10 SEO Tips for Beginners and Business Leaders In 2022

seo

Get started managing or implementing SEO with 10 tips on the ‘must-have’ basics. Whether you are implementing your SEO or simply want to be able to manage your marketing more effectively, this article will help you make sure that your website is optimised and that you see results quickly.

What Is SEO, and Why Is It Important for your business?

With over 90 billion searches on Google each month the chances are that a lot of people are searching for what you offer right now. Without good SEO they’ll never find you.

Optimising your SEO strategy gets your website found by your ideal target audience with website pages that drive organic and relevant traffic to your website. It improves your visibility and search rankings – beginning that all important journey to page one of Google.

Most of our online behaviour starts with a search engine. Because of this, search engines are our most used digital tool. In fact, Google is the top most visited website worldwide, with an average of 92.5 billion monthly visitors in the USA.

An SEO strategy begins with an understanding of your target audience and what they’re searching for so you can create content that answers their questions.

There are not really any ‘dark arts’ with SEO – although there are some important technical aspects to master, the heart of it is simply making sure your content matches and helps those people who are searching for your service or product.

1. Get your keyword strategy right.

Keyword research is a crucial element to a successful SEO strategy and is done by finding and researching keywords to target in your website content. You can do keyword research using tools from Google and others like Ahrefs and SEMrush, that show you what people search for on search engines.

It’s important to research a keyword properly to understand how competitive it is, how often it’s being searched for in a search engine, its income potential, and the type of content you should create to rank for the keyword.

Essential elements of keyword research include

  • true keyword difficulty
  • search volume
  • search intent.

You’ll want to come up with a list of keywords based on your industry and topic; then check if it’s worth creating content about by seeing if the search volume is high, with a lower keyword difficulty score.

Harder keywords will take longer to rank for – especially if your domain authority is low. This is one reason why SEO must be viewed as a consistent long-term task that requires weekly if not daily attention.

2. Use your keywords to flush out competitors

Competitor analysis is essential to keep your website ahead of the game. To find your competitors, write down a list of keywords that describe your business, website, and overall industry. Type the keywords into a search engine and note down the top 10-15 websites that show up first. You’ll often find the same or similar sites appearing repeatedly.

These websites will be considered authoritative by Google, and you’ll want to add them to your list of competitors. A great tool to use is SEMrush, as you’ll be able to type the domain in the search box to see their number of organic keywords and organic traffic within Google.

Once you have a list of competitors, you can now research their email, social media, and content marketing strategies. What is their engagement? Who are their target demographics? What type of content and how often are they sharing on social media? You can do a deep dive into their platforms and check out their performance metrics.

Learn from your competition but don’t copy them – exploit weaknesses instead. If they’re doing well then why not mention them in blog post and get some of their traffic?

3. Check one vital metric: Your Website Speed

People hate slow loading websites and as a result, so does Google who will punish you severely for a slow site. Google will also see a high bounce rate as people simply give up waiting and move on. This doubles your Google trouble!

Improving your website speed can be complex and impacted by various elements, including poorly written code and large, bulky imagery or page elements. Generally speaking, the slower the site loads, the higher the bounce rate. Improving site loading speed is a technical matter so seek advice from a developer if your site is slow.

Pop your site’s URL in Google’s checker now. If it doesn’t show green or amber, then enlist technical support to remedy the issues immediately.

Do you want to improve your overall Domain Authority – i.e. your Google quality score and SEO? Then high-authority backlinks are a great way to do so.

Backlinks are considered ‘endorsements’ in the SEO world. This means if your website is being linked to by another website considered ‘high-authority’ by Google, it will signal to Google that you have important influence, which can help boost your rankings. When this occurs, this can help convince search engines that your content is authoritative, relevant, trustworthy, and educational.

So how do you generate backlinks? There are several ways to approach this.

  • Try out guest articles and blogs on industry-leading websites to increase brand awareness. While this doesn’t always lead to direct backlinks, it can help drive more website traffic and improve your reputation. However, these high-authority websites must be considered reputable by search engines and have many active followers.
  • You can also try reaching out to news outlets, influential businesses, and websites that provide regular news updates within your industry or niche. Once you contact these organisations, you can explain why and how you have a piece of content that may be relevant to their readers and their interests.
  • You can also link internally. Not only is it also considered a backlink, but internal links can help you cross-promote your own content within your entire website, improving user experience and keeping visitors engaged.

Consider all possible means to get authoritative websites to talk about you. This may be a great PR campaign or winning an award. Equally speaking at industry events and getting coverage in the business section of a newspaper will be great potential backlinks.

