Do you want to learn about SEO from an SEO expert? When you’re first starting out, SEO can seem like a minefield. There’s so much to wrap your head around. How could you possibly understand it all?
Don’t worry, we’ve all been there. That’s why one of our SEO experts has put together this handy guide.
After all, who better to teach you how to become an SEO expert than… an SEO expert?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation. It refers to the way search engines rank our content in a search engine results page (SERP).
When a piece of content is SEO-friendly, it will rank higher in SERPs. This is because an SEO expert has used a number of tips and tricks to boost their ranking.
Do you want to become an SEO expert? Keep reading to find out what it takes!
If you want to become an SEO expert, you need to know how search engines actually rank your content. So, how do they do it?
There are three main processes that you need to understand:
Crawling is the process that search engines use to find new content. Search engines send out ‘crawlers’ to scour the web for different forms of content.
Crawlers choose content through links and keywords. Then, they follow the URLs in the chosen websites, creating a path of linked content.
After the crawling process, search engines store the content in an index. You can speed up the indexing processes by using tools such as Search Console. In effect, you can then ask Google to look at your website.
When a user makes a search, the search engine scours through their index to find relevant content for the SERP. Search engines decide which content is best for answering the searcher’s queries. The higher a website is ranked, the more it is deemed relevant by search engines.
So, now you know the ins and outs of SEO. But how can you actually boost your SERP ranking?
Remember we mentioned SEO tips and tricks earlier? Well, our SEO expert is on hand to talk you through it.
Are you ready to learn the secret to SEO-friendly content? Here goes…
If you know anything about SEO, you won’t be surprised to see this tip at the top of the list. To become an SEO expert, using keywords in your content is an absolute must.
Keywords are so important for SEO because they help search engines find and store your web copy.
When someone Googles a word or phrase, Google searches its index for content that includes the words and phrases searched. The articles that consistently use a certain word or phrase will be placed at the top of the SERP. This is because Google wants to present its users with the most helpful content. The more often the words and phrases are used, the more useful Google believes that article to be.
You should try and scatter the keyword throughout the text. However, it’s important that it sounds natural. You don’t want the keyword to damage your content’s readability.
Top tip from an SEO expert: if your audience can easily spot the keyword, it’s not subtle enough. The keyword shouldn’t be immediately obvious to the audience! It should blend in with the rest of your content.
Still want to learn SEO secrets from an SEO expert? Well, here’s another one for you. Use internal linking in your content to boost your SERP ranking.
Internal linking is the process of linking to other pages on your website. A good place to start is by linking to your contact page in your call-to-action (CTA). However, to really climb the SERPs, you should take it one step further.
Let’s say you’re writing a blog about copywriting. In that blog, you’ve mentioned sales copy. Look back through your published blogs – have you written about sales copy before? If you have, you should link to your past blog in your current blog. Then when your audience reaches the section on sales copy, they have the option to read another of your blogs.
Sounds simple enough, right?
To become an SEO expert, you need to understand why internal linking is so important for SEO.
Basically, internal linking helps place more of your content on Google’s radar. When a search engine finds a piece of content, it follows any links it finds within it. Then it adds that content to its index. So, the more pages you have stored in Google’s index, the higher you’ll rank in SERPs.
So, our SEO expert has taken you through internal linking. But have you thought about external linking?
There are two types of external linking for SEO:
When you’re new to SEO, external linking can be confusing. Who better to explain it than an SEO expert? Let’s go through it, step by step…
An outbound link is any link from your content to someone else’s.
You might be thinking, ‘why would I want to send my audience away from my website?’
We get why you’d think that! Isn’t the role of an SEO expert to direct traffic to your site?
However, an outbound link will add depth and value to your content. It shows the search engine that you know exactly what you’re talking about.
Just remember – only link to trustworthy, credible sources. If you link to questionable websites, you won’t just be penalised by Google. Your brand’s reputation will be impacted too!
And don’t direct traffic to your competition. The last thing you want is to spend hours crafting an SEO-friendly blog, only to drive sales for your competitors.
Backlinks are slightly trickier to understand – but great for boosting your SERP ranking! Basically, a backlink is any link back to your website from someone else’s.
