Want to improve your SEO rankings? In this guide, I will break down 10 strategies that will help you better target relevant keywords & improve organic SEO rankings. Let's jump in!
1. Create Content Hubs & Build Them Out
Creating content hubs is crucial to SEO rankings and becoming a thought leader in your space. Relevant content that interlinks to each other provides proof points that your website is a source of credible information that pertains to specific consumer questions. A good way to start a content hub is by generating an overarching topic that can stem out to subtopics that answer specific questions your consumer may have.
Before jumping into your keyword research, a good first step to get your site ranking is to brainstorm what topics you will be discussing
2. Develop Thoughtful Content That Consumers Find Useful
Now you brainstormed what topics you want to cover - now it’s time to connect those topics to answer consumer questions.
A good place to hop in here is by looking up your potential topics that your consumer base is asking. Look into People Also Ask questions or common topics that your target audience is searching to see what consumers want to answer about your product.
Relevant, informative information takes the cake in Google’s eyes and ultimately will provide your target audience with authentic, useful information.
3. Identify Target Keywords for SEO Strategy
Based on the topics and information you will be offering on your site - you can then begin to prioritize top keywords you want to target.
How to Create a List of SEO Target Keywords
- Identify competitors using keyword tools such as SEMrush by inserting your domain into the competitor research tool - this will allow you to find competitors ranking for the same set of keywords
- Next, find keyword opportunities by looking at the gaps between those competitors and your own domain & prioritize by topics and MSV metrics
- Zero in on terms that you are currently ranking on page 2 for and label them as ‘striking distance’
- Striking distance keywords can be seen as ‘low hanging fruit’ in which you have the highest probability of increasing ranks to page 1
- I always recommend starting with striking distance keywords for implementation in order to be as efficient as possible with content updates
- Research topics & questions that your domain does not currently rank for and prioritize by MSV value
- Once, you have your rough draft list compiled, plug them into Google’s keyword planner to gain insight into historical metrics and traffic estimates to further refine your list
- As a final gut-check, make sure the keywords in your list provide Relevance, Volume & Authority, which are the main factors that Google determines rank by.
Relevance: Search internet aligns with the content you will be targeting
- Will these keywords enhance topics already present on my site?
- Am I able to create content that surrounds accurate search intent for my keyword list?
- Do I have multiple pages interlinked with one another discussing core topics that these keywords can be integrated into?
Volume: The likelihood that people will be actually searching for the related keyword
- Do these keywords have a healthy amount of volume per month?
- If MSV is high, is it realistic for my domain to rank with the content I currently have or plan on making?
- If MSV is low, does it make sense to target keywords with low search interest?
- If MSV is low but extremely relevant to your domain, does it make sense to still target this keyword in order to increase likelihood for conversion?
Authority: How Google views the credibility of your domain to speak on industry topics
- For the keywords I am targeting, does my domain provide enough content to be seen as a thought leader within my space?
- Does my content provide enough information to fully answer consumer questions?
- For the keywords I am targeting, does it make sense for my domain to compete with what is currently in the SERPs?
4. Improve Keyword Rank by Integrating Target Keywords Into Related Pages
So you have your refined list of keywords, now what?
A quick place to start is to identify pages where the keywords are relevant. After identifying pages on your domain that already exist, start plugging in your target keywords into your headers and metadata (keeping keyword relevancy as your north star).
Optimize Headers for SEO
- Add relevant keywords into applicable headers
- Optimize headers to capture identified Featured Snippets
- Keep headers consistent with formatting
- Make them short and snappy for an engaged user experience
Optimize Metadata for SEO
- Include keywords in the meta title & meta description
- Keep in mind that it is best to keep meta titles 60 characters or less (spaces included) and keep meta descriptions to 160 characters or less (spaces included).
- A quick way to check if your metadata is optimized is by plugging them into a Snippet Optimizer tool.
Optimize Page Copy for SEO
- Integrate target keywords into the on-page copy to increase topic relevancy and improve organic rank
- Only include keywords that would be placed naturally within the copy to ensure an excellent user experience without keyword stuffing!
5. Include Internal Linking for Target Keywords
At this point, we should have carefully added your keywords to the on-page copy and metadata. The next step is to anchor those keywords to other relevant content on your domain.
This ties back to relevancy and user experience. Adding interlinking to other relevant pages that also point back to your keyword topics is key to enhancing the browsing experience while also providing more weight to your newly added keywords.
Much like keyword stuffing, too much of a good thing can be a bad thing so place interlinks only where relevant.
6. Include ALT Tags for Images with Target Keywords
Up next - alt text optimizations!
Did you know you can even optimize your images to improve keyword rank?
If you didn’t, here’s a full step by step alt text image guide to help you accomplish this & have your images targetting key terms. Alt text on images is just another way Google establishes rank so adding keywords I just another way to signal to Google what the page is about and why it’s important.
7. Created Optimized URL Structure
When creating a URL structure, it always important to:
- Keep URLs short and sweet if possible
- Avoid blocks of special characters or numbers (E-Commerce product items are sometimes guilty of this).
- Place keywords as close to your domain as possible
8. Optimize Your Site for Mobile
In today’s age, users are constantly using their smart devices to access information at all hours. To further increase your site’s rankings, it is imperative to optimize your site for mobile usage.
By testing your site using Google’s Mobile-Friendly tool, you will be able to see areas to improve & where your site is fulfilling mobile requirements.
9. Push Content Out on Social
Hazah! You’ve successfully added your target keywords to your copy, images, and metadata - what can you do to further prove your domain is a thought leader in Google’s eyes?
💡 Share on social!💡
Engaging with target audiences on social media platforms can also signal to Google that your information is a solid resource due to its popularity and sharing on the respective platforms. Excellent places to start would be LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook to get your relevant information out to your target audience.
10. Follow Google’s E-A-T Guidelines
You might be wondering, what does E-A-T stand for?
E-A-T is one of the top three factors for content quality according to Google which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, & Trustworthiness.
Google’s E-A-T Guidelines: Expertise
In order to gain SEO ranking, Google prefers to see that the content displayed reveals a high level of expertise in your industry. You can establish ‘expertise’ by providing useful, accurate information regarding topics pertaining to your domain’s industry.
Google’s E-A-T Guidelines: Authoritativeness
Authoritativeness can be shown through customer reviews, testimonials, and credentials. For example, a way this could be achieved would be by inserting customer reviews onto product pages. This would signal to Google that you are a credible source backed by social proof points.
Google’s E-A-T Guidelines: Trustworthiness
Your target audience should feel safe on your site. This is two-fold in the fact that trustworthiness applies to both your physical site as well as the information you are providing to consumers. Studies have revealed that Google ranks secure domains at a much higher rate with a majority of page 1 results having SSL certificates.
Overall, providing relevant, accurate information to your consumer audience is the key to increasing organic ranking within the SERPs. By curating content that is specific to your target audience, you will able to gain organic rank and answer consumer questions with ease.