If your business has an online presence, you need to be on top of your SEO game – and that means keeping up with the algorithms and regularly adjusting your strategy with the ultimate goal of driving traffic to your website and providing value to your visitors.
As we all know, search engines are an ever-changing landscape, so if you are still using an SEO strategy you swear worked amazingly well in 2019… think again.
What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO, or search engine optimisation, is the process of improving your website and its content so that it ranks higher in search engine results. A website with great SEO will attract more organic traffic because people who are searching for specific terms related to your products or services will find it more easily. Naturally, this means more potential customers and more business for your company. Good SEO is the online equivalent of opening an icecream stand next to a playground, or a clothing boutique on a busy shopping street – in other words, putting your business right where people can see it.
Where do I start?
Before you do anything else, think about what keywords people who are looking for a company like yours might use to search for your content, goods or services.
Once you have a list, your goal is to create content around those keywords and edit the content you already have to include them organically.
How can I improve my SEO ranking in 2022?
Let’s take a look at the most important factors that will determine how high you will rank in searches.
Without a doubt, relevance is the single most important aspect of your SEO strategy. In order to be relevant, you need to pair each piece of content you publish to a search query (or several). In other words, you need to create content that answers people’s questions about a topic.
Of course, the quality of your content is also extremely important. It is highly unlikely that a search engine will recommend a poorly written article to its users by putting it on its first page.
You can also increase your relevance by covering topics from different angles. For example, if you are a personal trainer, you can write about home workouts, meal plans, toning products, or training schedules – all topics aimed at people who are interested in becoming fitter and healthier.
Search engines will rank you higher if they consider you an authority on a keyword. This is mostly measured by backlinks, or inbound links, which direct users from other websites to yours. The number and quality of these links tells search engines how trustworthy of a source you are.
So, link building is great, but pay close attention to which sites you collaborate with: if they are spammy or otherwise untrustworthy, their backlinks will do more harm than good.
In 2022 everyone is always on the go, and more and more users are visiting websites from their mobile devices. Make sure your website is mobile responsive, and all functional features and design elements are working correctly on smartphones.
4: Outbound links
Including outbound links (links that point to other websites from yours) in your content will not only improve your SEO but enhance user experience by allowing your visitors to easily access more information about a topic or provide context for what you published.
Using images to illustrate your written content is a great way to make your website reader-friendly but that’s not all it can do for your company. With these simple tweaks, your images can become an invaluable SEO tool:
Make sure the format is right: use JPEGs rather than PNGs.
Resize your images so they don’t slow down your website as that could also negatively affect your search engine ranking.
Use alt tags (to describe the image) and meta descriptions (to describe the website) to help search engine crawlers find and index your site.
Rename the image files on your computer: make sure the new file names contain the keywords you want to rank for.
6: Keywords in headings
Not only will headings with keywords in them make it easier for your visitors to skim the content and find exactly what they are looking for, they will also let search engines know that your website has the answers to people’s questions – also known as the search terms they use when they look for content like yours.
7: Engaging content
Making your content relevant and easy to find is just half of the job. You also want to make people stay and actually read what you published. Search engines know much more about us than we think; for example, they know exactly how users behave on a website: how long they stay, what they click on, how far down they scroll, where they go when they leave. And based on these statistics, the algorithms determine which websites to move up or down their rankings in order to provide their users with the best quality search results.
Now that you know all this, you might feel excited to start implementing these tips and improving your search engine ranking. But if you are ready to take your SEO seriously, you need to be aware of one thing: good SEO takes time. You may not see results for the first 6-12 months, and if that happens we only have one piece of advice for you: resist the temptation to speed up the process, and never use black hat SEO techniques designed to manipulate search engines into thinking your website provides more value to users than it really does. These include unrelated keywords, hidden text and keyword stuffing, among others.
White hat SEO techniques, such as the ones we listed above, are the most reliable and cost-effective way to improve your search engine ranking and drive traffic to your website and customers to your business.