Many marketers dislike SEO, and that’s putting it mildly. The truth would be to tell you that many hate it. However, we at Camberlion are an exception to this rule, as we believe that the world of SEO is fascinating. Every single year, Google makes numerous changes to the search engine algorithm. The strategy that you used last year may not be adequate for this one, and the new one you develop now might prove to be ineffective in the future.
This constant change of pace and environment makes working with SEO interesting and dynamic, as there are always new avenues to explore and new strategies to implement. With that said, we know that most of you don’t find this constant change as exciting or interesting. If you’re currently struggling with driving organic traffic, then we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we will take a look at five SEO strategies that will help you get back on your feet and start gaining organic traffic once again. Fair warning: this post includes both basic and advanced SEO techniques, so it’s suitable regardless of how much you know about search engine optimization.
Let’s get started!
Start Optimizing Your Content Right Away
Most marketers tend to think of SEO as a practice that includes publishing content regularly with new keywords and getting links to those pages. However, those of us that have been in the SEO world for longer know that one of the best ways to increase organic traffic is by going through existing content and optimizing it. The main goal is to optimize a page’s on-site meta tags when doing content optimization. That includes
- Having the right density of primary and secondary keywords
- Having the proper word count
- Ensuring that the article is easy to read
- Having the best possible tags and meta title
If you haven’t done content optimization before, here are four ways that you can do it efficiently.
1. Find the Right Word Count and Keyword Density
There are no two SERPs that are the same. Some questions are answered right away with a featured snippet, while others have a few 500 to 1,000-word sales pages. Of course, two queries only get in-depth, 3,000-word articles. All of that’s to say that there is no “right” amount of words you should aim for – it depends purely on the subject matter and the top-ranking pages that it receives on the search engine. If you don’t get this part right, you will find it very hard to rank.
2. Give Your Meta Titles a Test Run
Meta descriptions are often neglected because Google doesn’t look at them when it ranks pages. Our advice is not to make that mistake and instead focus on writing terrific meta descriptions. When done well, they can give you a CTR boost, which will, in turn, lead to a higher ranking.
3. See Which Pages Have Declining Traffic
The more new content you publish, the more likely your old content will start to slip. Many posts become outdated quickly, and it’s a tricky job to keep everything up-to-date at all times. That’s why addressing your traffic decay is so great. It allows you to keep track of your older content and prioritize the articles which need updates instead of simply coming up with new ones.
4. Cover Related Questions
The “People Also Ask” and “Related Searches” parts of a search engine result page are some incredible tools that will help you find out what users are looking for. For example, if you want to rank for the word “SEO strategies,” you may think that the best idea is to write a long article (similar to this one). However, by going the other route and simply answering the questions you find in the “People Also Ask” part of the SERP, you might be able to get some of the voice-assisted searches that we already mentioned. Along with that, the “Related Searches” part can give you an idea as to what questions you want to answer in your post.
Provide an Incredible Experience
Because page site optimization has never been a major ranking factor, most SEO specialists never paid enough attention to it. Sure, it had some value, but not as much as the good ol’ on site-optimization and link building. However, things in the SEO environment tend to change rapidly, as we already said. Thanks to the launch of BERT and MUM, new trends show that Google wants to provide its users with a more “human” experience, and so it will change the ranking algorithm towards metrics like page site optimization.
That doesn’t mean that links and tags won’t matter, but simply that they won’t be the only essential things to keep an eye on. In 2020, Google launched the Page Experience Update and made it a part of its algorithm. By definition, the Google page experience is a “set of signals that are used to measure how the users perceive the experience of interacting with a page beyond its pure informational value.”
However, as you may have guessed, Google has no way of asking each and every user how they perceive a particular web page, and that’s why they use four metrics to make the so-called “educated guesses.” Let’s see what they are.
Core Web Vitals is the name of the first metric, and it’s basically an amalgamation of metrics that look for the page’s load speed from the user’s point of view:
- Largest Contentful Paint (LCP): This metric measures loading performance, and the search engine recommends an LCP of under 2.5 seconds from the moment the page starts loading.
- First Input Delay (FID): Aims to measure how interactive a page is, and here, the recommendation is an FID of less than 100 milliseconds.
- Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS): Looks at the visual stability of a page, and by Google’s recommendations, a page should have a CLS score of less than 0.1.
The other three metrics include HTTPS protocol, how mobile-friendly the page is, and the lack of intrusive interstitials. All of this might sound like a foreign language to some of you, and if you haven’t paid any attention to your page experience, here’s what you need to do:
- Go to PageSpeed Insights and see your page’s performance when measured against the Core Web Vitals.
- Look at Google’s recommendations and try to make improvements based on them.
- Visit Test My Site and test your page’s responsiveness and then again aim to make improvements.
Remember that a quick website boosts more than just your ranking. It can also lead to more conversions. If you want to boost the page speed, here are some of the changes you can implement:
- Remove all the unnecessary code from the page
- Reduce server response time
- Choose the best hosting option for your needs
- Enable browser caching
- Compress the images by at least 30%
Once you’re done with that, you can go on and ensure that your page meets the other three criteria for optimal page experience:
- Do everything possible to make the site mobile-friendly
- Purchase an HTTPS certificate for your domain
- Remove the unneeded pop-ups
Increase the Dwell Time
How much impact user experience has on SEO has been a discussion for quite some time. However, it’s only this year that Google has actually decided to make the user experience a fundamental factor when it comes to search engine optimization. It has done so by making the dwell time critical for their ranking. No, here we’re not talking about the bounce rate; the dwell time is something totally different as it’s the time a visitor spends on one page before going back to the search engine page results.
It will be easier to understand if I give you an example. Let’s say you search for “SEO tools” and then click on the top page. Five minutes later, you decide that you’re done with this site and go back to the SERP to check out the other results.
In this scenario, the dwell time would be exactly five minutes. For Google, the more time people spend on your page, the more it shows that it’s doing something right and it’s delivering the right kind of content. Over time, Google will start to reward the high dwell time of such pages over the others. With that said, here are several things you can do to improve user experience and ensure your current content gets a boost in search engines.
Ensure Your Posts are Easy to Read
The first thing you need to do to increase your organic rankings is to optimize your content for readability. If you don’t have any previous experience, here are some tips that will make the process easier for you:
- Write good content – formatting isn’t everything; you still need to explore exciting ideas and explain them in the best way possible.
- Go for shorter paragraphs – you don’t want to write more than three to four sentences in one section.
- Mix sentence lengths – don’t avoid long sentences at all costs, but do try to mix them with some shorter ones. That way, the mix of both will ensure optimum readability.
- Use subheaders – they are great, as they allow the readers to look over the content and read just the sections they need instead of the entire article.
- Bullet points are a must – when listing something or when you’re showing data or stats, it’s best not to pack them in a paragraph. Using bullet points will make this part of the content stand out while also making it easier to read.
- Don’t forget about images – It’s an excellent idea to include a couple of images and screenshots in each article. Not only do they make the article more engaging, but they’re also great for illustrating everything you’re discussing in the post.
Implement the Inverted Pyramid Writing Style
If you’re not an expert at writing and don’t have a degree in journalism, it’s likely that you’ve never heard of the inverted pyramid style of writing. However, don’t worry – it’s not something overly complicated. It refers to a writing style that goes like this:
- First, you write about the most interesting facts, and you tell the audience what the article is all about.
- You give them the details.
- After that, it’s time for the so-called “supporting” section, where you provide additional facts.
This style of writing is excellent for any SEO content strategy because most readers rarely go to the bottom of the page. Instead, they focus on what they see first and so it’s a good practice to give them what they’re looking for from the start.
Don’t Focus on Keywords; Instead, Go to Topic Clusters
We’re probably starting to sound like a broken record at this point, but it remains true that Google is constantly evolving its algorithm. Now, its focus is on trying to understand the user’s intention – what he wants to see, what he expects, and even more, what results would be the best possible answer to the query. That’s why, now, you can’t expect to create content focused around a keyword and get to the first page on Google. Instead, you need to look at the context around the keywords (called user intent), and you must put yourself in the shoes of the user looking for something.
