Since Google is getting more intelligent at analysing and understanding web pages, it is essential to keep up with the ever-changing SEO techniques. If businesses know some basic SEO techniques, they are well aware of the drill - create valuable content, build quality links and prioritise semantic search.
However, there is another in-depth and complex layer of SEO that may help businesses create a more effective SEO strategy for the clients. Advanced SEO techniques consist of technical concepts that require a deeper understanding of Google's algorithm. Every search engine algorithm’s goal is the same: providing users with the best possible answers to their questions. Over time, search engines have evolved to adapt to the way people search. As per their standards, a human search can be categorised as follows -
● Informational: When a visitor wants to get more knowledge about a topic. It may be a question, such as "what are the best free SEO tools?"
● Navigational: When a visitor wants to navigate to a particular website, such as Medium.
● Transactional: When a visitor is interested in buying or ordering. Transactional queries may be straight/specific such as "buy flowers", or include local modifiers like "Ferns N Petals flower shop".
● Commercial: When a visitor is looking to buy something but also wants to know the options. These search queries generally include comparisons like “Galaxy phone vs Oneplus, which one is better?”
These four types of search intent can help businesses target relevant audiences and optimise their searches. This understanding could help the business rank higher, convert more and lead searchers to the right path of the website.
To master how the SEO system works, businesses need to understand what search engines are looking for and why; and how to use this information for the benefit of the business. Search engines like Google use mathematical algorithms to identify the difference between good and poor content. Once brands understand this algorithm’s ranking factors and use advanced SEO techniques, they can substantially improve business rankings. Here are some advanced SEO techniques that may help brands do the same.
1. Improving the indexation
Every search engine uses search engine bots to crawl the website pages and gain information about it. The bots then help search engines to understand what the website is about. They also pick up essential keywords from every page, crawl every backlink page to check on every SEO ranking factor, and rank the website accordingly.
If the website content is not indexed, people will not see the website on the search result page even if they use all the right keywords in their search query. This is why crawling and indexing is crucial and can directly affect the SERPs. Let us look into the factors that make it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index the content -
● It is best to avoid writing duplicate content. If a search engine discovers that the content is similar to another website's content, the page will be crawled less frequently.
● If a robot.txt file blocks any page of the website, it is not recommended to put it in the no-index directive. In doing so, the page might remain indexed.
● It is always advisable to include structured data on a page so that the search engine can understand the page’s content.
● Search engines can take time to crawl and index the content. To speed up the indexation process, it is best to provide search engines with a sitemap to explain the site structure so it becomes easier for them to navigate through it.
● We recommend using Google Search Console to know the pages that are indexed and those that are not. It may further help address the issues occurring with non-indexed pages.
● When brands publish more content, there is a higher chance of getting more clicks. According to research conducted by Hubspot, a site that publishes at least three to four times a week has more organic traffic than sites that don’t.
● It is also important to regularly revamp posts that have low traffic or contain outdated information or broken backlinks.
2. Optimising the website for speed and security
Page-loading time is considered a vital ranking factor to increase traffic on the website. It is possible that if the site takes more than 3 seconds to load, the user will abandon the website. The concentration span and persistence of internet users are decreased due to a constant influx of readily available information. Search engines like Google are always working towards giving users the best experience possible. So, they reward faster sites with higher rankings. Improving the website’s speed might keep visitors on the website for longer, resulting in a higher conversion rate. Here are some standard solutions to improve the website's speed:
● It is recommended to compress the file size of images and videos without sacrificing their quality.
● Using private servers from premium hosts for a faster web host experience.
● It is advisable to avoid embedding the files. It is better to host the files on the external network as this enables displaying the site’s visual content without reducing the speed.
● A study showed that a one-second delay in a site’s loading time in a mobile browser could reduce page views by 9.40% and raise the bounce rate by 8.30%. So, it is wise to use accelerated mobile pages to reduce the loading time of the site.
● If the website is not secure, users will not take the risk of exposing their private information by clicking on the website. But if the site has SSL encryption, the visitors will not hesitate to share their information. This is because the data that passes through SSL encryption should not be tracked or stolen by third parties.
3. Aiming for Featured Snippets
Featured Snippets are the small pieces of information that answer a user's query. When people search, the first thing they see on the search result page is the featured snippets. Featured Snippets are quick, convenient and easy to read paragraphs, lists or tables that give answers to people's questions before they have even clicked the link. Research conducted by HubSpot shows that a site that uses featured snippets gets a two times higher click-through rate. Here are a few things that a brand can do to rank for featured snippets:
● Use tools like SEMrush to find the snippets the competitors are earning and then use this information to optimise the content with the performing topics or keywords.
