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Search engine optimization (SEO) has grown more complex, integrating factors like technical optimization, content relevance and user experience.

Navigating this challenge without a clear strategy can leave businesses overwhelmed. And yet, 47% of small business owners don’t invest in SEO because they think it’s too complex and doesn’t bring immediate results.

So, let’s demystify the process to help you discover SEO techniques that work. In this article, I break down five powerful SEO strategies to help you rank well and attract more traffic to your website.

Related: 9 SEO Tips to Help You Rank No. 1 on Google in 2024

SEO is changing, and so should your strategy

Although the recent Helpful Content Update was supposed to prioritize content that offers genuine value to users, it has penalized many small-business websites, causing a significant drop in their Google rankings.

This shift highlights a simple truth — the rules of the SEO game are changing, and the strategies that once catapulted websites to the top of search results may no longer be effective.

You need to embrace a new approach if you want to stay ahead of the competition and avoid common SEO mistakes that diminish your rankings. The following strategies can guide you through this transition, helping you align with the latest SEO best practices.

1. Comprehensive keyword research

Comprehensive keyword research sets a solid foundation for all your SEO efforts. Think of it as casting a wide net that lets you capture the attention of more web users.

Targeting the most obvious keywords in any niche is often not enough because these keywords are usually very competitive, meaning it’s difficult to rank for them.

Instead, start by identifying 200-300 keywords. This strategy allows you to explore beyond the surface, finding a mix of niche terms, long-tail keywords and specific phrases that may not be immediately obvious but are still relevant to your audience.

This might seem daunting at first, but you can use various SEO tools to identify low-difficulty keywords that competitors may overlook. These golden opportunities drive targeted traffic to your website without the intense competition.

In addition to the above, you should analyze your competitors’ keywords to identify gaps and consider your target audience’s language and search habits to reveal the best keyword opportunities.

2. Content velocity

Content is still king. However, today, it’s not just about having SEO content but having plenty of it.

Google prefers fresh content and often rewards websites that regularly publish articles. That’s why you need to up your content velocity and post as much as you can.

Think of it this way: Publishing ten high-quality articles gives you ten opportunities to rank number one on Google in the coming months. Publishing only one blog post, on the other hand, severely limits your future potential to rank well.

So, the key is to find the right balance — ramp up your production to boost your content velocity, but never at the expense of quality. After all, it’s great content that engages users, earns quality backlinks and establishes your website as an authority in your niche.

Related: 3 Ways to Make Your Content Rank Higher on Google

3. On-page optimization

Despite the evolution of SEO practices, on-page optimization remains critical to a successful strategy. Although keyword density hasn’t been an important factor for years, you still need to mention your target keyword throughout content for optimal SEO results.

For example, if you have an ecommerce website selling organic skincare products, a good ecommerce SEO practice would be to include your target keyword (such as “organic acne skincare”) in the title, URL slug, meta description, subheadings, intro section and naturally throughout the copy.

This systematic approach helps search engines understand the relevance and context of your content, making it more likely to rank for targeted keywords. Remember, the goal is to optimize your content for search engines and readers alike, ensuring your content is accessible, informative and engaging.

4. Active link building

Today, AI tools have simplified and accelerated the content creation process. As a result, the internet is filled with high-quality content. That’s why Google and other search engines often rely on other factors to decide rankings, such as the number and quality of your backlinks.

What does that mean for your SEO strategy? It means that you need to focus on active link building.

The best way to do that is to embrace strategies like:

  • Niche edits: Reach out to other websites to ask them to insert your backlink into a relevant article

  • Competitor backlink outreach: Secure backlinks from the same sources as your competitors

  • Guest posting: Write quality blog posts for reputable websites in your industry

5. Great website experience

An excellent user experience is crucial for retaining visitors to your website. Even if your SEO efforts successfully drive traffic to your website, a poor user experience can lead to high bounce rates, as visitors may quickly leave your site in frustration.

The first step towards a good user experience is to ensure your website loads quickly. Tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights can offer actionable advice on speeding up your site.

The most common advice for improving your website speed is to compress the images, which helps speed things up while retaining your website’s visual appeal.

You also need to ensure your website is mobile-friendly, considering the majority of web traffic comes from smartphones. Make the navigation easy, and you’ll be rewarded — an intuitive structure helps visitors find what they’re looking for with minimal effort. This encourages them to stay longer and engage more deeply with your content.

Related: 5 Simple SEO Strategies to Improve Your Rankings

SEO myths and outdated strategies prevent your website from ranking well on search engines. It’s time to say goodbye to the old and focus on tactics that matter:

  • Doing in-depth keyword research

  • Publishing more content

  • Doing on-page optimization

  • Building quality backlinks

  • Providing a great website experience

These five SEO tips can help increase your online presence and drive more traffic to your website.

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