5 Tricks for Effective SEO Without Using Magic
There’s no shortage of SEO gurus alluding to the magic that is SEO rankings, but Google’s not interested in magic and these 5 Tricks will ensure effective SEO for your site.
It’s tempting to see SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as a bit of a magical art. There are these crazy, complex algorithms that you need to please, thousands of SEO gurus and you still can’t hit the top spots in the search engines.
What is the magic formula?
The answer is, you’re probably looking at this problem upside down. Yes, Google and co. have very complex algorithms to decide which websites rank and which don’t, but the problem search engines are trying to solve is a very simple one.
Search engines want to give their users the best answers to their queries. In its simplest form this is all they are there to do, so that is where you need to start if you’re going to climb up the search engine results.
These 5 tricks for effective SEO aren’t a magic formula, or the words of an “SEO guru”; they’re just simple strategies to get your website ranking more effectively.
1. Start with the Content
Imagine if every time you typed a query into Google it came up with ten results that were boring, poorly written, and didn’t answer your question. How long would it be before you stopped using Google and decided to give Bing a try?
People keep coming back to Google because it consistently sends its users to pages that answer their questions and offer a great user experience. If your pages can help Google achieve this aim then Google will reward you by moving you up the rankings.
When you’re writing your content, the end-user has to be your main priority. If you’re writing just to please an algorithm, then you will alienate the human that’s reading your content, causing them to click out of your website and meaning that Google has failed in its number one job.
If you offer the end user a high-quality article that is packed full of useful information though, the end-user will be happy, they’ll spend lots of time on your page, and Google will see that you have helped them fulfill their goals.
2. Tell the Search Engines What Your Pages are About
The search engines might have very complicated algorithms, but they’re not mind readers – you’ve got to tell them what your content is about.
If you write an article about homemade cat food, but you only use the words homemade cat food in the title, Google is going to be confused about what your article is about. As we know Google wants to send its users to the results that best answer their queries, so if it doesn’t know exactly what your article is about, it’s not going to send anyone to it.
Effective SEO, means that you need to make sure that you’re using enough of your keywords in your titles, body, and meta descriptions, so that Google feels confident it knows exactly what your article is about.
If you’re writing high quality content, then this should come naturally. Don’t try and force the keywords into your articles, if your article is on point then they should slip in naturally.
3. Understand What You Can Rank For
Doing proper keyword research is an essential part of SEO that often gets forgotten. In many ways, SEO allows the little guy to compete with and outrank some of the biggest companies in the world, but you’ve got to choose your battles and that means doing your keyword research.
If you’ve just started a website, then it’s going to be virtually impossible to rank for some of the most competitive keywords like weight loss, or cooking recipes. You’re competing against established websites that Google trusts and it’s going to be a struggle to dislodge them at the top of the rankings.
However, for every competitive keyword, there are a thousand derivative searches that you can rank for. For example, you might not be able to rank for sports drinks, but you can rank for caffeine free sports drinks.
One of the best ways to see a boost in your rankings is to go after the right keywords. It’s tempting to go after those keywords that get thousands of queries, but if you’re not going to rank for those keywords, you’re better off ranking for ten keywords that get one hundred queries.
4. Show Google Your Trustworthy
If Google is going to send its users to your webpage it wants to know that your content is trustworthy. One of the ways the search engines classifies the trustworthiness of your website is called Domain Authority (DA) and it plays an important role in the algorithms.
The premise behind DA is that if you are writing useful content, then other people are going to reference (link to) it. So, if I’m writing about the future of space travel and NASA links to my page, then this is a pretty good sign that I’m writing good stuff.
The more links you have from high quality sources, the greater your DA is going to be, after all, if NASA trusts what I write about space then I must know my stuff.
You’ve written great content, you’ve told the search engines what your content is about, and now you’ve got to show them that you’re trustworthy. The difficulty with this step is, there’s no real quick fix for this, just like in real life, trust is earned over time.
This is one area where you might seek some professional help and an experienced SEO marketing agency can be a big help when it comes to quality link building.
5. Think How Annoying Slow Websites Are
Even worse – think about how annoying slow websites with terrible user experiences are. They make you want to throw your computer out the window and it’s not even your computer’s fault.
Having a slow website and a poor user experience is a guaranteed way to make your website tank in the rankings. As we know, user experience plays an important part in Google’s algorithms, so if your website is slow, or it’s not optimized for mobile then you’re going to get punished.
You’ve invested all this effort into making top quality content, so now you need to make sure your user experience is of the same high quality.
Don’t let a slow website ruin all your hard work.