New year, new you and possibly a new look or a new campaign for your online presence. Now, we’ve all been in the game of online marketing and doing business in the digital world for quite some time now. Things certainly don’t look the way they did in 2009! I know that I’m glad to say goodbye to pages full of badly written waffle that contained goodness knows how many mentions of the keyword and barely sounded like English (or whatever language you’re interested in using for your webpage).
Roll onto today and things are a lot better. Google – which is still the king when it comes to search engines – has improved its algorithms, so we now have to keep the whole zoo (Panda, Hummingbird and Penguin) happy. And the widespread presence of social media has also changed the way we do business and let the world know about what you do.
So, what are some new tricks to try for your website that are more suitable today than 2009? Here’s a handful of some of the best SEO ideas we’ve come across. If you want to get more advice straight from the guy who ranks at the #1 spot in Google for “London SEO” please visit https://londonseoguy.co.uk.
Super-Simple SEO Strategies
- Republish updates of your old blog posts – with a bit of rejigging, of course. Most of my favourite bloggers do this, as do heaps of podcasters. Grab an oldie but a goodie and give it a makeover. Add some new images and edit the content a bit here and there to include some new material and keep it fresh. Maybe extend some parts and go into a bit more detail. But keep the gist of the article the same.
- Add some quality outbound links. OK, back in 2009, it was the inbound links that counted. Today, it’s the outbound links that count as well. Having good outbound links hints to Google’s zoo of algorithmsthat your page is a hub site. It’s also nice for your readers – who, after all, are the people you’re trying to market to – to give them some leads to new information or resources.
- Create a unique search term or keyword. If you make up a new term or come up with a new idea, because you’re the first to use it, guess who’s going to come up top of the rankings for that term. Time to put your thinking hat on and invent a great new term or name for your technique or service or product. Add a geographical location to the term and you’ve got local SEO at its finest.
- Compress your images. Have you ever hopped onto some site only to be put off by how it took forever to load? If you find that sort of thing annoying, you can bet that your target audience and market will feel the same. You don’t want to annoy your customers now, do you? After all, that’s something that’s been important for businesses even before the internet was invented. You’ll really put off any potential customers who have limited data plans or slow connections (yes, these people are still plentiful!). If your page takes too long to load, then there’s a high chance that your site visitors will hop off and go somewhere else… which slides you down the rankings – all bad for the overall SEO of your website. One of the things that really slows down your loading speed is big high-res pictures, and videos are even worse. Compress the images and you’ll speed things up a bit, especially for new users who haven’t got your site cached… yet. After all, you want to make your site smartphone-friendly, as that’s the way tons of people access the internet and search for things. (Bonus hint: want to know how fast your page actually loads? Visit it on a phone or computer that isn’t yours. You’ve got it cached, so it loads quickly for you. Find out how it loads for a stranger and you get a better idea – so borrow your sister’s phone and try it.)
More Complicated Link-Building Ideas to Have Fun With
- Have a bit of fun with Wikipedia. This can be one of the most fun ways to discover great keywords as well as getting some inspiration for search engine optimisation. The process is pretty straightforward. You hop on Wikipedia, type in the topic you want to blog about and see what comes up. In the worst case, you might get directed to a page or two that contains your topic but doesn’t have your topic as the main heading. At best, you end up on the page relating to your topic. Now you go through the article (try not to fall down any rabbit holes!) to collect your keywords. Look at the headings in the contents section, the See Also section and the internal links within the Wikipedia content. These should give you a bunch of keywords and possibly topics. Follow some of those Wikipedia links from the See Also and other sections, and you’ll get a bunch more.
- Best Of, Worst Of, Top Ten. People love lists. SEOs love lists. In fact, you can buy whole books containing nothing but lists of top tens, worst ofs, best ofs and so forth. In fact, I’ve seen an entire chick-lit novel made up of nothing but lists. What’s more, people search for lists of top tens and so forth. This is where you come in, creating your own lists. You might wonder “Who am I to say what’s best or worst or the Top 10? What if I’m wrong?” At the risk of sounding like a self-help book or some cheesy kids’ movie, just believe in yourself. If you’re blogging on the topic or if your business involves that particular thing, that makes you a bit of an authority. And so what if someone disagrees with your pick? If they care enough to discuss it or comment on it or whatever, then that’s all to the good and it’ll help inch you up the rankings.
- Long tailed search terms – in your title! As any peacock will tell you, a long tail gets you noticed. Short little stumpy-tailed one-word search terms are OK (especially if they’re unique) but longer ones are better. It’s kind of like what happens when you do your own searches – longer terms with more words in them get you exactly where you want to go. In the SEO game, if you’ve got the longer term in your title, then if someone punches that in, they’re more likely to see you (and if someone does, they’re usually a potential customer or client, or at least a possible follower of your blog).
Don’t Forget to Get the Basics Right
However, no matter how many clever tricks you use to optimize your site and get you landing on the first page of the search results, you’re going to have to get the basics right. Ultimately, you are trying to make yourself and your business known to fellow humans and ultimately, it’s your fellow humans who are going to tap or click to drive organic traffic to your site. So, you have to keep them in mind and get the basics right.
Firstly, make sure that your site is attractive, straightforward and interesting. The longer people stay on your site, the higher it’s going to hop up the rankings. If you’re boring, irrelevant and difficult, then there’s a good chance that your visitors are going to think “Not what I want – I’ll go somewhere else”. You need to think about “dwell time” – the time that people spend interacting with your site.
Of course, the main way that you maximise dwell time is by creating great content. If your site is full of stuff that’s a chore to read, nobody’s going to stay there. However, if you’ve got interesting stuff (and links to more interesting stuff elsewhere on your site) then your visitors are going to want to stay there and read your blogs… and come back for more! Yes, indeed folks, Google and similar are tracking how long people spend on your site and using this to move pages up and down the rankings. This is also called a bounce rate and it’s a very important SEO ranking signal.
The golden rule with any online marketing is to remember that while you have to keep half an eye on the search engine algorithms, you have to keep the other eye and a half on what matters most: happy customers!