There’s a famous saying among digital marketers: the best place to hide a body is on page two of Google’s search results. Why? Consider that 75 percent of internet users never click past the first page of their search results, and the top position of organic Google searches accounts for more than a third of all click-throughs web wide.
If you aren’t landing near the top of your audience’s search results, you’re missing out on a lot of traffic—and it’s probably time to revamp your approach to SEO. Feeling panicked? Don’t be. Here are seven easy ways to tweak your SEO game.
1. Research keywords
Research sounds intimidating, but it’s not that complicated. Start off by creating keyword “buckets” based on topics that are important to your business. If you sell mobile device accessories, your topics might include cases, chargers, Bluetooth speakers, and so on. From there, have a brainstorming session to fill each bucket with likely search terms, such as “top-rated mobile phone charger” or “shock-resistant iPhone case.” If you’re at a loss, try one out, then scroll to the bottom of Google’s results to see what’s in their “searches related to” list.
2. Test keywords
With your buckets full, it’s time to take advantage of Google’s Keyword Planner tool. This means you’ll have to set up a Google Ads account, but, don’t worry, you won’t actually have to buy any ads. This free tool gives you search volume and traffic estimates for your chosen phrases. You can also drop your competitors’ URLs into the planner to get ideas about what’s working for them, as well as what terms they may be neglecting—where you can differentiate yourself in search results. While it’s a little tangential to SEO, it’s especially important to test and determine the quality of keywords if you’re doing paid search, to make sure you’re getting the most return on your marketing dollars.
3. Make content—and make it good
Keywords have to live somewhere. Creating quality content—blogs, case studies, white papers, articles, etc.—gives you appropriate places to plant relevant keywords. And well-crafted content doesn’t just establish you as an expert to your audience, it can also put you in the good graces of Google’s algorithm. Google likes quality content as much as your audience—if not more—and it equates content quality with the number of people sharing your content or driving traffic to it. These shares, or backlinks, are crucial to building SEO because quality sites generally link to other quality sites, while spammy sites tend to link to other low-quality sites. Trust us, your audience can tell the difference—and so can the algorithm. The bottom line? Make your content worth sharing.
4. Give web crawlers something to find
Another way that fresh content boosts your SEO is by giving web crawlers what they’re looking for. These automated scripts are constantly searching the web for new things. When they find a new or updated page, they add the fresh content to the Google index. So regularly producing new content gives you a better chance of a higher ranking. Fresh content also helps boost credibility with your audience since—let’s face it—it just looks bad if your latest blog post was from two years ago.
5. Check your links
A broken link is like a “closed” sign on your door. It stops a potential customer from going further and, even worse, may send them elsewhere. Dead links also turn web crawlers away from your pages—but not before they spend time ensuring the link is broken so it can be categorized as such. Crawl budget (the amount of time Googlebots and other crawlers will spend indexing your site) is a complicated topic that deserves a post of its own. But, boiling it all down, you really don’t want crawlers wasting their time on dead links; it’s less time they’re able to spend indexing your working pages that can actually contribute positively to your search rankings.
6. Check your page speed
Slow page speed can also negatively impact your SEO. There’s some debate about whether page speed is best described as the time it takes to fully load a page or the time it takes to load the first byte of information from your server. Either way, low page speed hurts both user experience and your SEO efforts, as it causes web crawlers like Googlebots to waste more time going through your site. Google’s PageSpeed Insights not only tells you how your page speed measures up, but also analyzes the components of your site and offers actionable advice to improve load times.
7. Leverage keywords for phone calls—not just web traffic
Don’t forget that web traffic is only one part of the customer journey. With the right tools, you can determine which consumer searches are driving online traffic and which ones are driving phone calls. Call intelligence platforms, like ours here at CallTrackingMetrics, not only track customer journeys from internet searches to your website, but also provide keyword-level attribution for phone calls—giving you a clearer idea of how well your SEO efforts are working and which keywords are driving quality traffic from both sources. The result is a better optimized site and more cohesive and effective content marketing campaigns.
Keep Calm and SEO On
Taking steps to improve your SEO can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Pick a few of the tips above to focus on, don’t forget to delegate responsibilities, and make sure to track results on a weekly and month-to-month basis. Start slow and remember that even small steps, taken today, can yield big changes in traffic over time.
Ready to learn more? Explore how having multiple call tracking numbers can impact your SEO.