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How Does Search Engine Optimization Help You Increase Your Web Traffic?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO, as it is more commonly known, is often hailed as one of the most important tools for online marketing. But is it really as important as people say it is? Does it really make any difference to your business? Well let us begin by understanding what Search Engine Optimisation really means.

Search Engine Optimization is basically a set of techniques aimed to improve your website’s visibility across search engine sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo and others. When somebody wants to search for a specific thing on Google, he/she usually types in a specific phrases and then the search engine serves a list of websites which might have relevant content. Now SEO aims at improving your websites position whenever search phrases which are relevant to your site are searched.

So now we have a basic idea about search engine optimisation but the question remains-does search engine optimisation really impacts your business? And the answer is Yes, of course it does! Today, the world lives on the internet and therefore it is highly probable that your prospective customers spend a considerable amount of time on the internet. So it is really a wise idea to attract customers from the web.

If your website gets ranked on the top of the Search Engine Result Page (SERP), then people would believe that your site is more relevant to them and that would increase their chance of visiting your site and possibly getting converted into a sale. A top rank in popular search engines like Google would not come unless you use a robust SEO strategy.

So to sum things up Search Engine Optimization gets you the top ranks on search engines and top ranks on search engine sites gets you more visitors to your site and increases your revenue levels as well. So to make your business more successful on the web, you got to have Search Engine Optimization.

seo title tags

Which Page Markup + Tags Still Matter for SEO?

If you want to improve the visibility of your website, increase traffic and boost your brand’s revenue, you need to run a strong SEO campaign. While building backlinks, developing your social media presence, and other off-site practices are great for boosting your site’s rankings, on-page optimization is still incredibly important. Arguably, one of the most crucial aspects of on-page SEO is tags. Whether it’s title tags, header tags, meta tags or blog post tags, they have been demonstrated to increase traffic and boost engagement.

However, are they still as important and effective now as they have been in the past? In this article, we’ll take a look at the role of tags of every type, and explore their impact on SEO.

 

Title Tags

As you probably know, title tags are used by search engines (in part) to determine a page’s topic, and are also displayed in SERPs.

A good title tag will demonstrate what the user can expect from the page before they actually click. In this way, they are a strong determiner of click-through rates. But how do they affect your site’s SEO?

How Important Are Title Tags for SEO?

For many years, title tags have been considered one of the most important factors of on-page SEO. In fact, in the past, title tags were seen by many as only second to good ol’ fashioned keyword stuffing in terms of importance. But are they as important now?

According to research from Backlinko.com, Google’s shift toward semantic search could affect the relative importance of the title tag. The researchers found that a keyword-optimized title tag was associated with a better ranking, but that the correlation was smaller than it once was.

Findings suggest that Google no longer requires your title tag to include an exact keyword in order to interpret a page’s subject matter. For example, if you type “how to start a business” into Google, only six out of the ten top pages include an exact match keyword in their title tag.

That said, search engines will still compare your title tag to other content on your page, to ensure keyword consistency when indexing and ranking web pages, still making them an essential part of SEO.

In other words, title tags are still an important part of on-site SEO, but they are far from the be-all and end-all.

Header Tags

For the purposes of this article, header tags refers to the HTML markup used to distinguish headings and subheadings within your content from other types of text (e.g. paragraph text). They run from h1–h6, historically in a sense of ‘importance’.

The usage of header tags these days is the source of some debate. Before the advent and growing popularity of HTML5, it was typical to include just one h1 tag within your content, and the contents of that tag were seen to be pretty influential in terms of on-site SEO.

However, these days, it is possible to utilize multiple h1 tags on a per-section basis, thus arguably lessening the importance of the hierarchy of header tags and encouraging search engines to be less simplistic in their analysis of any given page.

How Important Are Header Tags for SEO?

Searchmetrics’ 2015 Ranking Factors reported that two in every five webpages in SERPs didn’t utilize h1 tags at all. Was this simply a sign of lazy web design, or a reflection of the relative unimportance of header tags?

