8 Step Plan for Higher Search Rankings in 2021
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Maintaining and improving business SEO efforts is a top priority for marketers as we enter 2021. For those that have a plan in place, you already have a solid foundation to begin the process of ramping up your marketing for the New Year. Time can be one of the main issues marketers face, and lack of it often means that getting your content in front of the right people is challenging.
Holding that top spot on Google is not as simple as some make out, and a lot of factors help to get you in those elusive ten site link spaces. However, there are other areas to consider including featured snippets, images, videos, local packs and knowledge panels – the possibilities are available to improve your positioning.
Take a look at these actionable steps to improve your organic SEO results in 2021.
Start by simplifying SEO
The world of SEO can be a complex one. However, looking at SEO in its simplest form is an ideal place to begin.
If you search for something in Google, you expect the result to be what you want in an instant. In some cases, while you search, you want Google to read your mind. If you think like this when you search, so do your potential audience.
To see the results in action, simply, enter a search term in Google and check out the results. Looking at this simple, see where your competitors show up and make a note of common questions and use of keywords. Don’t forget to check out the ‘People also asked’ box too, as this can help build questions and answers surrounding your focus keyword.
Speak your customer’s language
Long gone are the days of adding a search term in your content as many times as possible to rank (surprisingly people still do it!).
Keywords and website content needs to be written in the way your audience think and speak. Translating this to your products and services also improves your positioning within your industry, and Google naturally rewards this.
Always provide useful content
Good content is more than just a blog post. The way people consume content today means that video, webinars, guides and live chats among other channels should be a top feature in your marketing strategy from now on.
Another aspect is content should always be useful! A good piece of content will far outweigh the masses of irrelevant pieces on the Internet. Why? In short, because it answers questions, it’s helpful, and it’s relevant. This makes others want to share it and in turn, boosts referral traffic.
When you create awesome content, it also provides the opportunity of building relationships within your industry, which can improve your profile.
Revamp your SEO link building strategies
First things first – quality over quantity. That’s not to say that quantity doesn’t matter as the more website links pointing to you is also an excellent indicator to Google that your website is a valuable source. However, getting high quality SEO backlinks can be the challenging part if you don’t have everything in place.
Take a look at the main areas to focus on to improve your SEO link building strategy:
Check out your link profile
As a marketer, you’ve already covered the ‘what are backlinks’ aspect, so the next step is identifying them. Unless you look at who’s linking to you, you will not know how the links affect your overall appearance in search engines.
A simple way to check is using a backlink checker. There are several tools available, including Moz Open Site Explorer and SEMRush Backlink Checker. This also pairs up as competitor keyword research tools so you can see where your competitors are getting links.
Use these tools to identify high quality links. If you spot any odd-looking backlinks or spam sites linking to a web page, use the disavow tool to remove them. Poor-quality links can negatively affect your website.
It’s also a great idea to undertake broken link building tasks on your link profile, as these will also create a poor user experience.
It would be best if you aimed to use the concept of creating less but promoting more when it comes to content. As mentioned above, if you produce amazing content, promoting this extensively will reap the rewards, as other websites will naturally link to you and may also ask your company to contribute a guest post and this provides another opportunity to promote your business.
Making your content easily shareable is another way to boost its reach. Create share buttons and use scheduling tools such as HubSpot to automate content sharing on social media platforms.
Track your progress and make tweaks
One of the most critical aspects of all types of marketing strategy includes monitoring your progress. Everything from looking at on page SEO metrics to how your link building tactics are performing is vital.
Some of the main areas to focus on include:
Rankings change all the time, and your SEO keyword research should show the performance of your focus keywords alongside where you can improve.
Without getting lost in the thousands of keywords that keyword research tools show – focus on your most valuable to ensure your time is spent optimising effectively.
Tracking your link profile can help to improve your positioning. Link checking tools will assist this process. However, you may also benefit from link building services that take the whole process, including creating content and monitoring your progress. So this frees you up for other areas of SEO.
Other metrics to monitor include:
- Search traffic to your website, including page visits, time on page, returning/new users, mobile search traffic, and bounce rates.
- Social shares and analysis on different platforms
- Conversion rates on ecommerce sales
Realistic goals and patience
We live in an ‘immediate results’ world, but that’s not the case when it comes to SEO and search rankings. While the process can be quicker than it was ten years ago, many aspects do not change overnight. Improvements take time so the sooner you get started on your 2021 plans, the better results you’ll see in the New Year.
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