Top 8 SEO Optimization Tips to Help Grow Your Online Business Today

Want to improve your rankings? Check out these 8 SEO tips to start getting more organic traffic. Today!

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Search engine optimization is the hardest aspect of digital marketing. When looking at organic ranking in Google, you need some understanding of how Google perceives your website and the aspects on and off your site that drive ranking influence within the engines’ highly secretive algorithm.

Arguably, the Google algorithm is said to factor in over two hundred individual signals that influence the decision on where your website would rank for a given keyword. Through research, testing, and expert opinion, it is somewhat possible to narrow down areas to focus on that will bring the biggest impact on your ranking.

But, organic SEO is a long game. Long gone are the days of being able to “game” the Google system and trick it into ranking your website highly with little effort. There are ways to gain quick wins but it is not straightforward and a lot depends on how competitive your keywords are.

We could go into immense technical detail here, but this isn’t a book, this is simply a high-level view of the main things to focus on. Based on real-world experience and a desire to continuously evaluate the nuggets of information that come from Google and recognized industry experts.

We’ll try and keep this non-technical but, increasingly, SEO requires very technical skills that require an experienced developer.


The basics

The SEO Basics follow a fairly consistent pattern:

1. Keyword research 

Identify the search terms people use to find the product/service/information you want to rank for. Come up with a list of phrases and then evaluate how competitive they are in Google.

Understand the keyword “intent”, when you search your phrase in Google, what comes up? Is it primarily for people looking for information/research or are the results focused on “buying”?

Google will give you plenty of suggestions too, look for the “People also ask…” box in the search results, use this to stem research into multiple keywords.

Use tools to get an understanding of how difficult it will be to get to page 1 for your keyword.

2. Write content 

Look at the results for your search phrase on Google page 1. Visit the websites that rank well. Evaluate the content and ask yourself questions like:

  • Is there a common aspect of the ranking sites? Perhaps they are all 2000+ word pages, are they littered with credible citations?
  • Are they clear and structured in a particular way?
  • Do they use lots of images or videos?
  • Are the pages factual?
  • How do they achieve this?
  • Are most of the search engine results “list pages” like “top 10 tips..”? This tells you a lot about what Google is expecting to see. It tells you that the intent for this search phrase is most likely in the research phase.

Understanding what already ranks will tell you what Google recognizes and how it gives more credibility to that type of content.

Getting a “human” feel for what Google likes is a great starting point to understand the type of content you have to write to complete.

One thing you’re sure to notice is that Google favors well-written, informative, and engaging content that is focused around user readability over “words for word’s sake”. Great content isn’t easy, but it is necessary.

When writing content, document/page structure is very important. Proper use of heading tags and placement of your target keyword(s) within the document (without overdoing it!) should always be carefully considered.

3. Links 

Get links to your content. Websites pass credibility to each other through links. Google recognizes this. However, getting links isn’t easy. Also, it’s important to recognize that the quality, in Google’s eyes, of a website linking to you is a much bigger factor than the number of inbound links.

1 link from an established and authoritative website is worth more than 500 links from low-quality websites.


4. Make sure your website runs fast 

Google places a big emphasis on usability, especially in a “mobile-first” context. This means that your website should tick as many boxes as possible in terms of loading speed and usability.

A slower website won’t stop you ranking but if you’re in a tough competition area or are a new site trying to compete against long-established entities, you should do all you can to give yourself a fighting chance.

The biggest influencers today

Let’s cut to the chase here. SEO is a big and fairly complex topic and the web is full of guides and information on every aspect of this but, there is also a lot of misinformation out there, outdated techniques, and strategies that will lead you down the wrong path and waste your time.

The following are the four areas you should focus on. They are not everything but they are the most important as far as SEO is concerned in today’s internet.

1. Quality, well-written content.

This means:

  • Content that is structured well, is focused on the human visitor, and is engaging.
  • Content that answers people’s search questions

You’ll have seen examples where when you type a question into Google, it places the answer above everything else (including paid ads). This is a particular position nicknamed “position zero”.

There is a way of writing content with a specific emphasis on paragraphs that succinctly answer questions that can help you achieve this position. Google calls these “Featured Snippets” And, this is one of those possible quick-wins as sometimes Google will give you this even if your page is not within the first 10 results.