● Think like the audience and search queries on Google to find out trending topics and questions. The featured snippet may be in the form of a list, paragraph or table. Also, it is recommended to look into "People also ask" questions on that same search result page. This section could provide an idea of other trending featured snippets.
● Use the Answer the Public website to find frequently asked questions on the topic.
● Creating high-quality, unique images or videos using tools like Mayva and add them to the site. Exclusive and informative media are always pushed up as a snippet by search engines.
4. Voice search optimisation
Innovative voice command technologies have automated our daily, routine activities to some extent, like searching for information without even looking at the phone or computers, screenless online shopping etc. Currently, Android Google searches make up to 20% of the voice searches.
There is a difference between a voice query and a typed query. Both provide different SERP results. If brands optimise the voice search, they have a better chance of engaging with the customers, as 71% of respondents use voice assistance for their queries instead of typing it. Here are some ways to improve optimisation for voice search:
● Add an easy FAQ section for the audience on the website.
● Add a question somewhere in the posts with a short answer.
● Think about the user intent and try to answer it in the post.
● Use conversational keywords or phrases, also known as long-tail keywords, in the content because humans ask questions to voice assistants as if they are talking to a human.
● Use tools like Serpstat Search Questions to know what keywords are used by people in a search query.
The popularity of voice search will only grow with time. So, it is best to optimise the voice search results now to improve content visibility and rank higher in the long run.
5. Using exceptional content creation techniques
The amount of time people spend reading content on the website is an essential ranking factor for search engines like Google. One must create high-quality content that hooks the readers and provides solutions to the customers’ biggest challenges. Here are some suggestions to improve the quality of your content:
● Before publishing the content to the website, one must make sure that it is grammatically correct with correct spelling and appropriate use of punctuation.
● One must insert the primary keyword in the page title to indicate what the page is about.
● It is best to include keyword variations in the article to indicate content relevancy. The use of a single keyword throughout the article may not help the website rank.
● It is recommended to use primary keywords higher in the body of the article.
● One must learn what search engines are prioritising by studying the on-page SEO content of great competitors.
● One must also understand the target audience’s needs and develop content that will attract them to the website.
● Writing longer and more in-depth content is a good choice. Longer content offers more opportunities to insert relevant keywords, comprehensively discuss important concepts and provide more value to the reader.
6. Improving local SEO
For small businesses or service-orientated companies, local customers are of utmost importance. To make the brand visible to people who are geographically near, brands need to optimise local SEO. According to research, brands that don’t optimise local SEO miss out on 80% of consumers who utilise local searches to find businesses. Here are some effective ways to optimise local SEO:
● Google My Business is a free tool that collectively draws various information into some of the most relevant search spots to boost the local SERP rankings. Brands may list important information in this tool like name, address, contact number, email, operating hours, etc., so that Google can recommend the business for relevant searches. This tool can also be used to answer customer queries and post offers via their business profile.
● Another way to improve local SEO is to search the business directory for the niche and add the business listings on all the relevant directories. One must keep these directories updated and ensure that the information here matches the Google My Business profile.
● According to a study, 79% of the users trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations. These reviews help the audience understand the product quality and lead them to decisions. Therefore, local businesses should encourage their customers to leave genuine feedback online.
7. Mobile SEO
Thinkwithgoogle states that 77% of total searches are run on mobile phones. The search engines primarily consider the mobile-responsive version of the website to rank it first. Therefore if the mobile site is optimised, the business will rank better both on mobile and desktop. Here is a quick checklist for mobile-first indexing:
● Creating a responsive design that can accommodate design changes according to the size of the screen.
● Creating mobile-friendly content like infographics, video and audio content for a better human experience.
● Use Google’s search console to know if the content is mobile-ready and how it can be improved.
● Making sure the mobile site has a fast loading time, proper formatting and larger text.
8. Advanced linking strategies
Backlinks are of vital importance, but brands might not have absolute control over them because they are ultimately links from other websites.
Backlinks act as signals for search engines that the content is authentic and admired by other community members. They may convert more prospects into customers by bringing traffic to the website and help algorithms identify new pages. Some tested ways to build a strong network of backlinks are:
● Create unique and high-value content that is more likely to be used by other credible sources.
● Try to get featured by other businesses or websites to expand the reach. Guest blogging for a high traffic website is an excellent way to draw readers to a brand's website.
● No matter how good the content is, it will not get enough backlinks until it is promoted the right way. Brands must consider creating a content marketing strategy to promote their content.
The advanced SEO tips above might seem complicated at first, but these will significantly increase traffic and brand awareness when applied consistently. Search engines assess a website on how much value a brand provides its readers. They change their algorithms regularly, so it is crucial to follow the latest trends. Successful SEO is not about tricking search engines; instead, it is about using best practices and partnering with them to provide the best search results for users.