Backlinks are a great way to climb the SERPs because they increase your authority on a subject. When someone links back to your content, the search engine assumes that you know what you’re talking about. You must be good if people are sending their audience to your site, right?
However, it can be tricky to find backlinks. Especially from trustworthy websites. That’s why our SEO expert has created a quick list of ways to secure backlinks for your content:
The next tip from our SEO expert: keep your sentences short and sweet.
Sentence length is important for SEO because search engines are all about readability. They want to provide their users with content that will quickly answer their questions.
If your content is full of long-winded sentences, the search engine will assume it won’t be helpful to its users. And your content will be pushed further down the SERP!
We’ve gone through ways to boost your SERP ranking. Now let’s look at what not to do…
The truth is, SEO is constantly evolving. What boosts your traffic right now won’t always work for you. Even an SEO expert has to keep up with current trends!
That’s why it’s important to research current SEO trends – don’t hold onto the past!
Let’s look at an example. Back in the day, things like keyword stuffing (see below) and private blog networks worked wonders for site traffic. However, now search engines are clever enough to spot these little shortcuts. So, if you try and use SEO techniques of the past, chances are, your SERP ranking will just go down!
Speaking of SEO techniques that used to work… keyword stuffing.
Keyword stuffing is the process of overloading your content with keywords to trick search engines into showing users your content. Writers would fill the page with the keyword, with zero context or fluency. However, if you want to be an SEO expert, you need to stay on Google’s good side!
When you stuff your content with keywords, you could actually be penalised by the search engine. If the search engine accuses you of keyword stuffing, your content will be pushed further down the SERPs. Take it from an SEO expert – that’s the last thing you want!
You might not have considered this next SEO mistake. Luckily for you, we have an SEO expert here to explain more!
When creating SEO-friendly content, people often forget the importance of site speed. It’s simple really. The faster your website, the more it will be favoured by Google. That’s all there is to it!
Site speed is important for your SERP ranking because Google wants to provide its users with the best experience possible. So, if they’re given a choice between two pieces of content, they’re going to pick the faster website.
Looking for more SEO mistakes to avoid? Our SEO expert’s next tip: don’t try and rank for general keywords.
This is especially important for smaller businesses. If you don’t have much of an online presence, trying to rank for general keywords is a big mistake. The fact of the matter is there’s so much competition out there. No matter how SEO-friendly your content is, general keywords just won’t cut it.
Instead, try and rank for more specific, long-tail keywords. The longer and more specific your keywords are, the higher you’ll rank in the SERPs.
If you want to be an SEO expert, you might think it’s all about keywords and linking opportunities. And of course, those techniques are an integral part of SEO.
However, people get so caught up in the technical side of SEO that they forget the most important thing. To succeed as an SEO expert, your content needs to be good.
If the content itself isn’t good enough, it doesn’t matter about all the other aspects of SEO. Even if you do manage to climb the rankings. Your audience will soon bounce off the page if they aren’t impressed by your content. And your SERP ranking will go down anyway!
Don’t forget, Google favours readability too. So, if your content isn’t easy to read, you’ll never climb the SERPs!
Here at Vocal, we’re a full creative service that knows a thing or two about content. We may be a small creative content agency, but we’re by no means shy!
Check out our list of services to see what’s on offer. No matter who you are, we’ve got your back!
Get started with Vocal in 4 easy steps:
Step 1 – Tell us about yourselves! We want to hear about your company’s goals and ambitions. What do you want your marketing strategy to achieve?
Step 2 – Now it’s our time to shine. We’ll do some research and create a proposal of ideas – just for you! This includes recommendations drawn from our extensive experience. Are you ready to hear our ideas?
Step 3 – There’s no point investing in your content if you don’t know what it will do for your business. So, based on our knowledge and experience, we’ll make predictions about the likely outcomes of the content. That way, you can see how our services are going to benefit you.
Step 4 – Finally, we’ll provide a quote for our services. Once that’s out the way, then the real fun can begin!
Let’s get Vocal! Get in touch with a member of the team and get ready to watch your business grow.
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