In the not so distant past, many SEO strategies included tactics like keyword stuffing in every single element of the web page (title, meta description, heading elements, image alt tag, top menu, sidebar, and footer). But now we have a different situation, the rules of engagement have changed, Google has got smart.
There are a large number of different SEO techniques which you can use to improve your site, but here we will suggest 5 SEO tactics that anyone can implement on your site and in turn increase search traffic.
THE HUMMINGBIRD ALGORITHM HAS CHANGED SEARCH FOREVER
With the introduction of the Hummingbird algorithm (including RankBrain), Google has shown that they can understand the context of a page. Its uniqueness and writing quality.
Mechanical duplicating keywords into a page with the goal of beating Google’s algorithm is not a good tactic anymore. Google’s ranking factors now give more weight to a site when the content is natural and it understands the intent of the page or blog post.
So here is what you can do:
DON’T KEYWORD STUFF YOUR CONTENT
You’ve done your keyword research, that’s great! But there is nothing worse than reading content that is stuff full of keywords which are strategically positioned within the page. This type of content is not only bad for user experience it could be deemed as spam and it can influence on increasing bounce rate.
Overall keyword density is not important anymore, over filling your blog posts will not provide better positioning for your content in the search results.
Use new tactics and educate yourself about new concepts which will help your on page seo and for writing content. For example things like TF-IDF, which stands for term frequency-inverse document frequency. TD-IDF means that you should use different phases that have the same meaning within the content, and some of them should appear more often than rest.
I recommend reading an article from Cyrus Shepard at Moz, which has described this concept of TD-IDF keyword targeting in detail.
How to optimise your content both for search engines and users:
- Find a specific topic that you want to target.
- Do detailed research on targeted areas (research on user’s needs for that type of content).
- Write content that is unique and adds value for users
- At least 500 words in content length
- Organise content in short paragraphs of a few sentences or make a list.
- Every part of the content should have its titles (h1,h2,h3) which will explain what the content is about.
- Enhance content with internal links to related content (remember, the goal is to keep visitors on the site as much as it is possible).
- Ensure that titles and meta description tags are well written, so visitors understand what the page is about with visiting the page.
- Every page on your site should be easy to share on social media
- Make sure your site is mobile-friendly.
DON’T IGNORE YOUR META DESCRIPTION
The meta description tag is often ignored. Some site owners don’t use it at all while some others use plugins or tools to automatically fill in the description, which isn’t great.
Why is meta description so important?
The answer is simple – meta description affects your CTR (click-through rate), and who wouldn’t want that.
So make sure to describe the content of the page by using clear Call-to-Actions to make users want to click and read your content. Try to use all 160 characters available. It’s not a lot to work with I know, but the more compelling words you can add, the better.
I suggest doing this for all your pages on the site, including your About Us and Contact page and if your CMS allows you to do it, do the same for your social networks using Opengraph and Twitter cards tags.
META KEYWORDS, DON’T USE THEM
This one is pretty old now, but i still see people using them. The Meta tag for keywords in the past was one of the factors used by Google for ranking, but because of its improper use, Google has removed it from it’s list and declared it as a potential signal of spamming.
So Because this tag doesn’t have an influence on ranking and may be interpreted as spam, we suggest stopping using it and it also gives your competitors information on the keywords your targeting!
USE STRUCTURED DATA
I’m sure you have noticed sites in search results which have additional information and display different types of the content price, review, address, etc, all within the results.
That information is showing because the HTML code of the page contains certain markups which Google crawlers can read and show in search results. This markup allows Google to understand what the content is, so for example structured data used on a recipe page will allow Google to understand and show the title of the recipe, the author and the recipe details all with the search results.
The statistics show that results which have this additional structured information have 25% increased CTR compared to classic results.
I suggest researching the different types of structured data format you can use, these include JSON-LD*, Microdata and RDFa. You can find out more here – https://developers.google.com/search/docs/guides/intro-structured-data
You can add markup to logos, addresses, images, phone numbers, business name, business type, prices, reviews and much more. Visit https://schema.org/ for more information
RECOVER LOST LINK JUICE BY RECLAIMING YOUR 404s
This has happened to most of us at one point or another: We start optimising a website’s URL structure or permalink slugs to be more SEO-friendly, and we end up forgetting about the old URL that had dozens of websites already linking to, bad move!
Since your old page url no longer exists, Google will eventually drop the page from its index, and you will lose all organic traffic and authority that your old URL has acquired since it was published.
Making this mistake can be as easy as modifying your WordPress permalinks incorrectly and forgetting to check if your old URLs are being 301 redirected to your newly modified slugs, or perhaps you changed the filenames or paths within your website.
Thankfully, all is not lost. By using things like Google Analytics we can track down the old urls that are turning up 404 errors and by adding a 301 redirect to their new permanent home you can reclaim the traffic and link juice.
If your are using WordPress, theres load of plugins you can use to add and track your 404s and 301s. Look https://en-gb.wordpress.org/plugins/search/301+redirects/
EARN LINKS INSTEAD OF LINK BUILDING
Inbound links are still an important ranking factor, which has a great influence on search engine results, but methods of gaining links have significantly changed over the last few years.
Instead of focusing on ‘link building’, I suggest you change your tactic to ‘link earning’. You do this by attracting links and shares organically from relevant sites by creating highly researched quality content that people want to engage with.
This is a much better way of gaining links than classic link building. You might not get as many, but what you do get will be quality and will provide more visits to your site from users who might want to buy your product or use your company.
The above tactics are only basics, some might take more time than others, but if you spend the time and apply them I am sure you will gain better results for your website.