There’s no other way to say it – getting to the top of Google’s search rankings is hard. There’s no other way of saying it. Success isn’t going to happen overnight, either, and as Google keeps improving its algorithm to return only the best-quality pages, it’s harder than ever.
It won’t be wasted effort, though. SEO presents a huge opportunity – there are 2.3m Google searches every minute. Spend the time optimising your site for the right keywords and you can earn yourself a chunk of this traffic to convert into enquiries, leads and, ultimately, new customers.
It makes your job more of a challenge but who doesn’t like a challenge? Here we look at five methods guaranteed to improve your website’s keywords rankings.
Commit to the right keywords
We’ve just told you it’s going to take a big effort, so don’t spread yourself too thinly.
Spend time identifying the best keywords for your business. To start with, especially if you have a limited budget, stick to no more than two or three. ‘Best’ is subjective, and means different things to different people. For some businesses it will be relatively straightforward; for others it may take more thought.
Google Keyword Planner is the perfect starting point and it’s free to use (all you have to do is create an AdWords account; you don’t actually have to spend any money). Take your knowledge of your business and identify keywords that are relevant and have a good search volume without being too competitive. Going after the top spot for something like ‘insurance’ might be a bit too ambitious! Try to identify a niche that works for you.
Keep on reviewing these regularly. If you discover a different keyword that is working well, go after it.
Relevant quality content
The next sure-fire way to rise up the rankings is to create high-quality content. To ensure it’s valued by your audience, do some research into what makes them tick. Find out which questions they’re asking and the challenges they want to overcome – then create content to meet their needs.
43% of B2B marketers say blogging is their most important type of content, so creating a blog on your website is a great place to start. But to reach the highest number of people, you need to mix it up with videos, infographics, ebooks, articles, quizzes, listicles – the list goes on.
Keep your content releases regular
To keep your users and Google coming back for more, you need to make your content releases regular. It’s not good enough to create one piece then sit back and watch what happens. In the fast-paced online world, content can quickly be forgotten.
Regular content can help to secure repeat visitors. If users know you regularly add useful articles to your blog, they’ll keep coming back for more. If you post erratically or once in a blue moon, there’s no reason to.
To keep your expectations in check, don’t expect immediate results. In 2018, John Mueller, a senior webmaster trends analyst at Google, reiterated that it can take time to see your rankings increase. This is because Google’s algorithm has to carry out a re-evaluation of your entire site after changes have been implemented.
Don’t just sit back and wait – regular and continuous improvements are more effective than thinking you can do everything in one go.
Do some outreach
Giving your content a helping hand in reaching its audience is another highly recommended strategy.
By identifying, contacting and working with influencers that resonate with your target audience, you can build your authority and reach a new group of people predisposed to enjoying your content. Don’t be militant with anchor text as this can appear spammy, but it doesn’t hurt to suggest the keywords you value.
There are lots of tools out there that can help you make the process as smooth and manageable as possible.
Make your site as speedy and mobile-friendly as possible
Remember, it’s not just about keywords. You could have the most interesting and shareable content on the best-written webpages in the world, but if your site is too slow, and hard to read on mobile, you’re severely handicapping your potential.
Optimise those images, remove unused marketing tags, test, test and test again to ensure your site is performing as well as possible. Speed and usability mean more people will spend more time on your site. They’ll read the content you spent so long writing and want to find out more about your offering. Google will recognise this and reward you for it!
Keep at it
It may be a hard slog but the end results will be worth it. A little effort every day will have you well on the way to SEO success, and you can watch the leads come pouring in!
If you find you need some extra help, you can always employ an agency to help you with copywriting services. You’re not alone – 55% of marketers say blog-content creation is their top inbound marketing priority. You just have to do it that bit better than your competitors…