On-site and Off-site SEO: Increasing Engagement, Rankings and Conversions
| By clariondevelop
Gino Topini of Mj Web Studio walks us through the key SEO steps essential to building an optimized website for forex and casino.
SEO is a fundamental topic in forex and casino niches: without a serious strategy and relevant efforts both in terms of time and investments, it’s now incredibly hard to rank on search engines for the most competitive keywords. Google is against SEOs: our work is to manipulate SERPs to rank higher with our websites. To achieve top ranking we want to show off our websites as one of the most “trusted” sources of information out there in Google’s eyes. Panda, Penguin, Hummingbird, RankBrain and the still unnamed mid-January update are part of the huge Google algorithm, which evaluates websites and web pages to show users only the best search results for every single query. To have our website listed in the top 10 results, we need to develop a sustainable and long-term SEO strategy which follows the correct path and avoids mistakes. We also need to understand that an SEO strategy that performed well in a low or mid competitive niche does not necessarily mean it will do so in tough niches such as forex and casino. The Californian search giant often gives completely different ranking weighting to the most and least competitive niches. This article will summarise the latest intelligence on how to build a competitive website, the right keywords to rank for, obtaining backlinks to improve rankings and keeping users engaged to increase conversions. To these ends, we will consider two distinct aspects: on-site and off-site improvements. The first basically means building an intuitive and easy-to-navigate website, as well as providing well written and optimized articles. The second involves increasing the number of good backlinks and citations to improve our website’s trust. Five important SEO mistakes to avoid When we concentrate on SEO in highly competitive niches such as finance and gaming, false steps and errors can undermine the entire SEO strategy. So it’s important to know in advance which mistakes are most important to avoid: 1. Keyword stuffing. This means writing the keyword or phrase we want to rank for within our piece of content There is no magic recipe for writing a good article, except thinking of the user first: if they like it then they will spend more time on the website reading it, will probably visit more pages, possibly share the article on social networks and, if they have a website, maybe link back to your article (this practice is technically called “link earning”). There isn’t a magic number for how many times it’s OK to include the keyword or phrase, but you can take advantage of the Flesch-Kincaid readability test to have a good idea of how good your content is. 2. Thin and/or duplicate content. Google tends to target poor content which it deems not useful. While there is no precise definition of good content, and it is not dependent on length or word count. If you think you can write everything useful you have to say to the user in 500 words, do it! If you feel you need 10,000 words, write them! Just take your time to write a great piece of content and you will be rewarded. You need to place the same importance on duplicate content: copying articles from other sites risks serious penalties (plus you can incur copywriting infringements).In turn, you should also regularly check that your content has not been stolen. The best tool to check for this is Copyscape. 3. Getting links from non-reputable sources. To rank well on SERPs, content is important but links still are too. If articles are the engine of the car, links are the fuel. Links remain one of the most important factors Google considers when deciding how trusted by users a website is. The more qualitative the backlinks are, the better the site is, in Google’s eyes. I am not however suggesting you obtain links from anywhere, but from sources which are credible, relevant and related to your niche. 4. Avoid broken links. Google doesn’t like it when a website has too many broken links, as they contribute to earning you a bad reputation among users. 5. Failing to track your users. You now have a nice website, have written unique and useful content and have got some good links. This is not the end of the job, though, as now you need to monetize your website. To do this effectively, you need to track your users, looking at what they do and at how they move through your website. The best tool to perform this task is good analytics software which is able to register funnels, and a heatmap software. While avoiding these mistakes is key to not derailing your SEO strategy before you’ve even got started, real improvement in website performance will only come through and experimentation. So, buy a website and work on it, and don’t be scared of making minor errors even at the cost of losing money, as each mistake will enable you to learn and become a better SEO. Supporting your content with market analysis Now you know what mistakes to avoid, it’s time to start to defining your niche and identifying keywords you can really compete for in order to write optimized content. If you start out today with a brand new website, your chances of ranking for highly competitive keywords such as “forex”, “casino” or “online casino” are practically nil. So target “long” and “long long” tail keywords, those with lower monthly search volume but which are easier to rank for. When identifying keywords, always remember to try and put yourself in the user’s shoes. They probably don’t know technical terms so best to concentrate on the most common keywords, keeping technical terms back for use in content as supporting evidence that you are really prepared and knowledgeable on your niche. To obtain a complete list of keywords you want to rank for, a good starting point is competitor analysis. For this, we use three different tools in our daily job: SemRush, Ahrefs and Majestic SEO. SemRush is the best to identify competitors’ keywords, Ahrefs is great at finding competitors’ backlinks and Majestic SEO shows how trusted a website is and gives us an idea of its topical trust flow (we’ll explain the concept in more detail later).
- Create a great first impression
- Offer a mobile version of your website
- Make proper use of text formatting
- Allow users to easily share your content
- Easy-to-follow navigation
- Easy-to-understand homepage
- Make your website as quick as possible