4 Modern SEO Best Practices that will Double Your Search Traffic
I want to share some digital marketing news with you.
Let's start with the good news first. According to Salesforce.com, 87% of shoppers start a purchase by searching online. That means that your SEO efforts can pay off big time. Unique content and frictionless shopping can help your brand gain visibility in search engines and drive more traffic to your site.
And now the bad news. You may want to take a seat before reading this. 75% of people never scroll past the first page, quotes Forbes. If you don’t score high enough in SERPs, consumers may still not be able to discover you. But this is no reason to get disheartened and throw in the towel. It just means you need to use better SEO strategies and boost your rankings.
Your goal is to double search traffic.
Want to learn best practices that can help intensify your efforts? Stick around as we delve deeper into the secrets of SEO.
1. Make that first glance worthwhile
Searching online begins with looking at Google’s lineup of relevant content. What do you see? Compelling title tags and action-oriented description tags.
This is the first aspect of your strategy to help you rank higher and get more clicks.
Title tags are an excellent way for people to understand what the content will be about and see if it’s relevant to their query. More importantly, they play a vital role in SEO. Needless to say, you need to craft a killer title that not only grabs your reader’s attention but also gives them a clear idea of what to expect.
To make the most of this opportunity, follow these guidelines and best practices.
● Google's display titles max out at 600 pixels, which is about 50-60 words. The amount is not fixed because characters vary in width. By keeping your titles under 60 characters, 90% of your titles will display properly.
● Include high-ranking target keywords
● Keep it descriptive but concise
● Ensure the title matches search intent
On the other hand, the meta description tag doesn’t directly influence your rankings, but it does significantly impact CTR. Consider it as a small sales pitch that can persuade a searcher to continue reading the entire content.
To ensure your meta description tag generates the most traffic, consider the following:
● Ensure your meta description tag accurately summarizes the content
● Use keywords appropriately- avoid keyword stuffing
● Create a different meta description for each page
● Keep it under 160 characters. Anything more will not be displayed.
2. Use the right keywords
A person begins a search by typing words into the search box of a search engine. The search engine then takes the search query, breaks it down into identifiable keywords, and looks in its indexes to find matching pages. Often, there is a perfect match. But if search terms and keywords don’t match, search engine algorithms, with the help of machine learning, will suggest other similar topics that align with search intent.
By incorporating appropriate keywords in your content, you send signals to Google about the topic of the page. Generic keywords are very competitive. Therefore, focusing on long-tail keywords can yield better results. They are less competitive, targeted at a particular audience, generate substantial traffic, and have higher conversion rates. So what keywords should you focus on? Well, that depends on your niche and target audience. Of course, you will need to do some research to find those that are more effective.
Let’s do a quick example. Instead of simply using ‘car dealership’ as a keyword, car dealership owners can explore keywords that are more targeted. Studies have shown local SEO has exponentially grown over the past few years. Therefore, using ‘near me’ can improve results.
And since people looking for cars are most likely searching for local businesses, one of the best SEO keywords for car dealerships is ‘brand + car dealership near me’. Not only does this increase visibility in the search engines, but by including ‘near me’ in the keyword phrases, the car dealer can attract more local traffic.
3. Optimize for voice search
2 in 5 adults are using voice search capabilities at least once a day. And this number is going to rise. 25% of people aged 16-24 already use voice search on their mobiles.
As the trend enters the mainstream, you need to ensure that your site remains current with the latest consumer demands. Taking steps to optimize it will help drive more traffic in the coming years.
So what should you be doing?
● Because voice-based search tends to be conversational, you need to use long-tail keywords.
● Use semantically related keywords
● Utilize structured data
● Add schema tags to your website
● Incorporate questions into the content, preferably in headings
For more ideas on how to perfect your content marketing strategy, continue reading 7+1 Growth Hacking Content Marketing Trends You Can’t Ignore.
4. Don’t forget Technical SEO
Technical SEO is an important part of your on-page SEO campaign. It focuses on improving the technical aspects of a website so that it operates better, loads faster, and is easier to crawl and understand by search engines. These efforts can help your website rank higher and acquire more traffic.
But more importantly, a website that performs optimally is ideal for ecommerce. Due to the pandemic, this is going to be an essential feature. 79% of smartphone users made online purchases with their mobile devices.
And since Google now favors mobile-first, you will now have to take on a new approach to planning, UX design, and development. It means developers need to design websites for mobiles before creating one for desktop.
What should you be looking into to perfect technical SEO?
● Perfect responsive design to make your site mobile-friendly
● Create sitemaps to help Google find, crawl, and index your web pages
● Improve site speed
● SSL certificates
● Optimize images
● Incorporate internal and external links
SEO is an expansive field that encompasses a variety of website attributes. Today, we took a closer look at only four of them. But this only goes to show that you should not limit yourself to only these strategies.
As technology continues to evolve and innovative ideas present themselves, you need to ensure your SEO strategies are as modern as everything else. With AI, ML, AR, and VR stepping into our lives, we will need to reevaluate processes regularly. But ensuring that your digital marketing approach remains current will keep you noticeable in the eyes of tech-savvy consumers- and of course, Google.
It's time to win back the searches you are losing to the competition.
Audrey Throne has an ongoing affair with the words that capture readers’ attention. Her passion for writing dates back to her pre-blogging days. She loves to share her thoughts related to business, technology, health and fashion.
Find her on Twitter: @audrey_throne