When you’re starting with your search engine marketing (SEM) efforts, there are a number of terms and acronyms that you should understand. However, it all boils down to how high your website ranks on search engine results pages (SERPs) and whether you paid or used organic strategies for that ranking. That is, organic as opposed to paid search marketing.
If you are wondering which one is better for your business and which course you should take, the answer is both. It’s because your paid search efforts will be more effective paired with good organic optimization (SEO) of your website. In the same way, your SEO efforts will benefit from the insights your paid ads provide.
Still, considering the fact that between 70% and 80% of internet users completely ignore paid ads, it’s easy to see what you should concentrate on. And while you will not see immediate results from your SEO strategy, if developed and executed the right way, it will pay off in the long run.
But SEO can be a complex, demanding, and ever-changing field, as search engine algorithms are constantly evolving, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices. So if you want some help along the way your best bet is to hire a specialized SEO agency with industry experience and expertise in various business sectors. If a business wants to take advantage of SEO, especially link building, a company offering white label SEO services may be something worth considering to ensure long-term success.
If your ultimate goal is to improve organic search ranking, the following article will provide a comprehensive overview of this topic, including the best tactics, strategies, and tips to improve a website’s visibility in the organic search results.
Do Keyword Research and Target Those That Match the Intent
One of the most efficient ways of improving your organic search rankings is conducting keyword research. Keyword research gets you a better insight into what people are searching for on search engines and helps you recognize the right keywords to target.
You should start by targeting long-tail keywords, which, unlike short-tail keywords, tend to be more unique and less competitive. Given that long-tail keywords have a low search volume, the competition is also much lower. Since there’s less competition around the good positions on the first page, it means that you can more easily and quickly rank for the keyword and therefore end up higher in the SERP and attract more targeted traffic to your website.
As soon as you identify relevant keywords, proceed by matching them to the search intent. There are three basic types of search intent:
- Informational intent. Where the searcher wants to obtain data, guidance, or a how-to about a specific subject. A perfect example of an informational query is: “How do I make a banana smoothie.”
- Transactional intent. This query points out that the user wants to buy something. A good example of a transaction query would be “buy new jeans.”
- Navigational intent. This type of query demonstrates that the seeker wishes to visit a specific website. An example of a navigational query is “Facebook.com.”
To make this work, you need to know which type of intent each keyword is aimed at and produce content that would meet searchers’ needs. For instance, if a person searches for “how do I make a banana smoothie,” you would write a thorough article with images or even a video demonstrating how to do it. If a person searches for “buy new jeans,” you would then build an effective product page that offers user reviews, product characteristics, an online shopping cart, and other things a visitor needs to make a final purchase.
Work on Your On-Page SEO
On-page SEO is an essential method for driving organic traffic to your website through the SERPs and focuses on optimizing content, layouts, performance, and technical aspects, such as keywords and meta tags, and everything that can ensure that your website is functional, fast, visually pleasing and mobile-friendly.
So how do you optimize on-page SEO, you might wonder? As mentioned above, you need to implement several different tactics for SEO to work in your favor. Below we share an overview of what you need to know and do to boost your on-page SEO.
Include Keywords in Meta Title and Description
A meta title appears as a heading below the URL in search results. Readers often check the meta titles to determine if the content matches their search intent. Using keywords in the meta title can therefore increase relevance and the likelihood that more people will click and read your content.
Likewise, it can be good to include keywords in meta descriptions. They are displayed below the meta titles in the search results. Google claims that meta descriptions are not a direct ranking factor. However, it can still provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the page’s content and increase the likelihood that they will click.
The URL structure is another important SEO factor. When you create a URL that includes keywords, it becomes more obvious what the page is about, both to the reader and the search engine.
However, URLs must be concise. Use as few words as possible and avoid redundant interjections.
Add Internal Links
Linking to other relevant pages can help readers navigate your website and find more information. It also helps Google to index and understand the pages on your website.
Internal links can send page authority to important and relevant pages and are essential to increasing your website’s SERP ranking. Try to include at least one internal link per page. It is also good if you include the keyword in your anchor text (that is, the clickable link).
Improve Your Technical SEO
Technical SEO is the process of improving your website’s technical elements so that search engines can crawl, index, and display your pages appropriately. It is a little more complicated to get right than on-page SEO, but just as important. One of the most important aspects of technical SEO is the speed of your website.
If it requires a lot of time to load, it frustrates visitors. They, they leave before even seeing what services or products you offer. In addition, Google also takes into account the site speed when ranking sites in search results. For this reason, make sure your website loads fast by optimizing images, minifying code, using a content delivery network (CDN), as well as caching plugins.
Also, remember the importance of creating a mobile-friendly website. As more and more people are using mobile devices to access the internet, your website must be optimized for mobile devices, meaning it should have a responsive design, load fast, and look appealing on all screen sizes.
Lastly, indexing is also considered an essential aspect of technical SEO. Indexing takes place when a search engine lists a web page. And it is only when a page has been indexed that it appears in the search results. How high up in the search results an indexed page ends up depends on several factors. These include how well you optimize it with relevant keywords. How you place these keywords on your page can play a big role in your ranking in the search results and is an important part of SEO.
For example, if you want to check whether your web page is indexed, you can try entering the site’s domain name in Google’s search field. In the search results, you will then be able to see which pages have been indexed by Google so far and if you would like to see whether a specific page is indexed, you only need to enter the page’s URL in the search engine.
Create Cornerstone Pages
It is more than likely that your website has multiple pages loosely based on the same keyword or subject. To successfully drive traffic, you should use innovative cornerstone content.
Cornerstone content is the core of your website. These are the best and most important pages or articles on the site, the pages that you want to rank highest in the search results. In general, cornerstone content is pages or articles that have extended and informative content. Plus, content that combines insights from different articles and contains everything significant within a specific topic.
The focus of these pages and articles is on having the most exhaustive information on a subject. This is opposed to selling products. However, they should still reflect your brand and communicate your expertise in the best way.
Both articles and pages can be cornerstone content. But make sure to update them regularly and aim to rank them high in the organic search results.
Improving your website’s organic search ranking can have a significant impact on your business’s traffic and sales. However, with search engines’ algorithms constantly evolving, it can be hard to stay on top of your SEO efforts.
While this article listed four basic tactics to improve organic search rankings, make sure to always stay up-to-date with the latest developments. And if you truly want to ensure your strategy is successful, you should consider hiring a specialized SEO agency to help you out.