When it comes to quality, authoritative content, SEO is not bias.
For brands that are well established in their space and known for their perceived quality and authority (depending on the keyword) Google has a sense of responsibility to rank these sites well, as users view Google as a recommendation service and not just a search engine. This is especially the case for product, service and news related keyword searches. It’s part of what I believe Google does in representing the real world to the user – just take a look at the searches below:
The search term ‘hamburger’ is very broad and difficult to interpret what the user is exactly looking for. In the search result above, you can see Google displays a very well known burger chain, McDonald’s in the search results listing. As it could be that, the searcher wants a tasty burger, so Google displays the popular burger chain in the list even though it is a very broad term, the world famous brand is present.
So, what about the rest of us?
SEO can often be like carrying a large rock up an unforgiving mountain and the continuous algorithm updates act like a sudden change of the elements, a strong wind, a thunder storm or what have you, threatening to topple you all the way down.
Being able to last the course has it’s benefits. Yes, it can be long hardy hours, but there are smart ways to leap you to the top quicker.
There are a number of SEO tactics that can be put into action quickly and can help you move up the rankings in search results pages.
This does not mean you can get away with spending time creating quality content that is relevant and useful to your intending audience but it will help that effort get recognised.
Before I start detailing out what these tactics are I want you to keep in mind what I said to you at the beginning of this post – that Google has a sense of responsibility to rank sites well who have a real world, online and offline brand presence, as this is going to be integral to your future on Google’s search results pages.
Okay, so what are these quick wins then?
Research the competition in your space and see what is appearing at the top of both organic and paid listings for keywords related to your business.
Have a quick check of the estimated traffic using SEMrush.
Here’s an example –
I did a quick search for ‘file transfer’
Here are the results from Google –
Get the root domain names of the top three paid listings and put them into SEMrush and check which is getting the most estimated traffic, a caveat here is that sometimes SEMrush wont have the data.
Just a moment, there is a little more to do after putting in the domain name. Once you put in the domain name and hit enter, SEMrush will run its engine to gather a digital overview of the domain. Once it has done that, click on the the ‘paid search’ section that is marked with an orange dot (see above, figure x). That will take you to the ‘top paid keywords’ section a little further done the page. Once you are there, select ‘view full report’. The report that follows gives you a more detailed breakdown and you can see the estimated traffic each keyword is generating. The estimated traffic is a percentage of the search volume the keyword is receiving.
Now get the root domain names of the top two organic listing and do as you did for the paid listings.
From doing this task I found the ad that received the most traffic was from egnyte.com with the ad –
this is receiving the most traffic according to SEMrush. Another caveat to mention about SEMrush is that you may have to use the paid version to extract the data you need but believe me, it’s money worth investing.
The traffic level can be seen in the table provided by SEMrush –
Now let’s have a closer look at the actual ad that’s been identified and the keywords that are being used in the headline tags:
Keyword 1 – online file sharing
Keyword 2 – secure
Keyword 3 – brand name [egnyte.com]
From here, I can find at least two or three potential phrases to use for my title and description.
For instance, I might use a hybrid approach and do the following:
- secure online file sharing
- fast and easy file sharing
- secure file sharing online
By using this method, very quickly I’ve found three fully optimized phrases I can use in my content.
And the best thing is, these companies obviously didn’t choose these keyword phrases at random. Quite likely, they’re often the result of substantial split-testing to see which phrases would get the best click through rates (CTR) and highest conversions.
Besides using this method for product/services/blog pages, you can also use it for content that already exits on your site but has performed okay and hasn’t reached its full potential.
So what is the 2 cents worth with all this?
Imagine you’re creating a blog post or need a keyword for a product page and want to find phrases for your title and meta description that will pull in relevant traffic, you can use the keywords that have been extracted from the technique above (apply to your own situation) and deploy them.
It will save you a heap of time from scouring Google Keyword Planner for optimised phrases.
2. Optimize Google My Business
A report from Search Engine Land (the reputable digital marketing website) in 2016 revealed that almost 60% of searches now come from mobile devices.
What this tells us is that localised SEO is of significant importance, especially if you’re a small business.
The most notable stat of all was that 50% of people who perform a search on their smartphone for local services visit a brick and mortar store within a day.
Local search results are not all the same and does depend on your industry vertical and the type of search the user is doing, for example; someone may be searching based of validation i.e. best coffee shop near me and another user maybe searching ‘garage near me late night’.
So what can you do to improve your local SEO. Well, there are a number of things but the most important action to do is to optimise your Google
My Business account.
Here’s what you want to do:
- Claim your business listing if you haven’t, simply Google it (you must know how to do that).
- Apply correct, up to date business information including opening hours
- Choose specific categories for your business.
- Use high quality images
- Encourage your customers to review your business
SEO is a continuously changing sphere and the course of action you take depends on your business dynamic. If you’re small. local SEO is great, essential and closer to what traditional SEO is, if you’re in a major space, focus on your business and making sure it does what you claim as SEO alone won’t make you top mount Google.