The search engine world is ever-changing. At one point, you might think you know exactly what Google is looking for in SEO ranking. Then an algorithm update throws a wrench in your SEO strategy.
What can your business do?
While Google will continuously update its algorithm, some SEO strategies will remain in practice. When you focus on these tactics that rarely change, you’ll improve the odds of ranking while future-proofing your business website against the inevitable algorithm changes.
If you were looking for simple ways to improve SEO rankings quickly, here are some actions you can take.
#1. Target Long-tail Keywords
Long-tail keywords are search terms that are longer, more specific, with relatively low search volume and competition levels. Long-tail keywords tend to be longer —- 3+ words than a typical keyword.
While the people searching for individual long-term keywords are few, they make up a large chunk of what people search on Google when you add them together.
According to a recent study, 91.8% of all searches are long-tail keywords, which begs the question:
Why Are Long-Tail Keywords Important for SEO?
There are plenty of reasons you should target long-tail keywords but let’s focus on two main ones:
- Long-tail keywords have high conversion rates: The search terms aren’t just long. They’re ultra-specific — giving them higher search intent.
People searching for long-tail terms tend to be ahead in the buying cycle compared to people searching for head terms.
For instance, take the keyword: “Google ranking.”
Someone searching for “Google ranking” is trying to learn what it is or how it works, and they aren’t ready to buy anything.
On the flip side, another person searching for “how to rank on Google 2022” is much closer to taking action.
In the end, the traffic that comes from long-tail keywords tends to convert well for your business.
- Long-tail keywords are less competitive: Long search terms are less competitive than shorter ones, which makes them easier to rank for.
For instance, a short tail keyword like “Social media marketing” has over 4 billion results on Google.
When your business wants to rank #1 in Google for the keyword, you need to outrank over 4 billion sites.
On the other hand, when you look at a long-tail version of that keyword, like “social media marketing for small businesses,” you’ll find it has got far less competition.
However, one question brings everything into perspective:
How do you leverage the power of long-tail keywords in your business website?
You don’t want to include random long-tail keywords in your current site and cross your finger, hoping for results. You need an effective approach that works in the real world.
Here are some tips to help you get results from long-tail keywords:
- Identify the blog topic you want to cover.
- Key in the generic title of the topic into Google and scroll down to the Related searches area.
- Identify long-tail keywords that relate to your parent topic but have high search volume and low competition.
- Only focus on long-tail keywords with high search intent.
- Create content that addresses the user’s intent behind the keywords you choose.
#2. Use Keywords In Alt Text for Images
Alternative text, commonly known as alt text, describes an image briefly. For years image SEO has been a ranking factor in Google images.
Today, however, Google says that properly optimized images can also help pages rank better on their search engine. If your web pages have images, you should optimize them for SEO.
The Alt text serves three main purposes:
- SEO: Alt texts help search engine crawlers to index images properly.
- Accessibility: The screen reader reads out alt text for visually impaired users.
- Context: When an image can’t load onto a page, the alt text appears as an alternative to give context to users.
You need to write descriptive alt text that lets search engines know what your image is all about. Ensure the alt text describes the nature of the image while avoiding unnecessary complexity.
Find a way to incorporate your primary or secondary keywords in your image’s alt text. For instance, you can say that the alt image is a screenshot of the process it explains.
#3. Target Keywords with High Commercial Intent
For many businesses, their keyword research focuses 100% on search volume. When a keyword has a bunch of searches, they will find it good enough.
However, you need to put a lot of weight on commercial intent. You need to consider how much advertisers spend on Google ad clicks.
For instance, when a searcher is in the early research stage of shopping, the keyword they type on the search engine will have less intent. In such a case, you can target such keywords with content like a checklist. Your aim with such content is to get in front of the customers early and make a good impression.
Otherwise, you should focus on creating content around ultra-specific keywords with high commercial intent that is more likely to be a hot deal.
You should focus on keywords relevant to transactional searches, which promise higher returns. Prospects searching using commercial intent keywords are waiting for you to take their money.
#4. Use Keywords in Headers
Placing keywords in the header tells Google and users that your content satisfies the search intent. Just like the table of contents offers users context, putting keywords in the header does the same to users and search engine bots.
