What is SEO?
The ultimate goal of the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is to improve a website’s search engine rankings. Ideally your website should rank No.1 on the Google Search Page. Sounds easy right?
However, in order to be ranked number 1 on Google you need to incorporate the best practices of SEO. There are a million different ways of incorporating SEO into your page. Before you make any extra changes on your website, it is important to get the basics right first. Let’s break it down:
1. Choose the correct SEO keywords
First, it is important that you define which keywords you want your page to rank for. In most cases, it will be the product or service that you are trying to sell. In order to find the perfect keyword for your site, the best way forward is research, research, research.
Keyword research is a crucial part of your SEO strategy. When you know what people are searching for within your field, you can optimize your content around these keywords. Chances are, by doing so your website or page will rank higher.
Another thing you would want to avoid is having your website show up for the wrong keywords. This will lead to a low search intent and a high bounce rate. Google takes high bounce rate websites as irrelevant and as a result your website will appear in the lower sections of the search page.
How to find the best SEO keywords
When looking for the right keywords it is important to look at the search volume and competition. It can be almost impossible to rank for very competitive search queries like “performance marketing”, as it is such a generic term that everyone wants to rank for. Even though it might be possible, it would take years to achieve.
Instead of using a competitive keyword, a better SEO strategy would be researching long-tail keywords. Long tail keywords consist of three or more keywords put together in a sentence. They often have a lower search volume and competition but as they are more specific, there will be a higher chance of your audience staying on your article and even converting.
Long tail keywords are also becoming more relevant as people are using voice search, where they will often say a whole sentence instead of just one word. Luckily, Google and other platforms have made it easy for us to find these long tailed keywords. Below are the two platforms you can use to look for long-tailed keywords:
- Google Keyword Planner [https://ads.google.com/intl/en_my/home/tools/keyword-planner/]
- Ahrefs [https://ahrefs.com/]
For the first 200 words of your page keep the keyword density at around 2-3%. For the rest of your content the keyword density should be around 1-2%.
This will make it easier for Google to identify your topic, and rank your page higher. However, avoid stuffing your text with keywords as it will appear unnatural and unattractive to readers when read.
It is important to hit the right balance, as we don’t want to few or too many keywords in your text. If you have too many keywords, also known as keyword stuffing, Google will lower the ranking of your page. On the contrary, if you do not have enough keywords Google is unable to understand what your website is about.
2. The importance of Headlines in your SEO strategy
Attractive headlines are what compel readers to click on an article. Hence, headlines are more important than you think. However, it is also crucial that your headlines resonate with Google’s algorithms so that Google prioritizes your page for a higher ranking. This applies to both the main headline as well as your sub headlines throughout the article.
Practice using persuasive adjectives while crafting your headline copy. The catchier (but not misleading) your headline is, the higher your CTR is.
A few examples:
- 10 Free Tips to…
- 5 Amazing Ways to…
- 7 Awesome Tricks to …
- 20 Surprising things you didn’t know about…
- Great strategies to improve your business 2020
- 5 Easy ways to improve your…
An alternative strategy to create compelling headlines is to add numbers. E.g.: “Fastest Way to Write an Interesting Blog Post in 2020” or “9 Surprising Tips Every Writer Should Know”.
Optimize your Headlines for the SEO algorithms
One of the most important aspect of an SEO worthy headline is keywords. As search engines have a tendency to value the first part of your headline the most, the best practice to begin your sentence with your keyword if possible.
However, always keep in mind that you are writing content to benefit your reader and not Google or other search engines. So always follow your common sense above the rules. If your text is disjointed and stuffed with keywords people will quickly leave your page again.
Even though you might feel compelled to put your keyword in your headline multiple times, please do not give in. This will be keyword stuffing, and something Google does not value.
Use your keyword in 60-80% (3-4 out of 5 titles) of the titles. Add a headline every 200-250 words for structure, and always have your headlines in a natural order (<H2> always comes first, followed by <h3>, <h4> etc.).
When google’s algorithm ranks your pages it looks for a lot of different signals. Some of these signals are headlines and the readability of your page. The order of your headlines tags can help improve the position of a page for a particular keyword.
Furthermore, the keyword density rule applies to your headlines as well, and it is therefore important to find the perfect balance between keyword stuffing and not having enough keywords.
3. The Body Content is Key for SEO Optimization
Even though your headlines are crucial to gain the user’s attention, your text needs to be appealing in order to keep the readers on your page. If your content is too messy and boring, people will skip right out of your page leaving your bounce rate skyhigh.
People have a tendency to only skim a page. Furthermore, they only tend to read the first sentence of each paragraph. So if your paragraphs are very long, there is a big chance the reader will either leave the page or only gain insights from a small part of your text.
It is therefore crucial that you have a structure to your page that makes the reader stay as well as giving them information in an easy and readable way. Luckily, it’s easier than you think. We therefore introduce to you the 3x3x3 method:
- Have maximum of 3 paragraphs below one headline
- Have 3 rows in a paragraph
- Have 3 sentences in a paragraph
Do’s and Don'ts for your Content
Above all rules and small tips comes high quality content. There is a huge amount of content all over the internet, so it is important to stand out. Publishing original, helpful content will help you rank higher on Google. Write everything there is to write on your topic, and Google will see it as helpful towards your readers and rank your page higher.
However, you should never duplicate your content across your website as this will not bring any new value to your readers, and as mentioned previously, Google value helpful articles. This rule applies to everything on your website including: headlines, image alt text, category pages, etc.
Lastly, it’s important to have your audience in mind while writing. Your content should resonate with your audience and it should be something they find very interesting. If your readers love your content, so will Google!
As mentioned earlier there are a million different ways of enhancing your SEO ranking. Here we do not just mean your content, headlines and keywords, but also the technical part of your SEO is very important.
However, you will not come very far if you do not have the basic down for your SEO strategy. So if you are interested in our SEO marketing services, we would be delighted for a quick chat.
Drop us an email at [email protected].