Running an SEO campaign is a significant investment of time and resources. There are a lot of on-site factors that you have to get right. It’s a lot of work, and you can never be 100% sure if it was worth the investment until your content is ranking on the front page of the search results.
This guide will discuss how you can utilize Google Ads to test a page before you embark on a costly long-term SEO campaign. Read on to learn more about Google Ads and how to take advantage of the platform to support your next SEO campaign.
1. Test the potential SEO ROI
When you run an SEO campaign, you have a goal in mind. Generally, the goal of getting a piece of content or a page to rank in the search results is one of the following:
Customer Acquisition: directly sell a product or service to visitors.
Lead Acquisition: generate a lead onto an owned marketing channel. For example, grow your email list.
Brand Awareness: make potential customers aware of your product/services.
Most companies will run an SEO campaign based on the assumption that ranking for a particular keyword will help them achieve one of these goals. Running a Google Ads campaign allows you to gather data relatively cheaply to test those first two goals.
Through a PPC campaign, you can test how your page converts visitors into sales. You can check the conversion rate onto your email list easily as well.
The data you collect from a PPC campaign will not perfectly reflect what you’ll see from having a piece of content ranking on the first page of Google. The conversion rates will likely differ, and the volume of clicks you receive will not be the same. However, you can gain plenty of valuable insights that can help you decide if it’s worth running a campaign focused on certain keywords.
2. Gain on-page engagement insights
Google wants to provide people who use their service with a great user experience. The more people use their service, the more money they make from paid ads.
Google has mastered the art of providing a great user experience. How people engage with your content is a critical factor that impacts where content should rank in the search results. You can use Google Ads to gain insights into bounce rate, time on page, and other user experience signals that impact SEO. – Read more
Headings don’t just make the content on a webpage better organized and easier to read. They are also critical to good technical SEO. This refers to the search engine optimization (SEO) steps you take to make your website easier for search engine bots to crawl and index webpages (basically “read” the pages and categorize them accordingly). If bots can’t crawl a page, they can’t rank it.
Don’t let the term “technical” scare you off. Technical SEO simply refers to practices that don’t have anything to do with the website’s actual content. Instead, it focuses on the website’s infrastructure — such as the use of different headings. Header tags are an easy way for you to improve any homepage’s technical SEO.
There are different types of header tags, categorized by numbers, from H1 to H6. Each header serves a different purpose, giving search engine crawlers like Googlebot valuable information about that page. This guide focuses on how to use H1 tags to improve your SEO results:
A webpage or blog post can have multiple headings. Hypertext markup language (HTML) tags are used to differentiate the types of headings. There are some differences between the following:
An HTML title tag specifies the title of a webpage and is displayed on SERPs. It does not appear on the body content of the webpage. These are meta titles, you can read our post about HTML title tags for more information. – Read more
Now more than ever, your customers search online to find the products they need nearby. Find out how Google can help you reach local customers and connect in-store sales to online activity. Closed captioning is available in a selection of other languages. Click on Settings, Subtitles/CC for a list of options.
Search engine optimization ( SEO) determines how high a website ranks in common search engines like Google. Whatever type of business you run, whether it’s a communications consultancy or a cake shop, an effective SEO strategy is a smart way to boost visibility online, attract new clients, grow your business — and boost profits.
To do so, you’ll need to work on your SEO rankings. This helps your website become more visible to potential customers and allows you to appear on search results for specific queries relevant to your business.
In this guide, we’re going to highlight the essential strategies and ways to improve your SEO ranking. Read on to see some of the recommendations we have compiled for you.
1. High-Quality Content
High-quality content is at the core of SEO success. To attract search engines, you need to populate your website with content.
To start, ensure every page includes at least 300 words of original content. Search engines can detect duplicate content and may penalize your page for using copied content. Content should be broken into shorter chunks, for instance, with H2 subheadings, so it’s easy to scan.
Above all, content should meet Google’s EAT criteria: expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. Google introduced this terminology in 2018. EAT is particularly critical for sensitive topic matters, such as health care, science, and law.
Factors that boost an EAT score include citing respected experts (e.g., if you run a health care website, refer to medical professionals) and referring to reliable sources (such as “.edu” or “.gov” sites).
2. On-Page SEO
Content doesn’t just need to be high-quality. It also needs to be optimized for search engines. How do you do that? You can start with this basic checklist for on-page SEO:
Choose one primary keyword for the page and three to four related keywords.
Include the primary keyword in your URL.
Ensure your title tag, meta description, and H1 include your primary keyword.
Content should be high-quality and written for an eighth-grade reading level.
Vary content structure to make it scannable (e.g., use H2s and H3s effectively with bullet lists).
Make sure internal links use effective anchor text.
Include at least one image.
From there, you’ll want to dive into more specifics. Keywords are critical. Every page should be optimized for one unique keyword. You should also include a title that will attract readers in the form of an H1 tag. This indicates to the search engine that this text is the page title and what the page is about. – Read more
SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) is central to your website’s visibility. It is an important way of communicating with Google and other search engines to prove the relevance of your site for users and their search queries.
