Search Engine Optimization techniques are necessary for any website to generate traffic and reach your target audience. Even if we don’t realize it, the information we click on during a Google search is the direct result of the SEO work that somebody put into making that site rise in search results. SEO is the process of gaining website traffic by implementing a variety of techniques used to rise in search engine rankings.
A search engine uses algorithms to categorically rank websites according to their keywords and relevancy, and stores it in its database. When a user searches for a query on the internet, the search engine displays the results according to those rankings. If you own a website, you will need to implement SEO techniques to improve your website’s ranking.
Google is the search engine authority with 92% market share. It is used all over the world and its algorithm is constantly updated. This means that you need to update yourself on the latest SEO techniques to keep your website relevant and stay ahead of your competition.
Here are 7 SEO techniques to optimize your website:
- Design for mobile users
- Write long blog posts
- Backlinks and link building
- Optimize for faster speed
- Constantly update old content
- Research your keywords
- Eliminate obsolete content
1. Design for mobile users
The number of mobile users accessing the internet surpassed desktop users back in 2016, and this trend is continuing to grow. Most people are accessing information on a mobile device, so it’s important to meet your audience where they already are. If your website isn’t optimized for mobile, you’re already losing the race.
Optimizing your website for mobile users should be your number one priority. Google is using a mobile-first indexing technique that prioritizes ranking the websites which are mobile-friendly ahead of the rest, making it critical to optimize your website.
The current ranking criteria for websites include:
- User-friendly design
- Optimizing for mobile devices
- Fast load time - under 2 seconds (see #4)
2. Write long blog posts
Having informative and useful content in your blog posts is extremely important for gaining traction in search engine rankings. You can tell how useful the content is based on how long the average user stays on the page - use Google Analytics or something similar to measure this.
Something that most people fail to notice is the effectiveness of long blog posts and their correlation with a high search engine ranking. These blog articles tend to cover a topic in-depth and provide helpful information that may not be available on other websites
According to research by Backlinko, the average word count of a Google first page result was 1,890 words. However, you will not gain a higher rank just by posting longer blog posts. You must find the perfect balance of length and quality in your blog posts to get the best results.
3. Backlinks and link building
Link building is a classic technique that can improve your ranking on Google, and it is still relevant despite several algorithm updates. Backlinks are links in external websites or other pages on your website that redirect to a page on your website. They are excellent for generating more traffic and awareness of your website and your brand, product, or service.
Although this method is not a fast route to success, it is mandatory for attaining stable long-term growth for your website. Professional link building services can help you to build the optimal number of backlinks for your website to start seeing results. When there are a greater number of backlinks from pages Google feels are important to your niche pointing to your website, Google takes it as a measure of the trust and credibility of your website.
4. Optimize for faster speed
The objective of every website is to provide the best user experience for readers. With the hectic pace of modern life and advancements in high-speed internet, nobody has the patience to wait for slow-loading websites. If your website takes more than 3 seconds to load, there is a high chance that your visitor will leave your website and never return.
Use Google Page Speed Insights to measure how fast any page of your site is.
5. Constantly update old content
Google ranks fresh content very highly in search results. To stay at the top of your search, you need to go through your old content and ensure that your blog posts and information are still relevant.
But don’t rush to completely dump your old articles! You can refresh and update old content by adding new links, statistics, news information, and more, or by restructuring the flow of the post. This will allow Google to rank it once again. You can quickly update old articles by changing the title tags, internal linking, and keyword insertions.
If updating your content doesn't make it better, try again. Here's a tip though, update the pages that lead to the highest conversions first and most often.
6. Research your keywords
Finding the right keywords is crucial for getting a high rank on the search engine index. Conducting in-depth research of relevant keywords can help you find the best ones for your site. Once you find the right keywords, naturally work them into your content to improve your ranking. Neil Patel has a great post on how to use your competitors keywords to rank, you can check it out here.
7. Eliminate obsolete content
You will need to remove any old or obsolete content that does not provide any additional value from your website. Anybody who finds clearly obsolete content on your site will quickly exit. This is called a "bounce" and will cause your rankings to drop. You'll also want to remove duplicate content and negative content as well, so take some time to either remove or refresh duplicate content. We suggest using SEMRush to perform a site audit.
The algorithms that a search engine uses keep changing with time, although the core principles remain the same. The goal of all search engines is to provide the most relevant results for every search query. SEO does not mean stuffing as many keywords as possible in the pages of your website. All content should be relevant and useful in order to provide value to your readers.
Search engines use algorithms that can detect malicious or low-quality websites that try to rise in rankings by stuffing keywords. Natural Language Processing is another technology that helps search engine process search queries and provides results according to logical reasoning, and it's used for sentiment analysis as well. SEO not only helps your website land that higher ranking, but that leads to a higher return on investment, more leads, site visits, and conversions. But SEO takes time, so be patient.