SEO For Growth by John Jantsch & Phil Singleton was a fantastic read. I’ve not read a book on SEO that was quite a fun to read. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it sums up all the things you need to do to get positioned better on search engines. Everyone wants to be on the first page on Google. If you do, you need to understand SEO. That’s where SEO for Growth comes in.
Focus on holistic, ‘white-hat’ SEO
When it comes to getting on the first page of Google, there’s temptation to engage in manipulative tactics but it’ll cost you more in the long run. Chances are good that you have been approached by offshore companies and freelancers offering you SEO services. Many times these people are looking to show you results as soon as possible no matter the cost. The problem with this approach is that they may use illegal tactics that will get you penalized by Google. Hire professionals who are playing the long-term game. Focus on staying safe by doing the things that Google has outlined like creating content and optimizing your website. Be careful who you hire to handle your SEO so you don’t get burned.
Above fold section of page is most important
The top of the page, which a user sees when they visit your website, is the most important part of a web page for search engines. Google places a lot of weight on this area because it’s what users see first. You need to make sure this area is well structured to provide the user quick navigation. This area needs to have clear titles and any call-to-action buttons visible so that a user would find what they’re looking for.
Quality backlinks over quantity
If you’ve read anything on SEO you’ll know that websites linking back to your website has been a big deal. These links are called backlinks because they link back to your website. Just recently Google has updated their search algorithm such that links from poor quality websites will not count anymore. So creating a bunch of links from other low quality websites will not help and might actually hurt you. Instead, focus on getting links from high quality and relevant websites. Some high quality links can come from business organizations such as your local Chamber of Commerce, vendors, non-profits that your business supports or even educational institutions.
Content is still king
When trying to get on the first page of Google, it’s easy to forget about this very important aspect of search engines. Search engines exist to connect users with the most relevant information online. The way search engines determine this is by looking at the content on your website. So, if you have more relevant and well written content, you’re bound to appear on the first page of Google. Just make sure that it is relevant content that has value to a targeted audience. Whether in form of a page, blog post or social media post, it needs to fit this definition.
Manage online reviews for better SEO
Imagine for a moment that you’ve finally made it to the first page of Google. Pretty exciting, right? When you look closely however, your competitor has 27 positive reviews while you only have 5. Guess what? Your competitor is getting all the leads! According to SEO for Growth, over 85% of consumers read 10 reviews before making a purchase decision. Same thing happens with book reviews and restaurant reviews. We want to know that we’re making the right decision because others before us had a positive experience. Don’t wait to get a bad review. Find ways to encourage your happy customers/clients to leave a positive review. That way, when a bad review is posted, it doesn’t damage all your hard work.
Know what’s going on
I always find it surprising that many website owners have no clue how their website is doing, how much traffic their website receives, or what kinds of visitors are coming to their website. A few years ago you’d get away with it but nowadays not so much. With more and more business coming online, you’d need to keep a close eye on the performance of your website.Thankfully, Google has produced some great software to help you track the performance of your website. There’s Google Analytics, which tracks visits to your website, page views, and location metrics. Google Search Console deals with issues that Google may come across when crawling your website. Last but not least, Google PageSpeed Tools will help you test the loading speed of your website and how mobile friendly your website is.
Gaining knowledge of SEO is useful for better rankings. Pick up a book of SEO for Growth and learn something new that you can apply on your website. Have you read SEO for Growth? If so, what new thing did you learn? Share in the comments section below.