Want SEO results?
Good! In this article, I’ll cover three of the easiest ways to get results in search engine optimization.
What You’ll Learn:
- Introduction to SEO
- Which factors drive the highest SEO results
- How to get better results through content
- How to get better results through link building
- How to get better results through technical SEO
Why Do I Need SEO?
Better question: why don’t you?
To break it down, SEO is the process of optimizing your website and content to perform well in organic search.
It’s how your content gets noticed, and how companies end up on the first page of search engines like Google.
Here are a few facts to get you started:
- Google averages 100 billion searches a month (SERPWatch)
- 3.5 billion Google searches are made every day (Wordstream)
- SEO leads average a 14.6% close rate, while outbound leads average a 1.7% close rate (Digital Marketing Institute)
To break it down: consumers are using search engines. And if you want them to find you, you need to rank high.
Which Factors Drive the Highest SEO Results?
SEO isn’t exactly straightforward.
That’s because there isn’t one clear answer to scaling the top of Google’s list.
In fact, Google takes into consideration approximately 200 factors when ranking websites.
Beyond that, Google’s been known to change its algorithm 500-600 times a year (thankfully, most of these are minor).
But not all ranking factors are created equal. A few have stood the test of time and remain the most effective at increasing SEO results.
According to Andrey Lipattsev, a Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google, the most important factor “is content. And it’s links pointing to your site.”
1. Quality Content Drives SEO Results
This may seem like a no-brainer.
But the key here is creating more quality content than your competitors and making sure each page on your site is fully optimized.
Quality content will not only attract and resonate with more viewers, but it will give you leg up on the competition – and in search engines.
How to Get SEO Results
If you want to improve your SEO rank, start by making sure that your copy is unique on every page.
That means you’re not duplicating already written content or borrowing it from other sources.
Google had this to say about it in March:
“Important: The Lowest rating is appropriate if all or almost all of the MC (main content) on the page is copied with little or no time, effort, expertise, manual curation, or added value for users. Such pages should be rated Lowest, even if the page assigns credit for the content to another source.“ – Google Search Quality Evaluator Guidelines
It goes without saying that a low rating from Google means nothing good for your SEO.
Another element of successful SEO content is to focus on longform content. That’s especially important if you want to get fast SEO results.
True, Google has stated that there is no minimum length to rank well on Google, and the focus should be on quality over content.
But generally, it’s accepted that longer content has a tendency to rank higher. Backlinko reports that the average first-page result on Google contains 1,890 words.
Because longer text gives you more space to include quality keywords and content, Google has more to work with.
As you develop your content, make sure you’re including facts, stats and FAQ’s in your content.
They’ll help you establish yourself as an expert in your industry to your audience, and signal to Google that you can provide high-quality, well-researched content.
Beyond that, it’s essential to ensure all the elements on your page are optimized. That means images, schema, links, headings, titles and meta tags.
Don’t neglect elements like images and tags – both offer valuable opportunities to include keywords.
And last but not least, make sure that it is absolutely clear to Google what page should rank for what.
Do this through keyword usage and link anchor text.
To make sure your content is up to snuff, check out tools like Link-Assistant, which will test factors like page length and keyword usage.
2. Build Links Through Press and Quality Content
If you’re trying to improve your website’s ranking, pay attention to your backlink profile.
Search engines like Google use them to discover new pages and determine how well those pages should rank in their search results.
In fact, Backlinko’s study found that number of domains linking to a page correlated with rankings more than any other factor.
To learn more about their process, check out this video from Google.
Basically, links from quality sources are seen as little seals of approval or votes of confidence in your favor.
The more you have, the more you’ll impress search engines.
(Sidenote: emphasis on quality sources; Google has cracked down on sites who attempt to manipulate or spam search engines.)
How to Get SEO Results
If you want to get traffic to your website fast, one of the easiest ways is to actively promote your content.
You can do this through your own social networks, email marketing, and press releases. Also, reach out to influencers in your niche and leave comments with your link where appropriate.
If the content is good and relevant, reputable sources will be more likely to link back to it in their own content.
And keep the content and promotion coming – websites with an active blog average 97% more inbound links.
Of course, all that can take time.
If you want the fastest SEO results, I recommend simplifying the process by using a tool like Pitchbox.
Pitchbox helps automate the outreach and link-building process. It identifies relevant bloggers, publishers, and influencers and will send customized outreach letters and follow-ups.
Additionally, it will identify your competitor’s backlinks to give you better insight into their strategy and what kinds of content they link to.
