With the rise in other digital marketing channels like social media and PPC (pay per click) marketing, you may be wondering if SEO strategy is really relevant in 2020. Does it really matter? Do you really need to invest in SEO (search engine optimization) to rank higher on search engines, or can you do without SEO?
The answer is simple. SEO is just as important today – if not more important – than it ever has been in the past. Search engine rankings are the most common way that people find your business, and following SEO best practices to rank higher on search engines is the best way to grow your business in the long term.
You might also be interested in DOES WEB DESIGN MATTER FOR SEO?
Why Does SEO Still Matter Today?
Wondering why SEO is still a good investment in 2020 – and beyond? Here are just a few reasons SEO is more relevant today than ever before.
● Search engines are where buying journeys start – 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine. If a customer is looking for your company or a particular service, chances are that a search engine is where they’ll start – so it’s essential to rank as highly as you can in Google and other search engines.
● It’s a long-term investment in your website – As your website grows older, is optimized for SEO, and becomes more authoritative, you’ll continue to get more search traffic. SEO is a great long-term investment, because its benefits won’t go away. Whether you manage SEO yourself or hire an outside company, you’ll continue to rank more highly over time with the right SEO strategy.
● SEO works well with social media – Some people think that social media has replaced SEO, but that’s just not the case. Social media actually works well with SEO! You can drive more social traffic to your social media pages through your website – and vice versa, sending social users to view your blogs, content pages, and more.
● PPC & SEO complement each other – Some small businesses invest significant money in PPC (pay-per-click) advertising from Google, Facebook, and other ad networks. A PPC ad in Google, for example, would place your website as a promoted search result if someone searches a targeted keyword, like “Auto shop Sydney.”
PPC is a good way to advertise your services, but it can be costly. Unlike SEO, you pay every time someone clicks your ad. If your ad budget runs out, your web traffic will drop dramatically. SEO, in contrast, will work to boost your rankings over time, and allow you to continue getting traffic even when you’re not running PPC ads. For this reason, these digital marketing tools work well with each other.
The Most Important SEO Best Practices & Ranking Factors For Your Website
Wondering what SEO best practices are the most important today, and how to use SEO strategy to enhance your page rankings on Google and other search engines? Here are just a few top factors to consider.
● On-page optimization – This consists of a lot of different steps – like optimizing meta descriptions and title tags, using the keywords throughout the content, using headers (h1, h2, h3) properly, linking to internal pages, and creating informative, high-quality content.
Other steps include proper use of alt tags for images, and using keyword research to identify high-value long-tail keywords, and building strong calls-to-action (CTAs) to entice users to convert when they click your page.
● Mobile friendliness – Mobile friendliness is a huge ranking factor in Google, and this was not the case even 10 years ago. To rank highly in search engines, you need to make sure your website is built with a responsive, reflowable template, and is easy to read and understand on devices of any size. This includes laptops and desktops, as well as smartphones and tablets.
● Page loading speed & performance – Page performance has a significant impact on how highly your page ranks in Google and other search engines. Web pages that take a long time to load have a high bounce rate and low conversion rate, because users don’t want to stick around for 5-7 seconds or longer for a web page to load.
Search engines interpret this as meaning that users can’t find what they’re looking for – so your ratings may drop if your pages load slowly. In contrast, quick loading times help boost your metrics and maximize conversions, and also help indicate to search engines that your website is high quality.
● Internal & external links – It’s a good idea to link to internal page (other pages on your website) as well as external pages (pages on other websites) when possible. In addition, you may want to consider how you can get other websites to link to your own to build authority. If a high-authority website links to one of your webpages, it spreads some of its authority to your page – which leads to better search engine results.
Outdated SEO Practices To Avoid On Your Website
Due to changes in SEO, there are some outdated search engine optimization strategies that you definitely shouldn’t use in your business. These “black hat SEO” strategies are often deceptive, spammy, or otherwise low in quality – over the decades, search engines have become able to recognize them, and may penalize your website for using them. These strategies include:
● Keyword stuffing – This is the practice of jamming as many relevant keywords into a sentence as possible. In theory, this is helpful – more keywords means more visibility, right?
But in reality, search engines like Google are able to easily detect keyword stuffing, and may penalize your website for it. This is because keyword-stuffed content sounds stilted, unnatural, and spammy. Write high-quality content instead – no more than 2-4% of your text should be made up of keywords.
● Stealthy redirects – Using 301 redirects to direct a user to a different page than the one they clicked should be avoided, in most cases. It’s confusing and not good for users – and some black hat SEO users use this technique to try to redirect from an authoritative page with a lot of links to a less-authoritative page in order to boost its SEO rankings. This is unethical, and also violates Google search engine guidelines.
● Low-quality duplicated or plagiarized content – In the past, Google and other search engines weren’t good at identifying duplicate content and plagiarized content, but this has changed – if you use this type of content on your website, it may be penalized. Invest in high-quality content marketing services to avoid this!
● Invisible keywords – This was very common in the early days of search engines. By writing out a bunch of keywords and making them the same color as the webpage background, website admins could “stuff” webpages with keywords without integrating them into the body text. Google and other search engines have now prohibited this practice.
Don’t rely on any kind of underhanded SEO technique to boost your SEO rankings. As opposed to “white hat” SEO which uses legitimate techniques, black hat SEO harms the user experience, and these strategies could result in serious penalties from search engines like Google.
Need SEO Help To Rank Higher In Google? Turn To Australian Internet Advertising
At Australian Internet Advertising, we’re experts in SEO, and we understand the most important ranking factors to help you maximize your organic search rankings. From keyword research to on-page optimization, link building, content marketing and more, we do it all. Contact us now for a consultation, learn more about SEO, and invest in the future of your website and your business with professional search engine optimization services.