Top 10 Semalt SEO Tips For 2021 

You think you deserve the top spot for a certain search term, but right now, your competitor is showing up in that coveted spot. So, you're probably wondering what's wrong with your site's SEO. Fortunately, there is something that can be done about it. 

In this guide, I'll present you with the top 10 tips you need to follow to take that top spot you deserve.

Let's start with the first one!

1. No traffic increase without landing pages

The first tip is to create landing pages on your own website. You then optimize each page for a search term. This means: rock-solid content, a clear follow-up action (e.g. contact us or buy a product) and links to relevant products or pages. Create the best page on that particular topic!

A good example is this guide. Sure, I can write a short page with 4 tips to get ahead in Google, but then I would lose it compared to other sites with 10+ tips. That's why I've expanded this landing page with many more useful tips. 

Don't know what to write about? Of course, you start with keyword research. Here's how to set up keyword research. Make sure you have a nice list of about 50 to 100 keywords, so you can get started actively in the coming period. So how do you go about getting that list? It's as simple as you think! First, you need a good tool that can generate the keywords with all the useful information about each keyword. There are several free tools on the market to help you with this. But none of these free tools can provide you with the in-depth keyword information. So I advise you to opt for a paid tool such as the Dedicated SEO Dashboard. Indeed, the SEO Dedicated Dashboard is the only SEO tool of the last generation that has several very useful features. We won't have the time to tell you about every feature in this article. But you can learn a lot more about this tool through a 14-day trial period offered by Semalt SEO Experts who are the developers of this valuable treasure. In addition, we have several articles on our blog that talk in detail about the performance and features of this tool. 

Let's move on to the second tip!

2. Focus on long-tail keywords

When you think of a search term, you probably think of one word. But it often works better if you choose search terms that contain multiple words. These are called long-tail keywords. There is often less search volume (in other words: less is searched), but there is also less competition. It takes less effort to reach the top and you get relatively more conversions (e.g. orders, quote requests, showroom visitors, etc.).

Example: You sell vintage cars of the brand Jeep. Then you can optimize on 'buy a car' or 'buy Jeep', but you will never get to 1st  because you are not relevant enough. After all, 99% of visitors give up. Also, 'oldtimers' and 'buy oldtimers' are too broad search terms with a lot of competition. However, if you optimize on "Jeep oldtimer", "Buy Jeep oldtimer" and "Jeep oldtimer dealer", you will get the right visitors to your website, who will also want to make an appointment with you.

Simple tip: Check out the keyword planner in the Dedicated SEO Dashboard to see how many people are searching for long-tail keywords each month. If there are less than 10 per month, it's best to look for other search terms.

Moreover, the Dedicate SEO Dashboard can also make your job easier; as it has a feature called Google SERP Analysis.

You can use this DSD feature set to know the top competitors in your niche. Moreover, this feature allows you to check their traffic-generating keywords and get an idea of their promotion strategy. When you know the keywords of your competitors it will be easy for you to play on these keywords and get lots of traffic. 

3. Relevance is everything

Everyone would like to be number 1 on Google, but of course, it's all about relevance. Does the information you have on your website perfectly match the information needs of a visitor? Google analyzes the reaction of visitors to your landing page. Let's say a visitor gives up quickly and returns to the search results page, and then Google knows the content is less relevant to the visitor. The result: you will go down slowly. So focus on relevant keywords and create great content and you could be high in Google for many years. That's sustainable optimization!

4. Seduce your visitor with a magnetic meta title and description

Play the role of a journalist. Journalists know that a compelling "headline" - or the title above an article - is vital. A boring headline and a reader leaves immediately, without reading a single paragraph. How often are you tempted by bait-like headlines?

The art of seduction is especially important when it comes to the meta title and meta description. The title and description can be read in Google and determine whether a visitor clicks on a site. You clicked on this article because you are probably curious about these ten tips.

Now you may be asking yourself: how can I entice this visitor? Use words that stand out, show numbers, treat your headline as a mini-advertisement, ask a question, use humour, use social proof, reassure a visitor or encourage action.

To name a few examples:
  • Buy an oldtimer Jeep? Free trial of 5 classics!
  • Buy an oldtimer Jeep: come to our oldtimer day on September 5th!
  • Buy a Jeep oldtimer: a "brand new" classic from 1995 dollars!
  • Want to buy a Jeep oldtimer? 1,500 Volvo fans have gone before you!

5. Write a good page

By the way, seduction doesn't stop with the title and description. To prevent a visitor from going home after a rude awakening, the information on the landing page should be fluently written. No spelling mistakes, as few long paragraphs as possible and a wide variety of images and text. Develop a page with videos, infographics and quotes. Link to other internal and external web pages.