On the contrary, the amount of pages using h1 tags has increased compared to 2014. In the top 30, this ratio has increased by 4%. On that basis alone, it would seem that the web designers of today consider header tags to be more important than they did previously.

Furthermore, several case studies have highlighted the importance of using header tags effectively. For example, SearchEccentric worked with Motor Cars Ltd. in overhauling their header tags to be more SEO-friendly. Rankings leapt accordingly, with one keyword in particular jumping from 320 in the SERPs to the top spot.

In terms of on-site SEO, header tags are certainly here to stay–it has been demonstrated that careful optimization can lead to major ranking increases.

Blog Post Tags

Most blogging platforms–like WordPress–provide you with the ability to add contextual tags to your posts. We refer to these as “blog post tags” in this article, in order to differentiate them from other types of tags.

Blog post tags are part of your site’s taxonomy. WordPress and other blogging platforms utilize taxonomies to classify and better organize information. They provide visitors with a list of posts grouped by generally more specific topics than the categories. If you think of your site as a book, with categories as your website’s table of contents and tags as your index, you won’t go too far wrong.

For example, if you run a fitness blog, you might have categories like “Diet”, “Workouts”, and “Fitness Tips”. Those three are broad terms that you would use to categorize posts. When you write a post and put it in the workout category, you might enter tags like, “pushups”, “squats” and “lunges”, if the post features them.

These tags can be valuable to your site’s visitors and to search engines. For visitors, it improves the usability of your website in terms of being able to identify posts that cover specific topics. For search engines, it makes interpreting the page’s content easier and can ultimately aid your site in ranking better.

How Important Are Blog Post Tags for SEO?

Blog post tags do not necessarily improve search engine rankings in and of themselves, but, while they might not be directly influential, they can improve SEO indirectly.

For starters, though most search engines don’t rank category and tag pages highly in the SERPs, high-quality tagging makes it easier for Google to see what your website is all about.

For example, if you run a food blog that often focuses on vegan desserts, and you have a tag page for vegan desserts that links to many different pages and has various posts linking back to it, it sends a strong signal to search engines that vegan desserts are big part of your site.

Furthermore, while tag and category pages aren’t necessarily ranked highly, they are still ranked—meaning they are a viable traffic source. Blog post tags not only provide you with another source of traffic, they also improve user experience.

Using tags meticulously in posts makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for on your site. Blog post tags can lower your bounce rate and increase time on site–both behavioral factors that Google take into account–as they make websites easier to navigate (when utilized effectively). They provide the user with a convenient way to access relevant content and, if the user easily finds what they are looking for, they’re much more likely to stay on your site.

Google’s focus on user intent and perceived quality of experience is only set to increase in the future; as of now, they have evaluators manually trawling SERPs and ‘grading’ websites based upon subject markers of ‘quality’. Those who don’t think providing a good user experience matters to SEO are quickly falling behind the times.

Our point is this: If you can provide a high-quality user experience that compels visitors to visit multiple pages and stay on your site for long periods of time, you can expect to benefit in terms of SEO. Effective tagging can represent one piece of the puzzle in terms of improving the user experience, and ultimately benefit your rankings, even if not directly.

Don’t Miss out–Up Your SEO Game With Tags

To get the most out of your SEO strategy, you need to use tags. Optimizing your content with relevant and useful tags will improve the visitor experience and boost your rankings.

seo ireland

How to Optimize Your Website for Multiple Keywords

In today’s SEO, where context is more important than keywords, performance measurement often still comes down to specific keyword terms and phrases that a user searches.

While you don’t have to chase the algorithm for specific terms and work on variations and phrasing to jockey for position against competitors, you still have to care about both relevancy and authority.

The relevancy of content to the subject matter and the ambiguity of what context really means versus an individual keyword approach have led to looser strategies and a renewed need to stay focused on on-page optimization.

