Optimise Old Content for SEO

The key to SEO is understanding what Google wants. And the key to understanding what Google wants is knowing the search intention of users. As with all aspects of your website, when it comes to your content, you should review it regularly as part of your SEO audit – at least once a quarter is recommended. In this article, you’ll learn about on-site SEO. This is a crucial aspect of your SEO strategy as it is the part over which you have full control. And one of the first things to check is your existing content.

So, let’s start unpacking how to make the most of your on-site SEO.

Understand what Google wants 

Google is powered by sophisticated algorithms designed to deliver the most relevant and valuable pages in response to search terms. One of the challenges of optimising your web pages is that Google doesn’t provide much information about how it determines rankings. And as those algorithms are updated or amended thousands of times a year, any such information would be pretty useless anyway.

Fortunately, SEO specialists have been able to identify some of the major factors that influence how your pages rank.

As Google algorithms become ever more complex, they try to replicate users when crawling with a focus on what is known as EAT (Expertise, Authority and Trustworthiness).

Let’s take a look at each of these in order as they should form the fundamental basis for your on-site SEO.

Expertise

Experts know what they’re talking about. So, one of the ways in which Google tries to identify how much of an expert you are is by determining who wrote your article and what they know on the subject.

Author profiles are becoming increasingly valuable as they allow web crawlers to identify who wrote an article and then take a look at their entire online presence to assess their level of expertise. 

Adding an author profile to your existing content can give it authority and make it rank higher. And remember, you don’t have to attribute it to the actual author. Sure, if you have an expert blogger writing for you who specialises in your niche, it makes sense to include their profile.

But it may be that your CEO has a large following on LinkedIn and posts industry-specific content regularly. This will position them as an expert in the eyes of Google and help your blog page rank higher. 

You will also get the benefit that when people share the post or repost other LinkedIn content written by your CEO, this feeds into building and enhancing their status and further improving your SEO.

Authority

When other experts are citing your content, you move from mere expert into the realms of authority. The same goes for non-experts sharing your work. Each time somebody quotes your content or adds a link to it from their own site, your authority is recognised. 

So, authority comes, not just from being an expert in your subject matter, but from being able to convey it to your audience. 

There are very few quick wins when building authority – particularly when talking about old content. But one thing you can do is check it for accuracy. Are the stats you used still relevant? Have any experts that you cited lost credibility or fallen foul of cancel culture? Is the content still relevant or have things moved on?

If it is no longer useful content, delete it. If it needs a few tweaks to make it relevant, edit it. If it requires an additional paragraph or two to reflect changes, prioritise writing and adding them.

Trustworthiness

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about what you look for when determining trustworthiness. 

Things to look out for include:

  • A physical address linked to your website
  • A clear way of contacting your business
  • Ensuring your domain is secure (security is very important to Google)
  • A privacy policy that is clearly displayed (often in the footer)
  • A clear refunds and returns policy if applicable
  • Evidence of adherence to any regulatory schemes
  • Awards or recognitions from recognised independent verification schemes

By amending your existing content to fit these suggestions you can start to build a reputation for expertise, authority and trustworthiness.

One thing to keep in mind is that the days of adapting or adding content to your site and hitting page one of Google overnight are long behind us. Google values quality as it has its own reputation as the number one search engine to uphold and these days consistency and patience are key.

A strong title and meta description are key

A page title is the line of text (usually in blue) that you see when search engine results are returned. The meta description is what comes below the page title and gives a little more information on what the page is all about.

Google doesn’t index websites, it indexes web pages. Each page needs a unique title and description – and both need to be relevant to the content. This is something Google will search fort when crawling your site, but it is also part of providing value to users. 

When a user clicks on pages that are not relevant to their search term, they go back to their results and try a different site. The obvious assumption for the algorithms to make is that your page was of no value and this will harm your SEO. It will also be detrimental in your quest to build a reputation for expertise, authority and trustworthiness.

