If you’re looking to improve your search engine rankings and outrank your competitors, these SEO tips are for you! It’s no secret that building a quality SEO strategy can be a long and difficult process, but in the world of ecommerce, visibility is everything and an SEO strategy can make or break your business.
Think of search engine optimization as a competition. You are constantly battling other businesses for a coveted position on the first page of Google. Think about it: how often do you search beyond the first page of Google when looking for a particular product. Not very often, right? In fact, the average consumer won’t even click beyond the first five listings on a search engine results page (SERP). If your competitors outrank you, they could be stealing away a huge portion of your potential customers!
Here are 12 effective SEO tips to help you outrank your competitors no matter what industry you’re in.
1. Start with Keyword Research
Keyword research is the first step to any successful SEO strategy. What words or phrases do you want your website to show up for when people search for them on Google? These words or phrases will be your keywords.
Improving your search engine rankings isn’t just about getting more website visitors. It’s also about getting the right kinds of visitors. The best way to get the most relevant visitors to your site is to plan your SEO strategy based on the most relevant keywords.
When considering which keywords you want to rank for, ask yourself the following questions: Will people searching for this keyword find what they are looking for on my website? Will people searching for this keyword be satisfied when they land on my site? Do I have anything to gain from generating traffic to my website from people searching for this keyword? If the answer is yes to all these questions, you’re on the right track!
Google Keyword Planner is a great free tool designed to help you estimate which keywords will be most effective to reach your customers. One thing to keep in mind when conducting keyword research is to consider search terms that are relevant to voice search or talk-to-type phrases. Google voice search is becoming increasingly important with the rise of talk-to-text functions on smartphones. Also, consider common misspellings of potential keywords because people make mistakes. And you don’t want to miss out on a customer just because they spelled your keyword wrong.
So how do you use Google Keyword Planner? This tool is available to anybody with a Google Ads account and allows you to simply type in any word, phrase, or URL related to your business and be able to see a list of related keywords and metrics for those keywords. Metrics include search volume (average number of monthly searches) and competition level (how easy or difficult it will be to outrank competitors for that keyword). If you’re not sure where to start in terms of testing out keywords, think of it this way: what word or phrase would somebody type in to find your website?
Ideally, each page of your website or post on your blog should target one specific keyword or topic. That being said, avoid targeting the same keyword on multiple pages of your site. Google will only choose to rank one of these pages, so you may be wasting your time if multiple pages on your site are aiming to rank for the same keyword, especially since Google may not rank the one you want!
2. Optimize your site for keywords
Once you’ve settled on which keywords you want your site to rank for, it’s time to optimize your website accordingly. Make sure your keywords appear as frequently as possible on your website (or at least on the page of your website you wish to have rank for that keyword). The desired keyword should appear in page titles, headers, alt-tags, URLs, and meta tags. Keywords should be implemented in both the source code and existing content on the page you’re trying to have rank.
Another one of our SEO tips is to have a multi-page website. Single page websites are easy to build, but if you want to improve your search engine results, a multi-page website is the way to go! The more pages you have on your website, the more chances you have to optimize your site.
3. Write New, Engaging Content Based on Keywords
Every page of your website can be leveraged to improve your search engine rankings as long as you build them up with valuable content based on your predetermined keywords. This includes product pages, blog posts or even FAQ pages and directories. Filling your website with quality content is one of the single most important SEO tips. Having a blog on your website is one of the easiest ways to incorporate your keywords into your website, along with internal links which we will get into in more detail later.
Just remember to write for people rather than search engines. Of course, you want your keywords to appear as many times as possible on a blog post, but it still has to make sense and offer something of value to your readers. It can become incredibly obvious to your website visitors if your site is designed exclusively to improve search engine rankings. You have to keep in mind that there are real people looking at your website, and your goal is to appeal to them. Google has been known to penalize websites that are caught producing low-value content for the sake of SEO. Search engines catch on pretty quickly when your website’s bounce rate is high and conversion rate is low.
4. Utilize Internal links
Increasing the number of internal links on your website is one of the simplest ways to grow your SEO strategy. All you have to do is link out to pages you want to improve the ranking for on various other pages of your site. You may want to go back and edit old blog posts to contain internal links to other blog posts or pages on your website.
Internal linking aides in website navigation and can potentially improve a website’s domain authority and ranking power. The more pages you have on your website, the more opportunities you will have to add internal links. So get blogging, and post new blogs regularly.
Just make sure your links are relevant. Don’t link simply for the sake of linking. Connecting two pages of your site through internal hyperlinks has to make sense and add value for your website visitors.
