SEO Ranking: Best Practices, Factors, Tips, & Tools to Improve Your Positions
Search engine optimization is a powerful way to improve your visibility with potential customers. If you’re showing up at the top of page results when someone searches for what you offer, you have a good chance of getting a phone call (and who doesn’t like more calls from potential customers)!
But knowing how to use search engine optimization to your advantage and what factors matter most can be overwhelming. Should you focus on content or keywords? Will your position on search results improve with more words or with more time online?
In this post, we’ll walk you through the basics of search engine optimization, including SEO best practices, important factors, and tips and tools to help you get ahead.
Keep reading for more details!
What is SEO?
Before we dive into how to use search engine optimization, let’s cover the what and why. Search engine optimization is one of the best ways to hear from more people that want what you offer, but it can also be a confusing term and an even more confusing process to navigate.
Search engine optimization or SEO is designed to improve your position on SERPs (search engine results pages). Simply put, when a user on Google looks for a product or service you offer, the higher your business shows up in the results, the better.
Organic search is one of the best ways for people to find you online (and it’s where 97% of users start when they need something). Even if you utilize paid options (like pay-per-click or pay-per-lead marketing), showing up organically can support those efforts in a big way. In fact, showing up multiple times on a page can increase the chance of a user reaching out to you by 300%!
If you’re in the top three positions, you are way ahead. Those top three results capture more than fifty percent of all initial clicks. If you’re on the second page of results, the chances of being contacted go down to less than ten percent.
Having a great SEO strategy can be the difference between having a website and having website traffic that leads to your phone constantly ringing with new potential customers!
Why use SEO?
If you’re new to SEO, you may be wondering if it’s important. Since search engine optimization often takes longer to build, utilizing paid options and ignoring an SEO investment can be tempting. At BullsEye Internet Marketing, we encourage our clients to use a comprehensive approach that helps generate leads quickly while building organic traffic to support sustainable growth.
Below are a few reasons to use search engine optimization as a part of your overall marketing strategy.
Improve Your Website Ranking
One of the most obvious benefits of search engine optimization is to improve your website ranking on search engine results. The more visible you are, the more likely you are to hear from potential customers. And since almost 100% of people who look for new products and services start their search online, the opportunity is huge!
Supplement Your Paid Advertising
We touched on this above, and it’s worth revisiting. While paid advertising like pay-per-click or pay-per-lead can provide a faster way to show up higher on page results, the conversion rate increases up to 300% when your business shows up twice. For example, a paid ad or organic result alone can’t come close to the power of multiple search results that point to you!
Help You Stand Out
When you invest in valuable content that organically grows your reach, you can position yourself in a way that stands out from the competition. Whether you have a fantastic product or valuable service, building your brand with unique content is your secret weapon to getting more clicks than competitors on the same page. If you’re unsure what to say, talk to an experienced SEO agency that can help!
Step By Step Guide To Successful SEO
Now that we’ve covered the value of search engine optimization and how it can support your marketing goals, let’s jump into a step by step guide on how to get started.
Identify And Correct Technical Errors
Google and other search engines crawl sites constantly to index content. Through that process, your content (and the type of content you offer) is cataloged to be “served” or displayed for relevant searches. When you make updates to your website (like adding new valuable content) or add new pages, etc., those changes are also crawled and will be indexed again with the latest information over time. If your website, or individual pages, have technical errors, it can disrupt that process and inhibit the opportunity for your site to rank higher.
Alternatively, correcting technical errors can ensure that any work you do to optimize your site with great content and keywords will reap the full benefit (aka, hearing from more potential customers)!
We recommend identifying (and correcting) technical errors before starting any search engine optimization process. And if you’re not comfortable locating and updating errors yourself, talk to an experienced SEO agency that can help you get started.
Add Valuable SEO Content
Adding valuable content that’s optimized for search engines requires a strategy. You need to identify what your potential customers are looking for and build the right content to answer their questions. Understanding relevant keywords, the competition’s content, and how to position your copy to stand out is also essential.
One standard set of writing guidelines is referred to as E-E-A-T, which stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. You want to show that you have firsthand experience and that you’re an expert in the areas you’re writing about. But it’s also essential to have an authoritative site (see more on that in the next section) and use that authority, author credentials, and more to demonstrate that you’re trustworthy.
Copywriting includes all the words on your website, and they are a critical part of your search engine optimization success. From primary pages like your homepage and service page to fresh content like ongoing informational pieces or blogs, written content encompasses what you say online. Before you start writing, we recommend identifying each piece’s topics, keywords, and length – and following an overall plan to ensure you show up consistently over time.
If you’re not an expert in SEO copywriting, consider working with one to maximize each piece you post with professional writing and on-page SEO that helps support your visibility!
Increase Quality Links
When one website links to another, it’s called a backlink, and it can increase your website’s credibility. Adding a link to your website from a reputable site signals that the business is trustworthy (which is of great importance to Google and other search engines). Increasing high-quality links is a crucial step to growing your search engine optimization.
Building backlinks takes time and energy, like more SEO efforts. It can be tempting to utilize the suggestion of a marketing professional or agency to purchase multiple backlinks at one time, with the idea that more is better. However, these links are often from low-quality sources and can backfire, resulting in negative credibility building or even having your site blocked.
