With Google's Helpful Content update, the emphasis on high-quality content is greater than ever. Having original, unique, and authoritative content reduces your bounce rate, which signals to search engines that your website is worth sending traffic to.
This is because people spend more time on a page when the content is interesting and engaging, which tells Google that people like to visit it. It's no longer just about writing for a target keyword; instead, your blog post or other forms of content should demonstrate your authority and experience in the subject.
We have some bad news for you. If you write a 3000-word article, there's a good chance that no one is going to read it from top to bottom. People are busy and they tend to scan pages rather than read them in full.
That's why it's important to structure your content in such a way that it enables the user to understand within seconds what the article is about. This means using loads of headings and sub-headings, and bullet points where appropriate. People also tend to scan in an F-shape, so putting your most important content at the top of your page is vital if you want to engage readers. This is a surprising SEO Tool that can boost your content's performance if you use it right.
Taking a guess at what you think your potential customers are searching for will inevitably mean that you're missing out on keywords you haven't thought of. You can use keyword research tools like Google's Keyword Planner tool (along with others like HubSpot and SEMrush) to find keywords that you may not have thought of to target your audience with.
You also need to consider factors like competitive keywords and their search volumes, along with long-tail keywords if you hope to outrank your competition in South Africa. If you're still unsure how to conduct proper keyword research, we can help you with this. Although search engine optimization doesn't necessarily centre on search terms alone, they can still play an important role in helping users find your content.
If you want to beat your competition, you need to know what they're doing at all times. First, you need to identify who your competitors are—because it's not just every business in your industry. You're not competing against everyone, only those who are near you in search engine rankings.
You can conduct a competitor analysis using a myriad of online programs designed to see where a website is getting it right and where it isn't. You'll want to identify their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats—much like you'd do for your own business. You can also track their keyword strategy, their most popular search queries, backlinks, and social media mentions. Tools like SEMrush, Keyword Planner, Ahrefs, and Moz can help you to figure out your competitors' SEO strategies.
Similarly, but slightly less technical, it's important to get your meta data right. This means having descriptive meta titles and enticing meta descriptions that will make users want to click on your link in organic searches.
If this sounds like we're talking a foreign language, that's Okay. We can help you sort out the technical stuff, so you don't need to worry about it.
Search intent is an important concept in organic traffic and search engine rankings. You need to tailor your content to match the reason behind a user's search query.
This means looking beyond your regular keywords, such as by including locations in your keyword (e.g., SEO services in Johannesburg) and thinking outside the box about what a user might be interested in finding out about your industry (e.g., how to outrank my competitors in SERPs). Having the information that answers the search intent on your website means you're going to rank well for more search queries than your competitors who aren't doing this.
Link juice is very important. Every time you link a page within your website, you're signalling to search engines that this is a page of importance, which boosts your rankings. Internal links are also a good way to help users navigate around your site easily, providing a better user experience for them.
At the same time, you don't want to link farm or behave "spammy" in how you link. Broken links are also a bad guy when it comes to organic rankings. Our experts can help you with quality links to boost your search traffic.
Having authoritative websites link to your content is an important ranking factor in search engine results. There are a few ways for business owners to ensure that they get decent backlinks to their sites, but the best is to do what we've already mentioned—create content that's worthy of others linking to it. Become the authority and expert in your field and the backlinks will come naturally.
Like us, here at P.tch! We are South Africa's content-led SEO agency, specialising in helping small and large businesses gain the search engine results they need to help their business thrive. Get in touch with us today to find out how we can help you outrank your competitors in South Africa.