On-page SEO is more important than ever. However, with all of the changes over the past few years getting and keeping higher search rankings is a confusing subject, and one of those things that most entrepreneurs would rather just ignore than deal with.

But in order to remain a contender in the online marketing world – you have to keep showing up in the search rankings. This means that you cannot afford to ignore SEO.

Here are some quick tips to help you keep up with the changes and enjoy higher search engine rankings.

RankBrain, an artificial intelligence (AI) system, is helping Google understand the relationships between topics and search terms. What this means is that rankings are no longer about exact keyword matches. So, if you’re working to create content that involves exact keyword matches, you may no longer actually be reaching your target audience.

Here’s the thing:

Unless your organization benefits from a dedicated SEO marketing specialist who focuses on optimization, keeping up with all of the latest changes in SEO can be painful. But ignoring the need to adjust your strategy based on search ranking algorithm updates or changes in the way search results are displayed visually can be the kiss of death.

It’s more important than ever to invest in improving your search engine rankings. So, where is the best place to begin?

What You Don’t See

For example, one thing entrepreneurs often overlook when creating content for their website is the importance of images. And it’s not just about how they look to the visitor seeing them, but how they appear (or rather, don’t appear) to the search engines.

Search engines cannot see images on websites.

That’s why it’s important to create an alt text for each image and a relevant file name to ensure Google knows what the image is about. By not creating an alt text and using relevant keywords in the file name, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to be seen online.

According to a study on ranking factors by Searchmetrics, which is a company that provides SEO analytics and reporting tools for large enterprises, search continues to be one of the first contact points on the Customer Journey. So, it only makes sense to be as visible as possible.

But Consider This:

So what if you have higher search rankings for a particular keyword or phrase, creating lots of traffic to your website, if you never see an increase in revenue? Is that your goal for your business?

Another effective tool for achieving higher search rankings is link building, but all of the recent and ongoing changes affecting SEO have also impacted the way to build links. Unfortunately, what usually happens is that the person hired to do link building focuses on the quantity of links – instead of link quality – making this an overall poor investment.

A better investment seems to be optimized content because that content can be used for types of content marketing that will naturally bring more links with them over time. Such as:

  • Web pages
  • Blog posts
  • Lead generation offers
  • Guest posts on other sites

 “Rather than obsessing about ranking, be useful – then your readers will bring about more consumers because they’ll share your stuff.” Alisa Meredith

Your number one goal should always be to satisfy your visitors with quality content that they can easily digest and enjoy.

When this is done the right way, your content will naturally satisfy a search engine’s ranking algorithms, organically boosting your content toward the top of the list.

7 SEO Quick Tips to Keep Search Rankings Higher

  1. Higher rankings do not mean more search traffic. True, people will see your listing, but it doesn’t guarantee more clickthroughs.
  2. Meta descriptions may no longer affect rankings, but they do affect clickthrough rates. Keeping your meta description relevant and compelling can cause searchers to click through to your page, instead of clicking out and going somewhere else.
  3. Google calls the use of pop-ups “intrusive interstitials.” In August 2016 they announced that they would begin to penalize websites that use pop-ups. This penalty finally went into effect in January of 2017, but Google doesn’t penalize all pop-ups – only those that get in the way of a user’s ability to easily access the content on the page when they search on mobile.
  4. Mobile and voice search allow people to ask complex questions using full sentences instead of entering fragmented terms into search engines. Google’s Hummingbird search algorithm sparked a major switch from keyword to topic-focused SEO for searches.
  5. Keywords don’t have to be (and shouldn’t be) repeated verbatim throughout a piece of content. Use a keyword (or keywords) in a headline in a way that makes sense to a reader. But avoid getting your website penalized by using as many keywords on a page as possible. When in doubt, follow Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
  6. Header tags are only used for styling purposes (whether using H1, H2, H3, etc.) they are part of your CSS (Custom Style Sheet) that references what font styling and size will be applied to a particular piece of content. What actually matters is that you place your most important information as close as possible to the top of your page.
  7. Your homepage is the gateway, the front door to your business. Make your homepage content long enough to clarify who you are, what you do, where you’re located (if you’re local), your value proposition, and what visitors should do next. It is vital to the health of your online business that you keep visitors to your website satisfied, feeling valued, and never confused.

One last thing…

Your content should, of course, be focused on your target audience. Whatever your message, you want to be sure that you’re inviting the right people to visit your website and engage with you.

However, there will always be ‘bad guys’ lurking around, trying to sneak in the back door…and some may have already succeeded in doing so in the form of what is known as bad links.

Anyone linked to you that you have no desire to be linked to – especially sites notorious for spam or other ugly, distasteful content – these are BAD LINKS and you need to get them off your property!

How would you rank the overall success of your content?

Are you showing up in the search rankings and reaching the right people – in the right place – at the right time?

Your content matters.

Content is the first thing you should focus on in your online marketing efforts.

Content is the last thing you can afford to ignore for sustained growth and success.

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