How many times have you heard you need to invest in SEO? 10, 20, or 50 times? There’s a reason why it’s being pushed so much. Search engines like Google serve millions of users per day looking for answers to their questions and for solutions to their problems. If users cannot see you on search engine results, they most likely won’t engage with your brand. SEO techniques help your website rank higher in organic search results, increasing your website’s visibility and traffic.
However, in today’s competitive online market, the basic SEO tactics, like keyword optimization and title tags, aren’t enough to achieve the necessary visibility.
Here are 6 advanced tips that will help you step up your SEO game, increase your search engine rankings, drive more traffic to your business, and generate sales:
Update and Republish Old Content
If you date-stamp your blog posts when you publish them, like most blogs do, then the older a post gets, the lower down the website architecture it goes, because readers will have to go to page 2, 3, 4, or more of your blog feed to find them - and search engines have to do the same. Therefore, the higher up the website architecture a page is, the more powerful it is since search engines can access it more easily.
A great hack to boost older content is to update an old post with some extra content, swap around any old references, change the publishing date, and republish it.
Doing this pushes the post a few levels higher in your website architecture, adds more relevant content to your blog post, and bumps up your site in search engine results, increasing its visibility to users.
Answer Your Target Audience’s Questions
The goal of search engines is to deliver high quality, relevant, and valuable results to a specific search. Websites that offer real value and helpfully answer users’ questions will be ranked higher, thus more likely to receive visitors.
Find out what your audience is asking by using Quora, a Q&A social network where you can search for what people are asking and then use your findings to create valuable content for your audience.
For example, here are some of the results when we searched “mobile apps”:
What are the best ideas for mobile apps that haven't been made yet?
What are the top iPhone app development companies?
How can I choose a mobile application development company?
How much does it cost to make a mobile app for my business?
You can also gather data by evaluating trends on Facebook, posting a poll on Twitter, or purchasing a report from a research company.
Align each question you find to keywords that your audience uses when searching for a topic or a solution to a problem. Input the questions into Google’s Keyword Planner and check out some of the suggestions the platform offers. Try searching for a few variations of your question to increase your search results. For example, you can search for "iPhone app development companies" instead of “what are the top iPhone app development companies" and you will get more keywords to align your question to.
Once you've got a question and a target keyword, provide an answer in the form of high quality content, incorporating the keywords naturally into your title, content, URL, and headers to get ranked at the top of search engines results and generate more sales.
Build Your Content in Topic Clusters
Search engines now focus more on topics to deliver relevant results to searchers as demonstrated by Google’s Hummingbird update and their announcement in March, 2017, saying they are no longer focusing on “exact” keyword phrases, but instead will focus on close variations of keywords.
Creating a collection of similar, relevant content around a main theme enables you to cover topics fully and makes it much easier for search engines to associate your content with specific topics, increasing your SERPs (search engine result pages) visibility.
You can cluster articles, SlideShare presentations, eBooks, infographics, or even podcasts under a single topic. To illustrate this, check out the example below:
Core Topic: Mobile App Development
Transcribe Video Content
Videos are a great way to drive engagement with your audience and they’re becoming an increasingly cost effective format for advertisers. However, since search engines only read text, they don’t understand video content.
One way to overcome this issue is to add a transcription of your video’s audio. This will enable search engines to find the content, index it (add it to the search engine’s database), and help pull it into search results.
Most video platforms like YouTube and Wistia offer transcription services for free or for a small price. You can also use services from transcription platforms like Speechpad.
Link to Influencers within Your Content
Linking out to content written by influencers within your industry can help get your content shared, drive traffic, increase engagement with your brand, and boost your site’s SEO by letting Google know you are linking out to high quality content that is relevant to yours.
To do this effectively:
Compile a list of relevant influencers.
Gather their social media accounts and email addresses.
Find specific resources from each influencer to link out to.
Publish your content with links to those resources.
Reach out to each influencer via email to let them know they've been featured.
Mention them when you share your content on social media or tag them in the post image.
Additionally, ask influencers to share your content on their social media pages in order to get it trending, reach a larger audience, and drive more traffic.
Boost Underperforming Content
Often, you’ll have a bunch of content that is ranking on page 2 or 3 of search engine results and can easily be optimized and bumped up to page 1, dramatically increasing its visibility.
Select the tick box at the top to show "Clicks", "Impressions", and "Position", to give you data on the keywords that are bringing in the most traffic, the most SERP impressions, and their average position.
Find keywords that are hovering between position 10 and 25 that you could potentially bump up to page 1.
Once you find a keyword, click it and then click on the "Pages" button, which will display which page it is that the keyword is currently ranking for.
If it’s on page 2 or 3, it most likely can easily be bumped up to page 1.
2. Find pages to push internal links from.
Internal links (hyperlinks that point to other pages on your website) are valuable because they are a direct signal that your content is relevant and valuable. Simply put, internal links are like voting for yourself while letting search engines know about your vote.
Find pages that can be included as internal links in your “easy-to-bump-up” page by performing a quick Google search to find pages on your domain where you’ve used the keyword. In your search query, input your domain name and the keyword you're targeting, (e.g. noasmark.com: content marketing).
Try adding at least 3-5 relevant internal links within pages that have the highest number of external links (hyperlinks pointing to other websites) pointing to them. You can find this information out with link analysis tools like Ahrefs or Majestic.
Once you've added the links, go through the page’s copy and see if there are any adjustments you could make. For example, is the keyword within the title and header tag, etc.?
There’s no doubt that successful SEO requires a lot of time and dedication, but if you put in the effort and follow these tips, you’ll begin to see improvements in your company’s organic search engine visibility, increased traffic, and more sales.