There are approximately 5-6 billion Google searches that happen on a daily basis. On a yearly basis, Google accounts for 79% of global search traffic, Bing – 7.27%, Baidu – 6.55%, and Yahoo – 5.06%. With such competition on Google, you need to use the best SEO techniques to rank higher.
Clearly, then, that’s a lot of search traffic, especially on Google. Given the sheer amount of search traffic Google handles, it’s advisable that you concentrate your efforts on optimizing your business to be more discoverable on Google. That’s not to say that most SEO tactics aren’t effective on other search engines.
The question is how do you ensure your business is discoverable on search engines? According to Andrey Lipattsev, a senior executive at Google, the key to ranking high lies in using link-building and high-quality content. Most effective SEO techniques are based on these two key pillars.
The trouble is, with search engine algorithms changing and becoming more efficient with each day, how do you stay ahead of the curve?
Let’s take a look at some of the most effective modern day SEO techniques that can help you grow your audience substantially.
1. Conduct an SEO Audit
Rather than worrying about why your site isn’t generating enough traffic, why not conduct an SEO audit? This is easily one of the best SEO techniques you should use when trying to optimize your site. After all, you can’t fix something without realizing and understanding what’s broken.
There are multiple aspects you should be looking at when conducting an SEO audit. Some of the questions that need answering are:
- Are all your pages optimized for relevant keywords?
- Is your URL structure optimized to be crawled by the search engines?
- Does your content have good links?
- Are you using well-defined SEO title tags and meta descriptions?
- Do the images have proper alt tags?
You can use tools like SEMrush to make this process a lot easier for yourself. Such SEO techniques are critical to understanding where your SEO stands.
Image via SEMrush
2. Understand Consumers’ Needs
While this isn’t one of the traditional SEO techniques, it’s most certainly an important aspect. You cannot expect to grow your audience without first understanding the needs of your target customers.
You need to realize the value you bring to your existing customers and what other potential customers are looking for. You need to be able to fill that void with your offerings.
The best way to do that is to source feedback from target customers. With this SEO technique, you can leverage social media, Google Analytics, and the comment section on your posts.
3. Get Mobile-Friendly
According to data from January 2018, there are about 3.7 billion mobile users globally. As of February 2017, 49.7% of the total web pages viewed online were on mobile devices. By sheer numbers alone, this is a market of consumers your business simply cannot afford to ignore.
The key to tapping into their potential is using one of the most essential SEO techniques – mobile optimization.
If your web pages aren’t optimized to be viewed on mobile devices, your audience will have a frustrating time navigating your site. After a certain point, they won’t shy away from taking their business elsewhere.
The solution, then, is to take a mobile-first approach. Instead of developing pages for the desktop and optimizing them for mobile, do the reverse.
An alternative would be to develop dedicated mobile applications for your business. Other SEO techniques for mobile optimization include creating light and responsive websites.
4. Use SEO Optimized Landing Pages
The perks of having a well-designed landing page are rather well-known. SEO techniques like this one need to be implemented well to generate more leads and conversions. In fact, the more content you create, the more traffic you will bring in.
Unfortunately, very few businesses are aware of such SEO techniques and, therefore, they don’t apply them. Most people are concerned only about their homepages and not any special landing pages. But by optimizing them for SEO, you stand to improve your conversion rates manifold.
5. Leverage Infographics
People tend to be visual learners. That’s why SEO techniques like infographics have been on the rise recently.
They allow you to portray otherwise complex information in a simpler and more digestible format. While it’s true that content is the key to building an audience, it’s the visual appeal that draws in the audience.
This is why you should consider creating infographics to post on your blog and share on other sites. The best way to go about this is to create explainer content like “5 ways to do X” or “The best SEO techniques for X.”
The best part about creating infographics is that they don’t take as much time to create. You could even take statistics from some of your blog posts and turn them into infographics.
6. Create Roundup Posts
Doing expert roundup posts one of the most effective SEO techniques you can use to grow your audience. They help establish your thought leadership in the industry and showcase how well-connected you are.
I use this SEO technique frequently. I share roundups in which I ask multiple industry influencers the same question. I compile all their answers into one post and share it on my blog. This way, I’m giving my readers a good 360-degree view of relevant industry issues from the eyes of various experts.
Image via ShaneBarker
In exchange for their participation, I give them a backlink so that my readers can go on to check out their blogs.
Likewise, I invite them to share the roundup with their audiences. Interested parties might click-through and start following my blog if they’re so inclined.
