SEO, which stands for search engine optimization, is the most cost-effective way to increase traffic to your site since it is drawing organic or unpaid traffic from search engine result pages.
SEO is, in layman terms, a way to optimize your website in a bid to get a higher ranking in search engine result pages for a higher relevant traffic volume.
Since everyone does their searches on Google, it is crucial for a business to appear on the list of results, also known as SERPs or Search Engine Result Pages, shown on search engines, in particular Google. In fact, the first 2 pages are what most businesses will be gunning for.
When someone uses a search engine e.g. Google, Bing, or Yahoo, they are looking for answers to their questions and search engines naturally will want to supply the most helpful and credible answers to their users so that they will continue to be the preferred choice in search.
In order to do this, the algorithms of search engines will try to scan and crawl various websites to better understand what each website is about and group them accordingly. Apart from the relevancy, these bots will also take into consideration some other factors like the readability, visual content, high-quality content, Infographics, etc. in order to provide the best search results for their users.
Here are 5 effective points that can help you improve your search ranking in a way that is acceptable by these search engines (white hat method):
1: High-Quality Content
Content is king, and it is more so in SEO than anything. Search engines are created with the initial thought of helping people solve their problems and hence high-quality content with good answers will always be preferred.
When your website has something that is useful for solving a user’s questions, naturally the users will click-throughs and stay longer on your website. The number of click-throughs, the duration the user stayed on your website, if they are sharing your website, etc. are all taken into consideration when Google is ranking your page.
Hence, to write high-quality content, which contains useful, valuable, and credible information is a must when creating content. The more useful and informative the content is, the higher ranking will get from the search engines over time.
For a start, just think about what would your potential customers want to find out before making a decision to buy products or services relevant to what you are selling. Then write an informational, unique, and original content that aims to deliver a relevant answer for your audience. E.g. if you are a shop selling spectacles, you could be writing topics like “When do you know if it is time to change your old glasses?”
A keyword research would be helpful too so as to understand what your target audience is searching for. You can also consider using free platforms like Google Trends to find out about trending topics relevant to your business or product.
When creating content, the readability of what was written is commonly overlooked. How clear and readable the content is for the user to easily get their answers, how easy is it to understand the words that were used and even the flow will be crucial to how long a user will stay on the page before moving on.
When being presented with readable content, which is useful and informative, users will like it and relate that to the search engines in different ways like time on page, bounce rate, etc. It is definitely not going to do your ranking any good if the user exits the page after reading a few lines due to poor readability.
The entire user experience design will also be something to consider when designing your content since that can directly or indirectly lead the user to a page where conversion can be carried out in a subtle way.
3: Include Inbound and outbound hyperlinks
There are generally two types of links that you should be made aware of: inbound and outbound links.
Inbound links, sometimes known as backlinks, are links that bring in traffic to your website from other different websites. Inbound links tell a search engine what is your page about and how they should be indexing your page according to the topics that are being searched. It also gives you credibility when other websites are “naming” you as a subject matter expert.
Outbound links are the links found within your page that allow your user to be linked to other websites. They add value to the user accessing your content by letting them reach relevant information easily.
4: Page Load Speed
Technically, page load speed refers to the time taken from the moment a visitor lands on your website until the page becomes available for your user to browse. Page Load Speed is a significant factor in SEO and can impact your website's ranking on SERPs.
For a start, you can use free tools like Google’s Pagespeed Insights where it allows you to check your page load speed and find out the issues you may need to resolve on your site loading page. As the user experience may be impacted by the slow page loading, Google may penalise your page on that and cause you to rank lower.
Other free tools to check the speed of your websites include Pingdom, GTmetrix, WebpageTest, Uptrends, which is completely free and available for you.
Google Search Console (GSC) can also help you to see what are the errors you may have on your website and allows you to see what are the keyword searches you are appearing on, and what position, for the past months. This is provided that you have access to the backend of the website and is linking it to GSC properly.
5: Optimize your Infographics
In the fast-paced digital world, the usage of infographics is becoming more and more popular as compared to the usual photos or words. It allows the user to see more information in an interesting way and learn more quickly without having to read through paragraphs and paragraphs of writing. Infographics also impact your SEO as users tend to prefer sharing it more resulting in more mention and visitors coming to your website.
Due to their characteristics in delivering simple and quick information to its targeted audience, it has also been more widely used in online learning material, something that most schools are adapting to with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the reasons SEO is becoming so important for a digital marketer is that, apart from being relatively free, the search engine is a source that brings in hot leads for a business. Since the user is searching for a specific keyword, the purchase intent is much higher as compared to a user who has no intention to buy and needs an ad as a form of persuasion.
Apart from the 5 points mentioned above, there are many other steps to be taken to improve your SEO, especially in an industry where competition is rife, which in turn help your website obtain a higher ranking in SEO.
Check out our digital marketing diploma course in Singapore to find out more about SEO and other digital marketing relevant topics.