Explaining how you can use a range of SEO tactics to get your site ranking highly
When most people think about SEO (if they think about it at all), they think of a very specific kind of optimization: the kind that involves putting keywords on pages. And while that’s an important part of SEO, there’s a lot more to it, as well. In fact, that’s just one part of a single type of SEO.
And if you want to get as much traffic to your site as you can, you’re going to need more than just one kind of optimization.
Here are six SEO tactics that can help your site rank for the keywords you’re targeting. You probably won’t use all of them, but having a better understanding of how to improve your rank is always a good thing.
1. On-page SEO
The short answer is all the copy on your web pages which help you rank. SEO tuned blog content, title tags, image alt-tags, internal links between relevant content.
Google still looks for keywords on your website to match the search queries it runs. From its white paper on “How Search Works”:
“Next, algorithms analyze the content of web pages to assess whether the page contains information that might be relevant to what you are looking for.
The most basic signal that information is relevant is when a webpage contains the same keywords as your search query. If those keywords appear on the page, or if they appear in the headings or body of the text, the information is more likely to be relevant. Beyond simple keyword matching, we use aggregated and anonymized interaction data to assess whether search results are relevant to queries. We transform that data into signals that help our machine-learned systems better estimate relevance”
2. Off-page SEO
Off-Page SEO strategies are actions taken away from your website. Things we can do for you where we’re not changing the content on your pages.
The biggest component of Off-Page SEO would be backlinks. This is where external websites, which are relevant to your business and have a good Page Authority, put a link on their site which leads back to you. Through this process Google transfers some of their Page Authority to your website, hence raising you up Google’s SERP.
Other off-page SEO can include:
- Social Media Marketing.
- Guest Blogging.
- Brand Building.
If you have great content but no rank then you can lose out to similar pages as you that DO have rank.
3. Technical SEO
Russ Jones from Moz says “Any sufficiently technical action undertaken with the intent to improve search results”
Technical SEO can include indexing your website in such a way that it is easier for Google’s web bots to crawl and index your site.
More technical SEO can include reducing the image file size on your site (technically on-page SEO), so your webpage loads faster.
It also includes optimising your website for mobile use. Google is rather keen on this metric for page rankings now since so many people are using mobile devices to search and navigate the web.
4. Local SEO
While many businesses only operate online, there are still thousands of companies that have a physical location where they need customers. If customers aren’t coming through your door, you’re not making money. So it’s important to take that into account when doing your SEO.
There are a number of steps that are important for local SEO that you won’t need to think about in a more traditional SEO campaign. For example, making sure that you’ve claimed your Google My Business page, which ensures that your name, address, phone number, opening hours, reviews, and other useful information is prominently displayed in search results and on Google Maps.
That listing itself needs to be optimized with good photos, descriptive information, and real reviews from customers.
You’ll also need to make sure that your contact information is prominently displayed and highlighted with schema markup so search engines know where it is. The more effectively you present this information to search engines, the easier it will be for them to show that information to potential customers.
Other things like embedding a Google Maps marker in your homepage, adding a region or city to your page titles, descriptions, and keywords, and displaying awards and trust symbols can also make a big difference not only in being found by local leads but also in getting turning those leads into customers.
Effective local ranking isn’t easy, so local SEO should be a high priority for local businesses.
5. App store optimization
(If your first thought is that this should be called “ASO,” and not a type of SEO, just bear with me.)
Google and Bing aren’t the only search engines out there. App stores—especially Apple’s App Store and Google’s Play Store—get a phenomenal amount of searches every day. And if you have an app, you need to do what you can to make sure that those stores are showing it to people who might be looking for it.
App store optimization is very similar to on-page SEO. While it’s not always clear which factors are used in app store search algorithms, there are fewer factors that you can influence, so you need to focus on those.
Your app title and icon are the first two things that anyone will see, so they have to be descriptive and attractive. The description needs to be accurate and include the keywords your users are likely to be searching for as well as related ones. The meta tags in your description should include those keywords as well.
You could argue that there’s a case for off-page-style app store optimization as well. If you’re able to build a lot of links to your app, it’s possible that the app store will rank it higher in searches. This is likely to be part of a wider SEO effort for your entire business, but it’s possible that this could be undertaken specifically for an app.
6. YouTube SEO
Much like app store optimization, YouTube SEO is a niche type of optimization, but it can make a big difference in how much traffic you’re getting. Many people don’t realize that YouTube is one of the world’s most popular search engines, and that ranking for a popular search there is absolute gold.
And if you can also rank one of your videos for a standard Google search, you can get an even bigger boost. So how do you optimize content for YouTube?
In much the same way as you do for other search engines.
First of all, your video needs to be great. It needs to answer questions, solve problems, or be more entertaining than what’s out there. If your video is great, it will keep people on the page longer, result in more comments and subscribes, and get more likes and favorites. All of these are ranking signals in YouTube.
Your video title and description should be descriptive, much like your page titles and introductions on text-based pages. A longer, keyword-rich description (without keyword stuffing) will help Google figure out what your video is about. Adding relevant keyword tags doesn’t hurt, either.
When you’re thinking about keywords, you should think about what are commonly called video keywords—these are the searches for which Google prominently displays video results at the top of a normal search page. They’re hugely valuable.
What are common video keywords? How-tos, reviews, and tutorials are always good bets. Getting your videos ranked for these types of searches will have a huge effect on your views.
And, of course, there’s the off-page stuff; getting links to your video, getting other people to embed it in their blog posts, encouraging comments and discussion, and so on.