Make them engaging

Page titles and meta descriptions must be engaging. This is what will show up in search results and will often be the first impression of your site and your business for potential new clients.

Both are key to your click through rate (CTR). Think of them as a headline and tagline. Whether you compare them with traditional newspaper adverts or modern click bait, the principle is the same. The headline must grab your readers’ attention and the meta description must tell them that your page is the solution they are searching for.

If you haven’t written your own page title and description, Google will write one for you based on its reading of the page content. This might sound like a great idea but, in truth, it will almost certainly be uninspiring. And it may not even be relevant to what you think your page is all about.

How to write an effective page title and meta description

When it comes to writing your title and meta description there are a few SEO techniques to consider. But before we come on to those, it’s important that you spend time thinking about who this particular page of your website is targeted at and what problem it solves.

Firstly, as we’re dealing here with existing pages on your site, check out the current page title and description. 

  • Is it clear what the page is all about?
  • Is it inspiring?
  • Does it tap into an emotion?
  • Does it include keywords?
  • Is there a clear call to action (CTA)?
  • Is the text truncated or cut off?
  • Would you click this link?

When you come to updating your meta descriptions, think about your USP. What makes your page better than those of your competitors? What are the pain points for people using search terms that will land them on your page?

Meaningful descriptions that target an emotional response make strong titles and meta descriptions.

How long should a page title and meta description be?

But writing your title and description are just the start. The next thing is to make them the right length. As a rule, your title should be a maximum of 70 characters for a desktop device and 60 characters for a mobile device. This is just a guide as the size is based on pixels rather than number of characters. The easiest way to find out if your title fits the limit is to carry out your own search on both types of device.

Your meta description should be a minimum of 70 characters regardless of device. The maximum for a PC or laptop is 155 characters and for a mobile device it is 130. If it is too long, you must shorten it. Neither Google nor users are fans of incomplete descriptions so it will adversely affect your click through rate if you don’t.

SEO for page titles and meta descriptions

The trick is to edit your page title and meta description and condense them to fit the character limit. Every character must earn its place. Be sure to apply the other SEO principles too:

  • Go for a maximum of two sentences in your description
  • Target a pain point
  • Try to stir an emotion in the reader
  • Use the keyword towards the beginning of the description
  • Make the title and description relevant to the content

Examples of words to use that will grab the eye are:

  • Learn
  • Discover
  • Solve
  • Proven
  • Exclusive
  • Save

Keyword research

Keyword research begins with your own knowledge of your target market. In its most basic form it is writing down the types of words and phrases your users might enter into a search engine.

Now, enter those keywords into a keyword search tool like Google Keyword Planner. The planner will tell you how many searches are made per month for those search terms. It will also suggest similar search terms and show you how often they are searched for. 

Sometimes, ranking higher in search engine results is as simple as tweaking your keywords.

One of the problems this research might throw up is that you are using popular keywords but not gaining any traction. Often that is simply down to the fact that the biggest names have cornered the market for the most popular search terms. 

Search for pretty much any item and it’s available on Amazon. And surprise, surprise, you’re going to struggle to compete with them.

Use long tail keywords

Long tail keywords are phrases rather than just words. They are more specific and have a much lower search rate – but that can be to your advantage. 

For example, as a local plumber, you’re unlikely to rank very highly for search terms such as ‘plumber’ or ‘plumbing services’. But do you want to? These are broad search terms that could be anything from vague interest to someone doing a school project.

A long tail keyword like ‘24/7 plumber in London’ will have far fewer searches but anyone entering that search term into Google is more likely to be a prospective client. And this is a search term you would have a much better chance of ranking highly for.

Keyword research takes time

This is the crux of the matter. Time is the one thing many business leaders don’t have but it is integral to getting your keyword strategy spot on. 

The problem is that what you think you should be ranking highly for and what your target users are actually searching for are not always the same thing. To refer back to what we said at the beginning of the article, is understanding the search intentions of your users. You can only find out the best search terms by regularly reviewing your own stats and the websites of your top performing competitors.