A general rule of thumb for non-branded search terms is that the more people search for a particular search term, the more text is important on the page. This does not apply to branded search terms, i.e. search terms with a company name. Let's say I write a page about 'Coca Cola' with a length of 5000 words, then I will never reach 1st. In the first place, it will always be

In terms of SEO research, pages of 1,300 to 1,500 words get excellent results from Google. This is a kind of "sweet spot". These are, of course, pages with huge chunks of text and - often - a lot of depth. Of course, all pages should not contain more than 1300 words, but it is important to know that Google likes a lot of content. The rule - "less is more" - does not apply to search engine optimization.

This is, of course, quite difficult. Let's say you write a page on "Are bananas healthy?", how do you get 1,300 to 1,500 words? Spin a word with colleagues or acquaintances! A word spinner gives all sorts of possible angles. Do a paragraph from each angle and you'll have a few hundred words. However, don't write for the sake of writing, because every sentence must count!

6. Do not copy content from other websites

It seems easy to copy the content of other websites to be better found, but it does not work. This is called duplicate content. Google is smart enough to figure out who the original source is. If a competitor steals your text, it is very annoying, but in the end, your competitor will reap the bitter rewards. His landing page is not visible in Google, because the American search engine filters duplicate content.

Want to reuse some information from a previous article? That's usually not a problem. We call this "boilerplate content". Keep in mind that more than 51% of the content must be unique. If less than half is unique, Google will see your page as duplicate content. Want to test if your website's information is unique? The Dedicated SEO Dashboard has this feature. So, feel free to use it to check every single content on your website for free.

7. Responsive theme

The technique of the website is important. You probably use WordPress as your CMS system. Very good, because WordPress is user-friendly and easy to optimize. Do you already have a good layout? You can find thousands of professional themes on Themeforest. Most themes cost a few dollars and are easy to install. Plus, most professional themes immediately make your website mobile-friendly. That's because almost all themes are scalable (responsive).

Our advice is that a page should load within two seconds and that the page should not weigh more than 1 MB. Is a page much heavier or does a page not load fast enough? Then think about making optimizations. This often means resizing or removing images. With the Dedicated SEO Dashboard, you can do an in-depth audit of your site to find out about its performance. This DSD audit feature allows you to find out what is disrupting the performance of your site. In addition, it gives advice on what you can do to get a better score, although you may need some technical knowledge to make changes to your site.

8. Yoast SEO plugin

WordPress can be extended with plugins. A plugin adds certain functionality to the open-source CMS system. An average WordPress site has about ten to twenty plugins.

A well-known WordPress plugin is Yoast SEO. This allows you to improve the Meta title and Meta description of pages, but also to create sitemaps and extend pages with information for social media (so-called og tags). Personally, I like that the robots.txt file and the .htaccess file are customizable. Robots.txt specifies which pages search engine spiders are allowed to display and which pages are not allowed to be included. Useful to keep certain information out of Google. In the .htaccess file, you can redirect old URLs to new URLs and set some caching rules. 

9. Royalty-free photos

Make sure you develop your pages with lots of great photos. Earlier we talked about the importance of royalty-free photos because you can get into trouble if you use photos that are not yours. Fortunately, there is a site where you can find royalty-free photos: Pixabay Images. This way, you can quickly develop your articles with beautiful visual material. Nevertheless, it is also good to use your own photos and videos, because with original images you are more visible in Google Images.

Other websites where you can get free photos, images and icons are: GlazeStock (images / illustrations), Unsplash (photos), Pexels (photos) and FlatIcon (icons).

In addition, it is wise to integrate (your own) videos on your website. First of all to keep the visitor on the website. A video increases the average time on a page. Moreover, you can easily find your own video material on Google and YouTube.

10. Start by building links

Good content is of course important for SEO, but it is also helpful to get links from authoritative websites. Before you start, check your domain authority and page authority. Domain authority is a score (from 0 to 100) and is an indication of the importance and relevance of your domain. Page authority is an indication of the importance and relevance of a page to search engines. Thus, a website has one score for the whole domain and several scores for different pages. Compare your website's scores with those of your competitors. If you have a lower domain authority or page authority, it makes sense to start with link building.

Select interesting websites for link building. Think carefully about which companies might find your content interesting. Share the content with these companies, for example by approaching these parties.

In any case, start by building links on social networks and directory websites. Share pages from your website via Facebook, Linkedin and Pinterest to reach out to visitors. And don't forget to create an RSS feed. 

Interested in SEO? Check out our other articles on the Semalt blog.