While trusting that Google will understand the context of our content as you build a strong brand and positive user experience, you’re still faced with the need to:

  • Determine the hierarchy of our content.
  • How to organize our content.
  • How to build that context to ultimately rank for multiple keywords that will meet our conversion goals.

The need to optimize and focus on keywords is as important as ever even though the importance of certain optimization techniques has changed.

1. Know Your Current Content

Once you’ve established your conversion goals, arranged your analytics house, and conducted keyword research, you’re ready to organize your keyword data into meaningful topics.

You can find sets of terms on the same topic and group them together. You won’t need to do stemming or use all of the literal variations of the terms and its plural or singular versions, but you need to know which sets of terms are related to a topic.

When running an e-commerce site, this likely falls into top-level terms for the most general topics of the niche or industry that your site sells products in, product categories, brands, other filtering or grouping options for products, and ultimately at the product level itself.

Most B2B sites follow a pattern as well with top-level business industry terms, product or service categories, and the products or services themselves.

With keywords grouped into topics, it’s possible to take the important next step of mapping your keywords to existing pages of content or conducting a content audit.

My go-to process is to run a crawl of the existing site structure with Screaming Frog, download the HTML page results into Excel, and then get to work putting topics and terms out to the side of specific pages. Issues with gaps (in terms of pages for the number of topics and keyword terms) often emerge quickly, allowing for the planning of additional content.

When you know you have content gaps and need to create more, that’s when you can turn around and quickly search to see which websites own the top of the SERPs for those topics and draw inspiration (without copying them) for ways to fill the gaps with your own content and make decisions based on priority.

2. Optimize Site Architecture

Knowing where you stand with content and having a plan for filling gaps is the start, but won’t get you far before you realize you need to figure out how to organize the content. Bruce Clay’s concept of siloing still has solid principles for helping get hierarchy and focus right for your site (though some aspects of how it is done are different today).

Balancing user experience, priority of product/service offerings, and topical keyword search volume (audience demand), build out your site hierarchy working top to bottom going from most general to most specific. As noted earlier, most sites are already built this way naturally. However, when SEO isn’t involved, site navigation and structure is often dictated by an internal or organizational view of what we think is most important rather than what our prospects are searching for and how they are searching.

By taking an approach that looks at essentially any page at any level on the site as an entrance point and landing page for one or more topical keywords, you’re able to cast a wider net in terms of rankings and visibility.

When you try to rank for too many terms with a single page or section of the site, you will cannibalize your own efforts and dilute your message. Stone Temple Consulting recently went in depth on how to recognize cannibalization.

We’re far from the days of targeting a keyword per page, but at the same time you can’t expect to rank for a wide range of topics and terms with a small set of pages and going in the direction of “less is more” when it comes to content.

3. Do Your On-Page Optimization

It is surprising to me how many SEO campaigns I have seen recently that have neglected the basics of on-page optimization. These SEO basics and best practices still apply.

You have to go deeper than just trying to produce great content and organize it well top to bottom in the site. When you’re building context for the user and Google, you have to ensure proper categorization.

The last thing I want is for pages on my site to provide a bad user experience. If a potential customer is searching for whiskey gifts for groomsmen in their wedding but don’t yet know what type of product they want and they end up landing on a specific whiskey barrel page that outranked the category page, they are more likely to bounce.

When you’re building context for the user and Google, you have to ensure proper categorization. The last thing you want is for pages on your site to provide a bad user experience.

If a potential customer is searching for whiskey gifts for groomsmen in their wedding but don’t yet know what type of product they want and they end up landing on a very specific whiskey barrel page that outranked the category page, they are more likely to bounce.

There is still power in the on-page variables. The focus isn’t on having a single tag or body copy keyword density that will move the needle alone, however, with all factors working together with architecture and on-page optimization, you can present a solid set of content regarding relevancy on our particular subject matter.

