Did you know that there are business leaders out there that truly don’t believe in SEO? It’s no joke, some business owners truly believe that SEO practices don’t really do much, and that it’s much better to invest in PPC and other forms of digital marketing. But is that really the case? Well, if we were to analyze the search trends and Google algorithm changes from the past decade, all the answers would point us to a resounding, no.
SEO is the foundational element of good digital marketing, and it should be at the forefront of your strategy if your goal is to build a thriving digital presence. It should be a vital component of your web design process, and while it does take some time to make an impact, the results will be well worth the investment.
Once you have a sound SEO strategy in your hands, you can complement it with numerous other digital marketing tactics, like Facebook marketing and social media marketing in general, paid advertising, and many more. So, let’s take a look at how you can conduct a thorough SEO analysis and let’s give you the concrete tips you can use to climb the SERPs in 2021 and beyond.
See where you are on Google
To start improving your SEO strategy and achieve better results, you need to know how you’re currently ranking on Google. A simple search for your most important keywords will reveal who is ranking on the first page of Google, but you need to delve deeper than that. Chances are that you’re not managing to reach the first results page consistently, so you need to analyze your website’s performance for all top keywords.
Keep in mind that some keywords are just too competitive, and sometimes you should focus on the easier ones instead of wasting time trying to rank for competitive search terms.
- Log into your webmaster tool, or if you’re using a popular tool like SEMrush, you can do it from there.
- In the webmaster tool, from your Dashboard you will be able to see a list of your top keywords and the trends related to their performance.
- You can click on each keyword or phrase to reveal its details to see how your website pages have been ranking for those keywords over a specified period.
- Analyze how your pages have been ranking and whether or not they are going up or down.
When you have this information, you can move on to tidying up and improving your SEO strategy.
Tidy up your URLs and meta descriptions
Google loves simplicity and it loves prioritizing websites that boast a simple, clean, and straightforward structure. So, if your domain, URLs, and meta descriptions are all over the place, you can bet that Google will “deduct points” from your SEO score.
With that in mind, make sure to shorten your URLs to just a few words that describe the content on the page. As for the meta descriptions (the text that appears just below the title in the search results), you should optimize it to contain your primary and secondary keywords to make the page as relevant as possible to your users.
Keep in mind that Google is heavily prioritizing pages that are optimized for user experience, so it’s important to tell people what they can expect to find when they land on your page. Hence, the meta descriptions should be concrete and to the point, supplemented with relevant keywords.
Analyze your local SEO
Local search has been gaining in relevance and popularity in recent years, and for a good reason. Local business owners that just want to serve their communities don’t want or need to invest in grand, global SEO strategies. They need to dominate the local search results and build a thriving online presence in their market.
For example, in a competitive region like Australia, some of the best success stories come from companies like Macros or Orana, the former a local healthy meal delivery service in Sydney and the latter a car and truck rental from Brisbane.
These are two very different companies, but both benefited greatly from localized SEO strategies. By focusing on SEO in Brisbane specifically instead of the whole of Australia, Orana was able to drive organic traffic from customers in the Brisbane area, while Macros was able to effectively service the Sydney area with their healthy meals.
Why are these examples so important? Because these companies are just two of many local businesses that have finally started to thrive in their local markets when they optimized their sites, landing pages, content, and online presence with relevant local keywords.
And you should do the same. Focus on your local market, use localized keywords, update your GMB (Google My Business) page, talk about the things the local people care about, and stay passionate about your community.
Evaluate all incoming links
Did you know that the links pointing back to your site from other websites around the web could be hurting your SEO? Link-building is an effective SEO strategy, but it’s not a set-it-and-forget-it kind of deal. You don’t just earn a link on a website and then forget about it, you have to make sure that the link is active, that the website is trusted and has a decent SEO score, and that the link is supplying your site with positive SEO juice.
Make sure to inspect all incoming links regularly, and check for errors, broken pages and inactive links, and if the websites themselves have gone down the SEO ladder. Should you spot a negative backlink trend, then you should try to fix them, or remove them so that they don’t jeopardize your own SEO standing.
Investigate and fix all internal links
Speaking of links, make sure that all your internal links are functioning properly. There’s nothing that ruins the experience for the user like a broken internal link, and rest assured that Google will pick up on that immediately. Screen your site for internal linking problems frequently, fix broken links, and make sure to use internal links strategically – only link internally when it makes sense and leads to relevant content.
Conduct a thorough content analysis
And speaking of content, you probably know that content marketing is the foundational pillar of good SEO. From the copy on your website to the content on your blog page, individual landing pages, and beyond, you need to invest in a sound content strategy.
You can start by analyzing your existing content. A tool like SEMrush is purpose-built for this and many other content-related processes, so it’s a good idea to use it. It will help you create comprehensive SEO content projects and put everything into perspective.
You can add your keywords into the tool and then create a content template that you can use when writing new pages and articles, but you can also put entire existing pages into the tool to see just how optimized they are. Then simply follow the steps and recommendations outlined in the report by:
- Adding more relevant keywords.
- Lengthening the content by writing more in-depth pieces.
- Tidying up the formatting of the page and breaking up the content.
- Using a more formal or informal tone depending on your target audience.
- And much more.
Believe in SEO, invest in the right tactics, and see your company rise above the competition to dominate the search results in 2021. With these tips in your strategy, you should have no problem building a comprehensive approach to SEO, but also make it a sustainable process in the years to come.
Lauren Wiseman is a marketing specialist and contributor to bizzmarkblog.com. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in the fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to a business.