Implementing advanced SEO strategies could significantly improve your Google search rankings, driving improved web traffic and conversions.
Getting your website content in front of the right people takes work, but efforts to increase your search rankings will pay off over time.
Search engines work to provide the best user experience possible by constantly improving the results offered when users type their search queries into the navigation bar. SEO helps Google recognize your content as valuable and relevant to your audience, increasing the chance that it will show your website to users.
The more competitive your market, the more you’ll need to be on top of advanced SEO strategies to ensure you’re showing up in search results for the right people – and high enough that they’ll find you.
Why it’s time to move beyond SEO basics
Your SEO techniques must continually evolve as Google updates its algorithms. Otherwise, the audience you’re trying to reach won’t find your website.
You’re probably already doing most or all of the below basic SEO tasks, but it’s good to check that you aren’t missing any steps. As you’ll see in its SEO starter guide, Google considers these the fundamentals:
- Submit a sitemap to help Google find your content.
- Be certain Google crawls only the pages you want searched.
- Help Google understand your content with titles, headings, tags and meta descriptions.
- Organize your site so Google can easily search URLs and pages.
- Optimize your content for readers and search engines.
- Remember to optimize your images.
- Ensure your entire site is mobile friendly.
Learning and using best practices for SEO and adapting your approach as needed over time is the best way to get your website in front of the right audiences effectively.
10 advanced SEO strategies for a competitive edge
The basics are a good start. The next step is doing a deeper analysis to ensure you’re making the most of your website content marketing efforts. Adopting the practices below is key to improved website performance.
1. Audit your existing content
A full audit of your content should include a list of all content pages listed by URL, targeted keywords, internal and external links, and the performance statistics for each page.
A full audit of your content can be time-consuming, but once complete, it becomes an effective task list for updates and will help you get through your upgrades more quickly. Create a content plan to attract your ideal customers by filling in gaps, building out pillar pages and topic clusters, and improving how you thoroughly cover essential subjects.
2. Update or remove existing content
You may already have a lot of content on your site, but it won’t help your SEO if it’s been around too long. Outdated, duplicate and weak content should be removed from your site or improved to meet your new standard. The good news is that existing content can be very beneficial if you are methodical about cleaning it up.
Look for outdated titles, statistics and other data that could hurt your content’s performance. For a quick win, go back through old content to update posts that speak to trends for a particular year or season, making them relevant again.
3. Improve keyword research and implementation
Long-tail keywords help Google understand your site content and show it to searchers who are interested and motivated.
Getting strategic about keywords will help you create a competitive content library for the keywords your audience is using. Remember to use long-tail keywords throughout your content — in the title, header, body and image alt text.
4. Go beyond keywords to optimize content
The more you understand how Google finds, crawls and understands your content, the more you can do to help it be seen by more people.
Google will rank content based on how valuable and relevant it appears. It will also show a featured snippet with the top search result, giving it a chance to be seen by more people. Optimizing your content with lists, bullet points and precise answers to users’ questions can help you grab this top spot in search results.
5. Explore structured data markup
You can also optimize different content types for Google by offering organized data that is easier for it to categorize. Structured data markup gives Google clues as to what kind of content you’re offering so it can showcase your content in the most appealing way.
For example, you can structure data by including a code format to your content that helps categorize it as recipes, reviews, products or books. Once you organize the data in your content in a way Google understands, it can create richer search results for online audiences.
6. Adopt best practices for linking
Your site content is likely full of links to other content, but you may need to check if those links still direct readers to relevant content. Use your website analytics to fix dead links. This will ensure your site isn’t penalized for having outdated linking.
It’s also helpful to be proactive about adding internal links to each new piece of content you create. The longer you can keep a visitor on your website, the more likely it is they will find the information they need and return to your site in the future. Plus, more extended website visits show Google you have valuable content and increase the likelihood it will send more users your way.
7. Learn how to migrate pages and sites properly
If you’ve moved or removed content from pages on your site, or moved an entire site, you may have inadvertently left a few empty pages. If a user searches for something they need and the link they click on shows an error, they’re likely to simply click away from your site to try the next option.
Losing visitors could mean losing business, and it also hurts your search rankings to have people land on a page and immediately leave. Set up proper redirects from any of these pages so that each one automatically sends a visitor to a helpful page instead.
8. Focus on user experience
Tactics and strategies are only valuable if they are used to create content that serves the needs of your audience. Ideally, you are planning, creating and improving your content to make it more valuable, relevant and necessary for your readers.
SEO tactics should help Google find, understand and offer your website pages to people looking for the information or solutions you offer. You can help improve their experience by ensuring the content they find is valid, your pages load quickly and they can easily find other relevant information on your site.
9. Monitor and optimize performance via Google Search Console
Google Search Console offers a performance report that can be very insightful when determining which pages to prioritize when improving your site content.
If you find search terms that have led to a lot of impressions on a page, but the page itself isn’t ranking highly, it’s a sign that improving the quality of those pages could prove beneficial.
10. Promote your site on other channels
Don’t overlook your ability to drive relevant traffic to your site from social media channels. Figure out where your audience spends time and connect with them there, using different content types.
For example, you could share company updates on LinkedIn and share behind-the-scenes event footage on Instagram. Try sharing company videos to YouTube to draw traffic and connect with different podcasts to tap into new audiences.
Advanced SEO tactics can help position your business ahead of competitors, helping you secure more traffic and conversions – both key to your business growth over time.
Ready to take your SEO strategy beyond the basics? Book a consultation with a Postmedia expert to take the first step toward more conversions from your website.