The key is to identify the search terms that are most relevant to your product or service and then organically spread them throughout your content in the most strategic places:

  • Meta description
  • H1 heading
  • Some H2 and H3 headings
  • The top of the page
  • The bottom of the page

It’s what is known as ‘inbound marketing’ – that is identifying the queries that are coming in and responding to them rather than putting out content that appeals to you and hoping your target audience finds it.

Conclusion

On-site SEO is something you are in control of and strangely, this can lead to it being viewed as the simpler side of SEO. Business leaders who invest in off-site SEO have been known to try cutting costs by investing neither time nor money in on-site SEO. But the two are not mutually exclusive. Off-site SEO will fail if it is not complemented by those aspects which are in your control.

And both are an ongoing concern. Google is constantly looking to enhance its service and your SEO strategy must keep up with it.

About the company

Lucdigi offers complete digital marketing and SEO services to companies all around the world. We take time to understand your goals and research your market before getting to work on an SEO strategy bespoke crafted to your needs. 

We combine off-site and on-site SEO that work in synergy. And we provide the consistency of content and social media presence that helps you achieve what Google is looking for on every page of your site – expertise, authority and trustworthiness.

What Are the B2B Marketing Trends for 2022?

Most B2B organizations dedicate only 5% of their overall company budget to marketing. As more marketing trends emerge in 2022, your business will need to know what they are.

You also need to understand these trends before making them a part of your current marketing strategy.

Below we’ve created a marketing guide to fill you in on what’s to come this year and how it will change the marketing landscape for the better.

What Might Happen in 2022?

Several things might happen in 2022 that you’re going to want to know about. The first is more use of CRM platforms.

The customer experience is becoming more important. This is because consumers are focused on how your business treats them leading up to them making a purchase.

40% of the data your company collects this marketing quarter will directly correlate to the customer experience.

Another trend that will emerge is creating customer-centered marketing plans. These marketing plans will dive deeper into collecting customer information to customize their experience.

We’ll detail more on that topic later on.

The trend of personalization isn’t just for your customers; it’s also for your brand. You need to have a unique voice that helps you maintain your competitive advantage over others in your industry.

How Is the Digital Marketing Landscape Changing?

As we’ve stated before, with the emergence of several trends, the way we view marketing is changing forever. It’s essential to stay on top of these changes; otherwise, you’ll be overtaken by companies that are implementing them. 

If you’re unsure how to use the digital marketing space to your advantage, we recommend outsourcing this part of your business. Don’t forget to review the pricing in-depth and gain a deeper understanding of the features offered to you.

Personalization and Customization

There’s something about receiving an email with your name on it that makes you feel seen by the company you’re purchasing from. Personalization is a trend that has gained popularity recently because it’s a part of the customer experience, which we mentioned earlier is vital to people.

You can use several emerging customization tools to help you achieve optimal personalization.

Artificial Intelligence and Automation

Artificial intelligence is on the rise because of its benefits to businesses. For example, when your business is closed, who will be there to answer the questions potential customers have?

When using AI, you can employ a chatbot available around the clock for customers to use. The chatbot will offer answers to people’s immediate questions instead of forcing them to wait for your business to open the next day.

The future of digital marketing trends is expanding, and we’re here to keep you updated. Whether you’re looking for ways to personalize your content or want to use artificial intelligence, you’re on the right track.

Does the idea of digital marketing stop you in your tracks? Stop what you’re doing and contact us; while you’re waiting to move forward, check out some of the things our former clients have said about the work we do.

6 SEO Questions You Were Too Scared to Ask – SEO 101

SEO is a topic that has slowly become more commonly understood and spoken about, even outside of the marketing world, as more people start to realise the value in getting to grips with SEO. However, as this awareness of the subject grows, some people start to worry that they can’t ask questions about SEO, for fear of sounding like they don’t have a clue what they are doing.

