When you’re brand-new to SEO and digital marketing, you may find that within a few months you start to see some serious results. Then, over time, your SEO solutions seem to change and adapt, and the results start to drop off.
Unfortunately, as you become more of an expert on a topic, the information you take in can make you lose sight of some of the most basic techniques.
Sticking to the basics can scare many marketers who feel they need to expand onto more difficult techniques. But the most basic SEO solutions are always the ones that work every time.
This article will guide you through the basic SEO solutions you might have forgotten about and help you to get your site’s SEO back on track.
Why It’s Important to Refresh Your SEO Knowledge
With marketers allocating 41% of their overall budgets to online, SEO has never been a more fundamental part of an overall marketer’s strategy. With content marketing still being one of the most important aspects of online marketing for 2018, understanding how to incorporate strong SEO solutions is crucial for success.
What can be challenging is that as you advance your website and marketing strategies, the market continues to change. Techniques you use now can become irrelevant in as much as a few months.
Although managed SEO solutions can be hugely beneficial, understanding the basics of SEO and how to implement them should be your first port of call.
Refreshing yourself in the most effective (and sometimes basic) SEO solutions can be just what you need to get your traffic back on track.
The 4 Basic SEO Solutions You Need to Be Using
With 93% of all online experiences starting with a search engine, beating your SEO into submission should be high on your priority list. If you can improve your ranking, your business is going to benefit.
With that in mind, let’s get back to basics and look at the four SEO solutions you should be focusing on for your business.
1. Backlinks Are Paramount
You may already know that links or backlinks to your website are important. But the quality of the links you receive to your website has never been more important than in 2018.
Thanks to Andrew Lipattsev, the two most important link building signals are high-quality content and link building. But what we may have forgotten is how important the quality of those links are to our website success.
Many people look to techniques like guest posting to gain backlinks for their website. But with so many companies and websites abusing this technique over the last few years, Google no longer rewards these types of links like they used to.
This makes guest posting in 2018 almost completely useless. If you are doing it, stop now. Instead, focus your efforts on generating high-quality backlinks from high-authority sites.
Remember that the more links pointing to your site, the more Google trusts you. It’s like having somebody vouch for you. If you have ten people vouching for you that nobody knows, it doesn’t mean as much as somebody like Bill Gates vouching for you.
Instead of trying to gain individual backlinks, try and focus on creating content that people want to link to organically. Case studies or conducting a study and producing results are great ways for other people in your industry to link back to your original content.
2. Stick to Great Content
Of the two most important ranking factors, content comes after backlinks. That means if you aren’t focusing on producing high-quality long-form content, then you’re doing it wrong.
We know that the average first-page result in Google has 1,890 words. Content with a good amount of words still does better within Google.
It’s no surprise. Google focuses on giving the best possible customer experience for its users, and it wants the content you visit to be useful to you. That’s why content you build for users (and not robots) is what you want to accomplish for your website.
Marketers have in the past focused on exploiting cheats, workarounds, and techniques that game the system. But in the long-run, these techniques rarely have long-term success. As Google’s algorithm updates and changes, these techniques get “figured out” and your results drop back down.
Focus on creating high-quality content that answers a user’s question. You can focus on optimizing your posts by including videos, images, and other helpful content.
You can also look at creating posts which group together in synergy to help answer questions. Don’t just write one post on a topic. Write five or six related posts around that topic and provide real value to somebody who is asking the question.
If you focus on looking after your user and giving them a great experience, Google will reward your SEO over time. Also, focus on the other SEO solutions you can put in place.
3. Meta Descriptions and Headlines
The meta description and headline is the first thing a user is going to see when they search for you on Google. As this is your first impression, you want to impress, right?
You’ll find that your meta description doesn’t directly impact your ranking, but it does have some importance for SEO. That’s because your meta description is your salesperson.
That’s the part that is asking and drawing people to your website and to click. A click-through-rate (CTR) is when people click on your link in the Google search results and how often they do it.
This CTR is actually an important ranking factor, so you should be focusing on optimizing your headlines and meta descriptions for that reason. The higher your CTR, the better you’ll rank.
This is important because if people aren’t clicking on your link, then Google will drop your ranking.
It’s worth remembering that you can optimize headlines. Studies have shown that headlines with 90-99 characters have higher click-through-rates than headlines with fewer characters.
This may seem controversial, especially considering Google advises you to keep your headlines below 60 characters. But the study shows that people prefer longer form content and long-form titles.
4. Focus on the User Experience
Google values user experience. They are constantly looking at the way users behave and what they are doing on websites.
If you find that the user experience of your site isn’t up to standard, it can negatively affect your SEO results. This makes a lot of sense as it’s up to search engines to supply the user with the very best results it can.
That’s why producing amazing content that’s relevant and highly linked to isn’t the only thing you need to worry about. If your website doesn’t load quickly enough, people are going to leave. And that’s going to send a warning sign to Google.
People have come to expect quick load speeds for websites. Google advises they aim to get websites loading in half a second. That’s fast!
But site speed is just one of the components that Google uses to measure the user experience of a site. So how do you focus on improving the UX for your site if you don’t have tons of experience?
Here are some of the SEO solutions you can focus on to improve the customer’s user experience.
We mentioned above about the impact that site speed can have on your UX, but how do you improve it? One of the easiest SEO solutions for site speed is to reduce image sizes.
You can also look at removing any plugins you don’t use on the website, as these may be slowing down the site.
If you have too many ads on your site, that’s going to put off your users too. This is especially true on mobile sites.
It’s advised to not take up more than 30% of the vertical space of your page. You’ll find pop-ups particularly troublesome for mobile users since they never resize to fit on the page.
Keep It Clean
When users are visiting your page, the last thing they want is a huge slider featuring a bunch of services that your company offers. They’ve come to your site for an answer to a question.
Don’t overwhelm them. Keep it simple. A clean website design is going to give your user the best experience possible.
Simple SEO solutions like this help to keep users on your page for longer, sending great signals back to Google. Not only this but it also improves the usability of your site, which is always great news.
Get Back to Basics with These Four SEO Tips
Understanding all of the SEO solutions online can be a harrowing experience.
Just remember that by following the basics of SEO, you can focus on not only improving your ranking within Google but also focus on providing a real service to real customers.
If you want more help in crafting the perfect SEO for your site, get in touch today.