SEO techniques such as this one help me increase followers and also improve my chances of getting backlinks from others.
7. Optimize for RankBrain
Essentially, the more pleased users are with your content, the higher you’re likely to rank in the search results. So, if you want to grow your audience, you should focus on optimizing your web pages for RankBrain. While it’s one of the newest SEO techniques, it is still very effective.
The trick here is ensuring that you have a high organic click-through rate. If your click-throughs start dropping, RankBrain will drop your site to the bottom of the page like a hot potato.
Image via Backlink.io
8. Improve Your Site Speed
SEO techniques also include improving your website loading speed. Considering the page load speeds for mobile alone, web pages take around 15 seconds to load completely. Unfortunately, that’s bad news for your business. 53% of consumers tend to leave a mobile web page if it takes any longer than 3 seconds to load.
There are multiple ways you can improve your page load speed such as browser caching and image optimization.
To work on this SEO technique, you can use tools like Google’s PageSpeed Insights. They will help you to analyze and improve your web pages to improve site performance. SEO techniques such as this one not only help improve your SEO but even your conversion rates.
Image via PageSpeed Insights
9. Focus your Effort on YouTube SEO
YouTube videos often rank among the top search results on Google far more than any other video websites. It is the second most popular website in the world. Also, it’s owned by Google. So, there is no doubt that YouTube videos will play an important role in Google's search results pages.
That makes optimizing well for YouTube one of the most important SEO techniques for businesses.
From the smallest things like video title, description, thumbnails, and length, all impact your YouTube SEO. These all contribute to making your content more discoverable on Google. This, in turn, will help you increase site traffic for your business.
Many content creators and marketers simply upload a video and mindlessly add a few lines in the description box. That’s a missed opportunity. Your SEO techniques should focus on making sure your videos are optimized for SEO.
It is recommended that you should write video descriptions that are more than 200 words long. This way, you can help crawlers get some context for your video. They can’t really understand video content. So, your description is what helps them figure out what your video is about.
If you want to improve your chances of getting ranked, you need to write detailed video descriptions.
You could also add video transcripts in the description box. It’s a simple SEO technique that doesn’t require much effort. Also, it can help your viewers have a better viewing experience.
10. Use Local Listings and Local SEO
Take a look at these statistics:
- 46% of all Google searches are related to people looking for local information.
- 69% of users look for local businesses at least once a month online.
- 97% of customers use the internet to look up local businesses, particularly in their vicinity.
This is why local SEO is one of the most important SEO techniques for local businesses.
Think about it. If you move to a new city or neighborhood, you want to find out what's around you. You may look for grocery stores, hospitals, theaters, and restaurants around you. Most of us would run a quick search on Google to find this information.
If you run a business, you need to make sure you are visible in those search results. Not only will it boost your brand awareness, but also help you get more conversions.
You should update your listing, address, contact information, and working hours on Google My Business. Another aspect of local SEO is ensuring that your business is associated with the right long-tail keywords.
For instance, a dental clinic should want to be a top listing for key-phrases like “best dentist in Folsom” or “top dental clinic in Folsom.”
Image via Google
Users are also looking for local businesses on other sites like FourSquare and Yelp. You should have an active profile on these sites as well. Getting local citations is a crucial SEO technique.
For those who are new to the concept, local citations refers to the number of mentions that your brand gets online.
Every time your business is mentioned on Twitter, Quora, Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform, it counts as a local citation. Reviews, images, videos, tags, and other information related to your business all count as local citations.
To get more local citations, encourage your customers to write reviews and showcase your products on social media.
11. Leverage Guest Posting
Guest posting is one of the best SEO techniques you can leverage to get reliable backlinks. By posting on other sites, you employ a “push” method by bringing your content to new and vast potential audiences. Should they like your content they’re likely to start following you.
SEO techniques like this can be further improved by having other bloggers guest post on your site. Either way, you get to expose your business and content to new audiences.
When you have others guest post on your site, you employ a “pull” tactic. Those bloggers will surely advertise their content on your site to their audiences who will pay you a visit.
If you’re lucky they might stick around long enough to check out your content and you can convert them into regulars.
12. Have Accessible, Crawlable URLs
A good way to grow your audience, of course, is to ensure you’re in that “Golden Triangle” of search results. One of the quickest and easiest SEO techniques that you can use to achieve that is to have accessible and crawlable URLs. Tools like Screaming Frog come handy here.
