Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the standard process where customers can find the products and services that they are looking for. However, the industry is rapidly changing and business owners will need to ensure they have an effective SEO strategy to promote their enterprises effectively. Take note of the following 6 SEO practices to succeed in 2019 and beyond, and remember that an organic and long-term approach can deliver additional benefits compared to a short-term model.
#1 – SEO Best Practices
It goes without saying that all sites and pages need to be SEO optimised. As per typical requirements from Yoast, the keyword will need to be inserted in the page title, in the first paragraph, in the sub-domain, in an H1 header, have a density of 0.5% – 2.5%, and not be used in another page within that the domain. Keyword density is no longer as important as it once was, but keyword placement is still vital.
Creating longer blog posts is now considered to be a leading factor in terms of SEO, with a correlation between longer blog posts and SERP rankings. It is not possible to know exactly what Google values the most or how it works, though there are commonly accepted practices.
As per research from backlinko, the biggest determinant of search engine success is a large variety of high-quality links from different sources, combined with an established domain. This will result in increased site authority and a better standing in the SERPs. The number of domains linking to a page is the number one factor determining overall position. Focused content also seems to be preferred, as well as content with at least one image and long-form posts.
#2 – Voice Search
Voice search carries special significance for small and medium-sized business owners. This is primarily because voice searches are most likely going to be kept separate from text searches. Which means that in the initial phases there will be far less competition due to a lack of market saturation. Businesses can get in first and take advantage of the network effect.
In comparison, text-based keywords are very competitive right now. Additionally, voice-based searches are typically undertaken by consumers who are looking for a local product and are more likely to make a purchase, compared to text-based searches. While many accuse voice searches as being an overhyped phenomenon, the number of voice ready devices is increasing and it is only a matter of time before they proliferate in the market.
#3 – Improved User Experience
Google tends to rank user experience very highly. The best way to do this is to make sure that your site is as intuitive and smooth as possible. Check how friendly your site is by looking at the bounce rate. While nothing official has been announced, there is evidence to suggest that Google rewards sites that have a lower bounce rate. This is the rate at which users click away from a site after viewing only one page. To increase this very important metric, consider –
- Making longer blog posts.
- Inserting at least 2 internal links per post.
- Removing annoying pop-ups (these will kill the bounce rate).
- Making the posts easy to read without complex language.
- Inserting short videos (this will heavily increase customer engagement)
#4 – Content Marketing
Business owners need to make sure that they have a content marketing strategy in place. A content marketing strategy can be differentiated from other techniques in that it is a long-term approach. The results accrue steadily over time and are not overly volatile. Content marketing essentially entails the creation of a company blog post where high-quality content is posted on a regular basis, at least 3 times per week. This can help to build a reputation and enhance customer loyalty. Companies that blog more see better results.
The benefits of content marketing are well known by advertisers. 90% of all organisations use content marketing, 78% of CMOs see custom content as the future of marketing, and 80% of people appreciate learning about a company through custom content.
Content marketing cannot be left out from any online strategy and should form the core component of any digital marketing campaign. It is the primary way to establish site authority and the most direct way to SEO optimise a site. A 10-page business site does not have the same significance as a 200-page web optimised blog.
#5 – Automation
Many business owners are deterred from digital marketing due to the sheer effort it entails. But they are not aware of the many automation tools that are available to help them with to achieve their goals with minimal stress. For example, there are a large number of social media automation tools available, such as Buffer, HootSuite, and eClincher. These enable business owners to schedule posts on a variety of different platforms, such as Linkedin, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
They can also monitor their reputation across different media outlets and respond through one integrated dashboard. Social media is just one example. There are automation tools for email management, paid advertising, communication, project collaboration, payroll, accounting, and more. It is possible to automate many of the tasks involved with SEO optimisation.
#6 – Google Ads
Google paid advertising is the best way to gain direct exposure to a website. In many ways, it bypasses traditional SEO, which consists of gradual link building so that pages can rank for specific keywords. Paid advertising campaigns should be used in tandem with content marketing and other link building strategies. They can complement other techniques and it is possible to find suitable keywords that turn out to be very profitable.
There is no reason to ignore paid advertising models and they can be the most direct way to increase return on investment, provided they are done properly. It might be a good idea to engage a specialist when it comes to paid advertising. It can be a high-risk high-reward form of digital marketing where expertise is truly necessary. Many budgets have been blown with ineffective PPC campaigns.
Richard is the owner and head of digital at Tailored SEO. He has worked in the digital marketing space for 10 years and has worked with a wide range of clients, including B2B and B2C businessess.