5. Grow Your Backlinks
In addition to loading your website up with internal links, one of the more important SEO tips is to maximize your external links. The more often a page on your site is linked out to on other websites, the better it looks to Google. You may have to ask other website owners to link to your site. Just be careful! There are a few backlink gathering strategies that go against Google’s webmaster guidelines, like donating to charities and nonprofits for a backlink.
Go for quality over quantity when it comes to link building. A few high authority links will do you much better than a lot of low-quality links.
The best SEO tips we have for gaining backlinks are to reach out to influencers and request for them to link out to your website on their posts, or to simply create high quality, engaging content that people will want to link out to from their own sites naturally.
6. Streamline Your Load Time
It is a proven fact that the speed at which your webpage loads affects its SEO. If your website loads slowly, all your other SEO strategies could be in vain. Ideally, your website should load in three seconds or less. A low page speed can also lead to a high bounce rate, which can hurt your search engine rankings even more.
7. Equip Your Site with Breadcrumbs
While you’re improving your website to make it easier for search engines to comb, consider adding breadcrumbs. No, we’re not talking about actual crumbs of bread. When it comes to web design, breadcrumbs are navigational aids that help people and search engines navigate your site.
Breadcrumbs can show up when somebody runs a Google search and finds your website, showing users exactly where on your site they are clicking to. Each of the breadcrumbs are clickable, as well.
There are different types of breadcrumbs you can utilize for your site, but hierarchy breadcrumbs are the most common. These breadcrumbs show users where they are in terms of your site structure and how many clicks it will take to get back to the homepage. The image below shows an example of a typical hierarchy based breadcrumb structure might look like:
There are also attribute based breadcrumbs which show up once a certain search or selection has been made. History-based breadcrumbs show you where you are on a site based on the history of other pages you have clicked on the site to get there.
Breadcrumbs enhance the user experience of your site by making it easier to navigate, and they can also help Google learn how your website is structured for SEO. Plugins like Yoast SEO make breadcrumbs super easy to install on your site.
8. Use Meta Descriptions
One of the most important yet frequently forgotten SEO tips is to optimize your meta descriptions. Meta descriptions are the first thing people see when your page appears on their Google search.
If your website is built on WordPress, the previously mentioned Yoast SEO plugin can make editing your meta descriptions a breeze! Yoast SEO will show you a page analysis as well as a preview of how your title tag and meta description will appear on Google.
Making sure your keywords appear within the meta description can give your rankings a big boost.
9. Social Signals
Plenty of case studies have proven that social shares and social media engagement such as likes, re-tweets, and Pinterest pins improve search engine rankings.
So how do you increase your site’s social signals? For starters, fill your website with engaging content that is easily shareable. You can add share buttons to your blog posts to make them that much easier for readers to share on social media. You can even directly ask social media users and influencers to share your articles.
Needless to say, you should be frequently sharing content from your website on your business’s social channels. Ideally, one third of all content posted on your business’s social media should link back to the site.
10. Check Out Your competitors’ Domain Authority
Every website has a domain authority, which is a number between 1 and 100. Domain Authority, also known as DA, is a search engine ranking score designed to predict how a website will rank on SERPs. A higher score, that is a score closer to 100, denotes a greater ability to rank, while a lower score means a website will be less likely to rank well. Every website starts out with a domain authority of one and improves their DA through many different metrics including the number of internal and external links, social signals, search engine friendliness, and the quality of the site’s content.
There is a useful extension called MozBar that will allow you to easily see a site’s domain authority. Using MozBar, you can find out the Domain Authority of your competitors to learn how much you have to improve your domain authority by to outrank them.
11. Test and Measure
Since the goal of all the aforementioned SEO tips is to improve your search engine rankings, be sure to regularly check how your website ranks for your desired keywords. Track your progress. There are various tools you can use, like SEMRush, to see your position ranking in the SERPs.
Always remember that search engine optimization can be a slow process. If you are not getting the results you wanted after your goal time frame, it may be time to reevaluate your strategy. Perhaps the keywords you have chosen were too competitive, or maybe you’re strategy is simply not aggressive enough.
Even once you have the ranking you want, you aren’t finished. Maintaining your high ranking position will take continuous effort. In the world of SEO, your work is never done.
12. Hire an SEO Expert
Overwhelmed trying to implement all these SEO tips by yourself? Never fear, the experts are here!
SEO is a constantly evolving field, and it can be a full-time job trying to keep up with all the changes. The good news is, there are SEO specialists out there whose entire job is actually based around keeping up with these changes and learning how to implement them to help business owners like you!
Hiring somebody to take care of your SEO may seem like a big expense at first, but it can save you a lot of money in the long run. An expertly coordinated SEO strategy can also earn you a great deal of revenue in the long run when you begin to outrank your competitors!
So there you have it, those are our 12 best SEO tips to outrank your competitors and increase your website conversions in the long term.