In this article, we will explore the importance of SEO for websites and pages. We will look at some of the most important aspects of SEO, why SEO is important for your website, and what role SEO plays in your digital marketing strategy. Here’s what we’re going to go over:
SEO communicates the importance and relevance of their websites and pages to Google. Through SEO, your content becomes more likely to rank highly in the SERPs and appear to users first when they search for relevant keywords.
Organic search refers to search results that aren’t paid for. Instead of being organized by Google’s paid ad guidelines (which includes CPC, ad relevance, and many other factors), organic search results are organized by its search engine algorithm.
The importance of SEO is not something to overlook. Search engines employ specific algorithms and KPIs to direct online traffic to one site or another. Let’s take a closer look at this with an example.
With Semrush’s Traffic Analytics Tool, you can compare your website traffic to your competitors’. We’ve taken two sites that sell shoes. As you can see, finding out where the most traffic comes from for these big brands is actually pretty easy.
Whether you’re a digital marketing professional helping other companies grow their online presence or an ecommerce website owner trying to boost your brand, there’s no getting around the importance of search engine optimization (SEO). SEO for Beginners
SEO is critical to boosting internet visibility, making it easier for potential customers to find the products, services, and knowledge they need online.
Organic keywords are one important cornerstone of effective SEO. This is a type of keyword used to attract organic search traffic for free.
If optimized correctly, there’s even the potential to rank for featured snippets — something that will help improve your click-through rate (CTR). Read on for an introductory guide to understanding organic keywords for SEO beginners.
Organic keywords are keywords used in SEO to attract “free” traffic. The “free” label is important because it sets organic keywords apart from pay-per-click (PPC) keywords used for Google Ads and similar platforms. The fact that organic keywords are free also makes them a cost-effective online marketing tool worth learning.
Affordability aside, organic search is a very valuable marketing tool. Google now processes more than 3.5 billion searches per day (that’s an average of about 40,000 keyword search queries per second).
If you can capture some of that organic traffic, you can boost your site’s visibility in a big way. The implementation of well-researched and carefully selected organic keywords can help you achieve this goal.
How Do I Find Organic Keywords?
There are a few ways to find organic keywords that are likely to help your website climb the search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google, Yahoo Search, Bing, and other search engines.
Below, we’ll walk you through a few options for researching and identifying organic keywords that will help drive your traffic to your platform.
Use Google Analytics
Google Analytics can help you identify which organic keywords drive traffic to your site. You can then leverage those keywords even further and maximize their impact. Landing page reports are one way to do this.
In the Analytics dashboard, select “Behavior” > “Site Content” > “Landing Pages.”
From there, you can click the URL slug (or enter it in the search bar). Then you need to go to “Secondary Dimension > “Advertising” > “Keyword.” Or, you can search in the mini search bar within “Secondary Dimension.” – Read more
Good SEO in WordPress. If I asked the vast majority of website owners ‘what brings in the majority of your traffic’, the top answer would be ‘my articles of course’ and that is a completely acceptable answer.
But, a better answer would be ‘my articles, but I also gain a lot of traffic from my categories and tags’.
Now we are talking.
This is because categories and tags play quite a crucial role in website traffic, organizational structure, and SEO. Up to this point, from reading around, it seems categories are given some merit, but tags are generally not used/used inappropriately or are told to be deindexed by search engines. I’m here to tell you that if you use your categories and tags correctly, you could increase your traffic by quite a lot, with auto generating content that takes up a fraction of your time. For me, this number was a 40% increase.
WordPress Categories Optimization
Categories are an effective way to archive articles under a category heading to organize a website. There are many benefits to doing this:
It helps your web users browse similar content on your website
It helps Google better understand what your content is about
It helps the architectural structure of your website, by having content under categories – this helps give a better understanding for Google and web users what your website is about
For example, let’s take an example of a bakery recipe blog that creates recipes for a range of bakery products. Effectively categories for this could be:
Good SEO in WordPress
This ultimately tells people what your site is about, and how they can better explore your content. As well as this, it gives more indication to Google what your content is about, even before crawling the content itself.
For even better SEO, it could be a good idea to include the category in the prefix of your URL too. That way, your website structure is reflected in your URL for all of your content.
As well as this, you can create hierarchal categories, such as a category beneath a category – again, this helps – Read more
Read more blogs posts about how to improve SEO here
For your landing pages, blogs, homepages, and other online content to show up in Google’s search engine results, you need to ensure your website is indexable. Google Index is basically a database.
When people use the search engine to look for content, Google turns to its index to provide the relevant content. If your page isn’t indexed, it doesn’t exist in Google’s search engine. That’s bad news if you’re hoping to drive organic traffic to your website via organic search.
This guide provides greater detail about indexing and why it’s important. It also explains how you can check to see if your page is indexed, how to fix common technical SEO problems that cause indexing issues, and how to quickly get Google to recrawl index your site if it’s not already indexed.
Google’s index is simply a list of all the webpages that the search engine knows about. If Google doesn’t index your website, your site won’t appear in Google’s search results.
