Search engine optimization is a constantly changing, complex art that is all about nuance. You really do need years of experience to get it right. As search algorithms become smarter, SEO becomes more about choosing the right keywords, providing great content, and getting your brand in front of the right audience.
The problem with SEO advice is that the answer you often get is “it depends”. Still, 57% of B2B marketers agree that SEO has the biggest impact on lead generation, so getting it right is important. Concrete and immediately effective tips for search engine optimization are few and far between, but here are the 3 of the most effective SEO tips in 2016.
Clickable title tags
When a user queries something in Google, they are going to be flooded with millions of results in less than a second. This means you need to try and stand out from the crowd. Position helps, seeing as how 33% goes to the top result on Google, but clickability comes in close second. Title tags, your billboard’s slogan on the information highway, are your chance to make your content irresistibly clickable. You need to tell the user and the algorithm what you are all about. Here are a few good tips:
- Include your keywords – most experts recommend the beginning of the tag for your keywords, with engagement factors getting a 6.5/10 rating from MOZ. Their research indicated that closer to the beginning helped click-through rates.
- Stand out – search the SERP and see what your competition is doing. Craft yours to stand out from the crowd.
- Call to action – the marketing call to action is a time-tested method. Put actionable language into your title that moves people to click. Words like find, look, see, learn, etc are all words that inspire us to learn more.
Focus on long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords are key phrases that are several words in length. They are great for two reasons:
- They are less competitive than single-word “head terms,” and
- They mimic natural search queries.
In fact, 50% of search queries are 4 words or longer nowadays. Optimizing your home page, landing pages, and service pages for multiple long-tail keywords will help you rank for multiple different keywords and phrases, as well as match you more closely to user queries. This results in more direct matches, more bolds in meta descriptions, and a lot more web traffic.
Get your H1s right
The header tag (or H1 in HTML), is a fancy term for the top, most important heading on your page. This is the phrase that describes what your page is about. You need to make sure you get it right. This is where your money is made. Here are a few good tips:
- Have a unique tag for each page
- Include the keyword as early as possible
- Use actionable language
- Write like people are searching
SEO is a difficult and ever-changing field, but it isn’t rocket science. One of the biggest issues that beginners and even experts encounter is that they don’t see immediate results, and look for concrete advice when the answers are often more difficult to pinpoint. Thankfully, these 3 most effective SEO tips for 2016 will pay dividends immediately. Don’t get to work without them.