SEO techniques are constantly changing. What was important 5 years ago may not be considered now.
How does one find out which techniques to incorporate and which to ignore?
Should I focus on keywords, link building, title tags, meta descriptions?
These are few questions that come to mind when thinking about SEO.
Search engine optimization is serious business and making a mistake can cost you a lot.
In fact, research conducted by Hubspot states that SEO has the best leads-to-customer close ratio compared to any other marketing channel.
However even though the rules of SEO are constantly changing, there are a few fundamental principles that have remained the same.
Today we will learn about 8 SEO Tips that you should not ignore if you want to rank well organically.
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1.) Choose a Primary Focus Keyword
A primary focus keyword quite simply means the keyword or phrase that you want to rank for on the search results page.
For example, a few months ago, I wanted to write an article on SWOT analysis for digital marketers.
I first needed to find out if people were actually looking for content around this search term.
One of the best ways to get this information is by using a free tool called the Google Keyword Planner.
With the help of this tool, you can get an estimate of any search phrase. Do note that you need to create a Google Adwords account in order to use this tool.
After checking the keyword tool, I found out that the term SWOT Analysis receives an average monthly search of about 49,500 searches
Although SWOT analysis is a broad keyword, I narrowed it down to my niche by writing an article, especially for digital marketers.
This article did extremely well and ranks on the top 3 positions for keywords such as ‘Swot analysis in digital marketing’, ‘swot analysis digital marketing’, ‘how to conduct swot analysis for digital’ and so on.
You can check it right now for yourself and you will see the results.
2.) Research on what your competition is doing
Once you have selected the keywords you want to rank for, it is time to check on how well your competition is doing for those type of topics.
Do a Google search on the topic you want to rank for and analyze the content of the top 4 search results.
The aim of this activity is to create content that adds more value. You always need to be able to give more than what is asked for. That goes the same for SERP as well.
3.) Make your article better
Like I mentioned earlier, competitor research is done to add more value. Do not plagiarize but aim to make your content better.
I use the same formula while writing my review for the 100 Day Blogging Course by Digital Deepak
I analyzed what my competition had written and I went a step further in terms of content and value.
If your competition has covered A, B and C topics, then your article needs to be able to cover A, B, C, D, E and F.
If you notice, the review article is ranking on the top, right after DigitalDeepak.com. In fact, this article reached the current position in about 24 hours.
There was no rocket science used to rank well for this article. I just incorporated the same techniques I am sharing with you here, that is it.
4.) Add your keyword in the title
This is SEO 101. You may have heard this before but if you have not, I’ll say it again. Add your keyword in the title.
This might seem like a simple thing however it is extremely powerful. Also, it is advisable to add the keyword at the start of the sentence rather than at the end.
While adding your keyword in the title make sure your title is compelling enough so that people will click on it.
Let me give you an example. From the below two titles, let me know in the comments, which title would you rather click on.
a.) Monthly Tax Newsletter
b.) 5 Tax Tips that will Help You Save Money
I think I already know which one you would select. Now in the comments, you can find out if others feel the same way too.
If no one has commented yet, then go ahead be the first one to do so, let’s see what the community has to say.
5.) Keyword in the header
Keywords are important and we have already established that.
You may have noticed that I have structured this article in such a way that it consists of the main header and subsequent sub-headers.
This helps readers to skim through the blog post easily but also helps Google understand what your article is about.
Add your keyword phrase in the sub-headers at least once and that should do the trick.
6.) Keyword in the name and alt-tag of your images
Instead of adding pictures with names like 78345690.jpg, it is a good practice to rename your images according to the keywords you want to rank for.
For example, if you want to rank for the keyword “SEO Tips”, it is better to rename the image 78345690.jpg to SEO Writing Tips.
Of course, the image I would be uploading would be related to SEO writing in some way or the other. I recommend using images that are always relevant to your article topic rather than uploading random images.
Another aspect that you need to keep in mind is the “alt-tag” for your photos.
Add the keywords in the alt-tag section of your images as well.
Alt-tags get displayed when a web browser is unable to load your image for any reason.
Adding keywords in the name and alt-tag section further tells Google what the article is about.
In fact, research conducted by SEMrush states that 45% of analyzed sites have images without any ALT tags and 10% of people have broken internal images.
Capitalize on this simple yet powerful technique if you haven’t already.
Interlinking your articles help you drive traffic to other content that you have written. It also helps you tell the reader about related topics that you have covered that will deepen their understanding of the current blog post.
For example, in this article itself, I have inserted links to my SWOT Analysis post as well as my 100-day blogging review.
This is a nice way of guiding my readers to check out other content which may ultimately lead to sign-ups to my newsletter.
Okay, this is one of the most crucial steps to ranking well on Google and it may not be something that you have complete control over.
Let’s talk about link building.
Link building is the process of acquiring links from high authority websites that lead back to your own website.
If a website with a high PA and DA – page authority and domain authority link back to your website, it tells the search engines that your article is of high quality and should be ranked higher.
You can check the PA and DA of a website by using the MozBar plugin for chrome. Ideally, any website that has a minimum DA of 30 is considered to be good among webmasters.
Always aim to get links to articles that are related to the topic you have written about. Do not try to acquire a link from an article that talks about dog grooming when you have written about SEO tips in 2018.
Now how do you convince webmasters to link back to your article? Well, you do it the old-fashioned way, you need to ask!
Neil Patel explains how he built 23,000 unique links to neilpatel.com
The strategizes explained in the video work and trust me, link building is one of the most powerful SEO techniques to rank well on search engines.
Here is an infographic of the article
SEO is a vast subject that is constantly evolving. However, there are a few ground rules that have remained the same.
Most of the tips mentioned here focus on Keywords and quality content. There are other aspects of SEO as well, which I will cover in the future, however, this is a good start to your SEO journey.
The techniques are simple and easy to implement. It just takes conscious effort to practically apply it.