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SEO 101: 5 things you can do today to grow your online presence

Tomer Garzberg
Entrepreneur

Tomer Garzberg is the Managing Director of StrongmanDigital.com.au and Growth Hacker at TomerGarzberg.com, with over 12 years content and digital marketing experience

Tomer Garzberg
Entrepreneur

Tomer Garzberg is the Managing Director of StrongmanDigital.com.au and Growth Hacker at TomerGarzberg.com, with over 12 years content and digital marketing experience

Highlights
  • Over the years, getting ranked in search has evolved to sophisticated model that’s near impossible to trick.
  • Start blogging making sure add some variety to your content mix.
  • Provide results that your customers will love and talk about on social networks and review sites, making it easy for Google to reciprocate with a better rank.

For many, SEO can seem like a foreign concept, better left to tech brands. But there are very real benefits to having a smart site, and easy ways to go about it.

Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO for short, isn’t a new concept. If you’ve got a website, you’ve no doubt thought about how you could make your site rank higher in search engines like Google, Yahoo or Bing.

A lot of SEO has changed, though. Over the years, getting ranked in search has evolved from something that was easily manipulated by spamming various links and stuffing websites with keywords, to a much more sophisticated model that’s near impossible to trick.

Due to the fact Google has the majority share of search traffic, much of current SEO focuses on ranking factors that influence your website’s position on Google.

And today, Google takes into account hundreds of factors when deciding how to rank your website for specific keywords. Here are five of the most influential ones, and how you can take advantage.

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1. Write better website copy

With SEO copywriting, it’s all about the headline. The headline’s purpose is to attract people to click on your website or blog post. If you’re unable to create attractive headlines, your search rankings will suffer, putting all of your good hard work to waste.

It really pays to take the time to identify who your target audience is, research your competitors, and use an SEO keyword planning tool for your content.

Thankfully, there are a few SEO online tools that can help you rank better, such as Google Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, KWFinder, SEMrush, and Ubersuggest. All of these tools show the ease or difficulty to rank for a specific phrase, the volume of traffic a keyword gets, and the number of backlinks your competitors have. In turn, they’ll help you to produce better website copy that’s SEO-centred.

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2. Get mobile ready

With figures from Deloitte’s 2018 Technology, Media and Telecommunications Predictions report, showing that smartphone penetration in Australia is expected to surpass 90% by the end of 2018, it makes sense that your website should be easily accessed and navigated from handheld devices. In fact, Google has announced that websites that aren’t optimised for mobile will suffer in their rankings.

Many modern website designs already take this into account and can scale to any screen size, but if your website doesn’t look right on your device, it’s a good idea to take care of that this by having your in-house developer optimise your site for mobile devices and tablets. Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to double check that your site works perfectly on all major browsers such as – Google Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Opera.

3. Start blogging

One thing that has remained a consistently dominating factor for appearing in search is how frequently you produce content.  If you publish relevant content that your target market finds useful, you’ll encourage new and repeat visitors to your site. With blogging, SEO is more than just writing quality content on a regular basis. You should always try to add some variety to your mix, like short-form content, long-form content, case studies, infographics, or even quotes from trusted thought leaders and influencers. This ensures that your brand always remains relevant.

Publishing content on a regular basis signals to Google your site is live and active, and the frequency of keyword material in your blog will have you ranking for keywords and sentences you didn’t even think of.

4. Leverage social

Having a Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn account can be good for nurturing relationships with your target audience, but there’s a downside. If you’re inactive on social, your lack of inactivity will show up on Google search. That means, if you haven’t tweeted for a year, and have 10 followers, your customers will see this when they search for your business.

Instead, leverage the power of social media and generate content that compels people to share and talk about you. You’re proving to the world (and Google), that you’re in demand and relevant.

At present, it’s unclear whether Google factors in social signals about a company’s authority on social media. Google is notoriously well known for constantly updating its search algorithms, which is why you should track Google’s SEO announcements religiously, so you can stay ahead of current trends. On the bright side, social platforms are search engines that can be leveraged too.

Take Facebook, for instance. You can search Facebook’s open graph and find practically anything – ranging from cooking recipes, to cloud storage files. Additionally, many businesses leverage other platforms like Pinterest for SEO by adding “alt tags” to images. The benefit of this is twofold: Not only do images show up in Pinterest’s search bar, they also appear in Google Images too – that’s two for the price of one!

5. Don’t overthink it

It’s very easy to get caught up in the technicalities of SEO and forget why your website is there in the first place. While it’s important not to discount the hundreds of technical SEO requirements for greater rank opportunities (way too many to mention here) a bigger factor is how much value you provide to people that come across your website.

By simply providing top quality products or services, efficient conversion processes, clear communication and outstanding customer service, the resulting positive sentiment towards you will be splashed on social networks and review sites, making it easy for Google to reciprocate with a better rank.

*Originally published. May 12 2015th. Updated November 14th 2018.

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