Okay, so you’ve got yourself a professional e-commerce website. It looks good. It’s functional.
It catches the eye; not too many bells and whistles. You’ve got whatever you’re selling ready to go, whether it be products, services, or just your own knowledge and ideas.
It’s very impressive. And yet it doesn’t rank on Google’s first few pages at all when you search for your site’s main keywords, despite your SEO hacks. And that’s bad because if your site isn’t getting on Google’s first page, it’s unlikely it’s reaching very many people at all.
SEO Hacks: More Complicated Than You Think
SEO hacks are important, but it’s not just about loading up the right keywords.
Fully 33% of people who search Google for your product or service are going to click on the first link they come to at the top of the page. The next three or four spots will take up the rest of the traffic. 75% of visitors will never get passed that first page of rankings at all.
And we’re not talking about paid Google ads, either; users are very smart about knowing the difference between sponsored and organic rankings. When they do click those paid listings, it’s because they’re already prepared to make a purchase.
So how can you optimize your SEO hacks to get those rankings higher? Google seems to change its algorithms every other week, and it’s not often easy to know what time-tested formulas work over and over again.
Here are eight simple areas you can pay attention to, SEO hacks that will help you bring in high rankings and more traffic to your site.
Here’s a hint: it’s not about how good it looks.
1.Go Back to the Basics
We know you’ve gone over the standard SEO hacks over and over again. You know about keywords and their placement, but there a lot of very simple basic necessities that get overlooked when we start focusing on how many keywords are in one of our blog posts, or whether we post a call to action in it.
Google actually has a number of tools, including Google Analytics, that can help you determine exactly where and when your page is ranking and why. And while there are dozens of factors involved in how Google ranks pages, there are some supposedly minor ones that will always drag your ranking down.
Duplicate content, for example, should always be rigorously searched out and annihilated. Your NAP — that is, your company’s name, address, and phone number — should be prominent. Not just on your page but in your code and also in other pages that list you as a business, so Google can easily find it and display it.
Images and video, as you probably already know, are great incentives to bring people into your blog post and have them stay there. But they’re not always tagged as they should be. You should also be tracking their rankings on Google’s image and video tabs. Speed of loading makes a huge impact.
Google also lists dates now for content, so now is the best time to take anything more than a few years old and update it significantly… or better still, rewrite it completely. Outdated content is to search ranking as cobwebs are to a physical business.
2. Are Your Posts Quality?
Content is not always thought of as “sexy” when it comes to SEO hacks, but as each year passes and Google’s algorithms become more complex, the quality of your content is going to become more important than how many keywords you stuff in it.
Longer blog posts, for example, rank consistently higher than shorter ones… they’re considered more informative just at first glance. Outbound links to authoritative sources are another good way of improving rankings and building trust among the search engines, especially if you link to an actual helpful online device (such as a mortgage calculator).
A clickable title never hurts, of course, but it doesn’t have to be clickbait. Ordered lists often perform well, especially when numbered. Getting a post to go viral can often be a matter of inspiring either awe, delight or joy in users rather than anger or sadness (if all else fails, be useful and helpful).
Finally, make sure to keep the most eye-catching content “above the fold,” as they say. That is, don’t make them scroll down for it. Search engines pay attention to all these aspects of your posts.
3. Share and Share Alike
As with so many brick-and-mortar businesses, too many people forget that their interaction with the community is the most important aspect of their success; “build it and they will come” seems to be the mantra.
That’s a dangerous attitude, especially on the internet where community is everything.
It doesn’t matter how good your posts are if no one finds them. Get and give backlinks to experts, influencers, as well as businesses relevant to yours. If you feel you have an expert voice to add to the conversation, take advantage of it by swapping guest posts with someone in the same field. It’s a mutual form of advertising that’s informative enough not to feel like one.
Reviewing the latest products in your field and relevant to it is always a great idea; next to lists, it’s the one thing that can establish you as a knowledgeable leader.
4. Use the News
When looking for content, you can always farm keywords out; there are dozens of apps that can help you with your SEO hacks by finding trending keywords, both in social media and in search engines.
However, to really stay on top of your competition, you also want to keep your ear to the ground as far as important news goes.
