Creating an SEO Strategy Beyond Keyword-Rich Content
Across the world and in NZ, digital marketing has become an essential tool for getting businesses in front of the right audiences. For those unfamiliar with the inner workings of search engine optimisation, it involves nothing more than keywords and magic. But much more goes into implementing a successful SEO strategy. To help you better understand SEO beyond keyword-rich content, we discuss some key factors to help you create a search engine-friendly site.
Even if you have some keyword-rich, well-written, unique content, you want to ensure that you present the information in a logical order.
Implementing HTML headings work to create a clear hierarchal order of content. This aids search engine crawlers in navigating your content and makes the overall content on your site easier for users to digest.
Example of HTML heading format
Rarely will you need anything past an H3 heading, but this structure goes from H1 – H6, splitting different ideas and information for a streamlined user experience. Each page must have a single H1 heading, with as many H2 – H6 as required.
Headings must flow logically. Past your H1, you must move to H2. You cannot skip numbers as the search engine bots will pick this up. The following heading must align with the preceding format; otherwise, it can move up or down the numbers to emphasise or separate unique ideas.
Best SEO practices see image titles, file names, and alt text that include relevant keywords. Image optimisation is a frequently forgotten area of SEO. You want to ensure that your images are resized and compressed to avoid slowing the page speed for users, with countless free tools available to help.
Alt text is a fantastic tool for those with impaired vision to understand what an image contains. Alt text also helps search engine crawlers understand the images on your site, providing a chance to include any relevant keywords.
If you know anything about SEO, you have likely heard the term backlinks floating around. These are links back to your website that help improves your authority score. There are many ways to get backlinks for SEO, but knowing what makes a high-quality link is the key.
Links are easy to obtain, but you want them to come naturally. Many sites will pay for links, but Google’s bots identify this and ignore them as a ranking factor.
A high-quality link is sought after by any SEO specialist. These links are relevant to your content and come from high-authority sites. Link building and link outreach are both ways of organically creating links. Avoid links that come from low-quality, spammy, or downright harmful as they will do nothing positive for SEO.
Although not a definite ranking factor, improving user experience is still beneficial to SEO. Elements such as site navigation, mobile optimisation, and call-to-actions work to make your overall site experience better for users.
An easy-to-navigate site, where content is clear and accessible on various devices, helps minimise bounce rate and encourages users to further click through your site. Clearly and accurately presenting information or answers users search for makes the experience easy for users. Customers digging through endless and irrelevant information can get in the way of a possible conversion.
Page speed is another contributor to user experience. If page speed across your site is slow, users are more likely to move to a different website. Google’s Maile Ohye explains the importance of page speed, emphasising the importance for E-commerce sites to load within 2-seconds. In regards to the search engine itself, Ohye states, “We [Google] aim for under a half-second.” Page Speed Insights tool identifies areas to improve load speed and optimise your site for its Core Web Vitals.
Ultimately, user experience is about making everything easy for your site. There is no point in bombarding users with irrelevant information. You want to show the users what they want to know and where to go now that they have the information. Call-to-action buttons help show users the next step and help improve conversion.
In this day and age, all websites should be mobile-friendly, but this is not the case. A non-mobile-friendly is essentially ignoring more than half of all the search traffic.
If users need to zoom in or scroll horizontally to navigate content, your site is not mobile-friendly. Mobile-Friendly Test will tell you whether your site is well-optimised for mobile.
A common throughline with SEO is relevance. Backlinks, keywords, content, and images must be relevant for success. There is no need to create several pages only to add meaningless content.
A strong focus on relevancy is crucial. Search engines will catch cases of ‘keyword stuffing’ and give more authority to websites with valuable content relevant to the search. Type your keywords into Google and check the People Also Ask section. These questions will provide direction and indicate what people are searching for concerning your business.
These questions, answered with relevant and reliable information, can also improve your chances of getting a Featured Snipped on search engine results pages.
Stay in the Loop
SEO and digital marketing are continually unfolding and evolving as the industries are still new. Google is constantly rolling out new features to benefit your business or changing its ranking factors. One of the most beneficial things you can do for your site is to stay up-to-date with the industry. Utilise the tools available at your disposal, and you will start to see the areas where you need to improve your SEO strategy.
Keen to receive templates, tips and industry knowledge to help you take your skillset to the next stage? Check out our range of courses: from short courses in social media marketing strategy and SEO to a full Digital Marketing Diploma. NZIE is waiting for you to take the next step in your career; and ready to support you every step of the way!