While nearly everyone in the SEO world thinks headlines are critical, you shouldn’t force them to fit if they don’t make sense.
Consider Google recommendations and user experience before deciding where to place your target keywords or other variations. Avoid keyword stuffing at all costs.
Here are some steps to include keywords in the header correctly:
- Choose the target keywords you want to add to your post headers.
- Key in the keywords into your keyword research tool and identify closely related keywords.
- Include the keyword and its related keywords in your header as much as possible.
#5. Get Your Site Inside of Features Snippets
Featured snippets are the short texts that quickly answer a searcher’s query at the top of Google’s search result. Google automatically pulls content from web pages on its index and places it inside the Features Snippet box.
To get your site inside of Featured Snippets, use the bait strategy as follow:
- Find a keyword that you already rank for. If you don’t rank for any keywords, you have zero chance of getting in a Featured Snippet. According to industry studies, 99.58% of Featured Snippets come from the search results on the first page.
- Examine the Featured Snippet at the top of the search engine result and identify the type of Featured Snippet. There are several, including:
- Definition Featured Snippets: It’s a snippet of text that gives users a direct and concise description and definition. The type of snippet answers “what is” questions. Google tends to use short definitions that are between 40-and 60 words long.
- Ordered list Featured Snippet: This Featured Snippet entails items presented in a specific order. Google uses an ordered list for questions that require a set of steps.
- Unordered list Featured Snippet: Google uses this type of Feature Snippet to present a list of items that require no specific order.
- Table Snippet: In a table snippet, Google pulls data from a page and displays it as a table
- Design a snippet of content to fit inside the Featured Snippet box.
#6. Create Linkable Content
Bloggers don’t link to “great content,” they link to sources. Several types of content earn links much more easily than others.
You need to create content that attracts links from other websites in your niche. Since other businesses rarely link to commercial pages, your content cannot be a product page or content with commercial content.
You need to create content that attracts links and other benefits such as:
- Social share
- Brand awareness
- Increased referral traffic
- Increased organic search traffic
This begs the question:
What are the best types of linkable assets your business can create?
- Infographics or GIFographic: Infographic is the most popular linkable asset because it attracts a lot of links.
Your business can use infographics to present content in a highly visual format. However, infographics won’t always be the best choice for every business. After identifying that infographic is the best choice for you, here are some ideas to get backlinks:
- Pitch sites in your niche that actively publish infographics.
- Get extra links from infographic directories.
- Use proven infographic concepts from other niches, then use them in your industry.
- Online Calculators and Tools: Online tools and calculators can attract a lot of links. For instance, the backlink profile for CoSchedule’s Headline Analyzer has over 16K links from 3.6K referring domains.
The barrier to implementing an online tool or calculator as content is you need a decent budget to hire a designer, programmer, or coder.
However, the big question is:
How do you build links from online calculators and other tools?
You can apply two strategies:
- Pitch your tool or calculator to web pages that already talk about the problem your tool solves.
- Use low-cost paid promotion to tell the world about the existence of your tool or calculator to get people talking.
- Post Studies and Research: Studies and original research attract links depending on your industry. The two will work great when you’re reputable in your industry.
When you are not well-known in your industry and don’t have a lot of data to use, you can use personal studies. To build links with studies and research, you can:
- Reconduct outdated popular studies and steal their links.
- Find people already talking about ideas your study proves and pitch them your study.
- Create tutorials and definitive guides: Most things worth learning are complicated to an extent. When you break them into definitive guides or tutorials, journalists and bloggers would gladly link to one guide than a bunch of different resources.
However, to create a definitive guide, you need to be an expert on the subject matter. To generate backlinks from definitive guides, here are some simple steps you can take:
- Stay on the radar of those who are likely to link to you.
- Steal links from less definitive guides
#7. Include Multiple Media Types
One thing your business can do to benefit your SERP ranking indirectly is to use multiple media across your blog.
Apart from images, you can use:
- Audio files
Different media will engage your website visitors and increase dwell time while improving users’ experience.
On the consumers’ end, 84% of people found that watching a brand convinced them to buy the product or service.