Image via Screaming Frog
This is important because you want Google’s spiders to come to your page and understand the content that’s on it. These crawlers look at whether your text is in a readable format, understand your visual content (via alt text), and any embedded code there might be.
Using such SEO techniques helps them index your pages better. The importance of having an optimized URL cannot be understated. Without it, all of your other efforts are completely irrelevant. If web crawlers don’t understand what’s on your page, they’re unlikely to rank you higher in the search results.
13. Optimize Your Keyword Research
This might seem like one of those generic and outdated SEO techniques, but it’s still very relevant today. What has changed, perhaps evolved, is the focus on long-tail keywords as opposed to generic, simple keywords.
What you need to realize is consumers don’t simply input keywords like “dentist” or “consultant” in their search queries. Instead, they’re using more elaborate queries like “SEO techniques that can get more traffic.” If you’re serious about growing your audience, you need to start incorporating such long-tail keywords in your site and content.
14. Use Compelling Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
This is one of the most important SEO techniques for helping your website rank higher in SERPs. It helps in making your content and site more accessible and readable by search engines and web crawlers. Using the right title tags for your heading is one part of that. They provide a good, coherent structure to your site content, making it more discoverable by search engines.
Similarly, apt and relevant meta descriptions help provide crawlers with some context on what your page is for. A proper meta description and relevant tags will help you rank higher on search engines too. These SEO techniques don’t require much effort, but they can go a long way to boost your rankings.
15. Have a Strong Link-Game
Links are one of the top ranking factors that the search engines consider when deciding on search rankings. This is why internal and external linking is one of the most important SEO techniques for you. For that matter, you cannot ignore any broken links out there either.
You want to try and link to websites that have a high Domain Authority. At the same time, sourcing links from such sites will also benefit your SEO.
Additionally, you should consider linking your lower-ranked content within your higher-ranked ones. Link-building will give your content that extra nudge it needs to reel in more readers.
One of the other SEO techniques that I can recommend is scouring the web for any broken links to your competitors. If the context is relevant to your business, then you should reach out to these site owners and ask them to replace any dead links with your resources.
16. Use a Hub and Spoke Model
If you’re relying on standalone blog posts to improve your search rankings, you might not do as well as you’d hoped. Your SEO techniques need to be more advanced.
While individual content pieces may, on occasion, perform well in search results, there’s a long game to be played here. You can get more mileage out of your content if you adopt a hub and spoke content strategy.
This is one of the SEO techniques that stay under the radar of many businesses. With a hub and spoke model, you use one big piece of content as a landing page for people to arrive from search engines.
You link this page to multiple other relevant pages on your blog or website. Your hub should be a meaty and shareable piece of content.
On the other hand, your spokes act like the many resources people can utilize to get more insightful and informative content. This SEO technique will help your main page soar in search rankings along with your spokes.
17. Optimize Your Content For Voice Searches
People are increasingly using voice-based searches on their phones. Voice assistants like Amazon Echo and Google Home are making it easier than ever for people to multi-task. While working on your SEO techniques, you need to be aware of this shifting trend.
You can simultaneously work on your assignment and order lunch. You could play a game and order groceries at the same time. Voice searches are here to stay. If you want to have skin in the game, you need to optimize your content for voice searches.
What’s interesting is that this SEO technique can direct impact your revenue as well. According to a Gartner report, early adopters who redesign their websites for voice and visual searches will boost their revenue by 30%.
To optimize for voice search, you need to first look at how people phrase their queries. Instead of using keywords, most voice-based queries are worded differently. 70% of requests on Google Assistant are conversational in nature.
Another key difference is that they are typically longer. For instance, with voice-based search, users aren’t likely to look for “best sushi New York.” Instead, they are likely to ask a question like, “Which place has the best sushi in New York?”
Many of these voice-based queries begin with words like “Where,” “How,” “Which,” “Why,” and “When.” When you’re creating content, keep this in mind.
You should include headings or subheadings for such questions. Your focus should be on ensuring that you answer users’ questions in your content.
It’s an SEO technique that will improve your user experience and improve the chances of your content getting ranked.
The “Golden Triangle” of search results is prime real-estate. If you want your business to succeed and grow your audience, you have to do everything in your power to land yourself a spot in that region. But only with the most effective and up-to-date SEO techniques can you achieve that. Hopefully, this list of tips will go a long way to help you achieve those goals.
Do you know of any other modern day SEO techniques that can help you grow your audience? If so, feel free to drop a comment below and tell us how they worked out for you.