You can create email alerts in Google News or Gmail and scour all the headlines every day for relevant fresh topics to post about. You probably already know that blog posts with images perform better than those without; however, your time is better spent creating an informative infographic that’s pleasing to the eye and contains hard stats, rather than just grabbing a stock photo from somewhere.
Users are starting to wise up to that trick, as well.
Don’t be afraid to ask your readers point blank what they’d like to know more about. You’re supposed to be there for them, after all. Online discussion boards such as Reddit or Quora can be a great place to pick the very specific minds of your targeted customers or readers.
5. Do Oppo Research
When all else fails, find out what your competitors are doing to succeed… and emulate them. It’s a time-honored business trick, but it works very well for SEO hacks on the internet, where everything is archived and data is collated.
Find outdated articles that still rank high in search listings for their site and simply create better, fresher, and more informative ones. You can perform a similar trick by finding their broken backlinks and getting in touch with those webmasters to offer them a better source of info. (Don’t forget to replace your own dead backlinks with more timely content.)
6. Customer Proof
Whether you’re offering your own personal expertise, or something more tangible such as a product or service, nothing ever beats word of mouth.
The internet version can be easily created with customer reviews. You should already be going to sites like Yelp and seeing what people have to say about you — but you should also be engaging them personally, especially if they’ve had a bad experience, and offering to make it right.
You can also “engage from your page,” as they say, and encourage testimonials and reviews of your services. (You may have seen for yourself how well this works in establishing trust for law firms in TV commercials.)
An actual related company in your field may jump at the chance to offer you a “case study,” which is simply their report of their experience with you. Let them write it for you, but add your own two cents and make it a real business dialogue. One professional praising another means even more than the random customer experience.
Remember that you’re trying to build not just site rankings and traffic with SEO hacks, but goodwill… not just with customers but with fellow members of your industry. Their customers will soon be at your site, and Google will take note.
7. Microtarget Everything
The internet gives you a great opportunity to sell your product worldwide, but you should never overlook the local aspect of your SEO hacks. Although it may not be as easy as it once was to target specific communities other than your own in keyword searches, there are ways to find out where your page is ranking in certain communities.
Start with your own headquarters and look nearby; then you can get into the demographics of the target customers you’d like to serve as you expand out. No one picks up the yellow pages anymore, but 4 of 5 local consumers search sites like YP.com and Google when they want local goods and services.
Make sure your My Business profile in Google is set up and complete. Test ultra specific keywords for different areas so you can microtarget new goods and services. And don’t be afraid to reach out to local press and businesses in order to get the word out!
8. Go Offline
Is this strictly speaking one of those SEO hacks? No, it isn’t.
But it always comes up in any mention of driving business to your website and improving your Google ranking, however, because these methods, while mostly old-fashioned, still work.
And better still, because most of the crowd has moved on to sexy or newer SEO hacks, you can easily conquer your little core corner of the market if you know what you’re doing.
The classic e-mail list is a great way to drive customers right to your site, as is, believe it or not, snail mail — which, because of its antiquity, is cheaper and easier and more effective than ever. (You’ll need to remember to be bold enough to stand out, however: junk mail is still junk mail.)
If you’re an expert, or you have one in your staff, don’t hesitate to send them out in your name to conferences or even webinars. Have them create books and whitepapers that will actually provide useful info to other members of the industry.
Press releases still work wonders and should not be overlooked. And you can also check out HARO (Help a Reporter Out), where you can pitch a story about your product to journalists looking for something with a new and fresh angle.
Don’t forget your ultimate goal is to try and reach people and get your name out there; the only difference these days is that you’re driving them to your site, thus increasing your Google ranking, and not to a brick and mortar store.
SEO Hacks Unlock Top Google Rankings
These simple SEO hacks can go a long way towards improving your site traffic, social media impressions, and your Google rankings. Combined with a robust social media presence (Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at the very least should be utilized), they can really help you make a name for yourself and your services.
There are tons of great (and mostly free) web services out there to help you both monitor and improve your ranking, including Buzzsumo, Google Analytics, and others.
But don’t feel you have to create some detailed 90-day plan, either for sales or rankings or both, in order to get started; any one of these ideas can be implemented today, right now, and will almost immediately show a boost in your traffic.
Your competition is already utilizing several of these SEO hacks, so don’t wait any longer! Get yourself a free SEO audit today and find out the weak spots in your code, content, presentation, interaction, and marketing.