Regardless of the size of a business, in order to stay ahead of your competitors, it’s important to focus on SEO. Knowledge of SEO growth hacking is necessary to survive the cut-throat competition in the digital world.
Search engines are the go-to place for people to ask questions and clear their doubts. So, SEO growth hacking has the potential to make your business immensely profitable and successful. If you own a small business, you need to focus on SEO growth hacking to grow your business and gain the trust of your target audience.
When done correctly, SEO growth hacking strategies can help you improve your rankings and increase your conversion rates. While traditional outbound tactics like direct mailing are able to generate conversion rates of 1.7%, SEO can generate conversion rates of 14.6%.
SEO Growth Hacking
So, you need to focus on effective SEO growth hacks which can help you gain top ranks in search engine results. Here are four proven SEO growth hacking techniques you can use:
1. Design a Mobile-Responsive Website
Lately, there has been a significant increase in the number of searches that originate from mobile devices. The reason for this is an increase in the number of mobile devices and greater availability of internet worldwide. In 2019, it is expected that the number of smartphone users will reach 4.68 billion.
Also, due to the greater use of mobile devices, traffic generated from smartphones and tablets is also increasing. In 2018, 52.2% of all web traffic was generated from mobile devices.
So, it’s crucial to develop a website that has a mobile-responsive design and can adapt to any screen size. This is a key SEO growth hacking technique. If you own a small business, follow these tips to make your website mobile-responsive:
- Make sure to create cohesive, legible, and relevant content.
- Ensure that you optimize your visuals so that they take less time to load.
- Always make sure to create vertical page designs instead of static or horizontal pages.
- Use touch-friendly buttons and navigation tools.
- Always add social sharing buttons to your content. These will make it easy for your readers to share your content with their social networks.
You can use Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test to check if your website is responsive to devices like mobile phones and tablets. The tool will also guide you on how to make your website mobile-responsive.
Image Source – Google
2. Create Content Clusters
Creating content clusters involves having a main page to act as the pillar page – the center of content with overarching topics. All of the content pages related to that main topic will link back to this pillar page as well as to each other.
For example, you could have one pillar page on SEO and create different pieces of content on the various SEO tactics and other related topics. This could include topics on keyword research, page speed optimization, voice search optimization, and more.
This kind of linking structure sends out signals that help search engines understand that the pillar page is an authority on the topic it covers. And over time, this will help the page gain a better ranking for that topic.
This has been proven by a HubSpot study that experimented with topic clusters. They found that their pages got higher placement in search engine results when they did more interlinking. And an increase in internal links also boosted impressions.
Image Source: HubSpot
You could take this strategy up a notch by creating content clusters based on the keywords for which your competitors are ranking. That way, you’ll have a better chance of getting ahead of them and/or staying ahead.
You can use tools like SpyFu to find out which keywords your competitors are ranking for. Just enter their URL and the tool will pull up a report of their organic rankings and top keywords. It will even show you how many clicks they’re getting for those keywords.
Image Source: SpyFu
3. Improve the User Experience (UX)
User experience has a direct impact on your rankings. According to Google’s guidelines, web pages need to be created primarily for users and not for search engines. So, you should aim to provide an excellent user experience to your target audience.
Make sure to understand and consider the needs of your potential users when you create a web page for them. This will help you improve the user experience. The way a user behaves on your website helps search engines gauge the credibility of your website.
So, to improve the user experience, streamline your website structure. Make sure to create a website that’s easy-to-navigate. This will make sure that your potential customers can move easily and quickly through your website.
In addition to optimizing your website’s structure, create relevant content and use engaging visuals. It might not be a cost-effective strategy for a small business but it’s definitely worth the investment.
4. Improve Page Load Speed
The page load speed of your website can affect your rankings. If your web pages take too long to load, it can annoy people. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and imagine their reaction to a web page that loads at a snail-slow speed.
This can be frustrating and can drive away your audience, in spite of having great content on your website. So, you need to focus on improving your page load speed. This is a very important SEO growth hack.
The faster the loading speed of your website, the higher will be your chances of securing top ranks in search engine results. Google considers the page loading speed to be a vital factor in determining rankings.
So, even if you own a small business, you need to make sure that your website has a fast page loading speed. To begin with, you can delete all the unnecessary data and links from your web pages. Secondly, optimize the size of your visuals. These are often responsible for increasing the page loading time and slowing down your web pages.
To keep an eye on the loading speed of your webpages, you can use free tools like Google PageSpeed Insights. It will help you monitor the loading speed of your website and will give you feedback on how to improve it further.
Image Source – Google
5. Aim to Get Featured Snippets
Featured snippets get more visibility than any other position on the search engine results pages. It’s even more prominent than the top position and is often called the 0 position. You can see proof of this in the screenshot below, where Digital Marketing Institute gets the featured snippet but the top position is Single Grain.
You should aim to get featured snippets for your content if you want to get assured visibility and drive more traffic to your site. While there’s no guaranteed way to achieve this goal, there are a few tactics that will help you improve your chances of getting featured snippets. These are some of the essentials you should start with:
- It’ll be easier to get featured snippets if you already rank on the first page. So start by focusing your efforts on improving content for which you’re already ranking on the first page.
- Improve your formatting to make it easier for Google to understand what your content is about. Summarize your points into lists and bullet points, as those are easier to understand for the search engine. Make sure you use h3 tags in your subheads because Google sometimes re-formats those tags into bullet points in featured snippets.
- If you’re creating new content from scratch, target question queries because they tend to get more featured snippets. For instance, “how” earned 51.11% of paragraph featured snippets and 46.91% of list-based featured snippets. You can use platforms like Answer the Public to discover common questions asked around your target keywords.
6. Improve Your Meta Tags
Even something as small as your meta tags can have a huge impact on your click-through rate and SEO performance. Optimizing your meta titles and descriptions can significantly boost your impressions and traffic, if you do it right.
That’s mainly because your meta tags are what searchers see on the search engine results page. So depending on how compelling and helpful they are, people may feel more inclined to click on your link.
And the more click-throughs you get, the more you’ll convince Google that your content is relevant to that specific search term. Soon, you’ll climb up in rankings for relevant search results.
In fact, Elise Dopson increased her search traffic by 54% just by optimizing her meta tags. Impressions also increased by 57% and her average ranking position jumped up 10 places.
Image Source: Elise Dopson
It’s not enough to just add keywords in your meta tags for search engines to rank your site. You also need to cater to humans – the actual people who are going to read your meta descriptions and decide whether or not to click on your link based on its relevance.
In addition to adding keywords in your meta title and description, you should also consider a few other best practices.
- First of all, the character limit is a crucial consideration as you cannot risk having an incomplete description displayed in the SERPs. The average meta title is about 55 characters long, while the average meta description contains approximately 164 characters.
- Your meta tags should be relevant to their respective page content. They should accurately and concisely describe what the page is about so searchers will know whether it’s relevant to their searches.
- Keep your meta titles short and to the point, accurately summarizing the topic being discussed on the page.
- Your meta descriptions should be about two sentences long. Typically, the first sentence should lead up to why the topic is important while the second sentence invites people to read the content or click on the link. They should be as descriptive yet as brief as possible.
SEO growth hacking can have a significant impact on both how you rank in search results and your conversions. SEO strategies such as using long-tail keywords, creating a mobile-responsive website, and improving your page loading speed can help you immensely. So, leverage them and start taking your small business to new heights.
Do you know of any other effective SEO growth hacking strategies? If so, please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below.
Originally published at Small Business Trends