“Passage ranking” is part of the latest nuggets of information given out by Google. Essentially, just make sure your pages are well structured and have clear content that answers the questions from your keyword research.

2. Core Web Vitals

With Google placing more and more emphasis on their mobile-first focus, certain aspects of website speed become more important. Namely, this boils down to the speed at which a page is rendered as “usable” on a web server:

  • LCP or Largest contentful paint – how quickly is something visible on the screen when the browser loads a page
  • FID or First Input Delay – essentially, how quickly does a web page become interactive
  • CLS or Cumulative layout shift – to get maximum LCP and FID, you need to defer loading of some of the code, this can cause the layout to shift and adjust in the browser – its common practice, and usually, the end-user won’t notice a thing, however, Google takes it seriously so developers have to consider ways in which to prevent layout shifting such as embedding vital CSS or deferring only non-critical display code.

3. Backlinks

As much as Google will try to tell you that backlinks are no longer a big ranking influencer, real-world experience is that, no matter how hard you try to write great content and make your website super-fast, links into your website from other websites still are the #1 way to get your website ranked.

With this said, and we mentioned above, the emphasis on getting links should be on trying to obtain high quality.

Google’s algorithm for organic ranking isn’t just some code that runs anonymously behind their engine. While we’re sure there is a lot of automation and rules-based decision-making, it is also worthwhile knowing that Google has an army of humans that “quality rate” the content within Google.

They give a guide to these people that is incredibly in-depth and explains exactly how they should grade individual pages.

One of the key factors to consider when evaluating a web page, domain or inbound links is what they term as EAT – that’s Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness.

EAT has been a part of their guidelines for years but they are putting more and more emphasis on this in recent times. Essentially, from a linking perspective, they are looking for links from authority websites and, preferably, recognized experts.

So, gaining links becomes quite hard.

The best way to gain links is by making your content unique. For example, using data only available to you to create a post about some insight you’ve discovered, creating a unique online tool or writing a comprehensive guide that is invaluable to others. This way, you are likely to attract links from media, journalists, and social media because of its merit.

4. Video

Again, you’re likely to have seen the evolution of Google organic search and may have noticed that they often include video results that are shown in the “position zero” space or, at the very least, are embedded into the main organic results.

By introducing video into the context of your content, you give yourself a great opportunity to be featured as part of these “video snippets”. These, just like “featured snippets” are a possible quick-win way to get your website into page 1 of Google, long before your actual site ranks for a given keyword.

The important aspects of a video are in making sure it is succinctly titled, has a well-worded description, uses descriptive tags, and even that it has a clear transcript uploaded. This is all so that Google can “understand” what the video is about and therefore include it in their relevant results.

A summary

We’ve only scraped the surface here. We could probably write a detailed book! SEO isn’t one thing, it’s a combination of many factors and, in our experience, it is the toughest part of digital marketing.

There are no shortcuts. To do well in organic takes patience – it’s a long game. And, it takes hours and hours and hours of consistent effort and laborious work. If you pick a tough niche, you’ll be up against many thousands of other websites, all competing for that same primary keyword.

Many of these sites will have been established for years, authoritative, and will be almost impossible to compete with.

B2B SEO strategy requires a tonne of research and ongoing evaluation of data. It requires a mix of short, medium, and long-term goals (keywords) along with a fully thought out content strategy and a commitment to see it through, even if it appears not to be working! 99% of people give up.

It’s the 1% that plow onwards, knowing they are not going to stop even if nothing appears to be happening that wins the long game.

But The payoff can be immense. While organic click-through rates have actually fallen (thanks largely to Google’s featured snippets etc.), being on page one for a competitive search phrase is still the absolute gold standard.

A ranking result on page one means that, not only are you ranking well for a single given phrase, you’re highly likely to be also ranking well for thousands of similar phrases.

Getting to page one has an incremental effect. To get there, you have to be doing everything right. Google recognizes you as one of the best results to serve its searcher.

And this means you’re being recognized by Google as an authority site – the world is your oyster at this point.

You have a story to tell. We want to help.

Let’s create memorable content and reach tens of thousands of people.

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