21 Actionable SEO Techniques For 2024

  • April 22, 2024
  • SEO

If you want more people visiting your website, you need to make it easy for search engines like Google to understand and favor your content. SEO techniques is key to achieving this goal. Let’s break down 21 actionable SEO techniques for 2024 that can help improve your website’s ranking and attract more organic traffic.

1. Optimize for Google Passage Ranking

Passage Ranking is an AI system Google uses to find specific parts or “passages” of a webpage, helping it understand how relevant a page is to a search query. Unlike traditional ranking methods that look at whole pages, Passage Ranking lets Google pick out and rank important passages, even if they’re part of a larger piece of content. To help Google understand and isolate different topics on a single page, use clear and descriptive headings and subheadings. For example, if you’re writing an article about “Home Electrical Safety,” you might have subheadings like “Understanding Circuit Overloads,” “Preventing Electrical Fires,” and “Routine Electrical Maintenance Tips.”

Make sure that the content under each subheading is of high quality and directly relevant to the topic. Avoid fluff and unrelated information. The goal is to provide the most helpful and focused information possible. Organizing your content with descriptive headings and subheadings enhances readability for users and provides clear signals to Google about the specific topics covered in your content. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of your content being selected and ranked by Google Passage Ranking for relevant user queries.

2. Make Sure Your Website Works Well on Phones

These days, a lot of people use their phones to browse the internet. Google knows this, so it prefers websites that look good and work well on mobile devices. To make your website mobile-friendly, it should adjust to fit any screen size, from phones to tablets to desktops. This is called being “responsive.” Make sure text and pictures are easy to see without needing to zoom in, and buttons are big enough to tap easily with a finger. Everything that you can do on a computer should also be doable on a phone.

3. Organize Your Content by Topics (Topic Cluster)

Google has gotten better at understanding what your website is about, not just focusing on certain keywords. Instead of repeating the same words many times, it’s better to organize your content into groups of related topics. For example, if your site is about cooking, you might have one main page that gives general cooking tips. From there, you could link to other pages that go into more detail about specific things like beginner recipes, baking techniques, or how to cook healthy meals. This makes it easier for Google to see how your content is organized, and it helps visitors find all the information they need in one place.

4. Write Longer Content (Most of the Time)

When it comes to content length, longer articles tend to perform better in search results. Why? Because they provide readers with more useful information and keep them engaged for longer periods, which is something Google appreciates. So, aim to create comprehensive articles that thoroughly cover your chosen topic. For example, instead of writing a short blog post listing SEO basics, consider expanding it into a detailed guide with step-by-step instructions, practical examples, and additional resources. This not only benefits your readers but also improves your chances of ranking higher in search engine results pages.

5. Get More Backlinks

Backlinks — links from other sites to yours — are a big part of SEO. They tell search engines that other people find your content valuable. So, how can you get more backlinks? One way is by creating high-quality content that others naturally want to link to because it’s informative, useful, or entertaining. You can also collaborate with other bloggers, influencers, or businesses in your industry to exchange links or guest posts on each other’s websites. The goal is to acquire backlinks from reputable and authoritative websites in your field.

6. Use Internal Linking

Internal links are just links that connect one page on your website to another. This SEO technique serves two main purposes: helping Google understand the layout of your site and encouraging visitors to explore more of your content. When you write a new article or create a new page on your website, you can include links to older, related content within your text.

For example, if you’re writing a blog post about common electrical issues, you could link to a previous article you wrote about electrical safety tips. This not only helps Google crawl and index your content more effectively but also keeps visitors engaged and encourages them to spend more time on your site.

7. Get Your Content Featured in Google’s Answer Boxes

Getting your content featured in Google’s Answer Boxes, also known as Featured Snippets, is an effective  way to increase your website’s visibility and direct traffic. Featured Snippets appear at the top of Google’s search results and provide quick answers to specific questions directly on the search page. Start by researching common questions that people ask related to your topic. Tools like AnswerThePublic, Google’s “People also ask” feature, and even simple Google search autocomplete can provide insight into what people are frequently asking.