Invest the time and energy (or work with someone who will) to identify the right connections, and never utilize black hat (or questionable) techniques that promise quick results.
Review Existing Listings
If you already utilize listings like a Google Business Profile or profile on Apple Maps, it may be time to review what’s there. These powerful tools can work in your favor for SEO, but if outdated, the opposite is true.
Invest time to locate any existing listings and audit them for consistency. We’re not talking about those big names above but also local directories, industry profiles, and more. Your business name, address, and phone number should be consistent across the board. And while you’re reviewing your listings, take advantage of additional options to expand and optimize each one by adding categories, descriptions, photos, links to your websites, reviews, special offers, and more!
Request Reviews and Testimonials
Testimonials and customer reviews help power your SEO engine. They are another tool that signals credibility and trustworthiness to search engines (and potential customers)! The best place to collect reviews is on Google’s Business Profile because it’s integrated with the search engine – and reviews can be collected and incorporated into other areas, including your website!
We recommend developing a process to request reviews from clients routinely. And once you get them, be sure to respond to each and every one. This strategy supports search engine optimization and helps you stand out from the competition!
Frequently Asked Questions
You can use our step-by-step SEO guide above, but keep reading if you have additional questions.
If you don’t see the questions or answers you need, contact our team at www.bullseyeinternetmarketing.com for more information!
How do I rank good in SEO?
To rank higher, you need a search engine optimization strategy. Within that strategy, we recommend the following:
- Assess your site for technical errors and correct them as soon as possible. Technical errors can slow down (or disrupt) search engines from scanning and indexing your site. If your content isn’t correctly scanned or indexed, it will be less likely to appear in relevant searches online.
- Develop valuable content that helps answer questions for your audience. To develop the right content, you must take the time to identify optimal keywords, competitor content, ideal length, and more. Your copy should also be grammatically correct and engaging so it’s considered high value by search engines (and will more likely be read by your audience).
- Utilize valuable backlinks from other authoritative websites to increase your site’s credibility. This step may take time, but it’s valuable when done correctly. Never buy backlinks in bulk, as they may come from non-reputable sources that can risk your website and even get it blocked.
- Ask for reviews from your happy customers! These reviews are valuable and signal that you’re trustworthy – not just to search engines – but also to potential new customers who found your business online!
What are the 4 SEO rank factors?
If you’re looking to take advantage of the top 4 SEO ranking factors, we can help. Start by assessing your site for technical errors, creating and adding valuable content, improving your website’s authority with credible backlinks, and asking your happy customers for reviews on your Google Business Profile.
What are the 11 steps to improve SEO rankings?
- Assess your site for technical issues that may stop your website and pages from being properly reviewed and indexed by search engines.
- Correct technical errors or work with an experienced SEO team to make necessary changes before starting your search engine optimization strategy.
- Complete keyword research for your business and identify topics that are relevant to your audience and can help you generate valuable content.
- Write, or work with an SEO copywriter, to develop new pages, informational content, and or blogs that can be added to your website.
- Improve the number of quality backlinks to your website from credible sources (and always avoid cheap or low-quality options that can result in your site being blocked).
- Audit your existing online profiles and directory listings for errors or low-quality links (and make any necessary changes).
- Update each online profile or listing to ensure consistency of NAP (name, address, and phone).
- Take advantage of any opportunities to add additional business details, including relevant categories, specials or offers, photos, and more.
- Request positive reviews from existing customers on your Google Business Profile.
- Create an ongoing process to collect future reviews as often as possible (and to respond to them consistently).
- Work with a professional SEO agency if you’re unsure where to begin or want to build a strategy that supports your other marketing efforts!
What are the top 5 SEO strategies?
Below are five things you can do to optimize your SEO strategy!
First, take the time to review your existing website for technical errors. Once you know what’s wrong, correct them as soon as possible so they don’t slow down (or stop) search engines from scanning and indexing your content. If your website isn’t properly scanned or indexed, it will be less likely to appear in searches online (meaning it can hurt your ranking).
Second, focus on creating valuable content that answers questions your potential customers are asking. This process requires time to identify the best keywords, review competitor content, and understand the ideal length and intent for your copy. Ensure that anything you add to your website is grammatically correct and engaging so it’s considered high value by search engines (and your audience).
Third, integrate backlinks from other credible sources, which helps boost your domain’s credibility. Never use a shortcut on this step and buy backlinks in bulk, as they often come from low-quality sites that can send a red flag to search engines like Google (or worse, result in your site being blocked).
Fourth, review any existing profiles or listings you created in the past (like a Google Business Profile or industry directory listing). You want every listing to have consistent business information (such as name, address, and phone number). And while you’re reviewing your listings, you can add additional details such as special offers, photos, a website link, and more.
Finally, always ask for positive reviews from your customers! These testimonials signal that you’re trustworthy to search engines and potential new customers who are considering picking up the phone to give you a call!
What are the 3 core must haves of SEO?
A fully functioning website with no technical errors, valuable and unique content, and domain or website authority are three SEO must haves.
Want to learn more about BullsEye Internet Marketing?
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CEO & Founder of BullsEye Internet Marketing
Consultant & Practitioner of SEO, PPC, and all things Digital Marketing. Passionate about my industry, and I have loved helping businesses succeed for 18+ years. You can find me when I’m not working (which is not very often) at Blues, Rock, Smooth Jazz & Americana concerts.