Enhance Your SEO: Tips for Increasing Search Rankings and Driving Website Traffic
As a branding and design studio that specializes in lead generation, website design and social media marketing, we’re always searching for new, innovative ways to boost SEO. SERP rankings have a major influence on web traffic and conversion rates, and as such, the art of SEO has become increasingly complicated and competitive. Recently, our social marketing team found The Definitive Guide to SEO in 2018, which is a guide created by SEO expert and Backlinko.com founder Brian Dean, that outlines tips and methods for dominating Google’s search results in 2018. We found it to be super helpful and wanted to share with any digital marketers or businesses looking to enhance their online presence!
Here are some highlights:
RankBrain, Dwell Time and CTR
RankBrain is a machine learning system that helps Google sort through its search results. It measures how users interact with search results, taking click-through-rates (CTR) and dwell time (how long a Google searcher spends on a page) into account, and ranks them accordingly. Watch this video to learn how you can improve your website’s dwell time.
One industry study found that organic CTR is down 37% since 2015 due to the amount of answer boxes, ads, and carousels crowding Google’s search results. This makes SERP rankings all the more competitive and means that your result must scream “CLICK ME!” or risk being ignored. To enhance your organic CTR, check out this infographic or watch this video on boosting organic traffic.
Content and Links
Once upon a time, Google used to solely analyze a page’s content ranking based on title tags, URLs, image ALT text, description tags and H1 tags. However, the search engine spider has since smartened up and now focuses on the context of your content as well. This means that writing comprehensive, in-depth content is essential in order to rank highly on the SERP. According to the guide, you can enhance your content by:
- Publishing pieces that are at least 2,000 words. This will ensure that you cover everything a Google searcher needs to know about a topic, and studies have found that longer content, such as guides and long-form blogs, outrank shorter articles on Google.
- Adding latent semantic indexing (LSI) to your content. LSI keywords are words and phrases that are strongly associated with a page’s topic and help boost SERP results. To find LSI words related to a specific topic, you can use a free tool called LSI Graph or scope out the “searches related to…” section at the bottom of Google’s search results.
With that all said, content and links are still Google’s #1 and #2 ranking factors. In fact, the number of sites linking to a page reportedly correlate more with SERP rankings than any other factor. Therefore, producing quality content that other sites link to is key to enhancing your SEO.
Google announced last year that they were switching to a mobile-first index, meaning that the search engine will use the mobile version of a website’s content to rank on the SERP. As such, you should ensure that your website performs optimally across all devices, including responsive loading times and design on both desktop and mobile. To see if your site is mobile friendly, check out Google’s free testing tool.
According to Cisco, video will account for 80% of all internet traffic by 2021! That’s right—80%. This makes total sense, considering that YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and 55% of all Google search results contain at least one video. By embedding videos into your text-based blogs, you can boost your page’s dwell time and subsequently enhance your SEO! Not to mention, video content is highly engaging and can drive repeat visitors to your site. (Check out our blog on motion graphics to learn more about video marketing and Lúgh Studio’s creative services.)
With the rising popularity of voice-activated search tools, such as Siri, Alexa, Google Home, etc., it’s important to optimize your content for voice searches. An easy way to do so is by including a question (and answer) in your content, as majority of voice searches are question based. For example, when Google receives a query like “Alexa, what time are the Yankees playing tonight?” it usually picks a page that contains both the question and answer.
- Create visual content! Images are especially easy for other sites to embed in their content, and they usually link back to the source when they do. (You can read more about visual marketing here.)
- Bloggers and journalists love unique data. If you can connect them with stats, surveys or industry studies, you’ll have a notable increase in links.
- Encourage comments on your site—Google has been quoted saying, “Comments are better on-site for engagement signals for SEO than moving to social.” In other words, adding a comment section to your site can help significantly with rankings.
- Guest appearances on podcasts are a great way to connect with your audience, generate backlinks and drive web traffic. (Read our blog on podcasting to learn more.)
Need help with your SEO or any of the marketing materials listed above? Let us help. Book a free consultation with Lúgh Studio today.