So you know which keyword phrases you want your website to rank for in Google Search, and who your SEO competitors are that are currently ranking high for those same keywords. What do you do next?
Simply put, you need an SEO strategy. Or more likely, multiple SEO strategies that you can implement at various stages. There are so many things you can do to improve your SEO and so many variables at play that your SEO strategy will change frequently. Start by focusing on one or more of the SEO strategies highlighted below:
Infographic via act-on
Mimic Your Competitors
In our last post about SEO Competitor Analysis, we pointed out many things to look for when analysing your keyword competitors. Take a look at the list you compiled of things your competitors are doing well and see if it makes sense to implement any of these same strategies on your own website. If it worked for them, it could very well work for you.
Please don’t straight-up copy your competitors, though - put your own spin on their SEO tactics and produce your own original content. Ultimately you want to stand out from everyone else, so put some thought into how you can achieve this.
Produce Excellent Content
We’ve said it before, and we’ll continue to preach the importance of having quality content on your website. First, Google rewards websites with great content by ranking them higher. And second, you need to give people a reason to land on your website and click through to inquire about your services.
Start by focusing on improving each individual page within your website. There should be a healthy balance of text and images on every page. Also make sure you’ve made it very clear on your homepage what your company or website is about - if you make visitors work to find that out, they will bounce. If you have dedicated pages that outline the services and products you offer, think about how you could improve them so that visitors feel compelled to read more or click through to contact you.
You might also consider incorporating a blog into your website. The only thing Google likes more than sites with quality content is sites that continuously produce quality content. Publishing new articles every week or so is a great way to let Google know that you’re still an authority on the subject (and hence should continue to rank for your keywords).
Next, you need to let Google know that you’ve produced this great content. This is where you get your hands dirty with some on-page optimisation.
Have we lost you yet? Fear not, it’s actually a lot simpler than it sounds. On-page optimisation calls for strategically inserting your keyword phrases throughout each page of your website, including:
- In your title tags, headers, and meta descriptions
- In the alt tags and filenames of your images
- Throughout the body text
If you’re not sure how exactly to do all of that, install the Yoast SEO WordPress plugin and it will provide a checklist for you to follow in order to optimise each page and post on your site.
Be mindful of not overdoing it, though - the point is to naturally work those keywords in so that it doesn’t look overly obvious that you’re doing it for SEO purposes. Practise White Hat SEO techniques and you should be fine.
Image via Tech-Line
Make Your Site Mobile-Friendly
More than 50% of all web traffic is mobile. With more and more people viewing websites on their smartphones, you can’t afford not to have a mobile-friendly website. Make it easy for people to navigate and contact you as they browse your website on their smartphone. If it takes them more than a tap or two to find what they’re looking for on your mobile site, they will probably leave.
Is your site mobile-friendly? Grab your smartphone right now and open it up on your browser to find out. If it doesn’t quite look right, consider redesigning your site and using a more responsive theme.
Don’t Forget About Social Media
Social media is a necessary evil in the world of online marketing. When used well, it can be a powerful tool for driving traffic to your website. And more importantly (at least in this case), you can use social media to improve SEO.
Off-page optimisation is another variable to the SEO equation that encompasses things that you can do OFF your website to optimise it. Really, it boils down to one thing: backlinks. Aim to get your site link added on other websites, preferably those with related content and of higher domain authority (DA). You can check a site’s DA by using this tool by Moz. If Google sees many trustworthy sites linking to yours, it assumes your site must be valuable and authoritative as well and will reward you with higher ranking and domain authority.
There are hundreds of ways to get your link onto other sites. To get started, check out Backlinko for some backlinking inspiration.
Keep Monitoring Your Keyword Ranking
SEO is not a “set it and forget it” thing - once you’ve optimised your site, your work isn’t done. You should be continuously monitoring your search rankings and making tweaks accordingly over time.
For instance, say you make a habit of logging into Google Analytics once a week. You might notice one of your keyword phrases has climbed the rankings but isn’t quite on the first page yet. In order to get it there, you might focus on re-optimising your site for this particular keyword phrase.
Or by contrast, perhaps a keyword you optimised for hasn’t even cracked the Top 100 yet. If this is the case and it’s a high competition keyword, you might want to replace this keyword phrase with another similar one that you have a better chance of ranking for.