There are two things you should consider here:
1. The Target Audience
The type of content you have to make always depends first on who your target audience consists of. The more knowledge you have of your audience, the better you will do. Let’s imagine that your keyword is “Android” and that it has a search volume of more than 2,000,000 per month. Now that’s quite a large audience to please, so you’ll have to target it heavily, right? Well, no.
It’s likely that people who are searching for the term “Android” fall into one of these categories:
- Users looking for help with their Android device
- Star Wars fanatics looking for droids
- People who love robotics and are looking for more information
At this point, if you don’t know your target audience, you may create content that covers all three of these topics. That won’t result in anything positive – it’s impossible to please every single person by creating an article that covers content for such a broad term. With that said, if you take the time to build a buyer’s persona and understand everything about your ideal customer, you will know which topics will be of interest to your target audience and make sure they’re covered in your content.
2. Putting Your Content into Clusters
As we already said, leave the focus on keywords behind and instead organize your content into different clusters. This means having
- A pillar page: the most important pages of the website that you want to rank for a broad range of keywords
- Cluster pages: pages that are linked to the relevant pillar page and generally answer some of the topics covered in the pillar page in more detail.
This strategy helps you do three things well:
- It addresses user intent as they get access to even more information on a topic that they’re interested in
- It makes your site an overall better resource for all your pillar topics, which matters to Google, as the search engine wants to send users to the best possible page for their query.
- Each cluster page has the potential to rank on its own and so drive even more traffic to your site.
3. Focus on Keyword Research
Now, after reading this heading, you might think we’re crazy. We’ve spent some time explaining to you why topic clusters are more important than keywords, only to now tell you to research your keywords. So, why are we doing this?
Well, because keywords remain relevant, and they still matter. Organizing your content into clusters is vital, but it would be a gigantic mistake not to put any focus on keywords. By doing proper keyword research, you will know who is searching for the topics you will write about, and it will be easier for you to create content that actually answers the questions of the customers and increases brand awareness.
4. Write the So-called Voice Assistant-Friendly Content
Normally we don’t write the same way we speak. That applies to Google searches as well; however, with the recent rise of the popularity of voice assistants, that’s no longer true. As more and more people use AI assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google to look for things on Google, the searches on the engine become more conversational and, additionally, more complex for Google.
In this more conversational search engine world, you have to optimize your existing content for voice search. But how can you do that? Let’s take a look.
Use Long-Tail Keywords
Long-tail refers to those keywords that have more than three words in them, and thus they play a crucial role in voice search. To rank for these kinds of keywords, your content needs to target them on your website, which can be done in the following manner:
- First, you need to identify one long-tail keyword (such as “how to wash a baby”).
- Then you have to look for semantically similar keywords (like “washing a baby guide”, “best shampoos for washing a baby”, and so on).
- Once you’re done with steps one and two, you have to create long and comprehensive content that contains all of those keywords in it.
Implement Structured Data
Backlinko has made the claim that 40% of voice search results are from featured snippets. Using structured data can help you increase the chances of your content being used to answer a voice query. That’s why Schema markups are often used to guide local businesses with snippets of code and to help Google understand what your website is dedicated to and connect it with relevant searches.
To get started, you can go to Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool and check whether you’ve already implemented a schema. If it turns out that you haven’t, then you can pay a visit to Google’s guide to Schema markup, which explains in detail the kind of code you need to have and what you need to do to implement it.
Stay Up-to-Date with SEO
As you’ve already seen by reading this article, SEO is evolving every year. These constant changes force both marketers and business owners to adapt and implement new strategies. If you want to stay on top of every update and the latest changes, you need to spend time reading the latest news that will help you learn more about content creation, backlinks, trends, improving site speed, and more.
Remember, no one would say that SEO is easy to master, and there’s a lot you need to learn about. However, it’s not necessary for you to become the world’s leading expert on SEO to create a solid website that can drive organic traffic. By knowing the basics and updating your knowledge when the latest changes come, you will be able to optimize your site and increase its traffic. As always, the Camberlion blog remains a great place to visit when you want to learn more about the latest trends in marketing, the world of SEO, and even entrepreneurship. Along with that, our social media profiles are also dedicated to helping you with quick tips and tricks that will take your marketing to the next level.