If you’re like me, you want to have and maintain great credit. Your priority is to be at least in the mid or high 700s. Over the years, you’ve watched it rise and fall and you have learned from your mistakes and the mistakes of others. You now know exactly what initiates an increase or a decrease in your score and sometimes you game the system into giving you a better score than you actually deserve.
To Improve SEO ranking for businesses online is a lot like improving your credit score. While with businesses online you don’t get an actual score, your priority should be to be on the first search engine result page (SERP) for keyword(s) relevant to your brand. Everybody knows how important SEO is, unfortunately, like credit scores not everyone can make it to the top. Search Engines like Google and Bing try relentlessly to ensure that the most relevant results are found in a search query, to do this well they have to use constantly updated algorithms to make search engines intelligent enough to generate the most relevant results.
Even though we encourage every startup or small business to start with paid (see: 5 Lead Generation Strategies to Create Initial Buzz for Your Small Business), organic search equates 95% of all traffic from search engines and paid search just 5%. With over 80% of B2B transactions starting with a search, organic ranking is highly essential for success. The problem is growing your search engine ranking can take a while, usually 3-24 months with a dependable strategy, but don’t fret, there is a way to improve SEO ranking much quicker. It’s not going to be easy, but to understand it, let me quickly tell you a bit about the Google spiders and search engines.
Google spiders crawl the Web by going from link to link to link and so on, provided that the links are do follow. When spiders find a link with rel=”nofollow” supposedly, they stop.
For every page a spider lands on, they evaluate the content and send their findings back to the algorithm to be sorted. Quality, freshness and authority all play a role in determining your rankings.
Search Engines like Google want to continue to bring you relevant results, but some people who understand the algorithm try to game the system (like I do with my credit score). Unlike Experian, Google takes gaming the system very seriously, there are penalties and you could be blacklisted if you are caught doing this. However, Google continues to improve on its algorithm so that it’s much tougher for irrelevant content no matter how well they use keywords and link to rank high. (For more details on SEO history, you can check this article by Hubspot A Brief History of Search & SEO). There are however certain things that stay pretty constant with search engine algorithm updates, they include:
Domain Authority: This is the measure of the power of a domain name and it is based on age, popularity and size. This is useful when considering the quality of any site. Unlike other SEO metrics, domain authority is difficult to influence directly, mostly because you can’t influence the age of your domain name. But an easy way to do this is to improve your overall SEO and build on the popularity.
Links (Inbound and Outbound): An Inbound link is a hyperlink back to your site from another website. To create Inbound links usually means you have to create relevant content and relationships with people willing to link back to you. However, when you’re just building your SEO, you can use Directories, Press Releases, Social Media and Blog Comments to build strong Inbound links.
Outbound links are links that take you to other websites. Just like with this article where we have quoted and linked to a few other websites, outbound links are essential, they help search engines tell that your content is relevant, they’re also inbound links for someone else.
Titles and Headings: If the title of your content has your keywords, this is a plus. If headings within your content and text within your content has your keywords, this is also a plus. But remember, your content must always be targeted towards human beings and not search engines. If you manage to get a high SEO ranking because you squeezed titles, headings and links into a page, but your content makes little or no sense and you get high bounce rates, you’re penalized and you fall down the ranks. So, remember to use your keywords in your content appropriately.
Also, longer content ranks higher, usually content with 1,890 words or more. But don’t get carried away and write a short novel. Using a single image within content will increase search engine ranking also.
So now that you know all this, how can you use it to Improve SEO ranking quickly?
While some experts will advise you to try and rank for several keywords at once, to build quick ranking, you need to focus on very few keywords, usually not more than three. Don’t abandon your other keywords, continue to build them, but pick a few to focus on for the month.
Use tools like SEMRush to determine what will be good keyword(s) to start with. Once you’ve decided on your keyword(s), build a landing page and name it one of the keywords you are looking to rank for. Don’t make the name too long. Please understand that your landing page isn’t a blog article. This is a page dedicated to a service or services you offer. Make sure you have links from within the rest of your site that point to this page, and especially from your homepage. Make sure you have links on the landing page that point to other pages on your site as well(probably blog articles), and then ensure that you have outbound links to reputable sources. A big plus is a relevant video on this page.
Once you publish your page, you need to start linking to it. Write blog articles and refer people to the page from your articles. Conversations on social media should also refer people to the page. Look for inbound links, send out a press release, talk to influencers in your industry who you have relationships with. Remember not to work like a spammer, your contribution to blog comments and social media should be relevant.
And finally, but also very important, start to watch your keyword(s) as it progresses week after week (you can use the Moz tool to do this). Continue to get inbound links and continue to refer traffic from your blog.
An example of a landing page that does some of this brilliantly is www.talkspace.com/online-therapy (see screenshot below).
To Improve SEO ranking, always remember, your content needs to be top notch. If people are bouncing off your landing page pretty quickly, it doesn’t help. You can continue to improve SEO ranking on your landing page by understanding how people are interacting with it. Use tools like hotjar to record interactions with your landing page and use the results to make improvements.
Growing and maintaining SEO ranking is a continuous process and to succeed here requires hard consistent work.