If like me you run your own business and have an online presence which could include website or social media, the chances are that SEO or search engine optimisation will play a large part in your acquisition of new work or online sales.
A closer look at what you are trying to achieve is key to achieving ROI “Return on investment” and what areas to concentrate on for the most impact.
At responsive web design we have achieved top positions for many of our clients which in turn has secured there market place niche.
The basics of SEO like naming the meta tags of all your blog posts and concentrating on key works is important, but little attention is spent on other relevant sites linking into your site to achieve the best positions ,but how do you beat the competition in natural search results?
You could concentrate on producing high-quality content and properly optimising your pages, naming all your images and linking with your own site but would this provide the best results?
So with this in mind I would like to share some of the trends you will see in 2020 and beyond.
Guest blogging may be penalised if over used
Guest blogging if you don’t know, is where you may pay, or be able to blog for free on a similar niche site, and linking that site to your own you can increase page rank and page authority, google and bing may see your site as more important, but beware of using site’s like fivver which can use link farms to put the same content lining to the same page from low ranking sites.
I would highly advise not to use this service, but go down the long protracted route of asking the website owners is you have some relevant content to share on their site that their audience may find useful, or you could use Pintrest or reddit to post images or content with back links which can still help your SEO.
In 2017 google warned against ‘large-scale article campaigns’, which are seen as poor practice and should be avoided as google may mark down your site for spammy blog posts.
If you want avoid the penalty of losing places be selective on which site you want to have links to your site quality over quantity.
Social Media what’s you message?
Using social media the right way is key to your success, tweets and mentions with links back to your site or service are the key to better ranking websites.
Work out what your message is and what you are trying to portray and then find or take a good quality image to let the picture speak a thousand words.
Don’t forget a punchy headline or a question in your post to sell your product, you can do this from your website with Jetpack to post to social media on your behalf saving you the trouble you can also tweak the meta content to suit your message.
Mobile-first indexing has become normal
We were one of the first to adopt a mobile first position, with websites hence our name when we started in 2012.
Back then responsive web design was new and it took a lot of other designers a while to adopt mobile first but, seeing as two thirds of traffic to your site will be on a mobile device you should have a strong mobile site.
This is also reflected in the SEO of your site if it is not mobile friendly then google will penalise you for this de-ranking you from mobile search, you don’t want this.
It’s essential that your designer and yourself consider your users first, with mobile-friendly pages and good UI “user interfaces” and menu systems so navigation and browsing is easy.
Featured snippets what are they, and how do I get them?
Featured snippets are pieces of information on your website that google deem as highly useful, you can’t label them Google systems will determine whether a page would make a good featured snippet if it does good news for you as these will appear in google search console and improve your site ranking, happy days.
The good news is featured snippets have exploded in relevance over recent years, these snippets now feature on an estimated 35% off all search queries this is good news if you have the type of content that google likes.
Think when you are writing what would be useful for a visitor to your site in your particular niche let see some examples.
- Dog grooming site “10 ways to make your dogs coat happy and healthy”
- Builders site “Thinking about a loft conversion or extension how to find a reliable builder ?”
- Photographers site “Five awesome wedding photo albums by us”
These are just examples of how to get snippets featured on google by engaging content as such snippets can be hard to rank for and having the highest organic rank best content will help you along the way and remember its got to be ORIGINAL.
Make sure to adhere to Google’s best practices by using Schema markup, using your content as a type of Q and A by answering questions concisely and giving the information to the visitor in the simplest way.
Follow Google’s standards in respect of markup and organising your content in WordPress, you can do this simply by using an SEO plugin such as YEOAST to fill in the meta fields (the data about the data), as google likes to read about the images and other types of information related to your site.
Will mentions overtake backlinks?
Google and Bing listen for mentions of your brand or website you can track these by using the alerts tool to see how often you are being mentioned this is called chatter you can put some filters in here to track.
- Your brand : Find out what your customers and clients are saying about you monitoring your brand is essential. Even if its negative you may still want to know about it if you know about it you may be able to counter the negative with a positive spin like a free gift or money off voucher.
- Your industry: Look at what others are doing so you can change with the trends don’t get left behind “Google Alerts” can help you stay in the loop or you may want to stay on your own course, knowledge is power so keep your ear to the ground.
- Your competitors: Look at what the competition is doing and look at what is working and more importantly what is not working if they launch a new service but it flops you will not want to make the same costly mistake.
Google looks at the chatter so you should to so keeping an eye on your brand mentions good or bad, is a good idea as google is ranking websites based on links and brand mentions.
So brand mentions or business mentions on Twitter, Facebook or Linked in is key to your SEO, so link with other business in your niche and mention them they will probably give you the same mention back, if you like their service they will probably like you back.
Forums and social media are a fantastic way to increase brand awareness and are a great way of receiving mentions, this will increase your client side relations and boost your SEO so stay active on social media and keep posting.
So I hope with our five ways to improve SEO you may have learnt what we already do at responsive web design.
Its not easy to get you head around why Google and Bing rank sites in different ways, but there is no quick fix for SEO its more of a protracted effort with little wins and losses.
Looking at trends and keeping a keen eye on your ranking and alerts will help you achieve your goals by ranking for competitive terms across the web but if you need help please contact us.
About the Author
Greg Nelson is a highly qualified and experienced web designer and SEO specialist with over fifteen years experience in building and marketing websites he also holds a 1st class BSc (Hons) in computer science.