When you have everything in great shape, you get to spend time on more granular details of optimization and test to see how they impact rankings.

 

4. Don’t Forget the Rest of SEO

When your information architecture is in alignment with your strategy for building context and when you’re in good shape from an on-page optimization standpoint, you can focus on fine details and single variable testing changes.

You don’t want to stop here and be short sighted in your approach though. It is important to remember the rest of your SEO strategy including aspects of “authority” that work together with the “relevancy” that you have built.

When you have a balanced website and great content from top to bottom, you can now attract links to pages other than your homepage, utilizing off-page ranking strategies that are targeted to specific topics deeper within the site without worry of dilution or cannibalization, shifting the intent of a page in the determination of the search engines from one topic or subtopic to another.

SEO Management is crucial for your online rankings. If you build backlinks, like to save time, and want software that makes insightful and useful recommendations – Linkio might be what you’ve been looking for.

3 Ways SEO & Content Work Better Together

The relationship between SEO and content marketing can always feel a bit complicated – specifically in how the two fit together. Do they get along? Are they at odds with each other? If so, is it possible to ever make them work together?

If you’re trying to grow your qualified search traffic, you can’t do it with only one; you have to combine your SEO efforts with engaging content.

But what’s the most effective way to do this?

One way to look at the relationship is from the perspective of SEO making requests of content marketing (although their synergy isn’t as aggressive as that sounds).

Let’s look at three essential ingredients SEO requires – keywords, backlinks, and a technical site audit – and how SEO and content work together to help you achieve your digital marketing goals.

1. Keywords Can Help You Generate Content Ideas

There is no such thing as SEO without keywords, and the most astute content marketers understand that the best content helps your rank for the terms that are most related to what your consumers are already searching for – which is why every effective content strategy starts with keyword research.

A comprehensive keyword research session starts with some simple brainstorming. Think about the main goals of your site and jot down some keywords. From there, expand this list with the help of keyword tools.

Below are two ways you can identify keywords beyond those you currently rank for:

  • Google autocomplete and related searches: There’s no better way to step inside the mind of what your consumers are searching for than through Google. Let’s say you wanted to start dedicated to cheeseburgers. “The best cheeseburger” is a query that your target audience is already likely using, but when you enter it into Google, you’ll discover a list of potential long-tail keywords (see below). Three SEO Demands That Content Fulfills | SEJFrom there, scroll down and check the related searches for an additional list of relevant keywords (see below). Three SEO Demands That Content Fulfills | SEJ
  • Paid tools like SEMrush: Another option is to look at potential keywords through the lens of how competitive the term is via SEMrush. On the platform’s main dashboard, they have a section that offers related keywords, which is another great resource to identify terms that your site might not already rank for (see below). Three SEO Demands That Content Fulfills | SEJ

Once you’ve got a set list of keywords, think about how you can use them effectively beyond just technical means. Beyond meta descriptions and title tags, here are a few other ways you can use your keyword research:

  • Blog posts: Use your list of keywords to help you come up with new blog topics. Referring back to the cheeseburger example, you can produce a blog post where you sample multiple burgers from fast food chains.
  • Static and dynamic assets: Keywords can be a jumping off point to more creative projects. In the case of “best cheeseburger toppings,” you could create an interactive asset that lets users build their own burgers.
  • Social media: Keyword research can also help you identify new opportunities for social promotion – specifically through new hashtag ideas.

2. A Diverse Backlink Portfolio Is the Direct Result of Engaging Content

Google uses links to measure relevance, authority, and trust of websites. So producing lots of linkable content will help boost your rankings.

So what’s the secret to linkable content? An analysis of more than 300 content marketing campaigns by Moz and Fractl (disclosure: my employer) revealed there are four key ingredients to highly shareable content:

Every online marketer worth their salt knows what a backlink is. Check out this article on How to Build Backlinks:THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE to learn more about it.