Google is considering reducing its crawl capacity. If this is followed through with, it could have a significant impact on a website’s SEO ranking.
At Digital Willow, we thought this would be a good time to go through some of the best practices that will boost SEO and ensure your website stays ranking high on the search engine results page.
SEO is the lifeblood of a company’s online marketing. Not only does this entail the technical aspects such as page load time, indexing etc. SEO, at its core, has always been about quality content.
Most digital marketers will be familiar with the term ‘content is king’, first appearing in a 1996 essay by Bill Gates which he posted on the Microsoft website.
To this day, this fundamental principle remains true and at the very heart of boosting SEO and how companies can go about representing themselves online.
This is especially true today with the rapid rise of artificial intelligence in the form of web programmes such as ChatGPT and other Large Language Models (LLM) that can generate remarkably human-like content from little input by scanning the large web databases they’ve been trained on for relevant information. Whilst a genuinely remarkable step forward in AI technology, the ease at which anyone can access and use a laptop to sign up and command a well-constructed and readable document by simply typing in a few questions means only one thing: original, well-crafted, and unique content is becoming harder and harder to find.
With this in mind, we will explore some of the top tips to help you boost your SEO. These tips will reveal why it is such an effective digital marketing strategy and how to avoid common traps prevalent in the new age of artificial intelligence.
Here’s to climbing up the search engine rankings!
Targeting Long-Tail Keywords and Thorough Keyword Research
Keywords help make your website more searchable and can therefore boost SEO. However, suppose your keywords are the same as everyone else’s in your industry. In that case, you are likely putting yourself in a position of heavy competition and wasting your digital marketing efforts. So, try this hack to develop ‘long tail keywords’: longer phrases that are more specific to your buyer persona and their search intent.
To do this, you need to put yourself in the shoes of your ‘best’ customer. The sort of customer that you would like many more of. Consider what phrases they would type into Google to find your product/service, and these will form those precious keywords. Still unsure of how to come up with them? Take a look at this brilliant keywords tool that helps you find out exactly what your audience is looking for – and it is entirely free.
It is also important to consider the growing value of long-tail keywords in recent years due to the tremendous rise in the use of voice search. Voice-assisted search is a common feature in most smartphones and has been for some time. The popularity of Amazon’s Alexa, a voice search assistant speaker, has also contributed to the rise in voice search.
This has proven to have a significant impact overall and helps boost SEO.
Because when people search using a voice command, their language tends to be far more natural, using longer phrases (longtail keywords) compared to the type of targeted, more jagged phrasing they would type into a search engine.
When considering SEO, ensuring your content is optimised for voice search by including longtail keywords is essential. These are generally better for matching user search intent and therefore gaining more organic search traffic.
Another digital marketing tactic to help boost SEO is to review the content on your website about your keyword list. Ideally, each keyword should be written in HTML text as a headline on a page, then repeated in the body copy. The URL of the page that the content is hosted on should feature the most relevant keyword. Repetition is the name of the game here, so take the time to check your page is littered with your keyword/phrases, and you will most certainly have this hack covered, helping you boost SEO. Whilst recommendations may vary slightly from agency to agency, we at Digital Willow recommend including your target keywords to make up at least 1.5% of your total word count.
Find out how we used extensive keyword research to help drive tourism to the Isle of Man.
Evergreen Content and Updating Old Content Pieces
If you’re a company that has been around for a while, you’ll have a relatively extensive back-catalogue of old content, some of which you may find relevant years after they were published. This is called evergreen content. Evergreen content can be excellent in helping boost SEO, as there is always a guaranteed audience who will be actively searching out the information you’re providing in an evergreen blog.
Sometimes, these blogs may need to be updated, for example, by an old statistic or outdated terminology. Fortunately, this means they can be brought back to life with relative ease, taking up little time and providing your business with a new online talking point that is almost guaranteed to draw in an online audience.
Optimising images means ensuring that every image on your website includes an appropriate Alternative Text (‘Alt Txt’) using accurate keywords that represent what the image is displaying and those relevant to user search intent and the topic of the webpage.
From a more technical aspect, this also means making sure that the file size matches the size of the image being displayed. If the image file is too small, it can appear pixelated and low-quality. If the image file is too big, it can increase the time it takes for a page to load fully, harming the user experience and can even deter them completely from waiting for the load to finish, leading to a premature exit.
Compelling Title and Meta Description
This is one of the fundamental principles of off-page technical SEO that combines search engine marketing and the need for an artistic flare. Making sure your H1 title, meta title, and meta description are all within the universally recommended SEO guidelines is an easy way to ensure that your webpage won’t be penalised during an index crawl and therefore be placed lower down in the SERP. It may seem like an obvious point, but you’d be surprised at the number of web pages that fail to keep within these carefully defined lines and waste their online marketing efforts by failing to boost SEO.
Alternative Text (‘Alt-Txt’)
Spiders (the bots that identify web page content and then index it) – can’t read images! So, whilst these images are beautiful for the design of your page, a quick trick to boost SEO is to include some alternative text, which is the text that sits behind any of your images (you should be able to hover over the image and see a button that refers to ‘alt text’ – click on it to add it in!) When including this text, we’d recommend using one of your keywords with each image. Similarly, video works in the same way and difficult for bots to read. We suggest providing a transcript for video and audio content if the words and phrases used would be helpful for indexing on search engines.
Including links and references throughout your content can help make it more authoritative on the subject of discussion and boost SEO. You are backing up your argument with legitimate evidence when you include links referring to, for example, where you discovered a statistic or quote. Having said this, you must ensure that these references are from reputable sources. If you’re able to find a reference online, be sure to check out the website that you’re taking it from. Is it a university webpage or a site for statistics? It’s always handy to check out a website’s ‘About Us’ page to double-check what they actually claim to be.
Links don’t just have to be to other websites, however. It is just as important and valuable to link back to elsewhere on your website. These are called ‘internal links’. For example, if you brush over a subject or a term that could benefit from further explanation, using links to direct traffic to this different page can help enrich the users’ experience and boost SEO at the same time. Once again, it will also contribute to your webpage if it is quality content, gaining greater authority on a subject matter in the minds of the reader and the search engine bots that will crawl your website.
Check out how we used this very technique to boost SEO and drive traffic and leads to co-working business despite Covid.
The Importance of Social Media Marketing
Using social media marketing coupled with promoting content such as blogs on your website will help you cast your digital net further than you thought possible. Whether using mobile devices or desktops, using the aesthetic and excitement of social media to link people back to your website is a great way of raising brand awareness and driving organic traffic to boost SEO.
Make sure you make social media marketing part of every marketing campaign you carry out.
Responsive design is a web design approach that aims to create a website that can adapt and respond to different screen sizes, devices, and orientations. In other words, a website with a responsive design will look and function optimally whether it is viewed on a desktop computer, tablet, or mobile phone.
Responsive design is important to boost SEO because search engines like Google prioritise mobile-friendly websites in their search results. This means that a website with a responsive design is more likely to rank higher in search engine results pages than a website that is not mobile-friendly.
Moreover, a responsive design also improves user experience, as visitors can easily navigate and interact with the website on any device, which can increase engagement, reduce bounce rates, and improve conversion rates. All of these factors can positively impact the website’s performance and help boost SEO.
So there you have it, Digital Willow’s 8 hacks to boost SEO for your website. It is very important to make sure every step is followed in this guide if you wish to ensure maximum organic traffic and ultimately achieve a higher ranking in the search engine results pages.
For more information, contact the Digital Willow team today?