Over the years, you might have heard someone say SEO is dead. Every time search engines change their algorithms and how they index and rank sites, people start saying the same thing. However, while it’s very accurate that SEO has changed a lot over the past couple of decades, it’s certainly not dead. You simply have to do different things to boost SEO.
So, if you’re wondering how to boost SEO in 2023 and which tactics will still work, read on. We’re about to look at a variety of on and off-site factors that will make your site more visible online.
1. Take Care of Technical Issues On Your Site to Boost SEO
The first and most important rule of how to boost SEO is still to make sure that your website meets all the technical standards.
This means doing things like ensuring that your site loads quickly and that you minify code. You also need to make sure that you use canonical URLs and that your site has an SSL certificate installed.
Search engines also rank sites based on the text to code ratio, that your site is responsive and mobile-friendly, and that you have straightforward and easy-to-follow navigation.
Make sure that you have a sitemap on your website that can be used by humans and search engines, and optimise your images by using smaller images and adding alt text to every image you use.
There are many local SEO audit tools you can use online, and while they can’t compare to a real SEO expert, they can give you a high-level view of what you need to work on to improve on-page SEO.
2. Use the Right Keywords
Keywords have always been a part of local SEO strategy, but with search engines now ranking sites based on quality and relevance scores, they’re even more critical if you want to boost SEO for your site.
Make sure that you are using keywords and phrases that are closely related to what you do or sell and that they are targeting people at every stage of the buying process. A good mix of content that addresses each of your core keywords on your site will help to create a sales funnel for customers and ensure that when people search for businesses or products like yours, they find you.
Focus on “long-tail” keywords that are highly relevant to the people who are most likely to buy from you. So instead of simply targeting “wedding cakes,” you would focus on keywords and phrases like “best wedding cakes in Melbourne.” Targeting Melbourne and/or specific suburbs will help you with your local Melbourne SEO.
For example, check out how we rank in different suburbs we service for SEO related keywords. Google SEO company St Kilda or SEO experts in Brighton and see for yourself. Or check out our local geo landing pages: St Kilda SEO, Brighton SEO, Cheltenham SEO …
You might get less traffic by targeting long-tail keywords, but it’s traffic that is a lot more likely to turn into a sale.
3. Create Great Content
Digital marketers have been using the phrase “content is king” for many years. It’s still completely accurate.
Figuring out how to boost local SEO only makes sense if, when people get to your site, they are blown away by the content, decide that you are the expert they’ve been looking for, and decide to contact you for a quote.
More importantly, when you create great content that is based on your target keywords, you will start to rank organically, which means you will spend less on paid advertising. Because if you’re buying all your traffic from search engines, as soon as you turn off paid ads, it will all go away – but if your site is a recognized authority in your industry, you’ll consistently rank well on search engines.
Great content also makes other SEO tactics like link building and social media marketing easier because you have something great to link to.
Because search engine crawlers “read” the content on your website, it’s important to make text-based content still the backbone of your content strategy. However, you can also use other types of content like slideshows and videos to add interest and appeal to visitors who are looking for easy-to-understand information.
Longer written content and “content silos,” which are a series of related posts targeting the same keywords, are also great ways to use content to boost SEO.
4. Don’t Forget Link Building
You’ve probably heard that link building is no longer a good way to boost SEO and that search engines will penalise you for building links.
That’s not entirely true.
The ultimate goal of all the changes that search engines have undergone over the years is to make sure that internet users find the best quality content first. So if you’re already putting out great content, you’ve won half the battle.
However, while search engines do penalise sites that buy lots of low-quality links or use other black hat link-building strategies, they do still evaluate how popular your website and your content are. Links are one way that they do this, and the more reputable sites there are that link back to you, the more authority your site will have.
