Google regularly updates its SEO algorithm, which means industrial marketers must stay on top of their SEO tactics to perform better on search engine result pages for their chosen keywords. SEO practices that worked a couple years ago may now be ineffective.
One SEO practice that never changes is optimizing your content for search. Quality content is the foundation of SEO. This makes perfect sense. Google’s goal in regularly updating their algorithm is to always deliver the best, most relevant results to user queries, and every user query is basically a request for relevant content.
Keeping the requirement for quality content always top of mind in your SEO practices, here are the latest tips to help you improve SEO results.
One page, one keyword
For any given page or post you are trying to optimize for SEO, focus on only one keyword (or keyword phrase). If you use additional keywords in the page content, you dilute the strength of all of them. If you use the same keyword on multiple pages, you end up with pages that compete with themselves for rankings.
Don’t overuse your target keyword in the text. The content needs to flow, be clear, and be helpful to the user—that’s the number one rule. Use keywords in page titles, meta descriptions, H1-H5 tags (headings, subheadings), URL names, and within the text of the page.
Use related words in page content
While each page should focus on one keyword, you should use related phrases and synonyms to that keyword to show a breadth of understanding about the topic. Google uses latent semantic indexing (LSI), which means it understands how words relate to each other. In addition, using similar phrases and synonyms will make your content sound more natural, as opposed to the awkward results of trying to stuff the keyword all over the page.
Create long-form content
Long-form content (in the range of 2,000 words), gives you the opportunity to explore your keyword topic in depth and to position yourself as an expert on that topic. Long-form content increases the likelihood of shares and back links from other sites, because your content becomes the authoritative word on a subject.
Users won’t read a long page of content? Not true. If it’s relevant, length doesn’t matter. But you can make the content easy to read by using appropriate subheadings, short paragraphs, lists, and other techniques to make the content more visually appealing.
Focus on pages that already rank
You might have important pages on your site that rank, but just not as high as you would like. Work on these pages. Add more detail, anticipate and answer user questions, add images and video, include statistic and examples, create an infographic, and include anything else that will make the page stronger. Keep the content fresh through regular editing—including both additions and subtractions. Your best pages can get even better.
Develop a linking strategy
Search algorithms love links. Incoming links from external sites are extremely valuable because they indicate your content is important, but only if the links are from relevant sites. You can get incoming links by working with your business partners in complementary fields, guest blogging, participating in interviews and roundups, and through respected industry directories.
Internal linking is equally important. These links can help maximize user engagement by pointing the way to related content. They can also help reduce bounce rates, which are a factor in SEO.
Have a fully responsive website
Many searches are performed on mobile devices and Google most often uses a mobile site for indexing and ranking. This means you need a fully responsive website with content that renders well across all devices.
A responsive website changes the layout to offer an experience based on the device being used, especially ideal for mobile viewing. If you don’t have a fully responsive website, you may need to allocate budget and resources for this important initiative. Without a fully responsive website, your page rankings will suffer.
Optimize for “position zero”
You’ve seen featured snippets on search results pages that show up on search engine results pages. They appear after the ads but before the ranked results. This is called position zero, and it’s coveted. Featured snippets usually appear alongside an image, list, or a video, making them stand out even more and putting them in an even better position to get clicks.
Often, featured snippets show up in results for queries that include “How” or “What” or “Why” and are an answer to that question. Try optimizing a page to answer this type of question. Include a short 40-60-word paragraph and a list, table, or image. To optimize for position zero means to optimize for user intent, and in this case, that means answering their question.