Search engine optimization is a tricky game—we all want to take every shortcut and trick possible to get ahead, but Google is constantly changing the rules when it comes to SEO. Is a site legitimate, or simply using questionable tactics to rise to the top? If you want to rank among the best, you need to ditch the ineffective, spammy practices, and replace them with advanced SEO techniques that are content focused.
How can you do that? SEO is kind of like going on a diet. It's a slow, transformative process, where results don't just happen overnight. However, if you stay consistent, you'll begin to rank higher and higher over time for the keywords your business targets.
Check out these tips below, apply them to your small business website, and make your SEO campaign a success!
1. Think of keywords from a human perspective.
We all know that the best keywords are the hyper specific ones that are tailored precisely for your business. However, one of the ways in which we can change our thinking of SEO is to put our minds in the eyes of our potential customers. What would they search for? Chances are, it's going to be a phrase or term that is more conversational based, with less of a marketing vibe to it. Think of this way: what was the last product or service you searched for on Google, and what sort of phrase did you use to find your answer? Those are the kind of keywords you want to be aiming for.
2. Avoid duplicate content.
A big red flag for search engines is when your site shows up, and it contains the exact same content or article as another site. Originality is very important for SEO, and when two different websites have duplicate content, the copycat is the one who will see a negative influence on their search rankings. If you're outsourcing a copywriter, be sure that the content they produced is original and pertains only to your site. Tools like Copyscape can be used to check for duplicate content.
3. Perform page audits to find problems.
If it feels like you've been exhausting efforts to optimize your pages, and you're still not seeing results, there could be underlying problems that you weren't able to detect. To remedy this, we use tools like Moz and Raven, which can crawl through your site and point out areas where you're missing, say, a proper title tag, or meta description.
4. Look at your internal linking structure.
When a search engine like Google looks at the way your website is structured, it's going to put more emphasis on pages that are linked to frequently. This is referred to as PageRank flow, which is another important element when it comes to advanced SEO techniques. If you find that search engines are linking to pages with little substance or content on them within your site, such as your "Contact Us" page, you'll want to use a "noindex" code from Google to tell them not to look at that specific page.
5. Write content that makes your customers happy.
If you regularly publish useful content, visitors to your website are more likely to read it—it's that simple! This is why things like a company blog are so great, because it gives you a chance to provide information that your readers will want to click on. Don't focus too hard on keyword stuffing your way into a piece of content that is barely readable. As customers, we want to read stories and articles, not content that feels like an advertisement written by a robot.
What other advanced SEO techniques do you follow? Send us a comment on Facebook or a tweet to @SeafoamMedia with your thoughts!