While it isn’t free, it does offer a free demo to get you started.
Of course, you’ll inevitably encounter the case where someone has mentioned you or a client in their content – without using a link.
We call those unlinked mentions.
And while frustrating, unlinked mentions aren’t lost causes.
To find them, you can start with a simple Google search.
Enter your brand name with “-site”, and see what pops up. Or, track mentions through Google Alerts.
Once you’ve identified the mentions, it’s a matter of composing an outreach email to those sites or authors and asking them to add the missing link.
Another great way to gain quality links is to get good press.
Press releases and mentions are great for SEO because it creates a link back to the company – and is syndicated in hundreds of copies.
3. Be Technically Correct to Results
Welcome to the technical side of SEO.
While it may be harder to spot, it’s no less important, and often requires the help of an SEO specialist or webmaster.
Technical SEO is the part that happens off the page and away from the content. It’s focused instead on helping search engines spiders effectively crawl your site so it can be ranked.
While there are many factors that go into technical SEO, I’ll cover a few essentials.
How to Get SEO Results
First up: page speed. It’s a big deal.
And it’s not just technical. If your site loads slow, you’ll lose visitors.
According to a Kissmetrics study, 40% of people expect a site to load in 2 seconds or less, and 47% will leave if it takes more than 3 seconds.
Those are not very forgiving numbers, and if your site reaches the dreaded 3-second mark, it’s time to look into why.
But user frustration isn’t the only issue here. Google knows users want fast sites, and if yours isn’t delivering, it will adversely affect your ranking.
There are plenty of factors that could be affecting your site speed – including unoptimized or uncompressed images – and I suggest getting a clear diagnosis of the issue.
Fortunately, Google offers a tool that you can use to check your website speed: PageSpeed Insights.
Just plug the URL of the page you want to check into the search bar and Google will give you a score from 0-100. A score of 100 is perfect (and nearly impossible to achieve).
If you’re getting a score that’s less than 90, you have an opportunity on your hands. Reach out to your web development team and tell them to run the test on PageSpeed Insights. The tool will tell your developers exactly what’s wrong and how they should go about fixing the problems.
Give your development team some time to work their magic and rerun the test. You should have a much better score.
Keep in mind: even though PageSpeed Insights defaults to testing your site with a mobile browser, it doesn’t test your site for mobile-friendliness.
Speaking of that subject…
According to Google, more than 50% of searches now come from mobile devices.
Which is why Google announced its intention to begin mobile-first indexing.
“Although our search index will continue to be a single index of websites and apps, our algorithms will eventually primarily use the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages from that site, to understand structured data, and to show snippets from those pages in our results” – Google Webmaster Central Blog
Read the announcement here for more information on how to ensure a positive mobile experience.
Once again, Google offers a tool that you can use to ensure your site is mobile-friendly. Check out the Mobile-Friendly Test tool.
All you need to do is plug the URL of the page you want to check into the text field on the page. Then, Google will browse your page as a mobile agent.
You’ll get a report that tells you what you need to fix.
Next up on the technical list is duplicate content.
SEMrush reports that 50% of analyzed content faces duplicate content issues.
This extends beyond words on the page; issues can come from duplicate title tags, meta descriptions, etc.
These present problems for search engines because they often can’t determine which page should be ranked or where to direct links.
While not technically a Google penalty, it can result in the wrong page being displayed and ranked in Google.
Those serious about SEO should also look into using AMP.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google-backed initiative designed to improve the mobile experience and increase load speed.
Though not currently a ranking factor, AMP does have an effect on clicks, impressions and overall user experience.
All of which have a direct effect on SEO.
And lastly, get better SEO results by making sure your site is on HTTPS.
HTTPS is the secure version of HTTP, which means that all communication between your browser and a website are encrypted.
Google recently announced that HTTPS is a ranking factor, and sites that haven’t made the switch could suffer a hit in their search engine rank.
Bonus: Make sure you put just as much focus on conversion rate optimization and what other websites are saying about you online.
It’s not all about traffic when it comes to SEO results.
It’s about the right kind of traffic.
After employing the techniques above, make sure you’re tracking your progress and conversion rate optimization.
If your traffic isn’t converting, it may be time to take another look.
To track and optimize, use Google Analytics.
Simply put, SEO is one of the most effective ways to gain traffic online.
And yes, there’s a lot to it, but following the three simple steps above will give you noticeable results you won’t have to wait long for.