SEO is dead? Are you kidding? This is one of the biggest myths surrounding the ever-changing world of search engine optimization (SEO) is that any real return on investment (ROI) is hard to come by, if not impossible. It is understandable why people may believe this to be true if they aren’t well-versed in the most effective SEO techniques or up-to-date on industry changes. They are going to have difficulty keeping up with competitors who are more in the know.
But in actuality, SEO isn’t dead — the algorithm is just evolving. Google sees roughly 5.8 billion searches a day, so it just takes work to ensure your site appears in the results for searches relevant to your business. If you’re feeling like SEO is a shot in the dark and rarely gets you the ROI you’re looking for, here are three steps to take in changing your techniques to fit your modern audience needs:
1. Audit Your Content
When looking to update your content generation methods to improve your SEO rankings, begin by taking a step back and looking at your content with a wide lens. When auditing your site for SEO, your main goal is to identify what content has been performing the best and what has netted zero or very low results.
You’ll find this out through a few key metrics such as:
● Keyword ranking
● Content impressions
● Click-through rate (CTR)
● Organic conversion rate
● Bounce rate
Once you’ve identified what elements are underperforming, look to those that are succeeding to find the discrepancy. Are certain pages of yours being affected by thin content, duplicate titles, or crawl errors? Maybe there are problems with the user experience like the ease of access, readability, or low-quality images. Any of these issues should be addressed across your site and taken into account to create new content going forward.
2. Analyze Your Audience
Your SEO audit can help you understand your audience and the way they interact with your content. Analyzing these results can help you understand where you’re hitting and where you have room to grow. If you’re noticing high clicks but an equally high bounce rate, you may need to change up your content to make sure it aligns with the keywords you rank for. Be sure to keep a close eye on where exactly your audience seems to be falling off on your pages.
If it’s before scrolling, you could need a design update or more creative written content. To address these needs, A/B testing is crucial, as it can help you better understand what your audience is looking for and what is turning them off completely. Better headlines, calls to action (CTAs), and optimized images are all factors to test alternatives in your publishing.
You’ll also want to take a look at the on-site traffic to find out what content topics your blog may be missing — an area that could significantly affect your future content plans.
The data from your site’s search bar is a great place to start. Knowing what types of keywords your users are searching for will provide a treasure trove of potential subjects to cover. Google Analytics is a great tool to use. An in-depth site search report can tell you which terms are being searched and how frequently they’ve been searched. Anything that’s coming up as a frequent search is a subject to jump on, so be sure to use the term and related keywords for optimal SEO results.
3. Follow Your Competitors
While you may feel a sense of pride in your ability to come up with content applicable to your audience’s needs, it is only wise to keep an eye on what your competitors are up to as well. That doesn’t just include scanning the blog pages of known competitors but also searching keywords for your latest posts and clicking on the higher-ranking results. What have those pages got that yours is missing? You can also analyze their traffic data and backlinks to learn more about their broader strategies and bring them success where your content is failing.
It is also a great idea to regularly check social media for competitors’ posts and advertising. SEO isn’t just about Google and Bing. Often, when users can’t find the content they’re looking for through a traditional search engine, they’ll turn to Facebook, Twitter, or another social platform. If there’s a community on a channel where your audience is but you are not showing up, consider how getting into that space can help drive more traffic to your site.
Long story short, SEO isn’t dead…but some of the older methods are. As technology advances, so do our ways of using it. By incorporating some of these techniques into your marketing strategy, you may boost your SEO rankings and create more competitive content overall.