When you’ve been working on your SEO for a while, you might notice something.
Despite updates to the Google algorithms, new plugins popping up every 2 minutes, and ‘experts’ telling you their predictions for SEO for the future, SEO doesn’t actually change drastically overnight.
Sure, things evolve when it comes to SEO best practices, but not usually dramatically and instantaneously.
Here are 7 SEO tips that still aren’t outdated in 2020.
Avoid Black Hat SEO
There was once a time when all you needed to do to rank a website was buy loads of dodgy backlinks from spammy websites and personal blog networks (PBNs) and voila, there you’d be at the top of the rankings.
Of course that was way back when there were far fewer sites for Google to choose from, and competition these days is fierce. Google has also come a long way in determining how to rank sites for each search, so using these unsophisticated SEO methods won’t get you too far these days.
By sticking within the Google search quality guidelines for SEO and backlinks, you’re running the long race and far less likely to end up with a manual penalty and no more clicks to your website.
Just don’t do it.
Make Sure Your Website Is Fast
This one should go without saying but sadly there are still so many slow websites out there.
People simply don’t have time to wait 10 seconds for your site to load. They’re probably just going to hit that back button and not bother sticking around to see what you’ve got.
It might sound harsh, but with over 63% of searches on Google in 2019 coming from mobile devices, there’s never been a better time to make sure your website loads as quickly as possible.
Do Your Keyword Research
As far as SEO tips go, this one is a biggie.
There’s literally no point to even attempting to do SEO if you don’t start with proper keyword research.
And that starts with knowing your audience and how they are searching.
I spoke to a business owner recently who specialises in helping people be organised in their lives – not tidying, organising.
She said that after Marie Kondo’s Netflix series took off, the search volume for people looking for her services exploded – but everyone was searching for tidying services, not organisational services.
Even though the service was just what she offered.
So she reviewed her SEO to make sure she was targeting keywords related to tidying up, and that drove more traffic to her site that she would otherwise have missed if she wasn’t on the ball with how her audience was searching.
Once you know how people are searching and what they are looking for, you can find the right keyword phrases to target on the pages of your website.
Write Content That Resonates With Your Audience
It’s not good enough to just write words and include your keywords.
You NEED to write content that not only flows and makes sense grammatically; you also need to write content that grabs your audience and convinces them that you are the solution to their problem.
In this new decade, let’s all commit to writing better content that serves your audience, not just aims to please the Google gods.
Optimise Your Images
Images are still one of the least optimized features of many websites.
Stop naming your image files random strings of letters and numbers, or just sticking with the name of the image from that free stock site you downloaded it from.
Always name your image something relevant, and use ‘Alt text’ tags when you upload them to your website.
Title Tags & Meta Descriptions Should Encourage People To Click
Title tags and meta descriptions are one of the most crucial pieces of your on-site SEO puzzle.
But you shouldn’t just be writing ones that include your keywords.
You need to remember that real humans are going to read them and these few characters are going to help them decide whether they should click on your website or someone else’s.
So write titles and metas that stand out, have a call to action, and make your ideal customer want to click on your result more than anyone else’s.
Create Local Citations (& Keep Them Up To Date)
For local businesses, whether retail or service based, local SEO is super important.
Part of ranking well locally involves having listings on authoritative websites like Yellow Pages, True Local, Hot Frog and others.
This helps send signals to Google that your website is definitely at a particular address, the phone number is accurate and the name is consistent across all listings (this is often referred to as NAP – name, address, phone number).
It also is important to have your name, address and phone number on your website as well. Having it in the footer means it is on every page so that Google can easily associate any page of your website with your business details listed on other websites.
Make sure these are kept up to date if anything changes with regards to your location or contact information.
And there you have it – 7 SEO tips that still aren’t outdated, and are unlikely to date any time soon.
If you need any advice on how best to tackle your SEO, get in touch with me today.
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 Merkleinc Digital Marketing Report Q4 2019 – https://www.merkleinc.com/thought-leadership/digital-marketing-report