93% of online experiences begin with a search engine
There are over 3.5 billion daily searches on Google, and the top five organic results get 65% of these clicks. SEO results significantly outperform ads that are listed at the top of the page, as between 70% and 80% of users completely ignore paid advertisements. These stats show that SEO is more important than ever, and it’s effective too. 57% of B2B marketers stated that SEO generates more leads than any other marketing initiative.
The problem is that while you know how successful SEO can be, so do your competitors, and there’s significant competition for those coveted top spots. In order to outrank your competitors, you need to do the things they’re not. The following are some of the SEO tasks that can have significant impact on results, but are often overlooked. As such, if your business can master them, you’re in the best position to succeed on the SERPs.
1. Optimise Your Landing Pages
You should not try to target everyone with your landing page. The most effective landing pages are concise and relevant to the searcher. In order to create relevant landing pages, consider the following questions:
- Who is the page for?
- How did the searcher find you?
- What are they looking for?
- What is the goal of the landing page?
This works in 2 ways. First off, if the searcher finds information that is relevant to them, they are more likely to convert. More importantly for SEO, if people are reaching your website then quickly leaving again, Google is likely to see that the page is not relevant to them and drop your website’s ranking for that search term.
2. Develop Skyscraper Content
Creating ‘skyscraper content‘ involves finding topics that are currently doing well online and using these topics as a basis to create a content piece that is bigger and better. This content has to be of extremely high quality because, in order to be effective, it has to be better than anything else you can find online. However, if you can master it, your business will reap the rewards.
The first step in creating skyscraper content is to choose relevant search keywords in your niche. Once you know the terms that you want to target, you can then search up your competitors and find the content on these terms that have worked well for them. Tools like SEMRush and BuzzSumo are ideal for this.
Once you have an idea of the most popular content in your niche, you can start to identify how to improve on it. The following are some of the ways to do this:
- Go into more detail on the current list and topics
- Ask influencers for insights
- Conduct your own experiment and record the results
- Add graphics and infographics
- Make it interesting and easy to digest
Once you have created the content, all you need to do is promote it. Use a range of paid and organic methods to ensure as many people as possible see and share the content.
3. Use Schema Markup & Structured Data
Google bots crawl billions of web pages every day. Using structured data helps these bots understand the meaning and the purpose of each webpage. According to Google, ‘Structured data is a standardised format for providing information about a page and classifying the page content‘. Google gives the example of a recipe page, which should include ingredients, cooking time, temperature, and calories.
On-page schema markup helps search engines understand the information on web pages in order to provide richer search results. It can also significantly increase your CTR.
There are numerous structured data markup options that are supported by the major search engines, including:
- Book, Movie, Music Recording
- Health and Medical
- Place, LocalBusiness, Restaurant
- Product, Offer, AggregateOffer
4. Review Your Backlinks
The backlinks that point to your site are a significant ranking factor for Google. Look at the backlink profile of your site, paying attention to the quality of backlinks as well as the quantity. Having more backlinks doesn’t always mean higher rankings; quality is more important. The search engine is getting better at identifying black-hat SEO strategies, and having numerous low quality backlinks can negatively impact your site.
You can use Google Search Console to see the backlinks that are pointing to your site. If you have a significant number of links from low quality sites, it may be necessary to start the process of disavowing these links.
5. Create Video Content
YouTube has more than 2 billion monthly active users as of 2020. Demand for video content is increasing, as studies have shown 54% of consumers want to see more video content from brands or businesses they support. Video content is undeniably popular with users. While this alone is reason enough to know that it will benefit your SEO, remember that Google also displays video in its results pages. With the search engine consistently trying to provide more relevant results for search intent, video results are expected to rise.
If you’re not sure where to start with video, the first step is to decide what to make videos about. You can do this by:
- Identifying popular content on your website that can be repurposed into a video
- Finding popular topics in your niche and making a video about these topics
Once you have developed a content plan, you can start making your videos. All you need for this is an ordinary camera, good lighting, and basic video editing software. When you come to upload your videos, don’t forget to include schema markup. In addition, make sure you always add a description of a minimum 200 words to your video when uploading it, using your description to tell Google what your video is about. As the search engine needs to crawl text, it relies on a text-based description to know whether the video is relevant to their searchers.