[check out Part I of this article HERE]
Strategy #3: Remember: Mobile first
When you design your website, you have to keep in mind that you should prioritize mobile users first. This is important because the majority of purchases and half of online purchases happen on mobile. With more people owning mobile devices, it has far outstripped desktop when it comes to traffic.
In fact, Google announced in March 2020 that it will now use its mobile smartphone user-agent to crawl websites. This means that Google will now prioritize the mobile version when crawling and indexing your website. If you don’t have a mobile-friendly website, your ranking will definitely be affected.
To optimize your mobile experience, you need to think first about what your website’s mobile version will look like. For example, when you’re publishing an article or any new content, make sure it is readable on smaller screens and the images don’t take too long to load.
Strategy #4: Focus on topic clusters, not keywords
Google’s algorithm is constantly evolving. And although keywords are still important, Google has found a new way to analyze your content. Keywords are not enough to get you to rank high, you need to look at the content around your keywords instead. This is also known as user intent.
So when creating your content, you need to know who your target audience is. It’s not enough to determine that you want to reach out to tech geeks. You need to narrow down your target audience to be able to write useful content that is focused on the needs of your particular audience.
Instead of tech geeks, you can target Mac users, Android users, or Apple fans. The easiest way to do this is by using buyer personas to zero in on the issues that matter to your readers.
Another tip is to organize your content into clusters. Instead on focusing on your keywords, you can arrange your content into different themes, linking relevant articles together into clusters.
Strategy #5: Create longer content –but not always
Recent studies show that longer content ranks higher in the SERPs and gets more backlinks. However, writing long-form content all the time can be tiring, especially if you’re doing all the writing and research. So if you don’t reach the 2000-word count, don’t fret. Some users are not looking for long articles all the time. Remember user intent? Some people might be looking for a few paragraphs to get the answer that they need.
However, you can’t totally neglect long-form articles because of the many benefits they bring. There is no exact measure of how long a long-form article should be, as long as you are able to give all the necessary information or when you think you’ve sufficiently answered the user’s question.
If you’re looking for ideas for your long-form content, here are some tips:
- Recycle your old content. You can expand an existing article or add some updated information
- Write a resource page
- List down some tips
- Turn your video or infographic into an article
Strategy #6: Invest in YouTube SEO
Video is probably the second popular form of content, second only to text content. And YouTube is the number one video platform and the second largest search engine. YouTube has more than 2 billion active users every month who are watching more than one billion hours of video every single day.
So, if video marketing is not part of your campaign, then you should start considering this platform. You don’t need expensive equipment to shoot and edit videos — you can do it even with your smartphone or tablet.
Here are some ways to optimize your videos and get more engagement:
- Use SEO-friendly video titles
- Add a video description because search engines can’t read videos Don’t forget to add keywords in the description
- Transcribe your video
- Create custom thumbnails
- Create video playlists to promote other videos on your channel.
Strategy #7: Don’t forget your links
Even today, links are important in SEO. However, you have to focus on the quality of the links instead of quantity. Links from low authority websites will not bring you any benefit and might drag you down instead.
To earn high quality links, you need to use high quality content for outreach and venture in influencer marketing. Diversify your links. You should not focus on only the big websites. Smaller websites can also bring you some link juice and other benefits.
Strategy #8: Do not neglect the technical aspects of your strategy
Even if all the other aspects of your SEO is doing fine, you might not actually be performing at 100% if your website is not technically sound. Here are some tips to help you nail your technical SEO:
- Use HTTPS because Google is big on security. Google even warns visitors when they’re trying to visit a non-HTTPS website
- Enable EMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) for your mobile website. This allows publishers to easily and quickly create mobile-optimized content
- Crawl your website for errors using Screaming Frog, Sitebulb, Botify, Deep Crawl, or other tools
- Fix 404 errors by redirecting URLs
Strategy #9: Revise your Local SEO strategy
Before the pandemic, most searches on Google were looking for local information. Some of the details users are looking for include local shops, opening hours, phone numbers, and addresses. Users who are looking for restaurants also look for online menus.
Unfortunately, this has all changed because of COVID-19. Now people can’t go out and businesses are redesigning the way they operate. Most businesses have switched to online platforms but they still deliver services by going to the customers instead.
So make sure your landing pages and local listings are updated with your new working hours, areas you can cater to, delivery schedules, delivery hotlines, and your list of products or services you can offer this time. Don’t forget to claim your Google My Business and subscribe to a local directory management service.
Strategy #10: Monitor your SEO performance
Analytics and reporting are two important factors of any SEO strategy. They help you understand how your efforts performed, which areas need improvement, which campaigns are not working, and how you can improve your overall marketing strategy.
Gathering these details and arranging them in a way that makes sense can be challenging. So here are some tools to help you in reporting and monitoring your SEO performance:
- Wayback Machine
- Google’s Data Studio
- Google Search Console
Keeping up with Google and updating your SEO strategy can be overwhelming. But there’s nothing you can do but adapt quickly, if you don’t want your website to fall behind. Spending time on your fundamentals, such as loading speed, schema, and backlinks, is critical, but you should also set aside some time for creating engaging content.