8. Optimize Your Images

Images are essential for engaging visitors, but they can also slow down your website if they’re not optimized. To prevent this, use image compression tools. These tools reduce the file size of your images without sacrificing quality. This means your website will load faster, which is crucial for retaining visitors. For example, you can use tools like Adobe Photoshop’s “Save for Web” feature, or online tools like TinyPNG or ImageOptim. And, when naming your image files, use relevant keywords that describe the image and relate to your content.

For instance, if you’re selling handmade jewelry, instead of naming an image “IMG1234.jpg,” opt for a descriptive name like “handmade-silver-necklace.jpg.” This improves your chances of appearing in relevant search results. Also, don’t forget about the alt text. Alt text is a brief description of an image that appears if the image fails to load or for visually impaired users relying on screen readers. Including relevant keywords in your alt text not only improves accessibility but also reinforces your website’s relevance to search engines.

9. Use Videos to Increase Engagement

Videos can keep visitors on your page longer, which is good for SEO. According to a study by LemonLight, videos improve your website’s search engine ranking in two ways. First, the presence of video content itself may help your site appear higher in search results. Second, videos can make visitors stay on your site longer, which search engines like because it suggests your site has useful information.

To make effective videos for your website, consider creating tutorials that explain how to use your products, reviews that offer honest feedback, or behind-the-scenes videos that show more about your business. These videos not only inform your viewers but also help build trust with them.

10. Update Old Content

Don’t just focus on creating new content. One of the effective SEO techniques involves going back and improving your old posts and pages. It’s important to update facts, add fresh information, and ensure all content remains relevant to current trends and data. Update facts, add new information, and make sure they’re still relevant. For example, let’s say you wrote a blog post about “Top 10 Marketing Trends of 2020.” It’s now 2024, and some of those trends might no longer be relevant or have evolved.

So, updating old content can also breathe new life into posts that may have lost traction over time. You can repromote these updated pieces on your social media channels or through email newsletters to bring them back into the spotlight and attract new readers.

11. Fix Broken Links

Broken links are like dead ends on your website. They occur when a link leads to a page that no longer exists or has been moved. Not only do broken links frustrate visitors who are trying to navigate your site, but they can also harm your SEO efforts. Imagine you’re browsing a website, and every time you click on a link, you’re greeted with a “404 Error – Page Not Found” message. It’s frustrating.

Search engines feel the same way. They want to provide users with the most relevant and useful content, so they may penalize websites with lots of broken links. To avoid this, regularly check your website for broken links and fix them promptly. There are many tools available online that can help you identify broken links quickly and easily.

12. Optimize for Voice Search

Voice search is becoming increasingly popular as more people use virtual assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant to find information online. Optimizing your website for voice search involves understanding how people naturally speak and form queries. For instance, when typing a search query, someone might type “best pizza restaurants near me.” But when using voice search, they’re more likely to say something like, “What are the best pizza places nearby?”

So, when creating content for your website, try to incorporate natural-sounding phrases and questions that people might use when speaking. Optimizing for voice search can make your website more accessible to a broader audience and improve your chances of appearing in voice search results. This can ultimately lead to more traffic and better visibility for your website.

13. Focus on Local SEO

If you own a local business, optimizing for local search is crucial for attracting customers in your area. Local SEO involves various strategies to ensure your business shows up prominently in local search results. Firstly, claim your Google My Business listing. This is a free tool provided by Google that allows you to manage how your business appears on Google Search and Maps. It’s essential to provide accurate and up-to-date information about your business, such as your address, phone number, hours of operation, and website.

Secondly, focus on building local backlinks. These are links from other websites in your local area that point back to your website. They signal to search engines that your business is relevant to the local community and can improve your local search rankings.

Lastly, consistency is key. Make sure your business’s name, address, and phone number (NAP) are consistent across all online platforms and directories. Inconsistent information can confuse both customers and search engines, leading to lower rankings in local search results. For example, if you own a coffee shop in New York City called “Brewed Awakening,” your Google My Business listing should have the same name, address, and phone number as your website, social media profiles, and any other online listings where your business is mentioned.

14. Use Schema Markup to Enhance Visibility

Schema markup is like adding labels to your website that tell search engines what each part means. It’s a special kind of code that helps search engines understand your content better. Let’s say you have a website for your restaurant, and you want to highlight your upcoming events. Without schema markup, search engines might just see the text “Upcoming Events” on your page and not understand what specific events you’re referring to. But if you add schema markup to your events section, you can specify details like the event name, date, time, and location.

