You can search Google for literally anything, and the results will number in thousands or even millions. However, by the time you’re done reading this guide to an effective 2020 SEO strategy, you’ll be equipped with the skills to help your business rise above its competition on the internet. But first, here are a few things you need to;
- Produce the best content
- Design the best content distribution plan
- Get the best site optimisation
Search-Intent Oriented Content
The problem with the web is that it has too much content, and although users don’t expect all the results to be good, they certainly want actionable results on page 1.
Can you imagine yourself digging through millions of results to find an answer to your query? Users may not concern themselves with how Google filters the most relevant results on a daily, over 79,000times per second, but as a website owner, you are different; you need to know how to come out on top of the results.
How does Google decide which pages should be at the top?
Here are over 200 major ranking factors that satisfy user search intent;
- Have a clear Grasp of what exactly you are offering to your users
There is a good explanation as to why you created your site in the first place, and the reason is the foundation of your entire plan. Your goals could be to sell products or spread information such as news and research or entertain visitors with your original content.
What makes the ‘why’ behind your creation so important?
If you can name it with clarity, then it brings you to the next step of the plan: which people you want to attract to your site.
If your relationship with them is going to decide the fate of your site, then they are your target audience.
Once you have decided on the ‘why’ and the ‘who,’ it will be followed by the ‘how.’ The reason there are many different types of websites is that some are better suited for specific functions than others. For example; e-commerce websites are best for product sales while blogs are the best for article sharing.
If you’re not sure whether you’re current website layout suits the activities of your business, then you’ll need to sort that out before anything else.
Many brands err at this first step because they don’t strategise effectively. Make sure you do better than that.
- Pick keywords that will lead users to your content
Users will enter all sorts of keywords into Google, and you need to ensure the relevant ones lead to your site. A few of them will be able to land on your website. The trick is to look for those few phrases and make them your keywords.
How do you know you have found what you need?
- They reflect what you have to offer
These short, vague words such as ‘buy boots’ will not be of any use even if a miracle lets you outrank the big brands. You’re at risk of bringing in users who do not want the kind of product you have. You should try optimising for more specific phrases like ‘winter boots for women.’
- They have a high search volume
The more people use a search phrase in a given area, the more people you can turn into your users. Keywords that have a low search volume can also be helpful, but only if you use many at once to make up for their low individual potential.
- Proceed to create high-quality content
People are getting better at making great content, and the quality standards keep rising. The good news is the core principle remains the same hence; give users the best version of what they’re looking for.
How do you make such content?
- Research accurately and deeply about what the users want, and in most cases, users always want more detail. If they can get those details from you, then you already have an advantage.
- Your content should be visually appealing. We know that we humans are visual creatures and so you must be able to make a first good impression and make it last.
- Aim at providing the best user experience you can. Let your site help and welcome your users and not get on their nerves.
- Address your users’ pain points and look forward to providing them with a solution. Revive the problems in their heads and make them eager for the solutions you are about to offer.
- Always give detailed solutions to your users’ problems. Users are unaware of the pitfalls that they encounter on their way to their goal. Make sure to include solutions to these issues, just like real experts.
- Last but not least, seal the deal with a call-to-action. Connecting the relevant pieces of content on your site with links will turn your users’ journey into a cycle that ensures they will keep your website. It will be easier for them since they are already familiar with the whole process.
Keyword Research & Optimization
Have you come up with any ideas on how to make your users’ dream content?
Great job! There is a good reason to be proud of yourself.
It is now time for the next step: it entails helping users find your content in search engines using keywords.
In the previous part, content is said to be tailored to users’ search intent, and the same applies to keywords.
The phrasing is precisely what users are looking for; therefore, keywords that are phrased with a specific intent in mind are the best at bringing in the audience you targeted.
- Plumber in my city: Your site is for users from your city who need plumbing services.
- How to remove rust off my sink: You provide instructions for removing rust stains from metal surfaces, in bathrooms and kitchens.
- Sell my old books: You buy books (and likely other stuff too) from which people who don’t find them of use anymore.
What is the best way to search for keywords?
You will start with ideas of your own, but you won’t know if those ideas are good unless you test them. It is here that the SEO tools come in! This is a job that can only be done by a keyword finder.
- Enter what you have in mind and press search. The Google global searches column will, therefore, show the search volume for every keyword in the table.
- Then sort the table by this column to make it easy to find the best keywords.
- If you’re planning to rank in and get traffic from a particular region, you can narrow down your keyword search to a specific geographical area in the settings (or by clicking on Add location).
- Here the Google global searches will be called Google local searches.
Note that, all keywords filter. By clicking on it, it opens a menu where you can opt to show only regular keywords or only question keywords.
The Question keywords filter is particularly essential if you want to optimise your site for voice search.
There are more ways to find keywords
- From Google Search Console: If you have connected your WebCEO project to your Google Search Console account, it will then start drawing data form Google. You can check out the keywords from Google Search Console tool for all the queries that bring your website traffic after being found in search. It also shows the usefulness of each query through statistics that include click-through rates and average ranking positions that are taken from global data over the past 30 days.
