chances of on-page, off-page, and technical SEO success.
Keyword Research and Analysis
Ask the layperson what SEO is, and you’ll most likely get ‘keyword research’ as a response.
Well, keyword research isn’t the be all and end all of SEO – but it is super important. Keyword research is the process of unearthing those questions driving your target audience’s searches online. If you can get an idea of the exact phrases and terms they’re using when they input those words into Google’s search bar, you’re better placed to answer those questions with your website and content – and, accordingly, rank higher.
To do all that, you’ll need a keyword research tool. The best ones, like Semrush and Moz, tend to come with heftier price tags. But you can also leverage free keyword research tools, such as WordStream, to get started for free – or cash in with a free trial of a paid platform while you learn the ropes.
Now you’ve got to grips with the keywords, you’ll want to start integrating them into your website’s:
- Title tags
- Header tags
- Meta titles and descriptions
Your site will also need a URL structure that Google can understand. This means no long, complicated URLs – just concise, keyword-rich ones that instantly convey a sense of what the page is about. Be sure, too, to link accurately and meaningfully between your pages – but only if it makes sense to within the page’s context and information.
Why is this important?
Well, when you publish a piece of content to the internet, you ‘submit’ it for search engines to have a look at. Search engines use bots (called ‘spiders’) to ‘crawl’ your pages, sifting through them to understand them, categorize them, and make sense of their relationship to one another. The more (and more accurately) you’ve linked between your site’s pages, the easier you make this whole process for Google.
Your page doesn’t exist in isolation, but in relation to – and in competition with – the rest of the internet. Likewise, your SEO efforts shouldn’t work in a vacuum, but in harmony with the rest of the internet’s thriving ecosystem of content.
So pen a guest blog and submit it to a prominent website in the space you operate in. Be sure – crucially – to include a link back to your website. Not only for the reader to follow, if they wish to learn more about a particular topic you specialize in, but to gain a small slice of the authority the source that’s linking to your site offers.
Needless to say, you should check first that the website you want this ‘backlink’ from is authoritative – which Google measures in DA (Domain Authority). You can check this instantly when you install Moz’s free SEO extension for your browser. The higher the number, the more trustworthy and credible search engines perceive the website – which is better for you!
Technical SEO is all behind the scenes stuff – but it has a big impact on the experience both search engines and your website’s visitors will have when they engage with your site.
To set your website up for technical SEO success, ensure it’s well-optimized for mobile devices. We won’t go into that too much here – we do that in far greater detail in our guide to how to make your website more mobile-friendly – but it’s vital. Of equal importance is your website’s speed – something you can explore how to boost, along with why it matters, in our deep dive into the latest website load time statistics.