Seven SEO Techniques That Won’t Run Afoul of Google
The beginning of the year is always a good time to take stock of your site’s search engine optimization. This is why we are going to speak about the techniques you should focus on for your SEO for 2023. Are you doing everything you can to drive organic traffic to your pages? Have you been using outdated practices that might be doing more harm than good? How can you elevate your SEO game without running afoul of Google’s constantly changing algorithms?
Here’s a quick overview of seven SEO for 2023 best practices you can use to refresh your site’s SEO and ensure you’re doing all you can to maximize your search engine rankings.
1. Update Your Content with Targeted Key Word Research
This is SEO 101. Researching your prospect’s top key words and creating content around them has been a fundamental strategy since search engine optimization first became a marketing strategy more than 20 years ago. But when’s the last time you’ve actually taken a look at what your prospect’s are searching for on the web?
With tools like Ahrefs, Surfer SEO and Semrush that can make key word research a snap, it’s now easier than ever to figure out what your prospects are searching for in order to find sites like yours. If you haven’t done this in a while, you may be surprised by what you find. With the proliferation of voice assistants like Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa, peoples’ searching habits are changing. Increasingly, they’re putting their search queries in the form of questions. If you model your content around answering these questions, you’ll be speaking your customers’ language and putting your site in a better position to rise to the top when they’re searching for answers. Don’t be afraid to rework your content in a way that gives visitors the answers they want. Done correctly, this can shorten your sales path and keep potential customers from going elsewhere because they’ll find exactly what they’re looking for on your site without having to scroll through page after page.
2. Build a High-Authority Backlink Profile
In a lot of ways, link building is similar to influencer outreach, which is our focus here at Outreach Bee. In this case, though, you’re looking for well-respected sites in your niche that will link to your content.
The foundation here is the content itself. Part of becoming a trusted company in your industry is providing information that your prospects will find helpful. This means taking the time to explain the ins and outs of your field in language your prospects will understand. Adding infographics and video to your content will ensure that it’s viewed by more visitors and that they stay on your site longer – hopefully long enough for you to make a sale. Then, share your new content on social media, and word will get around that you produce useful content on a web that’s largely filled with junk these days. The result will be more sites linking to yours, which will in turn increase your search engine ranking for the key words around which your content is focused.
But what if you don’t have time to create all that content or shop around for sites you think may want to link to you? That’s where content writers and campaign manager can help. They’ll do all the legwork to find relevant, high-authority sites in your niche from which your site could benefit from a backlink. This is a highly-effective, hands-off way to score quality backlinks that can really help your search engine ranking. You simply specify how many backlinks you want, and they’ll make it happen.
3. Responsive Design
Hopefully, by now you’ve heard of responsive design. It’s the process of making sure that your site is just as easy to use on a smartphone as it is on a tablet or PC. Basically, your content management system figures out what the visitor is using to browse your site and serves them up pages that will work best for them. This saves you from the tedium of creating different pages for desktop and smartphone users.
Today’s top content management systems can do this for you behind the scenes; you only need to enable the relevant settings. If yours doesn’t do this, chances are you’re using an outdated system that’s due for an upgrade. As search engines continue to prioritize sites that load quickly on all types of devices, you’re going to want to make sure your site isn’t left behind.
4. Effectively Organize Your Content with Page Titles and Headings
For a while, the alure of custom style sheets drove web designers away from the basic HTML building blocks of a page. But search engines pay attention to things like your page title and any headings you use, so you should, too.
First and foremost, your page title, an attribute of the HTML <head> tag, is your chance to use your targeted key words to tell a search engine what’s on this page. Since this information is displayed way up in the title bar of the browser, a human might not notice it, but a search engine certainly will. If a human does notice, they’re likely to just give it a glance. This allows you to pack your page title with key words. Use the first portion to cover what you really want your human visitors to see, but don’t be afraid to add similar key words after that which you think will help that page’s rank with search engines.
Headings are a great way of organizing your content on each page, and when you include key words in these headings, you’re also telling visitors and search engines alike what to expect in the following section. With searchers increasingly asking questions of their voice assistant to find the information they want, a heading is a great place to ask this question yourself before answering it in the following section. This will put your site in a position to rank higher than those that use more generic headings like “Our Solutions.” Even if your heading doesn’t ask a question, always ensure that it includes key words which are relevant to the text that follows.
5. Don’t Forget Your Meta Description
Have you ever looked at how your site appears in search results and said to yourself, “well, that’s boring.” That’s because in the absence of a plain English meta description, a search engine will just include a snippet of content that includes the searcher’s desired key word. If you’ve been wondering how you can make a direct pitch to everyone who comes across your site on a search engine, the meta description is it! Google will only show the first 155-160 characters, so you’ll need to be compelling yet concise while still including relevant key words.
Think of your meta description, another attribute of the <head> HTML tag, as the ultimate elevator pitch. You’ve got your prospects’ eyeballs for just a second or two as they skim the results to find what jumps out at them, so make every character count.
6. Speed Up Load Time
As it serves up search results, Google gives a lot of weight to how quickly a page loads in determining its ranking. In 2021, Google formalized this in a concept they call Core Web Vitals. These include three aspects of how a site loads which it takes into account in its ranking algorithm.
Fortunately for site owners, they also released a tool called Google Lighthouse which will test your site’s Core Web Vitals and recommend steps to improving them. You can find it within DevTools inside Google’s Chrome browser. Even if you’re not a Chrome fan, it’s worth installing it and putting your site through the ringer so you can optimize your site’s load speed. While it may seem annoying to jump through these hoops just to keep on Google’s good side, remember that the improvements Lighthouse recommends will make visiting your site a better experience for everyone, which in combination with the other techniques mentioned above can lead directly to increased sales.
7. Get Referrals from Powerful Influencers
Similar to building a backlink profile mentioned above, getting on the radar of powerful influencers in your niche can drive boatloads of traffic to your site. The key difference here is that traffic steered to your site from influencers will already be prequalified. Meaning, these people will already be excited by what you have to offer and will be far more likely than typical traffic to make a purchase. A properly executed influencer campaign can create the kind of buzz you can ride to record-setting sales.
The key word is “properly managed.” A botched influencer marketing campaign can not only waste your time but can even lead to negative attention from a prominent influencer – exactly the kind of thing you don’t need. That’s how Outreach Bee can help. With over a decades’ combined experience in influencer management, Ana Maria and her team know exactly what to do, and perhaps more important, what not to do, to ensure your influencer marketing campaigns meet or surpass their goals. Learn more about Outreach Bee Influencer Management.
Search engine optimization is almost as old as the web itself, and while some aspects have certainly evolved over the decades, the basics are still as sound as they ever were. Making sure you cover all the bases while adapting to Google’s latest algorithm tweaks as noted above will go a long way toward improving your SERP ranking.
We hope you can get the best of your SEO for 2023.