Have you been thinking about learning SEO to increase your website traffic and therefore increase conversions? Have you been wondering whether you should learn SEO yourself, or hire an SEO expert instead?
In this article, I will be presenting some advanced SEO knowledge that is crucial for your website's success. I will try my best to explain it to you in an understandable way. If it seems too complex, that's a sign that you're better off hiring an SEO expert instead of learning SEO yourself. Most people hire SEO experts because SEO is so complex to learn and master.
Advanced SEO techniques require more sophisticated knowledge in order to understand it and apply it to your business practices.
Let's start with a crucial aspect of SEO that most business owners and marketers tend to miss.
Many marketing executives overlook the importance of IT. They think as long as the website is working properly, the technology behind it doesn't matter.
That's not true.
One of the most obvious ways to tell whether your website is good or not depends on the page loading speed. Now, you might be wondering, "What does a fast loading website have to do with my company?"
The fact is, the faster the website loading speed, the higher the conversions you will get. At Think With Google, it states a one-second delay of web page delivery can affect mobile conversions by up to 20%.
Nowadays, website visitors do not have the patience to wait for a slow site to display. They may go directly to your competitors to buy what they need.
So what can you do to maximize your website speed? Here I have listed 8 technical implementations that your company can take action on:
Know your visitor location - Is the location of your server near your target visitors? If not, pick a server near the majority of visitors, so that they can access your site quickly.
Content Delivery Network (CDN) - Have you used a global CDN service and caching to allow faster download of static content like images and videos? It can increase the website loading speed no matter where your visitor is, even if they are browsing your site behind The Great Firewall of China.
Image format usage - In most cases, images are the number one factor that slows down the web page speed. Use the latest version of an image format like JPG, PNG, WebP to have the smallest file size with the finest quality.
Image compression - Has your IT team compressed every image on your website? It can drastically reduce unnecessary bandwidth and improve the download speed. (It saves you bandwidth fees as well.)
Image lazy-load - This represents how the image is loaded when a visitor opens the web page. Has your website implemented a lazy-loading mechanism which allows loading the images that are only visible to the user?
Turn your super small images into text - Processing HTML text is the easiest task for a web server. Turning small images like social media icons into base64 text format is a great way to lower the number of requests hitting the server and the extra time for acquiring images.
Cut unused plugins - Do you use WordPress with many plugins that affect the loading speed? Can your IT team cut unused plugins that keep hitting the database server? They are blocking the delivery of the web pages.
You may not be able to implement all of the above on your own as a marketer. But you can learn SEO strategies and then check with your website building team.
The points I have just mentioned are in the category of "Technical SEO". Most marketers and executives will overlook the importance of the technical aspect of SEO.
Although I cannot include many of the technical SEO strategies in this article, you still get a sense that SEO is much more than just changing an "easy-to-read URL" or adding an "alt" text to your images.
The search engine algorithm is getting more advanced and smarter than ever before, and so is the frequency of changes made in the algorithm.
Take a look at how often Google updates. In 2018 alone, 3,234 amendments were made, or almost ten changes per day on average. Besides this, there is a rising trend in the number of changes Google has made to its search engine.
For example, you may now be getting steady organic traffic. However, it doesn't mean you can get it the next day, week, or month.
What do I mean by this?
There is sometimes a significant search engine algorithm change that can take out your organic traffic overnight. It did happen just recently that an algorithm update caused various industries to lose a substantial amount of traffic overnight.
Another example of SEO evolvement is in the e-commerce world.
When people talk about SEO, they are referring to optimizing everything on their website for Google, as Google is the top dog in the search engine niche.
That is not the case anymore if you are selling products on Amazon. You may need to take a look at Amazon SEO to optimize and get a high rank on their listing.
Also, you may recognize that every SEO expert has to immerse themselves deeply into the market for them to always stay at the top.
The question is whether you have the time and resources, like the SEO expert, to keep track of the trends and respond to the changes ASAP.
On the opposite side of keeping up with the constant evolvement of SEO, there are old SEO practices you have to abandon to avoid "punishment" from Google. Here are some examples:
Blindly link building - Link building is considered an effective way of gaining domain authority. If Google finds websites with a bad reputation, like porn sites, or a link building scheme site, or content farms are linking to yours, it may think that you are one of those spammy websites.
Keyboard spamming - To increase the number of occurrences in articles, some old-fashioned SEO strategies will add unnecessary targeted keywords to the content and hide a ton of other keywords in an area on the web page. This no longer works now, so it's best to stay away from this tactic.
Social media boosts - As you may also know, the likes, shares, and traffic on social media can be purchased. However, this type of traffic consists only of numbers and does not provide any real leads or conversions. The search engine algorithm will not treat these as a ranking signal. The search engines are getting smarter day by day with the advancement of Artificial Intelligence. Don't try to deceive them.
If you hire some amateurs in the market who learn SEO once but never keep up with the trend, your website's future free organic traffic may be in trouble as they may apply out-of-date SEO practices to your site.
Now you may realize how complicated SEO can be and how challenging, and time-consuming it is to keep up with the latest SEO trends.
It is good to learn SEO to gain a basic overview of SEO knowledge if you're a marketing executive. However, if you want a positive ROI on SEO and you want to avoid harmful SEO activities, it is in your best interest to hire an SEO expert.
They can help you to strategize and execute your website marketing campaign safely and successfully. It also saves you time to focus more on other aspects of your company.
At copywriters.com, there are lots of website copywriters who are experts on writing ROI focus copy that can boost your SEO ranking and conversions. You can fill out this form and let us fulfill your SEO and content needs.
Ho Yin Leung is a website and SEO copywriter who writes engaging messages for visitors. He has experience working for the government and digital agencies, helping other businesses to reach their target audience through organic web traffic.Hire Ho Yin