- From your competitors: It is a two-way process that concerns itself with what keywords your competitors use to optimise their sites. First, you enter their URL address in the Spy on Competitors tool to find out what keywords gain them traffic. Secondly, Add the keywords that you would like to rank for yourself to the keyword basket, and then finally open the competitor Rankings by keyword report to check their rankings for those keywords. If you see that someone has been poorly ranked for a correct keyword then start using it yourself, it is an easy way to outrank them.
And that covers keyword research.
With your list of keywords that you would want to use, it is time to optimise them for yourself. Include everything from your list at some point
- Page URL addresses
- Meta descriptions
- Image filenames, ALT attributes and captions
- H1-H4 headings
- Anchor texts of internal links
- Other text
To rise above your competition, you need to review your website’s performance and your competitors’ as well. How do you measure a website’s success? This can be done by analysing its ranking, traffic, conversions and the revenue it makes.
The SEO strategy is supposed to make you more successful than any of your rivals in your niche. Have an eye on a few competitors that you want to beat, and this will be easy for you to review their metrics whenever you want to. Sometimes you might be aiming at the wrong rivals and possibly be fighting with someone else, or sometimes you can be beaten at your own game.
Hence our starting point is the Dangerous competitor’s tool.
- Click the settings button
- Keywords tab: Enter the keywords you want to rank for
- Search engines tab: Select the search engine where you would want to be ranked
- Mirrors and subdomains tab: Enter the URLs of your site’s mirrors and subdomains (in case you have any). It will let the tool know that you shouldn’t be considered a competitor site.
- Search resets tab: check the boxes of all types of search results you would want to scan.
- Local searches tab: select regions like states, countries or provinces that show the keyword demand( in case you want to rank somewhere in particular and not globally)
- Click save after you finish filling everything out.
This tool will generate a graph and table. Make sure to look for the sites above yours in the table. They are dangerous competitors.
Make an effort to visit these sites personally and see if they specialise in the same field as you.
Irrelevant sites are likely to appear if they happen to rank for the keywords that you entered without sharing a target audience with your website.
With this tool you discover your real rival and ensure to fight them with every trick you have got;
- Creating content
- Promoting content
- Providing a good user experience
- Building cordial relationships with users
- Optimising your site
Watch the metrics that reflect your progress, and there is no better way to find out if something is wrong.
- Rankings: Compare your ranking positions to theirs for your chosen keywords in the Competitor Rankings by Keyword.
- Backlinks: Check out the Competitor Link Profile report for everyone’s link profile statistics which includes the total number of backlinks and domain authority.
- Traffic: the Competitor Traffic report also has everyone’s traffic data for the last 12 months.
Another essential matter is your competitors’ backlinks.
Look them up, and you may find a large number of opportunities to build backlinks to your site.
How do you do that?
It is easy! Just feed your rivals’ URL to the competitor backlink spy.
Sort the table by the Domain Trust Flow column and put all the best potential link sources where you can see them.
Page speed optimisation
We all know that the internet runs on electricity and data packets move at similarly the same speed, but there isn’t a website that loads at that speed.
And that is how fast we want the internet to load, or else we get upset. So here is the thing; scan your site with the Page Speed Insights tool to check out its loading speed. If your score is low there are plenty of ways to make your site load faster;
- Hosting your site on a fast server
- Hosting your site on a CDN
- Optimising your image dimensions
- Saving your images in the right format
- Compressing images
- Use fewer elements
- Merging elements
- Using gzip compression
- Leveraging browser caching
Errors will always be a nuisance no matter where you encounter them. Users will not like the idea of letting your website go.
What kind of issues could hurt your user experience?
- Broken links
- Broken images
- Broken redirects
- Sever errors
- Missing meta tags
- Indexing issues
- Crawling issues
- Orphaned pages
- Dead-end pages
- Schema markup errors
So many things could go wrong, and you will not even notice because you can’t keep an eye on your site every second.
Thankfully there are fully automated tools for such insights such as Technical Audit tool. It helps detect the most common technical issues with your site and can proceed to fix them.
It makes your job easier, and it is highly recommended. Always set it to scan your site automatically as often as you want. You can set the tool to send you alerts when you get an error on your website and for that click on Reports-> Email Alerts in the top menu.
The other tool is On-Site issues overview that detects SEO errors on your site, for example, issues with Meta tags. It can also be set for regular automatic scans and email alerts.
What else do you need to keep your site free of errors?
In case you don’t have one, the On-Site Issue Overview tool will let you know, but there may be issues with the file itself. Be sure to check that it is formatted correctly and it allows search engines to crawl in your sites’ content. If it prevents them from crawling, then you will not appear in search.
If you haven’t uploaded a site map, its issues can be picked up by the On-Site Issues Overview tool. Use a validating tool to ensure your sitemap is formatted correctly.
Schema Markup Validator
If you are using structured data on your site, always test your marked-up pages for errors before you roll them out.
Google has a free structured Data Testing Tool that you can use anytime. The tool offers guidelines for different page and feature types, and also generates sample views of the results from the data provided.
Practicing these tips with consistency will help you create better content, score more page views, acquire leads, and improve your revenue.
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