This is a guest post from Vaibhav Kakkar, the Founder and CEO of Digital Web Solutions, a globally trusted agency with a full suite of digital marketing services and development solutions. Vaibhav believes in building system over services, and has helped scale up agencies from scratch to niche-leaders with million dollar turnovers.
No conversation about digital marketing can go without the mention of SEO. While other strategies to drive web traffic are proficient, 61% of marketers say improving SEO and growing their organic presence is their top inbound marketing priority.
Imagine users coming to your website from one of the most trusted places on the web; a search engine. With SEO, you won’t have to spend on ads for this. It’s called ‘organic’ web traffic.
SEO looks like magic and works like a charm, but it doesn’t always come that easily. Marketers spend billions of dollars to rise in search results, and then the everchanging search algorithms cause more chaos than one can expect.
In conditions like these, what should a marketer do? How do you safeguard your website against most of these algorithm changes?
SEO today is about playing by the rules. Gone are the days when marketers could try to trick Google and succeed. These are the times when long term SEO-centric goals can only be achieved when you partner with Google to provide useful content to your visitors.
Today we are sharing 7 SEO Techniques that Digital Marketers swear by.
7 SEO Techniques Digital Marketers Swear By
As search algorithms and success depending on them is dicey, marketers are always looking for SEO techniques that last. This requires several trials and often misses.
Evergreen SEO techniques follow search engine rules and help you bring in long lasting results.
1. Work on increasing user engagement
“Google loves you only when everyone else loves you first.” – Wendy Piersall
User engagement plays a vital role in boosting a website’s search rankings. Web pages suffering from high bounce rates are usually affected due to this.
It’s easy for search engines to find out if a web page is experiencing higher than usual bounce rates or if it’s not able to keep the user entertained for a satisfactorily long time. This just symbolizes the fact that your content or your website design is not good enough.
What you can do to make this better is improve your content. Quality content is a real need. So, create useful content that interacts well with users. The engagement will go up, and bounce rates go down.
2. Improve site speed
A slow loading website is hard for search bots to crawl and for users to deal with. Even in the Webmaster Central Blog, Google made it clear that site speed is considered as one major ranking factor by it’s algorithms.
This just means that in order to partner with Google’s algorithms and to entertain your users, your website needs to load quickly. But how fast is fast enough?
Well, site loading times are way behind the 2-second target. Nearly half of web users expect a website to load within 2 seconds or less. And when it’s the search engine in consideration, faster is always better.
3. Indulge in social media
Be it a blog or a business website, a good social media presence is always required for SEO gains.
Some might argue with this, as Google doesn’t seem to consider social signals as a ranking factor. The truth is, social signals affect page rank and authority. That means in one way or another, social signals are important for search presence.
The reason why social media activity is important for your website’s SEO is that social signals get indexed. Social posts that link to your website might not count as actual backlinks, but as they are indexed, they make a difference.
Even Neil Patel mentions how you can boost domain authority by a few points using social signals.
4. Invest in Local SEO and Listings
In 2018, 46% searches have had a ‘local intent’ and 88% consumers starting a local-business-search on a mobile device either called or visited the business within 24 hours.
This is evidence that focusing on local SEO and listings will help your business grow. And how can you optimize your website for local search?
For those owning a physical business store or office, Google My Business Listing is a gem. It’s a free and easy-to-use service from Google that requires business owners to register prior to listing their businesses on the local SERPs.
This will enable local customers to pay walk-in visits to your physical business location. Also, this will register faith in the genuineness of your business website when search rankings are considered.
5. Let links get indexed naturally
Newbie marketers can often make the mistake of trying to index backlinks using unnatural methods. It’s generally easy to find those indexing services on the web.
Using these services isn’t the healthiest practice, as some of these might even get your website penalised. These websites distribute your links to various web pages with a high outbound link density. After the introduction of Google’s Penguin update, this became a toxic practice.
Instead, let your links be indexed naturally. Google’s search indices are always updating. Your links will be introduced soon.
And if you can’t wait at all, using the Fetch as Google service in the Webmaster tools is a better alternative.
6. Look beyond keywords
There used to be a time when any web page with keywords would rank, but these practices fail with chins to ground in 2018.
Marketers take this very seriously. To boost your rankings, it’s important to understand the need to focus on topics instead of keywords.
We know that search engines are always evolving for the better. Their aim is to deliver the best search results to their users. And while you compete to be the best, expecting to rank on the first page of Google just by focusing on keywords doesn’t make sense.
Google’s hummingbird update focused on understanding the intent behind search terms and displaying results according to that.
As an internet marketer rethinking your SEO strategy, keeping this in mind is the only way to the promised land.
7. Looking for quality backlinks? Guest posting is the way to go
For those unfamiliar with the term, guest posting is a method used by internet marketers and bloggers to increase their web traffic by publishing blog posts on other sites.
There was a time when this was one rare practice as paid, spammy backlinks were taking over the off-page scene. But as soon as Google introduced the penguin update, websites with such spammy links ceased to exist.
It helped good websites with healthy link profiles fly up towards the top of search results, and continues to do so.
This makes guest posting crucial. But how?
As discussed, the new search algorithms do not support websites with spammy backlinks. This means that your website will rank only if your backlinks are qualified. Guest posting is one brilliant way of building quality backlinks.
And how do you do it?
Considering your website is niche-centric, email outreach is a good way to start. List out the top bloggers in your niche. To do that you can use search terms like “Top blogs/bloggers in software development.”
The next thing you need to do is find the bloggers’ LinkedIn contacts and reach out to them with an offer to write a useful guest post for their blogs.
Provided that you are asking a favour, it’d be nice if you propose them with a list of titles that they might be interested in.
If this interests the blogger, they’ll get back to you. Otherwise, tweaking your outreach copy will surely help.
When online business is concerned, SEO tops the list as the most fruitful marketing practice. But the competition and the ever changing search algorithms make it seem complicated.
In the times when search engines are changing 24X7, it is important to have some techniques to rely on. Techniques which are here to stay and have been working since ever. I hope you found the 7 techniques we shared here useful.