5 ways to win at SEO

5 ways to win at SEO

By Dennis Tapfuma

Everyone wants to win at SEO. Being on the first page of Google search is the holy grail of the internet and getting it right is key to reaching customers. SEO can be intimidating as it is a moving beast. What worked five years ago won’t necessarily be the same as what works today. Google, like its cousin Facebook is always changing and it can be quite hard to keep up with it all. Google’s algorithm changes regularly, and SEO tactics that may work now could become obsolete in the near future. Discover 5 ways you can win at SEO.

1. Create new content regularly

Content marketing has never been so important as it is today. After your brand new shiny website goes live, the work doesn’t just end there. If its one thing that Google favours most, it’s quality content. You have to produce high quality content on a regular basis.

Creating unique, authentic content that is entertaining, useful and interesting for consumers will not only get you more visitors to your website, Google’s algorithm will love you for it and rank you accordingly. Be disciplined with publishing your blog regularly with posts, video, audio images or user generated content. You can also curate content via RSS feeds.

2. Your website must be mobile friendly

Another way to ensure Google remains your best friend is ensure that your website is mobile friendly. Google have emphasised that they are now only prioritising sites that are mobile friendly.

Google has a free tool to show you if your site is mobile friendly. You can find the tool here. If your site isn’t mobile friendly you should address this immediately.

3. Give Google a sitemap

If you use WordPress or any other content management service (CMS) software, there will be an option to produce a sitemap (usually sitemap.xml) just for Google. Do this, and submit it to Google from within Google Webmaster Tools. It’s very, very easy, and doing so is like inviting Google into your home (your website) and giving them the floor plans, blueprints, and furniture arrangements. That’s what Google likes.

4. Avoid keyword stuffing

If your SEO expert is loading your website with keywords in the meta tags or in the content, then you have a problem. Google does not like keyword stuffing and it is something the algorithm can spot easily and obliterate your rankings.

Google gives these examples of keyword stuffing:

  • Lists of phone numbers without substantial added value
  • Blocks of text listing cities and states a webpage is trying to rank for
  • Repeating the same words or phrases so often that it sounds unnatural, for example: We sell custom cigar humidors.
  • Our custom cigar humidors are handmade. If you’re thinking of buying a custom cigar humidor, please contact our custom cigar humidor specialists at custom.cigar.humidors@example.com.

It best to just think of one or two keywords and phrases and use them naturally. Create rich content that will be useful to your customer and avoid repetition.

5. Don’t expect quick results

A common question I get asked, ‘you’ve done all this great strategy work for me, now I want to see results.’ SEO is a long term digital strategy facet and it takes time to produce significant results, especially if your business operates in a competitive sector.

If you do all the right things consistently, your website’s rank will eventually increase within the Google algorithm. There are plenty of other things you can do, I’ve just listed 5 of my favourites.