Content Marketing Blog
SEO techniques every website should action in 2019

SEO techniques every website should action in 2019

We’re not going to beat around the bush here. SEO is really important (and super valuable for companies that get it right)!

The majority of online traffic is driven by search engines, according to Moz, and organic search results:

  • Receive way more clicks than paid advertisements.
  • Appear more legitimate to smart searchers.
  • Cover way more digital range than other options.

The thing is, SEO techniques can change overnight and the algorithms used to determine your rankings are constantly improving. Things that used to snag you the top spot in 2018 could actually hurt your ranking potential today.

That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of the latest changes.

Below are the SEO techniques every website should action in 2019.

Sure-Fire SEO Techniques For Your Business

Focus On User Intent

Keyword-focused content is good but context-driven content is great. It’s not enough to sprinkle in keywords and hope to rank, search engines are looking for the best possible content to answer user questions. That’s why it’s so important to consider the context around the keywords. In other words, you need to understand the user intent using long-tail and short-tail keywords.

Let’s take the keyword “android.” People searching this keyword could fall into a couple different categories:

  • Smartphone users looking for information about their devices.
  • Robotic lovers looking into android tutorials.

Without understanding your audience and their intent you might end up drawing the wrong traffic to your site. Pair this knowledge with understanding the questions your audience will ask (ex: “Where can I find android phone help desks?”) and you’re much more likely to get some good organic ranking for key search queries.

Speed Up Your Site

You have 3 seconds for your page to load. After that, 53 per cent of mobile users are gone, according to Google research. Site speed is critical to your SEO ranking because users don’t want to wait.

To fix a problem you have to identify it. Start by testing your site’s speed (there are loads of free online tools for this). Once you have an idea of where you’re sitting, it’s time optimise all of your major pages. Start by:

  • Converting all images to JPG format so they will take up less space and load faster.
  • Using caching.
  • Improving your CSS and JavaScript.
  • Integrating an AMP plugin on your site to enhance mobile experience.

Analyse & Refine Page Design

Do you have weirdly high bounce rates? This is often a sign that your website is lacking in user experience and overall usability. Unfortunately, high bounce rates = bad SEO.

Even worse? It can be really difficult to pinpoint the problem. User experience can vary wildly from site to site. Luckily, there are a handful of sites – like Crazy Egg and Google Optimise – that can help. You can use these platforms to analyse how people are interacting with your website, which will hopefully generate some ideas for improvement.

With these tools in hand you should have some direction on how to improve user experience on your page, lowering bounce rates and boosting organic ranking.

Ensuring Your Robots.Txt File Is Suitable For Search Engines

Essentially, search engines have two main jobs:

  • Crawl the internet to discover content.
  • Index that content so it can be delivered to users searching for that information.

In order to do the former, search engines have to follow links to get from one site to another (sometimes referred to as spidering). Once the search engine arrives at a website but before it spiders it, the crawlers look for a robots.txt file.

This file either guides the crawler in different directions or doesn’t do anything at all. The problem being when your robots.txt file blocks content or sections of your site that you want to be indexed. When your pages can’t be indexed, they can’t rank. It’s that simple.

To ensure your website is free to be indexed by the search engines you need to check whether or not you have robots.txt files. You can do this by typing in your root domain and adding/robots.txt at the end of the URL. If no .txt page appears then you don’t have any live files.

Don’t Stop Blogging

Content still sits on the SEO throne. But the approach is a bit different. You want quality, not quantity. Gone are the days of bashing out five 400-word blogs a day in hopes of upping your ranking.

Today SEO-minded blogging is all about content that is well-written, expertly formatted and easily digestible. In order to stand a fighting chance of increasing organic ranking you need content that is optimised for maximum engagement.

Don’t forget: If more people read your content, your bounce rate decreases and your ranking improves.

So what are some of the things you need to do to achieve high-quality, optimised content? Here are a few simple tips:

  • Embrace Subheads: Did you know that 55 per cent of users spend fewer than 15 seconds on any given page? (Chartbeat). Including subheads in your copy helps break up the text and makes scanning your article a lot easier. Great subheads can up that page time considerably by drawing the reader further in.
  • Keep Paragraphs Snappy: Big chunky blocks of text tend to make readers run for the rules. As a rule of thumb limit the majority of your paragraphs to three to four sentences for optimal readability.
  • Leverage Your Keywords (But Don’t Stuff): Keywords still play a big role in SEO-optimised content,=. You’ll want to try and slip them into headlines, meta descriptions and subheads where possible but remember not to go overboard. Keyword stuffing doesn’t just read weird, it’s penalised by search engines.
  • Write Well: All of this advice is pointless if you don’t come to the table with compelling ideas and engaging writing. Keep this at the front of your mind always.

One exceptional blog post won’t change your entire SEO outlook, but consistent quality blogging backed by a strong content strategy can do wonders for your organic rankings.

Optimise Your Old Content

If you’re looking for something quick to begin your SEO journey, try optimising some of your current content. Your title tags play a leading role in SEO so you’ll want to make sure your priority keyword features in this text – ideally at the beginning. Priority keywords should also make an appearance in your headings.

It can be extremely effective to go through your old content and optimise (or even just flat out create) your meta descriptions. Make sure your keywords also appear in this 130 to 160 character snippet, otherwise the chances of it showing up are much lower.

This same logic can apply to old content that performed particularly well. Instead of starting from scratch, update the article to reflect more current data or use old articles to build up the foundation of a more comprehensive guide. Good content creation is all about being smart and working to your strengths. If the analytics data is telling you something is working, keep making it work for you.

How Long Does SEO Take To Work?

We get this question a lot. The honest answer? It depends. We know that’s frustrating but hey, SEO can be. There are a few deciding factors that may help or hinder the speed of your campaign.

  • How long the website has been around.
  • How much SEO has been done on it previously.
  • What state the website is in.
  • What amount of content lives there.
  • How many links there are between your pages.
  • How many other reputable sites link back to yours.

The list goes on.

The standard time-frame is three to six months but that’s the goalpost for beginning to see results. SEO ranking changes over time (and often for the better).

The key here is to not give up too quickly. There are plenty of businesses that don’t see results after three months and then decide to scrap the strategy. That’s an indicator of not understanding SEO and if you feel like that might be you, trust us, keep going.

SEO is all about playing the long-game. If you can wait it out, it can deliver some of the best ROI in the market.

SEO techniques every website should action in 2019

Sabrina Dorronsoro
Sabrina Dorronsoro About the author

Sabrina is the Editorial Manager overseeing the Enterprise team here at Castleford. Home to some of our largest and most high profile clients – Sabrina ensures the likes of Greenpeace, Hilti Australia, WWF, and BDO get the best from her team of writers, Strategists and Project Managers.

Read more of Sabrina's articles