SEO is a fairly quick game. There is no doubt that small business owners are reluctant to do this.
After investing a lot of time learning the basics, you may find that your tactics are ineffective a few weeks or months later, thanks to the constant development of Google algorithm updates.
For example, building multiple boilerplate pages for specific keyword variations has been incredibly effective. There has also been continued use of partial and exact mapping domains and the list goes on.
Now that 2018 is underway, it’s time to rethink your SEO strategy and take a look at what works and what doesn’t. Here are some basic SEO tips and tricks!
- Find the right keywords
One tactic that has not changed in recent years is keyword research. It is an important condition for success in link building, on-page SEO and content marketing.
An effective keyword targeting strategy is the key to any SEO campaign. Remember that keywords determine the relevancy and visibility of your site in specific search terms. Honestly, if you do not do any SEO activity and do not have some targeted keywords, you are wasting your time.
As always, Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a great (and completely free) keyword search tool. You only need a valid Google Account to get started right away
Tip: Make sure there is a balance between keyword competitiveness and demand.
Most of the time, high demand keywords are harder to rank. So it would be good to avoid the most competitive phrases. Instead, look for medium-volume keywords that have a low competitiveness index. While you’re at it, make sure you think of the most competitive one, although broad keywords can get tons of monthly searches, this does not necessarily mean that those looking for them are looking to buy a product or service.
Sometimes, clichés are used only to display images or to find lists on wikipedia.
Here are some ways to improve your keyword search:
- Motivate the action – To target potential customers, add action-oriented phrases such as “for sale” or “for rent”.
- Mention your location – You can also narrow down your search to keywords that are only for that location.
- Add More Content – Whenever possible you should have all four of these components in place for launch to maximize profits.
- Do not stop trying on On-Page SEO
Another tactic that has been tried and true is on-Page optimization. For the most part, SEO experts agree that referencing a keyword 2-4 times in content is a good idea.
Focus on a natural writing style that incorporates your targeted keywords where needed. If you have problems with this, try to read what you write aloud.
You will also want to make sure that the keywords are in some key elements. Namely
- Page title
- Description of the meta page
- H1 or H2
Not only are some of these important to Google’s algorithm, but some can also improve click-through rates and ultimately conversions!
If you use WordPress, the easiest way to modify meta descriptions and page titles is through Yoast SEO. Provides an optical editor for snippets of your page.
- Improve your images
When talking about keyword improvements, a common tip is to improve the images. This of course is still true in 2018. Users today are more attracted to the visual stimulus than ever!
It may sound difficult at first, but it’s really easy. You just have to change the filename and the ALT tag, that’s it.
At this point, it’s safe to assume that you already know how to rename an image. But when it comes to the ALT tag, the process depends on the site platform you use. With WordPress, for example, you can modify the “alternative text” feature in image details. This is accessible from the media library or directly from the publications editor.
For the sake of the user experience, it is also a good idea to compress the images before uploading them. And for this job, you need to use a lossless compression tool like Compressor.io.
- Enhance your Backlink Profile
Okay, here are some quick tips for optimizing your pages, keyword choices and images. But what about off-page SEO? It all starts and ends with your backlink profile.
Gaining the right backlinks will help your website reach the top of organic search! In 2018, it is important to look at link acquisition efforts as a gain in relation to link building.
In the years that have passed, link building has become quite cynical. It included scrapers, quality over quantity, and sometimes even paid links.
These days, these tactics are at best ineffective. In the worst case, you will be penalized by Google. So do not listen to sellers who sell cheap links!
Keep in mind that engines use the backlink profile to determine rank, relevance, and overall value. Returns from other popular sources also signal trust, which is another crucial factor for SEO.
To quickly get into the search, here are some quick tips to help you boost your backlink profile.
- Repost Missing Links – If you update the URL of a page or remove it completely, then you could have a few broken or lost links. Tools like Backlinks Monitor and Ahrefs can help you locate and retrieve the link source.
- Contributing Content to Related Markets – Collaborating with like-minded store managers is still a great way to build your brand exposure and gain some links.
- Offer special discounts to your affiliates – Going to a special offer to a business affiliate can be a great way to gain links and get some referrals. You can even give a commission, if that’s appropriate.
- Develop Skyscraper Content – When done correctly, the Skyscraper technique could be the ticket to more valid backlinks. In short, you need to find popular content, rewrite something valuable and then share it with influencers.
- Watch the data
You should not be surprised that without tracking the right data you will not be able to learn much about SEO efforts. After all, how will you know if there has been an approach, if you do not know what improvements you should look for in the details?
Adaptability is probably the most important attribute of SEO success. You can not design an optimal, self-sustaining SEO strategy overnight. If you want to grow and rank high in the search engines, you have to learn to calculate the results. Tracking your backlink profile is a step in the right direction, but it is not enough. You should also monitor other key performance metrics, such as web-based traffic, click-through rate, and search rankings. Only then will you be able to make data-driven decisions.
In addition to backlink checkers, some of the SEO tools that can help you with analytics are:
- Google Analytics – Helps track raw site data such as traffic sources, dropout rate, and login duration.
- Moz Pro – A comprehensive toolkit for tracking search engine rankings and keywords.
- SEO Analyzer by Neil Patel – A free-to-use tool that can provide you with quick information about your site’s SEO.
- Google Search Console – This is the first choice for all SEO data. Make sure you have this set up as soon as you install Google Analytics.
The tips and tricks described above are going to take time and energy to implement. Remember that search engine optimization and improving the user experience have a lot in common these days. Keyword research, for example, ensures that users who need your content can find it. The same goes for link building, which must always be done in context.
At the end of the day, search engines are getting better at providing a great experience for the user looking for something to find. In order to convince the algorithms that they deserve to be ranked in the top slots, you need to align the goals by helping the people who are looking for you.