SEO can be pretty frustrating, and it can take a long time to get results. While that’s true, there are some strategies you can implement to make pretty rapid improvements. We are going to look at SEO trends share our SEO Strategies for 2019 in this post.
- SEO: The BAD news.
- SEO: the good news?
- So what the hell does Google want from me then?
- The Seven SEO Strategies for 2019
SEO: The BAD news.
Ok, so there is some bad news. While SEO is definitely ‘owned’ content, it’s not a ‘once saved always saved’ kind of thing.
Yes, some things improve with age, like a domain name, but it’s a highly competitive game. You can’t just work on it for a few months and then forget all about it because soon, the thundering hooves of your competitors will be right behind you.
Moreover, remember. Page two is where they bury the bodies.
SEO: the good news?
Well, there are things you can do on the fly that can get you pretty quick results. You don’t need to be an SEO Specialist.
We aren’t talking about page one results for highly competitive keywords here, but you can get some pretty decent results within one to three short months. 3 months in the world of SEO is decent.
How to rank in a relatively short time
A bit more bad news. SEO is more than just content and adding keywords. Search engines are far more sophisticated than that. Its time to catch up and think about them the right way.
As a marketing agency, we have to admit we are only just following our own great advice and implementing these SEO strategies.
This is the bit no one wants to hear. To rank, you need to write quite lengthy quality content. Believe it or not, the average page on Google that ranks number one for any given key phrase is 1890 words.
Remember, when creating content, Your post should be the right length for its topic. Remember, it’s all about user experience.
After your words, the SEO world tells us that the two most critical ranking factors after content alone are your internal links. So many people don’t think to do this or even link to the relevant pages.
Let’s say you are an image coach. I’m using this example as one of my clients is a business coach, life & image coach and I’ve just been chatting with them about this very subject of how to give those pages a boost.
So our client, of course, wants to rank in organic search for keywords around their services and the common questions people ask. I mean that’s the goal here right?
So, every time the word image coach, image coaching or something related to that is used in the content elsewhere on the page, I advised linking back to the image coaching page. This will send all vital google juice back to the relevant page and can start to make a difference.
Ranking On Google: A short history
Although 90’s web guy (we all know that guy) might still stuff meta tags with keywords, that doesn’t work now. It worked well up to 2010, and some search engines still allow the use of meta tags, but Google stopped using these as a ranking factor long ago.
Link Building became the next big thing after this. The web, however, has grown exponentially and with it, manipulation of search engines. So in 2013 the next big thing and a buzzword we are all familiar with came about: Content Marketing.
Every marketer was telling their clients the same thing. Content is King! Content, content, content and more content! The way forward was to create loads of text-based content, share it around, get a few backlinks and boom! Bloggers were everywhere, especially that revolution of ‘mommy bloggers’.
Now there are millions and millions of blogs. Over a billion in fact. So once again, everyone is competing for that top spot. After all, you can’t all rank on page one.
So although long content is good, its not in itself a ranking factor, because you are just swimming in a sea with billions of other lengthy web pages.
So what the hell does Google want from me then?
Don’t be entirely fooled by thinking all you need is great content, links and domain authority.
There’s plenty of fantastic sites that are full of great content but have suffered. Neil Patel writes about them in this article. Notably WiseGeek.
Neil also provides some excellent tips that we implement in our SEO.
The Seven SEO Strategies for 2019
- Don’t include dates in your URL
- Link To Popular Content
- Use Semantic keywords
- Improve Click Through Rates
- Keep your old content updated
- Use Your Brand
Tip 1: Don’t include dates in your URL
Google will see them as dated. In which case it will file them in the annals of time and obsolescence. If you have dates, you might want to consider removing them. Patel’s traffic jumped 58% in 30 days when he did this.
Tip 2. Link Popular Content
Instead of linking your most recent posts in your blog sidebar, link your most popular, or your cornerstone content. If you blog frequently, it’s better to have those topics you want to be found for giving you all important link juice, rather than the blog post about you hiring a new staff member.
If you haven’t done this, DO IT. – It can provide some pretty fast results. When I read Neils tips, I did the same so I will give an update on this article when I get some results in.
Tip 3. Use Semantic Keywords
Two words people. Keyword Research! This is where you need the Google Search Console. I’m personally obsessed with the search console. If you don’t have it set up, do it now. It’s quick and easy. You need to have analytics active.
