Many businesses struggle to improve their website’s ranking on Google. Due to numerous algorithm updates every year, businesses and SEO experts alike are forced to alter techniques to maintain or improve their ranks. Proven SEO tactics can help enhance and maintain your website’s ranking – even when new updates are announced.
Here’s a look at SEO techniques every B2C and B2B marketer should know to generate quality leads and organic traffic.
1. Acquire high-quality backlinks
Are you familiar with Moz’s new update that has disrupted the world of domain authority (DA)? While your DA has nothing to do with Google, it still serves as a key indicator of website quality. At the end of the day, sites with higher DA have an opportunity to improve search engine rankings, as they possess quality backlinks and high-quality content. In fact, Moz’s DA metric has the highest correlation with SERPs. This means, if you want a metric to predict rankings at the domain level, Domain Authority is that metric.
Having that said, you can’t expect your DA to increase with age of your site. You have to acquire high-quality backlinks from websites that have a high DA as well, (at least more than your site’s). On the other hand, avoid requesting a backlink from sites with a high spam score (SS). Ignore all sites that possess a high SS if you have any plan on securing a high DA.
The good thing here is that both backlinks and spam are critical ranking factors for Google. Therefore, your efforts to secure a high DA and a low SS will eventually impact your ranking on all of the top search engines like Google, Bing, and Baidu.
2. The faster site speed, the better
Your site’s speed is a crucial factor in determining your website’s rank and traffic. No one wants to wait for a page to load. In fact, according to Google research, 53% of mobile users will leave a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. The same goes for desktop users!
AMP (Accelerated mobile pages) technology reduces a site’s load time on mobile devices. In addition, Google favors mobile-friendly websites. The search engine even introduced the mobile-first index algorithm to encourage people to work on the mobile compatibility of their sites.
3. Reduce your website’s bounce rate
Bounce rate is the ratio of visitors who enter your site and leave without viewing any other page. Google keeps track of your bounce rate, which can be tracked on Google Analytics. Your website’s bounce rate reflects audience engagement. If you can produce quality content, use compelling call-to-actions (CTAs) and entice readers to view more pages, then you’ll have a lower bounce rate.
4. Develop a strong user interface and experience
Your website plays a significant role in search ranking and traffic. For example, if your homepage is cluttered and the structure weak, web crawlers will face difficulties analyzing your content. In addition, your homepage influences visitors. If it isn’t up to standards, visitors will bounce off.
To start, limit the use of internal and external links on your webpages. Next, ensure images and content are properly placed. Consult a web designer to improve site structure if needed.
In addition, manage your site content in a tree-like manner. Categorize all of your content into main branches to make site navigation user-friendly. It’s preferable to add a search option on your website so visitors can easily find what they are looking for. A better user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) will improve traffic and rankings. UI, or user interface, is focused on the look and layout of your website. UX refers to the user experience, how something works and how people interact with it.
5. Leverage voice search optimization
Since voice-activated solutions like Alexa, Cortana, SIRI and Google Assistance have hit the market; more people have begun using voice search as a regular method to surf the internet. This trend is expected to grow significantly. Therefore, it will be essential to optimize your website for voice searches. If you are wondering where to start, here are a few things to consider:
People use voice search to ask questions. Make sure your content answers frequently asked questions to increase your chances to appear as a top search result. You can also target the question within your content, using Meta title and Meta description tags to improve your chances of getting ranked.
Utilize long-tail and conversational keywords
When typing keywords, people are usually informal and to the point. You won’t see people typing in long questions as it requires more effort and time. However, when it comes to voice search, queries will increase in terms of words. Therefore, your content should be readable and filled with long-tail and conversational keywords.
Ensure your website is mobile-friendly
According to Google, 20 percent of queries on its mobile app and on Android devices are voice searches. “As search continues its migration to mobile devices and a larger percentage of those queries are initiated by voice, there are important content and SEO implications,” according to Search Engine Land. Therefore, ensure your website is mobile-friendly. In addition, mobile-friendly sites are always more favorable for search engines. This move will hit two targets in one blow!
6. Avoid black hat SEO techniques
It’s always advisable to play by the rules! Yes, you may gain quick rankings with black hat SEO techniques, which involves spam, but it won’t last for long. Google is strictly against spam sites. If you are flagged by Google as a spammer, your site will be penalized. All of your web pages will be de-indexed, and you’ll experience a sharp drop in traffic. In addition, this will also affect your domain, and all of the emails you send will end up in spam folders.
Apart from that, there are various black hat SEO techniques that you should avoid. Recklessly sending emails to purchased lists, and using fake ID’s to get backlinks through comments and content on irrelevant sites, are a couple of strategies you should avoid.
Content is still king
Ultimately, if you are wondering what you should do instead – focus on content. “Content is king” as many digital marketing experts suggest. Therefore, produce quality content that is filled with useful and creative information. Publish content on your website and share it through social platforms to make it viral. Other than that, you can also publish guest posts, like this one, to enhance your reach and share your expertise with the world for greater brand recognition. Quality high-value content can become the game-changing move for you and your business.
Beatrice McGraw is a digital marketing expert who works for ExportHub – International B2B Marketplace specialized in connecting Chinese suppliers with buyers. She loves to share her knowledge with the world in the form of blogs, videos and various types of content. In her free time, she is an active gamer and a tech wiz who adores researching innovative solutions that emerge in the digital world. Connect with @McgrawBeatrice on Twitter.