Search engine optimization is a subtle art. People lose patience with the details that can create a fantastic search engine optimization strategy. It’s understandable. When you are running a website, you want to focus on a flashy design with lots of neat features, brand new content that gets your audience excited, and you want to see it all pay off in big traffic numbers.
This is good. It means your passionate about your website. Caring about what you do is right.
It may be more challenging to find a passion for the tiny details of optimizing your site for Google, but they are essential if you want to get those big traffic numbers. All the small things you do will add up to significant changes. Remember as you learn search engine optimization (SEO) that you are in this for the long game. All the small things you do that feel time consuming are a long-term investment in the overall health of your website.
With that in mind, let’s look at four different strategies you can quickly learn how to employ on your site that will make a difference in your long term SEO results.
1. Invest in Internal Linking
When search engines are considering your website, they send out little spider robots to scan your webpage. They look at things like keywords, load speed, and links. The links tell them a lot, like that the page being linked to is essential, and that it is relevant to the page they are currently on.
This is important. By telling search engines that this other piece of content is relevant to your audience, you are giving it a boost in the search engine’s eyes. It also helps map out your website for the bots.
When you are writing a new piece of content, you should be thinking about what old content you can link to in the article. This content should be relevant to your audience, so it will keep them on your site longer and provide authority in their eyes. You should also look for older content that possibly doesn’t have any internal links pointing to it yet. Give that old piece of content some new life!
Ideally, whenever you are thinking about SEO, you should be considering what the search engines want to see, while also considering how these actions will be helpful to your audience. So while internal linking can be important for boosting your site in the rankings, it’s almost an excuse to find more ways to be helpful to your audience. Help them find the content you spent so much time creating!
2. Update Your Old Content
This is the internet. Your work isn’t in print where you can never touch it again. Your job is live; it has a pulse, represented by the traffic coming in just finding your content for the first time. The more relevant, compelling content your site has, the better.
You don’t need to update your old content every other week. But if an article hasn’t been touched in a year or more, give it a look and see if you can breathe fresh life into it that may be useful to your audience and the search engines.
When you are looking for the right content to update, consider what will be most worth your time. Do you have articles that you better understand how to target now? Ones where you could add new relevant keywords that would better target your audience for that content? As we learn more about how SEO works, and as SEO changes, it’s natural to find a lot of older content this will apply to.
Take a look at your analytics. Do you have any articles that are bringing in useful traffic? Look at where you rank on Google for those terms. Is there room for improvement? Are you still on the first or second page, but not at the top?
After you’ve chosen the right content, look over your writing, and see where you can work on your keywords. Don’t keyword stuff! But work on your relevant keywords and see what you can do.
Could you lengthen this content? You don’t want to add anything irrelevant; you want your audience to enjoy reading this and keep sending traffic to your page. But could you expand on what you’ve already provided? While length isn’t everything, it does help.
Don’t forget to look for opportunities to add more internal links to your older content.
3. Auto-Updating Dates in Yoast SEO
A common tactic used by searchers is to add the current year to their queries. If I am looking for the best WordPress themes for e-commerce, I will add the current year to the end of that search term so I can see the latest themes. This is a great way to get more relevant results.
If you have content that you think remains relevant and you would like it to show up in these types of queries, then you should add the current year to your title. The issue is that you don’t want to have to update that title every single year in January. And that’s okay.
If you use the Yoast SEO plugin on WordPress, you can add the code %%currentyear%%. To your title. So you can title your article “The Best WordPress Themes for eCommerce in %%currentyear%%. Yoast SEO will automatically put in the current year. It won’t add this code or the year to your URL.
4. Work on Your Keyword Targeting
Keyword targeting is a job that’s never done. We can always get better at it. We can still become more relevant. And don’t forget that not only can you discover a new popular search term any time now that you have fresh eyes, but the trends for popular keywords can change over time. Working on your keyword targeting remains an ongoing process.
One way you can go about working on your keyword targeting is to look at what your page is already ranking for. Take a look at Google’s search console. Under “performance,” click on “search results,” then “pages,” and then an article on your site. Go to the “queries” tab” and see every search query your users are using to find your page.
Are those terms all on your site? Some of them may be relevant but not used on your website. If you have terms there that are bringing in good traffic, but you aren’t ranked in the top spot for, see where you can work that phrase into your content. Maybe it could be used in a relevant header?
These tiny moves may help bump you up for this term and bring even more traffic for this term you never even knew about.
Embrace the SEO Process
Updating old content is an excellent opportunity to make small changes and get powerful results with the content you already have. It helps you make the most of the work you’ve already put in. It’s common for web owners to keep overwhelmed by this type of job and to feel like they are always behind. Instead, make a regular habit of checking in on older content, however often feels realistic and not overwhelming for you. Can you make a habit of looking at one piece of older content a week? Or does once a month feel more realistic to you? Manage your time well and be patient with yourself. However, often you can do this, the trick is to do what you can when you can. Embrace that search engine optimization is an ongoing process, and there will always be more you can do. That’s the beauty of it. There is still more you can learn and achieve.
Full Stack Developer, Digital Marketer, and InfoSec enthusiast. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Western Sydney and his Business Diploma from Georgian College before joining various marketing positions in search portals, e-commerce, higher education, and addiction recovery services.Follow @ twitter
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