The truth is, SEO involves so many different elements and it is evolving all of the time, so there are very few experts that know every single aspect of SEO and are fully up to date with the latest trends and best practices. Whether you are completely new to SEO, or you have a basic understanding, if SEO is not your area of expertise, don’t worry, here are some of the most common questions that people don’t like to ask about SEO:

  • What is SEO?

Even if you think you have a basic understanding of what SEO is, it might help to look at this in more detail. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is essentially a set of techniques that will help your website to be more visible in search results. In other words, if you apply good SEO techniques to your website and content, when somebody uses Google, Bing or any other search engine to search for services you provide, you have a better chance of them finding your website.

  • What is the difference between paid results and organic?

There are two main ways to get more traffic to your website, one is through paid search results, which is where you pay Google or another advertiser to appear at the top of the results. The other way is organic search results, where an algorithm analyses websites to determine where they should stand in the search results. This involves how effective the SEO techniques are on the website, i.e. how well they perform against the priorities set by the algorithm.

  • What are meta descriptions? How important are they?

The meta description is the section of text that is displayed below your page when it is shown in search results. This content is important as it helps to make it more compelling for a user to click through to your website, so it is worth spending a bit of time getting this section of text perfected to drive more conversions.

  • Do I need to optimize my domain name to include keywords?

Whilst there are some benefits of having a domain name that includes a keyword, this is not the most important consideration. Having a domain name that is long and difficult to remember will really harm your SEO, so don’t try and force a keyword in just for the sake of it if the short and snappy domains with that keyword have all been taken.

  • What is the difference between an inbound and an internal link?

This is an area that people confuse quite a lot and you can see why! To clarify, an inbound link is one where another website links to your content. Internal links, on the other hand, are ones within your website that go from one page to another.

  • Is there a difference between indexing and crawling?

Crawling is the process where search engines ‘crawl’ through your content to review it before determining how or whether it will be indexed. Indexing is basically how the content is organised, a database of the content. Some content will be crawled but then won’t get indexed.

Hopefully, that will have answered some of those questions that you were too embarrassed to ask.

How to Use Google Search Console for B2B Marketing

Google Search Console, which was previously known as Google Webmaster Tools, helps businesses to optimise their website for search engines. If you are not familiar with it, you should find out a bit more about what it could do for your business website. Here are some of the best features:

Remove any errors

Errors such as broken links on your website can have a big impact on your search engine performance and for bigger websites, doing a manual audit can take up considerable amounts of time. However, with Google Search Console, you can pull up a list of 404 errors (where links have been broken). For example, you might have linked to some content that has since been removed. All you need to do is go to: Crawl > Crawl errors and you will get a generated list of any 404 errors that are on your website and affecting your SEO performance. WordPress users can use a plugin such as SEO Redirection plugin to create redirects for broken links.

Get to understand your keywords better

Google Search Console can also help you to get more information about the keywords that you should be using on your website to perform better in terms of SEO. There is a set of metrics under Search Traffic > Search Analytics report that will help you to find out key information about which search terms people are using that are leading to click throughs or impressions on your website.

From the reports, you can also learn which types of queries your website is ranking for and how each of your website’s pages are performing in Search. You can also see how the three different types of content are working, as the data is split between web, images and video. So, you can see if you are performing particularly lower with one of these to put a remedial action into place.

Index your website

This is the most important part of all because if your website isn’t in Google’s index, it won’t be able to find your pages in searches. The two ways you can make sure that your website is indexed are to create a sitemap and to use links. There are tools that will generate sitemaps for you, such as the XML Sitemap Generator tool or similar.

Check and optimise your link profile

Another useful feature of Google Search Console is that you can use it to find the links that point to your website and you can ‘Disavow’ them. This means that you can remove links from any low authority or spammy websites, to prevent them from harming your search performance. You can check for this under Search Traffic > Links where you can then download the list of sites that are linked to your website under Download Latest Links. Then you can check each link to see whether to remove it or not.

These are just a few of the really powerful features within Google Search Console that you can utilise in order to ensure that your website is performing well to achieve high search engine results and keep your website looking professional.