If you need help building a website, creating a business blog, or getting web pages recognized by search engines, there are plenty of SEO training courses available to get you started.
But how can you improve your search ranking and reach larger audiences once your website is built and your customers are finding your content online?
While keyword research, overlap testing, and link building are must-have items for creating an online presence, there is a lot more you can do to increase traffic to your web pages.
That’s why we spoke to experts on HubSpot’s SEO team to see how they’ve improved content strategy over time. Read on for a list of tips to help you rank higher on search engines and optimize the accessibility of your marketing campaigns.
How to improve SEO like HubSpot
1. Encourage visitors to search for your brand.
As your business grows it is important to increase the percentage of unbranded searches on your website. These are keywords that are not brand specific but may be relevant to your industry.
For example, if you’re a Massachusetts-based car wash company, you might want to do a “Best New England Car Wash Companies” search. While your business name isn’t included in this search, you still want your website to appear in search results when someone searches for car wash services in the New England area.
Once your business grows and builds closer relationships with its customers, you can start driving brand traffic to your websites. Companies like Amazon have even influenced the search habits of their buyers, and now their customers are adding “Amazon” to their searches when they search for products on Google. This ensures that the top result on the SERP is most likely a link to an Amazon page.
Your company can have a similar impact on its customers by becoming a thought leader and resource on industry-related topics. For example, if customers have questions about how powerwashing works, what the benefits are, when you should do it, etc., our powerwashing company may have a blog that answers all of those questions. As people read these articles and become familiar with our content, they can modify their searches to include our company name so that they can access our content more quickly.
2. Update your content.
Search engines are constantly updating their algorithms and improving their tools to provide better search results to their users. This means that your content can be out of date within months to a year, and the keyword research you did when you first created an article can change as search engines change over time. Because of this, it’s important to keep your content updated regularly so that you can keep an eye on performance and make sure it continues to rank high on search engines.
As you update content, replace old stats and terminology, and fill in any gaps in content that you may have missed when you first created the piece. You should also fix broken links or images and make sure the formatting and branding match your current content. Do this with a cadence that makes sense to you – for many teams, it is every few months.
3. Analyze keywords beyond search volume.
When analyzing keywords, it is easy to measure search volume and prioritize keywords with the greatest potential traffic. However, it is important to look beyond search volume and consider the intent of the keyword before creating content that targets it.
Open an incognito window and search for your keyword. Take a look at the content that is currently ranked and ask yourself if your content fits that SERP. If it doesn’t, it may be difficult to rate this topic with the content you are currently using.
Here is an example. Let’s say our powerwashing company recently revamped its support team and we wanted to use the term “progressive customer service”. While we could write a lot about our new and improved service team, if we win over this keyword we are unlikely to beat Progressive insurance company. This is because the intent behind this keyword is for Progressive’s service team and not for content related to the customer service industry.
4. Prioritize the internal link.
It’s easy to increase organic authority when content is published consistently, but it’s just as easy to hit a plateau when you’re not thinking about where to publish it. This is a form of SEO “tech debt” that can hinder your growth the bigger your website gets.
To avoid this setback, it is important to review your internal linking structure and identify various pieces of content that should be linked together. By adding links between internal pages, search engines can better understand what content is related and what keywords those pages are targeting. It can also help Google index new pages faster if they are linked from the right pages first.
There are a number of SEO tools that you can use to systematically find these opportunities and update the pages that are most important to your sales efforts.
5. Form close relationships with your developers and designers.
As your online presence grows, you will be surprised to find your SEO team working closely with your web developers and designers. However, this is expected as SEO is significantly influenced by the design and maintenance of your content.
The better the relationship between your SEO team and the web designers, the higher the rank of your content. Once your web developers understand the importance of SEO, they are more likely to listen to advice from your SEO team when creating and designing new content.
At the very least, open communication between these two teams can be the key to more consistent digital growth. For example, if your web developers want to delete a page with 500 backlinks, the first thing they should do is check with your SEO team to see if it’s doing any negative things. Effective communication between your developers and your SEO team can help you avoid SEO headaches and maintain high search rankings.
6. Trim the contents after long periods of growth.
Not all of your content is going to come from the park – and that’s fine. Some content is getting shorter than expected and even though you update it, it may not get the amount of traffic you originally hoped for.
If this content builds up, it can affect the speed and performance of your website. If so, you might want to crop these pages so they don’t spoil the user experience. Even if you lose little traffic from these sites, you will likely save a lot more by improving the user experience on your other, more popular, sites.
7. Optimize search-friendly content.
Not everything you post will be search friendly – like ad landing pages, thank you pages, internal sales activation pages, and sign up pages. These pages are usually not targeted by search engines and are therefore not that important for search optimization.
Instead, you should turn your attention to pages that are search-friendly. These are the ones that search engines are looking for and that play a much bigger role in customer experience. If you can get this content in front of your target audience, they will potentially discover your other pages as they continue to explore your website.
Optimize your content strategy
SEO is always in the works. As long as search engines keep updating their algorithms, marketing teams will need to create content that is not only relevant to their target audience, but is also easy to discover.
While SEO marketing software can help brands shape their content strategies, ultimately it is up to marketers to create effective content that will rank high with search engines and generate new leads for their business.
Read these SEO tips for more ways to improve your content’s search ranking.