Search engine optimization is a trend that won’t be going out of season any time soon; it’s something that every brand should continually focus on. According to Search Engine People, the top result on Google has a 33% chance of getting clicked, meaning that the lower your brand ranks (even on the first page), the more potential traffic you are missing out on.
And the reason why other websites are ranking higher than you on Google is that they are making a consistent effort to improve their SEO. Even if you’ve been focused on your site’s SEO for months, there are still some tips and tricks to implement – and that can be done in less than 5 hours – to increase your chance of higher rankings in SERPs.
Incorporate your competitor’s easiest keywords
In 2008, Google lifted the ban on bidding on competitors’ branded keywords, allowing site owners to bid against the competition’s brands – as long as you don’t mention their trademarked name within your ad copy. Bidding on your competitor’s keywords will give your brand traffic that comprises customers specifically looking for a product or service that your brand and your competition offer.
Studies have shown that branded keyword phrases are 5 times more likely to convert visitors into leads; therefore, the chances of retention and conversion are very high.
To ensure success, use your competitor’s weaknesses to inform your ad copy – particularly if it’s something your brand excels at. Be sure to include eye-catching copy while maintaining keywords used by customers to find both brands. Think about it: the potential customer is specifically searching for a competitor of yours, but it will take something unique and eye-catching to potentially draw them away from the brand they already know exists.
Here’s a quick checklist for selecting which keywords to borrow from your competitors:
- Choose the easiest keywords first, i.e. those that are easy to create content for
- Choose keywords similar to your own and that you know convert well
- Choose high volume, low difficulty, high organic click-through rate.
Optimize the page speed of your mobile site
As the digital world embraces Google’s mobile-first index, we also continue to move towards a mobile-first consumer marketplace. Now that there is lightning-fast internet connection and 5G already on the horizon, the time has never been better for the growth of mobile audiences. And with some brands still lagging, it’s an excellent opportunity to keep your brand on the front foot.
A mobile website that loads at a snail’s pace not only has a negative effect on user experience, but also has a negative impact on a site’s search ranking. Mobile page speed matters: more than 50% of Google’s search activity now takes place on mobile devices, and it’s in everyone’s best interest to ensure that those searches happen quickly and conveniently, each and every time.
Large images are one of the main culprits of slow page speed for websites, and Duda was built for this very reason. Duda is a mobile-friendly web design platform for agencies to launch mobile-optimized websites in minutes. All images loaded through Duda are automatically resized and compressed, allowing web pages to render in seconds, and meaning you don’t have to worry about how images will be served to different devices. In addition to resizing these images with ImageMagick, the platform also compresses them using a process called lossy compression.
Another technique you can use to ensure that images are loaded as quickly as possible is a Content Delivery Network (CDN). A CDN ensures content can be delivered from the best location according to the geolocation of the device that’s calling it.
While global SEO is very important, local SEO should not be ignored. Statistics have shown that 50% of consumers who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a store that same day. If your brand is not ranking for keywords in your local area, your brick and mortar business could be losing out to competitors.
While improving SEO takes time, there are some relatively simple steps you can take to begin improving your company’s local SEO.
Making your brand visible through a variety of local listings is important to local SEO, so be sure to insert your local keywords into unique descriptions across multiple listings, ensure that your photos are current, and always include your business category.
Another step is to actively increase the quantity and quality of links directed to your website, as they have an increasingly impactful effect on its local search engine rankings. Consider giving a presentation to business students at a local college or university, lead a discussion at regional business organization meetings or publish an article online, and use those opportunities to have the associated organizations link to your company’s website.
One of the simplest things that can improve your brand’s local SEO is claiming your Google My Business profile. This is a business listing that shows up for local searches, so you need to have a physical location and street address (not a P.O. box) to set up or claim a listing.
Optimizing this profile with the category, contact information, images and business hours can give a significant boost to your local SEO.
Crawl website for duplicate tags and broken links
Duplicate content issues can drop your brand’s website ranking significantly, so every business should focus on content marketing to attract more traffic to their website.
When creating content, you might encounter content duplication issues on your site, particularly if you are using a content management system such as WordPress, which is known to create duplicate pages that affect your SEO.
Fortunately, there are a variety of tools that can be used to assess duplicate content issues. Siteliner is one of the better tools available for discovering duplicate content blocks or broken links on a website, and will provide a comprehensive content analysis report for free.
Once you’ve found any content issues or linking issues, it is often quite simple to get them fixed.
Use 301 redirects to fix duplicate content
If you moved content from an old URL variation to a new URL, then you can use 301 redirects to prevent Google from seeing this as duplicate content. For example, if you have updated the page example.com/buy-cars-2017/ with content for 2018 by changing the URL to example.com/buy-cars-2018/, you can redirect the old 2017 URL variation to the updated URL.
Canonical URL tag attributes
If your website has two identical content pages with different URLs, you can use canonical URL tag attributes to signal to Google which of the two pages you want to be shown in search results.
You can also use the canonical attribute when syndicating content to other websites and social platforms.
Noindex and nofollow tags
Similarly, you can use the robots.txt file to allow or disallow pages to be crawled by Google.
Good SEO practice is the difference between getting your site ranked as high up the search results and possible, and reducing the chance of a click through – and therefore conversion – to your site. It can be frustrating to spend a great deal of time and effort on SEO and not see the results, so ensure you have the tips shared in this article in place to give a quick boost to your site’s ranking. And don’t forget to force Google to re-crawl your website after implementing any changes.