Back in 2016, we gave you a quick and easy guide for improving your SEO results, and hopefully, you took on board what we had to say and used it to your advantage. Almost two years later and SEO strategies have developed along with the slight technology and lifestyle changes that have happened since.
Here at Buzz, not only do we want to provide you with the best possible services, but we want to offer you with great advice, too. Therefore, we have decided to recreate another edition for improving your SEO rank for 2019. You ready?
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimisation, or easily known as SEO, is the process of completing a number of tasks in order to improve the ranking of a website on search engines. When someone searches something, Google search results will display links that are relevant and authoritative, and your SEO strategies will help tell Google what parts of your website is relevant to the search terms. How does it work? Google promotes the authoritative pages to the top of its rankings so it’s your job to create pages that become authoritative – think of it as competition. There are many ways you achieve this with your pages, and that’s what we are going to talk about today.
Long and Short Tail Keywords
Keywords are the very heart and soul of search engine optimisation. By ‘keywords’ we mean words or phrases your audience will use to search for you, or the queries they are asking for on search engines. You can include specific keywords and their semantic fields into your content to show Google what your work is about.
First, you’ve got to find the right keywords for your content. The keyword you choose to use in a segment of your content should reflect on the message you are trying to broadcast. When it comes to on-page SEO, keywords are probably the biggest factor for overall success on your SEO strategies, but in order to find the right ones, you should first be doing your research on long and short tail keywords.
Long Tail Keywords
Long Tail Keywords are usually three or more words, a phrase, that is the main focus of the content you are creating. These types of keywords are usually more targeted and used for more specific purposes. Including these into your content will probably not bring as much traffic in as a short tail, but will definitely bring in the right audience. An example of a long tail keyword could be “Digital Marketing Agencies St Neots”, therefore telling Google what you are specifically talking about and targeting the audience that is searching for this phrase.
So what are the benefits of a long tail keyword, you ask? Well, due to the specificity of the phrase you chose, the competition you have will be lower than a short tail. Using the same example, targeting “Digital Marketing Agencies St Neots” will earn you a more suitable audience than targeting “Digital Marketing Agencies”. This is because other businesses from around the country could be targeting that same keyword, and a number of them will probably have a lot more advanced SEO than a small business like yourself, so it wouldn’t exactly benefit you.
Another benefit is that they cost a lot less to maintain. This is because Google AdWords tend to charge less to businesses that target more specific keywords and contain a lot more terms. For smaller businesses, long tail keywords are probably their best bet!
Short Tail Keywords
On the other hand, short tail keywords are usually three words or less. Also known as “head terms”, short tail keywords are more suitable for big topics, kind of like the first thing that comes into your mind when you are thinking about that segment of content. For example, if you are reading a blog post about how to make the perfect pizza, the focus keyword will probably just be “pizza”. Whereas for long tail it would probably be “Making the perfect pizza” or something like that. Short tail keywords have both advantages and disadvantages, and will even work or won’t. Furthermore, if your main focus is to drive more traffic to your site, short tail keywords are probably your best bet, but if you are trying to target the right topic for your content, long tail keywords are more suitable.
The best thing going about a short tail keyword is that when it comes to volume, short tail wins every time. The shorter the keyword, the higher the search volume is, the bigger the chances that your website/page will be found. You will definitely earn some decent organic traffic with short tail keywords.
Choosing The Right Keywords
Now you know about the short tail and long tail keywords, how are you going to come up with them? A good tip would be to research other articles and write down a list of words, phrases and questions you would type into that search bar if you were looking for that specific article – it’s good practice for those that are inexperienced with keywords. After this, when you create your own content you can do the exact same, ask yourself; What would my audience search for when looking for this blog? Then a flow of ideas will come crashing through – we promise!
“Today it’s not about ‘get the traffic’ – it’s about ‘get the targeted and relevant traffic.'” – Adam Audette.
Content creation and SEO are two very different things – they both have different purposes and methods to achieve. However, together, they can benefit each other, and more importantly… your business. So how do they work? These two unique services blend together to help each other out – SEO makes demands, content creation simply fulfils those demands. SEO is nothing without content, and by creating blogs and other types of content and publishing them onto your website (in the correct way), your SEO will improve.
It’s like we said before, keywords are the very heart and soul of search engine optimisation, so by creating a blog with those keywords inserted properly, content creation has helped boost your SEO. Content is a source for targeted keywords, so producing valuable and relevant content will allow you to cover a specific topic, mentioning the focus keyword (whether it is a long tail or short tail) several times as well as their semantic fields for an extra boost.
Regarding content as a whole, if you are a small business WITHOUT a blog, what are you doing? Especially for us digital marketers, blog pages is a knowledge base for the audience – where you can express your thoughts, creativity and give out great advice to your targeted audience. It’s entertaining, easy to create and once it is written and posted, it is permanent content on your page that new (and old) customers can visit whenever they would like to. For as long as we can remember, the Local Buzz Marketing team have been producing articles for the website and it has always gained great engagement. One of our recent blogs is “4 Powerful Places To Blog For Backlinking”, which talks about four great places to blog (other than your website) to improve the number of backlinks you have. Be sure to check it out, this can really help your SEO!
