Understanding SEO basics and how search engine algorithms work
Search engine algorithms are always evolving, making it even more important, yet difficult to stay up to date with the changes. This year alone, Google has made 4 core updates to their algorithms, 2 of those being within the last 2 months. Google's algorithms are a complex toolset and are designed to deliver the most relevant results for a search. These algorithms are what determine which websites are displayed first on the SERP (search engine results page) for any given search query.
In this blog, we break down how we achieved the below results for our own SEO, and some recommended starting points for your business.
- 4 keywords in the top 3 positions (up from 0)
- 56 keywords in the top 10 positions (up from 11, an increase of 409%)
- Additional 262 organic keywords (217 to 479, an increase of 120%)
How we did it
Researching suitable keywords
We assessed opportunities for our current website with specific keywords we wanted that were based on the quality of traffic and not just quantity.
We also looked for lower-difficulty keywords, which are typically long-tail, meaning they are usually 3-5 words long versus 1-2. Long-tail keywords are usually phrases or question-type queries and although they have fewer searches, they can bring in more qualified traffic than high-traffic keywords.
Gap analysis or opportunity analysis
We conducted a gap analysis to identify keyword gaps, some receive high search volume and others have low competition for ranking highly.
Specifically, we looked for keywords that competitors rank for but we did not, or those with low competition but high relevance to our niche. By doing this we uncovered areas of opportunity to create new content for our website or improve existing content to increase our rankings and organic traffic.
By analysing competitors' websites and content using various SEO tools, we are able to see what is working for competitors and what we can try and recreate for ourselves and also improve upon. These tools reveal keywords that competitors are ranking for and their estimated traffic. By comparing their keywords with our own, we were able to identify and prioritise opportunities.
Backlinking strategies to increase organic traffic
The main way we increased our keyword rankings was by implementing a targeted strategy for the consistent acquisition of backlinks to our website. If you want to get more traffic, you'll need to improve your website's search engine rankings and the number of keywords your site appears for, which can be done through backlinking.
A backlink is a link from one website to another usually with anchor text. An example of this is any text within an article that links to a website or page, these are commonly used on blogs that relate back to relevant topics or references.
James Whittall, Founder at Influx: “This is the first time we have “practised what we preach” when it comes to link building and implemented a consistent and targeted backlink strategy, with a long-term view over the course of 12 months for our own website and not just our clients.
As readers will already know, link-building can be a very time-consuming and resource-intensive pursuit but the gains can be huge, long-lasting and “free”, we set out to achieve 1 backlink a week for 12 months and during this time we have doubled our organic traffic and improved leads from our website by 133% year on year”
Backlinks have always been successful in improving your rankings - they show your site holds value. The more high-quality backlinks your site has, the higher your web pages can rank on search engines. Backlinks can also be used to help your business get discovered online. When authoritative publications, blog pages or websites link back to your website you may get more relevant traffic from search engines and those websites from people already interested in the topics being discussed.
3 key SEO “quick wins” to get you started on your SEO
If you would like to make a start on your business’s SEO but are unsure where to start, here are three key strategies you can use to improve your rankings.
- Target Low-Difficulty Keywords: These are easier to rank for and can produce quicker SEO results. We recommend using a keyword research tool to find low-competition keywords. You can enter a seed keyword, topic, or URL, and the tool will generate a list of related keywords with metrics, such as search volume, difficulty, cost per click, and click-through rate. Next, you are able to filter the keywords to find ones with low demand but high competition.
- Optimise Pages Ranking 4-10: Pages ranking in positions 4-10 are deemed relevant by Google, and minor tweaks could improve their ranking swiftly. Quick changes may include adding the target keyword to your page’s title tag, H1 tag, and opening paragraph; ensuring your content is accurate and current; and optimising images for faster page loading.
- Correcting Technical SEO Errors: Some technical SEO issues can prevent ranking. Therefore you should spend time conducting regular technical SEO audits and resolve major issues promptly. Online website audit tools allow you to check URLs and can provide advice on fixing errors.
With a personalised plan and by following the steps above you are able to build out an effective SEO strategy, although ranking in search pages can be difficult and time consuming! Before you begin, make sure to do some in depth research into your individual business objectives and how to meet these, to ensure you get the most out of your SEO strategy. If you would like any support regarding SEO, Link Building or Lead Generation for your business then get in touch with our experts, today.