Search engine optimization is a broad term that can include lots of tactics and techniques, most of which are actually never-ending.
Not all SEO advice can be too actionable. Things like “Create great content” and “Get great links” are easier said than done.
And yet, actionable SEO recommendations are possible. Here are seven of them:
What are the first things online users see in search engine results before clicking on a link?
The search snippet title, of course.
In order to improve your click-through rates, put some thought into page titles. Use (but don’t overuse) keywords, use “power” words such as awesome, secret, best, and so on, and make sure the title conveys the value your readers will get from the blog or article.
Google would sometimes overlook the page title and use the main H1 heading to generate the search snippet. So make sure to create an attention grabbing one as well. This is the first thing people see when landing on your page, so optimizing your heading will also improve your on-page engagement.
Incorporating internal links in your content increases the SEO-friendliness of your website, so don’t underestimate this actionable SEO technique.
Internal link building helps search crawlers understand your website and web pages better, and keeps readers longer on your site.
Linking from within content to other articles and landing pages is the most effective way to create relevant signals for Google to understand what each page is about.
Even the best articles grow stale over time. So, if your best-performing articles are not doing so well anymore, the time has come for you to freshen them up a little.
Updated content ranks higher for both new and existing keywords, gets more organic traffic from search engines like Google, and is more relevant to your audience.
So, whether you need to update old data, improve your titles and headings, or optimize your content according to the Google algorithm’s latest updates, you’ll see the benefits for sure.
Google Search Console is a great way to identify content that needs an update. Go to the “Performance” report, choose “Compare” option and click through to “Pages”, next click “Clicks difference” twice to find pages that lost the most clicks from Google:
Backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking factors. In Google’s algorithm, if other websites are linking back to your site, then you must be providing quality content and value to your audience. However, acquiring backlinks is not a simple matter.
Building high-quality backlinks may take months, even years before you see any results. You can also create shareable infographics, contact bloggers and influencers directly and offer collaboration, and if you’re an authority in your niche, getting interviewed can get you some backlinks as well.
All of that doesn’t sound too actionable, so in the spirit of this article, let me give you one tip that you can start implementing today. Pick any content-based site in your niche, run it through Ahrefs, and go to the “Broken links” report. Here you will see the list of pages linking back to that site’s 404 pages:
What you do next is to identify what was there in place for the 404 page using Web Archive, build a similar (preferably better) page and reach out to everyone who is linking to that page suggesting your page as a replacement to the non-existent page.
This tactic works because just about any site has broken pages, and no one likes broken links, so your email kindly suggesting fixing them is likely to be highly appreciated.
Broken link building is also the most ethical link building method out there because it is “fixing the web”, i.e. making user experience better by eliminating broken links that are so annoying.
Now, every time your brand of website gets mentioned, you get a backlink as well. Given that backlinks are one of Google’s most important ranking factors, you shouldn’t let these mentions go to waste.
Instead, do thorough research to see where your brand or website gets mentioned. You can do a Google search or use a tool such as Aherefs’ Content Explorer.
Make a list of all the places where it does get mentioned, and reach out to them one by one to try and convert these unlinked mentions into backlinks. Be polite and personal, and you can offer a backlink in return if that’s something you want to do.
Another actionable SEO technique is focusing on long-tail keywords. While these types of keywords or key phrases are searched for less than shorter keywords, it’s easier to rank for them.
This is so because long-tail keywords are more specific and focus on a particular niche, which is another reason why they’re more likely to be clicked as opposed to one-word keywords.
Long-tail keywords are also likely to convert better: They are so specific because searchers know exactly what they need to buy, so they are more likely to engage with your page if you give them what they want.
Ahrefs, as well as other SEO platforms, allows you to limit your keyword lists to search queries that consist of three or more words, making it easier to find long-tail keywords to focus your content on.
Did you know that almost 60% of the world’s website traffic was generated via mobile devices? Google knows it as well. That’s why the search giant introduced page loading speed on mobile as one of its latest ranking factors. Google is also using “mobile-first” index now, meaning that they will crawl and index the mobile version of your site as the primary one.
This is why optimizing your site for mobile is of utmost importance if you want to get in Google’s good graces.
Here are some ways in which you can do this:
• Use a mobile-friendly WordPress theme
• Improve your page loading speed on mobile
• Optimize your content for voice search
• Reduce the number of pop-ups or get rid of them completely
Optimizing your website for search engines requires hard work. This is why you should implement as many SEO techniques as you can into your SEO strategy and have some patience. While some may give you results in a few weeks, other methods might take up to a year or more before you see an increase in rankings.