Everybody wants to earn first-page positions on Google. But given the highly competitive nature of online marketing, reaching the top positions for most broad keywords is challenging to say the least. That’s not to suggest you can’t achieve your marketing objectives in the long run. You just need to stay on top of the latest search engine optimisation (SEO) developments, persevere with your campaigns and know how to make tweaks as and when necessary.

Because the landscape of SEO is ever-changing, remaining up to date is far from straightforward. Businesses that are serious about making their mark on the web usually either hire specialists to run an online marketing department or outsource their SEO requirements to an external team of experts.

Whether you choose to outsource online marketing to an SEO service or handle it in-house, you need to be aware of a few crucial factors that can seriously affect your search rank in 2020. Keep these tips in mind when developing your website.

Optimise Your Page Loading Speed

In this day and age, internet users have zero patience when it comes to loading screens. If a mobile phone user has to wait any longer than a few seconds for a webpage to load, they’ll likely return to Google’s results pages, increasing your bounce rate in the process. A high bounce rate shows Google that people don’t stick around to read your content. As a result, you won’t be rewarded with a high rank.

You need to make sure your website offers a smooth experience for Google users as well as your own. Compress your pictures without diminishing their quality, adapt your content for mobile devices, and you might see your marketing campaigns perform better than ever before. There are plenty of online tools you can use to test your website’s loading speed. If you don’t know how to make sense of the data, it’s worth talking to a professional.

Do Your Keyword Research

If you want people to be able to find your content, you need to first find out what they’re looking for. To do this, you should perform keyword research. By knowing which terms your prospects use to find you, you can create content that’s highly relevant. Don’t just aim for broad keywords that are difficult to rank for. Think of your articles like fishing hooks. The more you have, the more chances you have to attract readers.

Start your research by brainstorming terms that are related to your services. Then, think about the problems that they solve, and make a list of related search queries. You can grow your list further by typing all your terms into Google to view ‘auto-complete’ and ‘related searches’ suggestions. Alternatively, use advanced SEO tools to find suggestions along with statistics for you.

Perfect Your Sitemap and Internal Linking Structure

When creating content, you need to focus on keeping customers on your website. That means that all your service and landing pages need to be organised correctly, which in turn means you need to pay attention to your sitemap. Also, make sure to link to related blogs within your posts so that you can build trust and brand awareness. Create content that targets customers at every stage of the buyer’s journey, from initial interest to decision and final purchase. Your campaigns will be much more successful if you learn how to nurture your leads.

Remain Active Online

Google tends to reward active websites with good positions on its results pages. When you frequently post blogs and update your content, the search engines know that you’re doing your best to stay in touch with your customers. Be careful not to fall off the radar – Google might assume you’re not worth listing on the first page if you suddenly disappear.

Utilise Multiple Platforms to Drive Traffic to Your Site

Generally, the more traffic you can drive to your website, the more successful your SEO efforts will be, especially if you can keep people on the page. Don’t neglect PPC and social media as useful tools to attract readers. Just a small investment in paid advertising can help you reach the top of the organic results over time.

Work with a Team of Professionals

When it really comes down to it, staying updated with the ever-changing SEO best practices can be hard for most entrepreneurs who are busy juggling countless tasks. For that reason, paying a team of experienced online marketing experts to optimise your site on your behalf can be the smartest option. That way, you don’t need to commit to full-time wages, and you can secure peace of mind that trained minds are overseeing your campaigns.