Link building has changed a lot, though. You can’t just get links from anywhere and hope that it will boost SEO. You need to take a quality-first approach. There are a few strategies that still work:
- List your business and website on local business directories that include links to your site, but make sure you only list your business on relevant sites
- Build internal links between your content – search engines don’t only consider external links when they’re evaluating your site, and while internal links might do less to boost SEO, they still count
- Write great “round up” posts that mention key players in your industry who aren’t direct competitors – then let them know they’ve been featured, and ask them for a link back to your content
- Use services like ahrefs or SEMrush to find out who links to top-ranking content in your industry, and then create better content on the same topic and contact those sites, asking them to link to your piece instead
- Follow relevant accounts on social media, and start posting your content there – if you have valuable, engaging content on your site, there’s a good chance those businesses will share your posts or even link to your content as an authority source
- Write and submit local press releases whenever you have exciting news about your company or industry – local newspapers and magazines often publish this kind of business news on their websites and will usually include a link to your website
- Claim your pages on geolocation-based sites like Yelp and Foursquare – it will give you credible links, and when people search for services or products like yours in your area, you will come up in the results
- Review your links from time to time and disavow any from low-quality sites.
Link building is not dead, and if you’re wondering how to boost local SEO, getting the right kind of links is still a massive part of the process. However, you need to focus on getting the right type of links from high-quality sites. Quality definitely matters a lot more than quantity!
5. Claim Your Business on Google and Bing
Search engines like Google and Bing have “My Business” options that allow you to claim your business.
The process is very simple: use a Google or Yahoo account to log in and search for your business. Since you’re just adding it, you shouldn’t see it yet, but you can claim it too if you do.
Fill in your business information and complete all the forms and pages. The last page of the registration process will be verification, which usually includes having a code mailed to your business address. This allows search engines to verify that each listing is genuine.
Once the code arrives, you simply enter it to complete the verification process.
Listing your business with search engines makes you literally show up on their maps, but it also allows your customers to review you online. Research has shown that companies with higher search engine review rankings get more traffic from search engines. So make sure you deliver excellent service and get good reviews!
6. Avoid Black Hat SEO
The SEO world uses colours to categorise the type of strategies that are used.
White hat SEO is search engine optimisation that follows all the “rules.” It is search engine approved and won’t get your site penalised.
Black hat SEO uses shady tactics that search engines frown on, like buying links and traffic, keyword stuffing and even copying content. It might work in the short term, but it will almost certainly get your site penalised, and you will disappear from rankings in the long term.
Grey hat SEO is somewhere in between. It’s not as bad as black hat, but it doesn’t follow all the rules and standards.
Black hat SEO is like the get-rich-quick scheme of the internet. It sounds great on paper, but before you know it, someone has taken your money and disappeared, and you’re left to rebuild from nothing.
In fact, doing nothing to boost SEO is probably better than using black hat strategies. It won’t get you found online, but it also won’t cause search engines to block your site from search results actively.
7. Be Consistent
The final answer we have to the question of how to boost SEO is to aim for consistency. Good SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. If you create a great website, target the right search terms, and consistently put out great, helpful content, search engines will find your site and be recognised as an authoritative resource.
Once that happens, your website will become your very best sales tool, and funnelling quality leads to your sales team all day, every day.
It takes time to implement a good SEO strategy, but once you do, you can be sure that it will work as long as you stick with it.
So skip the gimmicks and the tricks. Work on creating the best possible website and share your knowledge with the world. Create and maintain a social media presence and be sure to respond quickly whenever you are contacted online.
Need Professional Help?
Sometimes, it seems like figuring out how to boost SEO is like learning a new language, and in a way, that’s precisely what it is.
There’s no magic or tricks involved, though. Just the same tried and true steps that are proven to work.
However, many business owners find that they’re just too busy to learn how it all works together. This might mean it’s time to hire a professional to kickstart your climb to the top of the search engine rankings.
If you think you need help, we’d love to be the team that transforms your digital marketing and takes your local SEO to the next level. Contact us and let’s talk about how we can make your site more visible to search engines and more valuable to people.
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