So instead of just seeing “Upcoming Events,” search engines might display a rich snippet in the search results showing the name of the event, the date, and maybe even a link to buy tickets. To give you a better idea, you can check out this blog post from SEMrush titled “What Is Schema Markup?” Adding schema markup might require some technical knowledge or help from a web developer, but it’s worth it because it can make your website stand out in search results and attract more visitors.

15. Regularly Perform Keyword Research

It’s important to know what words or phrases people use when they search for services or products similar to yours. You can use tools like Google Keyword Planner or Moz Keyword Explorer for this. These tools show you popular search terms, how often people search for them, and how competitive they are (meaning how many other businesses are trying to show up in search results for those terms). For example, if you run a bakery, these tools can tell you how many people look up “gluten-free cupcakes” or “wedding cakes near me” every month. Once you know what people are searching for, you can use these phrases on your website to help more people find your business.

16. Ensure Your Website is Secure

Security is a big deal on the internet. When a website is secure, it protects the information that flows between the user and the site, like credit card numbers or personal info. You can tell if a website is secure if its URL starts with “HTTPS” instead of just “HTTP.” Google prefers secure websites because they’re safer for users, so it tends to rank these sites higher in search results.

To secure your website, you need an SSL certificate, which you can usually get through your website hosting provider. Once you set it up, it encrypts the information sent between users and your site, which helps protect everyone’s data.

17. Optimize for Semantic SEO

Semantic SEO is all about making sure your website speaks the same language as your audience and search engines. Instead of just stuffing your content with the exact same keyword over and over again, semantic SEO emphasizes using related words, synonyms, and terms that give context to what you’re talking about. Let’s say you’re running a website about hiking. Instead of just repeating “hiking” throughout your content, you’d also include related terms like “trail walking,” “outdoor adventures,” or even specific types of hikes like “mountain trekking” or “forest trails.” This helps search engines understand the context of your content and match it more accurately with user queries.

18. Use Breadcrumbs for Easy Navigation

Breadcrumbs are a type of navigation that shows your visitors the path they have taken to arrive at a current page, typically appearing at the top of a page. For example, on an online store, the breadcrumb might look like this: Home > Men’s Clothing > Jackets > Winter Jackets. This helps users quickly go back to a previous section, like “Jackets,” without having to press the back button several times or start over from the home page. For search engines, breadcrumbs can also help show how your website is organized. Google can use this to understand the structure of your site, which could help you get a better ranking in search results. It’ll also help to clarify the layout and content hierarchy.

19. Focus on Quality Over Quantity

It’s better to have fewer, high-quality pages than lots of pages with thin content. This principle is a cornerstone among effective SEO techniques. Each page should serve a clear purpose and provide real benefits to your visitors, whether it’s to inform, entertain, or help them make a purchase decision. Rather than having ten short articles about similar topics, you could combine them into one comprehensive guide that thoroughly covers the subject.

20. Monitor Your Progress

Tracking how your website performs is essential to understand if your SEO efforts are working. Tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console are great for this. Google Analytics can show you how many people visit your website, how long they stay, and what pages they visit, while Google Search Console provides data on how well your site is performing in search results, like how many times your pages appear in search results and get clicked. It’s good to check these tools regularly to see what’s working and what might need tweaking. For instance, if you notice that lots of visitors are leaving your site after a short time, it might mean that your content isn’t engaging or relevant.

21. Stay Updated on SEO Techniques

To keep your site competitive, it’s important to stay informed about these changes. You can do this by reading SEO blogs, joining forums, and attending webinars. Many experts share their insights through these channels, offering strategies and updates that you can apply to your own website. For example, if Google announces a new update that rewards websites for using secure connections (HTTPS), you’d learn about this change through these resources and could make necessary adjustments to benefit from the update.

The Bottom Line

As we explore these SEO techniques, always keep in mind that the most effective strategy is to prioritize your users’ experience. When you focus on making your site useful and enjoyable for those who visit, you naturally improve your SEO performance. After all, at the heart of SEO is the goal of delivering valuable and accessible content to users—exactly what they are searching for. So keep your users happy, and search engines will follow suit. Make every click on your site worth their time!

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