5. Should I optimise my website for Mobile?

Where is your audience coming from? In the past few years, you’ll find that more people are using search engines from their tablets or mobile devices than from their desktop computers. Google and other search engines understand this and heavily favour mobile-optimised websites. In fact, for search queries being searched on mobile devices, Google will display the mobile-friendly website results first.

So what’s an easy way to ensure your content blog is mobile-friendly? With a responsive design. This means it consists of mobile-friendly content, media, and features and can adapt to whatever device it’s being viewed on.

Most businesspeople check and use their own website at work on a laptop or desktop and forget that other users will most likely be on a mobile device.

6. What is the best URL for SEO Success?

URLs are one of the most critical and core elements of an SEO strategy.

Having a well-crafted URL allows search engines and website users to develop an easy indication of what the specific page is about. A short and descriptive URL is easy to read and breaks down the most important content into bite-sized information, making it as user-friendly as possible — which is vital for overall SEO.

Without attention a new blog post can easily be written and published with a URL which is useless:

https://theambitionsagency.com/how-long-will-my-52527232

With focus it becomes

https://theambitionsagency.com/how-long-will-my-digital-marketing-take-to-work/

While the particular URL can depend on various factors, the shorter the length of a URL, when it comes to the length of a URL, the better. Aim for 75 characters maximum, use hyphens instead of underscores, and use lowercase letters. Generally, your URL should include a focus keyword and should make it clear to the visitor what the page is all about.

URLS are easily changed and often overlooked!

7. How do I Optimise for Search Intent?

Search intent is the main goal someone has when searching a specific query within a search engine. Most of the time, website visitors are searching for a particular answer or topic within a keyword.

For example, take the keyword ‘hamburger’. Searching for a takeaway hamburger is different from searching for a hamburger recipe or the health impact of a hamburger.

When someone searches for a specific topic and finds incorrect information, they’ll often try another search without clicking on anything. This sends a signal back to Google that the intent is mismatched and does not reflect the intent of the searcher.

Is the content you’re creating providing value, and is it relevant to your target audience? There are four general search intents:

  • Informational intent is often in the form of a recipe, definition, or how-to guide.
  • Preferential or commercial investigation is where the user is now ready to investigate brands, services, or products further.
  • A transactional search is when users look to purchase something like a product or service. They generally have a good idea of what they’re searching for.
  • Navigational intent is searching for navigation to a specific website instead of typing up the URL. This often includes business or brand names.

Don’t encourage people to click a link to your site unless you have content that will suit them. Be clear in your page descriptions and use Google Schema tags [advanced]

8. Create Evergreen Content

We all know what trending content is — it tends to rise in popularity as fast as it falls. However, unlike trending content, evergreen content remains value-rich months and years after being published.

Evergreen blogs, articles, and videos can bring your audience back for more, which can help generate a high return on investment (ROI).

Not all value-rich content is necessarily evergreen. Even if you have excellent content, if nobody can find it on the internet and it’s generating no traffic, it can’t truly be considered evergreen. All evergreen content needs to be optimised for search engines with some on-page SEO tips:

  • Do not include paragraphs longer than five lines at one time
  • Include target and focus keywords in the title and subheadings
  • Include cited data when necessary, and link to outbound high-authority websites
  • Try to avoid over technical jargon, and use relatable language
  • Answer the visitor’s search query directly and clearly, close to the top of the article

Great SEO content should usually be evergreen. Focus first on making great content and it should last over the long term.

9. Track and Measure your SEO results

There’s no point in developing an SEO strategy if you’re not tracking your conversions and rankings.

It’s crucial to measure the overall impact of the work you are putting into your SEO strategy for business success. It’ll also help you visualise what is and isn’t working so you can make tweaks. Most engagement metrics look at how people behave once they visit your website and how they engage with your content. Tracking and measuring SEO results can be done with Google Analytics or other analytics tools.

Some other popular metrics for SEO measurement include: 

  • Your conversion rate can help you gauge the ROI your website traffic might deliver
  • How long a visitor spent on a specific website page
  • Pages per visit, which highlights engaged visitors
  • Bounce rate and bounced sessions indicate that a searcher visited the page and left without further browsing your site
  • Scroll depth measures how far visitors scroll down individual web pages
  • Total search traffic, which shows if your website is being chosen by searchers as the answer to their queries

Track as much as you can because when you see the impact a really great piece of content is having it will give you and the team a real boost to keep going

10. Do you have a Complete Digital Footprint?

You may be surprised to understand that Google tracks a lot more than just your website. It really wants your entire online presence to be unified and ideally linked under one dashboard that it can monitor.

As a tiny example if the detail involved: Having different opening times on your Google My Business page and your website will result in penalties from Google.

Make sure that every online presence you have (website, Google My Business, Social Media, LinkedIn etc.) is cross integrated and unified under one dashboard with the same business name and Google approved handles.

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