#8. Use Internal Links
Google considers the total time a user spends on your entire website. The longer the visitors stay on your site, the further the funnel they’re likely to go. More importantly, higher dwell time shows search engines that you have high-quality and relevant content.
Experts in the SEO world believe that each blog post should include at least 2-5 internal links. When you link to internal links, you direct visitors deeper into your business website. As a result, you higher the chances of visitors having meaningful interaction with your content, such as:
- Leaving a comment on your blog post
- Sharing your content on social media
The two are critical in improving your SERP ranking.
To do excellent internal linking:
- Select pages with additional content relevant to the topic the user found you from.
- Select anchor text that sounds natural and persuades users to click on the link
- Don’t use generic anchor text like “read more” or “click here.” Use more descriptive anchor text that helps Google understand how to index your page.
#9. Eliminate Spammy Backlinks
Backlinks are a major ranking factor for Google, but what’s more important is the quality of the backlinks.
In 2021, Google released an algorithm update that targets and devalues bad backlinks. While no sites are penalized individually, the algorithm stopped counting a lot of backlinks that many websites had grown accustomed to, which affected ranking.
You should vet all backlink requests to ensure your business site they don’t negatively impact your business. To eliminate spammy backlinks:
- Execute an audit to assess backlinks your business website is currently receiving
- If you found a spammy link, try to reach out to the website owners and ask them to remove it.
- Disavow a backlink if the website owner refuses to remove it
- Any site offering affiliate links to your site needs to qualify the link — ensure you ask any affiliate to add the correct HTML tag
#10. Build Your Brand
Since the late 2000s, Google has emphasized more on branding. The search engine looks for brand signals to filter out misinformation and provide search results that people can trust.
The emphasis has made brands a critical ranking factor.
When you represent your brand consistently across all of your platforms, you can improve your revenue by up to 23%.
Besides being an SEO hack, branding increases customer loyalty and simplifies how your business presents value. 89% of buyers prefer to stay loyal to brands that share their value.
When you establish and grow your brand, you start receiving more traffic from branded and non-branded keywords. That’s why established brands see millions of organic traffic each month.
Here are some of the brand-building tips you can adopt:
- Determine the social platform that your target audience hangs out on most and create a social strategy. After all, 82% of Americans use social media — your business should be on the so
- Create partnerships with complementary brands. You can approach companies with products and services that compliment your business and check if you can work together.
- When planning your brand awareness, highlight your brand’s personality, value, and story. Talk more than just sales to resonate with your target audience more.
#11. Create Thought-Leadership Content
After you have created pillar content — targeting various keywords on your business site, you should start to take a strategic approach. Your website should be more than just an information site but one that demands authority.
You can start demanding authority by creating thought-leadership content.
54% of decision-makers admit that they spend over one hour a week reading thought leadership content. 71% of them admit that less than half of what they read gives them valuable insights.
The statistics say that you have a massive opportunity with thought-leadership content. However, thought leadership content requires you to look ahead and answer questions that your audience isn’t even asking. Instead, you want to address subject matter experts and industry leaders by getting ahead of the current state of things.
The only problem with thought-leadership content is that it takes time to create. However, it’s well worth the effort.
When you create content that other brands in your industry look to, the content will build your brand and increase the number of backlinks you get.
Here is how you can create thought leadership:
- Study the trends on where your industry is heading in the next 5-10 years and create content that speaks on them.
- Address frequently asked questions in your niche that one can address with data. Note the topics you can tackle and have resources to provide relevant data points.
- Execute internal and external research and create content that highlights your findings. Such content will establish you as an industry leader and can get you more backlinks from other bloggers citing your content.
- Stay up-to-date on news and events affecting your industry. Then, be the first to present your views on the topic and back them up with valuable insights.
Dominante SEO with Google 2022
While Google’s algorithm and SEO approach change with time, one fact remains constant:
Relevant, high-quality content always holds a solid place to start.
If you employ the 11 SEO practices above, nothing will stop you from dominating SEO with Google 2022. The technique above improves your content for both users and crawl bots to ensure you have an engaging experience.
If you’re facing problems running your SEO campaigns, GetKnowticed can help you get more value. Book a free consultation today to help you get the most out of your search engine optimization.