The complex world of search engine optimization is a beautiful mess that even the most seasoned of professionals can struggle to navigate at times. The goalposts are forever on the move and what works today may well be obsolete tomorrow. That said, despite its ever-changing nature, there are a few timeless hacks you’ll wish you knew sooner. Read on and we’ll share some SEO wisdom with you…
1. It’s not all about being ranked in the first position
Not so much a hack, but a misconception that when properly understood can be highly valuable; contrary to popular belief, it’s not all about being ranked in first position – especially if you fail to live up to expectations.
The fact is, there is still an awful lot of value in being ranked in the top 5 results of a SERP (search engine results page).
Often, users will click on the first position and then abandon the website quickly due to slow page load times, poor UX, and generic, keyword-stuffed content – only to make a purchase with one of the lower-ranking websites instead.
2. Featured snippets DO send more traffic to your website
A number of experts worry that having your featured snippets show up on a SERP will prevent people from clicking through to your website because they have the information they need. This is a dangerous misconception.
In actual fact, having a featured snippet show up in a SERP can increase your traffic by 20 to 30%! Some users may get the information they need, but many will want to see what else you have to say on the matter.
As such, optimising your website and the content that you share to increase the odds of your answers becoming featured snippets is a solid SEO practice.
3. Always write for your audience first
If you are already aware of Google’s ‘People-First’ update back in August 2022, then you’ll know that the search giants are putting even greater emphasis on ranking content that is genuinely helpful to their users.
In other words, when writing content, let SEO be an afterthought.
Yes, you need to do proper keyword research and label your content accordingly, but writing content for the sake of stuffing in certain keywords is a dead waste of time.
Instead, focus entirely on your ideal customer. How can you help them? What awesome value can you offer them in the content you create? This is the key to dominating SEO today.
4. Google’s top three ranking factors are…
Content, links, and ‘RankBrain’. Optimise your online present for these three and you’ll crush it:
- Content: As discussed, people first, SEO second. Demonstrate your authority and help improve your prospective customers’ lives.
- Links: Link building is very much alive! So, create awesome, ‘share-worthy’ content, carry out studies and document your findings (content creators love citing stats), and develop a solid guest-blogging plan. The more quality links pointing toward your website, the greater authority your website will have in the eyes of Google.
- RankBrain: RankBrain is Google’s machine-learning tool they use to process and rank content. In a nutshell, if you want your content to be seen as valuable by this tool you need to share content that reads as though it has been written by a human! Conversational, clear, concise, and with plenty of natural languages.
5. DATA is the Daddy
You’ve likely heard the saying: “Content is King” before. Well, here’s a new one for you: “Data is the Daddy”.
If you truly want to outperform your competitors and take your website to the next level, you need to have a solid data collection and collation system in place. Every single shred of information you can collect will be invaluable in making impactful changes to your website and content creation strategies.
And if the prospect of studying your website’s analytics doesn’t appeal to you, find yourself a reputable SEO agency in Sydney that can handle the grunt work instead.
It doesn’t matter how small your business is; start collecting and processing data TODAY and use it to your advantage.