Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to reign supreme when driving organic traffic to your website. The first position in the search results also delivers the highest click-through rate (CTR). Both can increase your likelihood of conversion.
But how do you maximize SEO to improve your website rankings? This article looks into the latest strategies that help produce results.
5 SEO Strategies To Rank Higher in Search Results
When you want to rank better in your chosen keywords and the search engine results pages (SERPs), here are the SEO techniques you can implement:
1. Avoid Duplicate Content
Duplicate content is content published exactly as it is on two or more websites or pages. Because of its nature, there’s much debate on whether Google will penalize you for it. The search engine has always stressed that it doesn’t unless proven to be plagiarized.
However, it is still not okay to publish the same content for many reasons:
- Google can crawl or index the wrong site. It might be the one that contains outdated or, worse, wrong information.
- Both sites will compete for the same keyword. While it’s not a direct ranking factor, having two pages fighting for the same keyword can lower search engine visibility. Why would someone want to visit your site when you can get the information from another source?
- Duplicate content can be considered spam. In the updated policy, publishing the same content in Google Business Profile, including videos, images, and texts, now counts as spam. It’s still unclear what the effect might be, but it can result in deindexing or a lower ranking in the search results.
How do you avoid duplicate content? The easiest is to use canonical URLs to point to the source. If you have a WordPress site, for example, there are plugins like Yoast that automatically add canonical tags.
Another option is to republish old content. You can give it a new spin by adding updated information or presenting it in a different format like an infographic. It might even drive more traffic to a popular post, let it compete with certain keywords, and make it more SEO-friendly.
2. Do Not Ignore Less-Competitive Keywords
Keyword research is one of the pillars of SEO. But often, marketers make the mistake of hyper-focusing on only a few keywords.
Some key terms can provide more targeted traffic. They are also less competitive, so that you can rank faster with them. These are the low-hanging and zero-search-volume keywords.
- Low-Hanging Keywords
The low-hanging keywords are the ones that appear on the bottom part of the first page or the succeeding pages in the search results. Their placements are iffy, but your competitors are not ranking for them. They are not even targeting these key phrases, allowing you to rank first for these.
- Zero-Search-Volume Keywords
Zero-search-volume keywords are long-tail queries with no search data. Think of “best auto repair shop in Des Moines” versus “best auto repair shop” or “auto repair shop.” These keyword types are specific, unique, and not commonly used. Still, they can provide targeted traffic. You’re confident those searching with these terms want to find you.
3. Take Advantage of Underrated Off-Page SEO Techniques
Marina Turea of Digital Authority Partners considers off-page SEO a critical ranking factor. The best organic marketing plan always includes a solid link-building campaign. But this isn’t the only method to perform off-page SEO.
- Harness unlinked mentions. These are brand mentions without links back to your website. You can search your brand name or product and see if anyone has talked about it online. Reach out to the site owner and ask them to link to your website.
- Add and promote your links on social media. Despite what most people think, social media isn’t a ranking signal. But it indirectly impacts SEO strategies. It helps build brand awareness, boost user engagement, and enhance user experience. Add your website link to your social media profile, share posts and visuals, and use hashtags for branding.
4. Perform an SEO Audit Regularly
SEO is not a one-time thing. You must do it continuously to maintain and improve your website’s ranking. The best way to do this is to perform an SEO audit at least twice a year.
An SEO audit helps you assess the health of your website from an organic search perspective. It covers everything from site architecture to technical issues, on-page SEO, link building, and more.
You can do an SEO audit or hire an agency to do it for you. Many tools can also help automate the process.
Regularly auditing your website will help ensure that it is always up to par with the latest SEO best practices. It will also allow you to quickly identify and fix any issues holding back your website’s ranking.
5. Combine Great SEO with Great User Experience (UX) Design
A great user experience is no longer a nice-to-have in SEO but a must-have. Google has prioritized UX in its ranking algorithm, making it a critical ranking factor. After all, Google’s ultimate goal is to provide its users with the best possible experience.
You can consider many tactics to improve UX. But to speed up your SEO results, here are a few things you can do:
- Create content for mobile. Google now follows mobile-first indexing. Keep text shorter and easier to read and navigate. Use visuals but do not overdo it.
- Make above-the-fold content count. Google says it doesn’t especially favor sites with above-the-fold content. But it wants to see one—and you should make it worthwhile. You need an impactful H1 tag and keywords in the first paragraph. Use visual call-to-action buttons and image alt texts. Improve download speed for the page’s first half.
Ranking in the search results is getting more competitive. There’s no better time to pay attention to your strategies than today. These five essential tips will help you speed up your SEO results, improve your website ranking, and even beat your competition.
Keep in mind, though, that success is not guaranteed. You can enhance your chances of dominating the SERPs by working with the experts. They can help you fine-tune your SEO strategy with SEO best practices.