When looking at the big picture, creating great content is just a small part of an effective search engine optimization strategy. Great SEO practices can actually get quite technical, leaving you with complex issues to find and resolve to optimize your approach.
To efficiently overcome common problems and maximize your inbound marketing success, you can utilize smart hacks that give you an edge against the competition. And the competition is fierce. According to SEO Tribunal, 61 percent of companies decided to make SEO their main priority in 2018 – and those numbers are sure to continue growing.
To stay on the cutting edge of search engine optimization and achieve your business goals, utilize the five following hacks to easily deal with your leading SEO problems.
Alter Your Keyword Research Habits to Boost Mapping Efficiency
To achieve your ranking goals, you must utilize the most relevant keywords for your industry in an effective manner. The way you approach the keyword research process can have an impact on the quality of the short and long-form keywords you find, however. You must go beyond the basic functionality of the Keyword Planner tool from Google to build an all-encompassing list of keywords. This is especially true if you are looking to improve local search results.
Although Google removed support for local keyword research in 2015, you can get around the system by inputting the near parameter into the URL after completing a query. Simply paste “&near=cityname” at the end of the web address to acquire keyword results from around your exact location. You can also simulate local searches manually by using the Google Autofill feature in your search bar.
Optimize Your Images and Meta Data to Improve Search Ranking Results
When you add relevant images to your web pages, your visitors are up to 80 percent more likely to read your content, as revealed by HubSpot research. Your images can also help improve your SEO success behind the scenes when you optimize the alt text and description with effective keyword phrases. The descriptions should still adequately reflect the image, as that element is used by the sight-impaired to understand the image content.
Integrating your preferred keyword phrases into the metadata for each webpage can also help boost your search ranking results. Since the meta title and description show up on search page results, make sure these elements speak directly to your target audience and incite action. Try to naturally place keywords throughout the content and end with a strong call to action to make your meta data stand out from the crowd.
Regularly Eliminate Referral Spam to Clean Up Your Analytics
When your marketing efforts drive organic referrals to your site, your analytics provide a clear outlook on your successes and ways to improve. Unfortunately, referral spam can throw a wrench in the works by dramatically skewing your referral totals for the selected time period. The spam masks the actual traffic coming to your site, making it difficult to analyze your data to glean actionable information. In addition, the constant requests can overload your server and keep your true visitors from enjoying your website.
At the website level, you can halt the referral spam by manually blocking the offending URLs through the root directory for your web domain. You will also need to block these referrals at the server level to prevent the spammers from bypassing your site through the use of the Google Analytics servers. To accomplish this feat, you can utilize filters within the analytics system that exclude campaign sources from your results. Once you complete this action, the referrals from the spam URLs will no longer appear in your analytics results nor affect your site performance.
Eliminate Broken Backlinks to Boost Your Link Equity
With reputable backlinks supporting your content, you can boost your link equity to help your pages rank higher for industry-specific search terms. If your backlinks are broken, however, they could actually work against you. The broken backlinks do little to boost authority, trust, and relevance of your webpage, causing your search ranking to plummet over time.
To find your broken backlinks, you do not have to go through your entire site, clicking on every link along the way. Instead, simply log into Google Search Console or utilize a standalone backlink checker to find the links that do not work properly. Upon finding the improperly functioning links, you will need to replace them with equally reputable ones that support the claims made in your content. With the replacement of these links, you will almost immediately regain your link equity and start to move up the ranks in relevant search results.
Create XML Sitemaps to Help with Indexing of Your Web Pages
XML sitemaps give the web crawlers from Google the additional information they need to properly understand your entire website. To allow for this function, you must manually trigger the creation of the XML sitemap using Google’s webmaster tools. You will just need to click the create sitemap button to signal the system that you are ready to have your site crawled. Before doing this, make sure you are actually ready, however, with excellent keyword-infused content on all your major web pages.
With a maximum of 50,000 URLs allowed for each XMP sitemap, you likely have a long time before you need to concern yourself with optimizing your sitemap indexes. At every level, however, your sitemap index should match the total number of URLs used in the creation of your site to provide the most accurate information to the web crawlers. Always check your XML sitemap after adding web pages to ensure it matches the reality of your site design.
Need Help Resolving Your SEO Problems?
Even with your best efforts, it is possible for SEO problems to dominate far too much of your time and energy. To free up your time once again, you can seek assistance from our skilled team at Next Level Marketing by calling 844-736-6398 to achieve your search engine optimization goals. We will help with the optimization of your web content and handle any SEO issues that arise. With our support, you can achieve your SEO marketing goals and take your business to the next level.