Once hooked up, check the performance tab. This is my happy place. It tells you what you appeared for in search. Clicks and impressions, over time. It’s pretty insightful. For example, we are a digital marketing agency, and we get clicks from people searching for our clients. – We aren’t too bothered about ranking for those terms. (though we like seeing people search for our clients)
Anyway. Choose your best ranking search term, that isn’t your brand and isn’t irrelevant. Ours happens to be “Digital Agency Manchester“. All good so far, because that’s something we definitely want to rank for. Second, to that, ours is “digital marketing agency in Manchester” followed by “digital marketing manchester”. You get the drift right? (also you can see us sending link juice to our home page)
If you click the term and click ‘pages’, you can then see which pages are ranking for that particular search term. Again, this is a Neil Patel tip, and he suggests his own website ‘Ubersuggest‘. Enter your keyword, see what comes up.
By the way – our SEO is rubbish, like lots of marketing agencies. But I’ve just started working on it, so watch this space.
* update, since writing this article we now rank position 8 for digital agency in Manchester. Yay!
Manchester is a local keyword, which is good. That makes it easier. to rank for. It gets about 1k monthly searches and does have a bit of intent there. Or maybe not, who knows. Maybe all the search traffic comes from web agencies searching for themselves. There are a lot of us.
Ubersuggest will give you a list of related keywords. Try and get those in your page too. Check they are worth it by looking at the search volume.
In a month or two, you should start to see some action in the SERPS. When we introduced this strategy, our monthly impressions went from a measly 10k to 76k and climbing, in a matter of weeks. It really does pay off.
Make sure though you don’t keyword stuff. Only put relevant related keywords in and put them in with care. By the way, this method is called latent semantic indexing, and it’s one of the factors of modern PageRank.
I’ve noticed Google really likes this strategy, and if you work hard, they will reward your efforts. They are already showing your page for a particular search term, meaning if you show that page some extra love and follow their rules, they will respond in kind.
Tip 4: Improve Click Through Rates
Impressions are great, but we want clicks, and we want them now. Working on our SEO made my impressions go up tenfold, but an immediate result of that was click through went down. I expected this, and now I’m addressing it.
Rand Fishkin ran this great experiment and proved that Google cares about who clicks on what. Look at hack 1 in this post.
Basically, if there’s a position one result, but everyone clicks on position 2, then pretty soon Google will decide that the second result deserves to be at the top.
So you are there, page one, its the final hurdle. How do you get your site higher than the one above you?
One word: Clickbait… “Number 7 will blow your mind”. Ok, clickbait may be coming on a bit strong, but all it is is good principles taken a bit too far. So let’s apply the good ones.
Compare your Search result metadata with the results above you and see if yours has the same appeal. When we create copy for Google Ads, relevance and catchy copy are key to get those all-important click-through rates. SEO is no different.
Match your meta title and description to the search term. Arouse the users’ curiosity. Using a number is said to be quite evocative. “Ten SEO Tips: Number 7 got us on page 1 in 30 days”. Is it more intriguing than ‘Read our top tips on SEO’ right?
If you’re stuck, tabloids and magazines have this down as an art form. Look at what they do.
Tip 5: Keep your old content updated.
Very much like raising a child, when it comes to SEO, you are in it for the long haul. Stop doing it, and it will all go downhill. Basically, this is a straightforward strategy. Just go over your old content and update it.
Make sure the info in it is relevant. Link it to newer material, run it through Ubersuggest or LSI Graph and resubmit it to search engines. Minor or major, Google loves to see updated content. Occasionally it may be wise to delete something altogether.
Tip 6: Use Your Brand
if you’re a local company and not an online brand, then people may be more likely to find you for what you do, rather than who you are. Wouldn’t it be great though if people searched for you by name?
This is where paid ads can really give you a boost too, speeding up that all important brand awareness phase. We know from our Google training that it takes someone between 7 and 10 times to see your brand before it even registers. Google Ads and Social Media all have their own advertising platforms for this.
It’s tricky to get people to engage, but if you keep putting out useful and relevant content, people will come back. And eventually, they will remember who you are.
A couple of things you can do is use push notifications. This allows users to subscribe to your content without being spammed by email. They just get a browser notification when you publish something new.
Give it a try. If you use WordPress, there is, of course, a plugin for that. Eventually, if you get some traction with this, you will start to see new visitors for every new piece of content you push out there.
It can feel a bit pushy, but they are called push notifications for a reason.
Tip 7: Persevere
So these are our top strategies for how to do SEO in 2019 and quick fixes to give your organic traffic a short term (and long term boost), but remember, with SEO, you’re in it for the long run.
Want to create an SEO strategy? We are an agency led by ex-googlers and google trained marketers. Typically our clients see double the return they were seeing before working with us. Don’t try to go it alone! If you want quality lead gen, conversion rate optimisation or even a review of your existing strategy, talk to us today.