From the Buzz Team ourselves, who are excellent content creators, here are our 4 top tips on optimising your blog content:
1) Use the keyword!
Whilst some might advise you to just add your keywords into your SEO title, meta description and URL, you should aim to add it into as many little places of your blog as you can! Whether it is in a tag, the description of your image or in the actual context, including it into some invisible areas will definitely make your article a lot more recognisable for those Google bots.
2) Don’t spam the keyword
Right, still take on board what we said in the first bullet point – whilst adding the focus keyword into the content is a great way of driving traffic to your website, cluttering your context with the focus keyword will make it look spammy and intentional (whilst it is, you don’t want your audience to be reminded of that).
3) Use blogs as your secret weapon
As a more psychological method, don’t treat your blog section as a necessity or a journal, treat it like a “help” centre for your customers to visit at any time, like a reliable source of information. As you have access to a blog do NOT underestimate it, take advantage of this public place and give out helpful tips and information about anything. For example, this blog! At Local Buzz Marketing, we have a variety of excellent blogs containing useful, creative ideas and advice to help with your digital marketing.
4) Add in relevant imagery
There are several ways imagery can help your blogging and SEO. For one thing, the source of your imagery can help with SEO depending on where it is you get them from! Hopefully, you are aware of the copyright law and the appropriate guidelines of inserting images into your blog space, so you would know that it can be quite difficult to find relevant, permitted photos to add into your content. Well, one-way imagery can help with SEO is by using someone else’s permitted content. Furthermore, WITH THE RIGHT PERMISSION, if your friend is a photographer or you are friends with another company, with the correct rights you can earn a reference by referencing a friend’s work into your own.
If you don’t have this access, adding the relevant keywords to your images’ Alt text and Description will help with additional optimisation.
We hope we didn’t sound too repetitive, but keywords are extremely important, and blogging is an excellent source for suitable keyword habitats and a general source of information for the clients.
“Hire people who create content by nature, not arm-twisting. You don’t want content creation to be a chore.” – Mike Volpe.
This refers to the more internal factors of the SEO process, such as content and the HTML, as opposed to ‘Off-Page’ SEO which will refer to features such as links. Internal SEO will be more useful when ranking higher and earning more relevant traffic on your web page.
Some ‘On-Page’ elements include:
- Unique SEO Title
- Meta Description
- Relevant Vocabulary
- Image Descriptions
With this type of SEO, the best advice is useless if you can’t put it into play and score i.e. you need to actually take action in order for this to work, which isn’t as bad as it sounds! As a digital marketer, you should know that the services we provide are no walk in the park – they require time, monitoring, estimating, patience and our very own creativity, which can sometimes be a long process (especially SEO). However, despite our “Easy” isn’t easy, there are plenty of simple things you can do to improve you ‘On-Page’ SEO, such as:
- Create useful and relevant content – with topics that relate to your targeting keywords.
- Creative SEO Title – Including your keyword! Sometimes, if you don’t want to look too spammy, it might be a good idea to have your blog title a little different to your SEO title, to make it look less obvious. Also, coming up with a creative title could just naturally persuade readers to click!
- Draw in your audience with that meta description!
- Label your images (including your featured image) and include the keyword.
- Improve the layout by clearly separating the paragraph to the subheadings.
- Link to your website and others!
Whether they are links to your website or to another, links are very important factors of SEO – they are also known as the “currency” of SEO because they are easily tradeable assets. However, in comparison to money, it’s more about quality than quantity. Search engines will take more notice of a few appropriate links, rather than a large number of links that are worthless and unnecessary.
For those who are not very experienced with linking, it is where you connect a URL to another website’s feature, such as a word or design etc. So when you open our website, for instance, a blog… you will sometimes come across a highlighted word (like the screenshot below) which will usually indicate a link is connected to that word or phrase. In this case, it is – clicking on the “Local Buzz Marketing” written on our blog, ‘Graphic Design Trends For 2019’ (SEE! We did it there!!) will take you to the Local Buzz Marketing website because that URL is connected to the phrase. Easy, right?
Internal and External Links
External links are links that connect to another domain than the one it is sourced to i.e. linking to another website or another website linking to you. This is good for SEO because you are essentially reaching a whole new audience from another business or organisation without having to lift a finger. SEO specialists have previously said that external links are the most important source of ranking power, as your website is more or less ‘attached’ to a number of new connections. On the other hand, external links can also help create powerful digital relationships between businesses and organisations – but we wouldn’t recommend this with competitors.
Internal links, however, are more personal, one-man jobs. This is where you link URL’s that are connected to the same domain than the one is it sourced to. For example, if you are creating a blog on your website, you can easily promote yourself by linking back to your home page, product pages, testimonial page or contact page etc. This might not necessarily branch your pages to a bigger audience, but it definitely makes it easier for your audience to follow your call-to-action. You see, it doesn’t matter if one of your followers goes to the gym every day, or is a huge couch potato… online, EVERYONE is lazy! You, as the influencer, have got to make it easier for them. Therefore, rather than just asking them to visit your website or to contact you, link the phrase to the appropriate page!
This was a lot of information! But we want to be able to offer you the best advice on the internet. Be sure to read our other Blogs based on our award-winning services such as Graphic Design and Social Media.
Thanks for reading.