It would be like if you wrote a book, but no bookstores or libraries stocked that book. Nobody would ever find the book. They might not even know of its existence. And if a reader were looking for that book, they’d have a really hard time finding it.
Why Is Site Indexing Important?
Websites that aren’t indexed are not in Google’s database. The search engine thus can’t present these websites in its search engine results pages (SERPs).
As a refresher, here’s a quick overview of the search engine process:
Crawling: Search engine bots crawl the website to figure out if it’s worth indexing. Web spiders, or “Googlebot,” are always crawling the web, following links on existing web pages to find new content.
Indexing: The search engine adds the website to its database (in Google’s case, its “Index”).
Ranking: The search engine ranks the website in terms of metrics like relevance and user-friendliness.
Indexing just means the site is stored in Google’s databases. It doesn’t mean it will show up at the top of the SERPs. Indexing is controlled by predetermined algorithms, which factor in elements like web user demand and quality checks. You can influence indexing by managing how spiders discover your online content.
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How Do I Check If Google Has Indexed My Site?
There’s no doubt that you want your website to be indexed — but how can you know if it is or not? Luckily, the search engine giant makes it pretty easy to find out where you stand via site search. Here’s how to check:
In the Google search bar, type in “site:example.com.”
When you look under the search bar, you’ll see the Google results categories “All,” “Images,” “News,” etc. Right underneath this, you’ll see an estimate of how many of your pages Google has indexed.
If zero results show up, the page isn’t indexed.
Alternatively, you can use Google Search Console to check if your page is indexed. It’s free to set up an account. Here’s how to get the information you want:
Log into Google Search Console.
Click on “Index.”
Click on “Coverage.”
You’ll see the number of valid pages indexed.
If the number of valid pages is zero, Google hasn’t indexed your page.
You can also use the Search Console to check whether specific pages are indexed. Just paste the URL into the URL Inspection Tool. If the page is indexed, you’ll receive the message “URL is on Google.”
How Long Does It Take for Google to Index a Site?
It can take Google anywhere from a few days to a few weeks to index a site. This can be frustrating if you’ve just launched a page only to discover that it isn’t indexed. How is anybody supposed to discover your beautiful new webpage via Google? Luckily, there are steps you can take for more efficient indexing. Below, we explain what you can do to speed up the process.
How Do I Get Google to Index My Site?
The easiest way to get your site indexed is to request indexing through Google Search Console. To do this, go to Google Search Console’s URL Inspection Tool. Paste the URL you want to be indexed into the search bar and wait for Google to check the URL. If the URL isn’t indexed, click the “Request Indexing” button.
However, Google indexing takes time. As mentioned, if your site is new, it won’t be indexed overnight. Additionally, if your site isn’t properly set up to accommodate Googlebot’s crawling, there’s a chance it won’t get indexed at all.
Whether you’re a site owner or an online marketer, you want your site efficiently indexed. Here’s how to make that happen. – Read more
Your website’s structure is the way that content (pages and posts) is grouped. This is sometimes referred to as your website’s architecture and is all about how your content is linked together and presented to users and search engines. It’s your website’s framework.
A good website structure makes it easy for users to navigate between pages and search engines to crawl your content and understand what your site is about.
Think about it as how pages on your website relate to one another, specifically how they branch off your homepage and are grouped within deeper directories.
And planning a site structure includes considering your:
The Importance of Your Site’s Structure
Whether you have a small website or a large website, site structure is an important component for success as your site structure impacts both users, in terms of its accessibility and user-friendliness, and for search engines, in terms of crawlability and technical aspects.
So let’s take a look at the reasons why you need to take the time to properly define this for these two key reasons…
Site Structure for Users
Your website’s primary purpose is to put your products or services in front of your target audience, such as your next customer or client. That means that your users should be at the heart of everything you do.
And when we look at the reason why your site’s structure is so important for your users, we can break it down into three key things:
Site Structure Is Important for UX
The structure you choose has a direct impact on your website’s usability, and this means making it easier for users to find the products, services, or information that they’re looking for.
The easier it is for someone to find what they landed on your site for, the higher the chance that they’ll become a client or customer.
A Good Site Structure Makes It Easier to Navigate
When you carefully plan out your site’s structure to help users find what they want as easily as possible, you’re making it easier to navigate.
Since one of the key functions of content on a website is to help push prospects through your sales funnel, it makes sense that you’d want to make it as simple as possible for a user to flow through the sales funnel by improving your navigation.
A Good Site Structure Groups Content and Makes Pages Easy to Reach in As Few Clicks As Possible
No one wants to spend an age looking for the content that they’re after. A good site structure makes it easier to find pages and posts in as few clicks as possible, keeping users engaged and stopping them from bouncing.
Site Structure for Search Engines
While a good site structure is important for presenting a great user experience, it’s also a key part of achieving SEO success.
Structure your site in the right way, and it’s easier for the search engines to understand and rank your content higher on the SERPs.
The key reasons why site structure matters for search engines are:
Topically Grouped Content
Topical SEO is a big deal, and your site’s structure is a key way to showcase how different pages and posts are connected.
Often referred to as topical relevance or topical authority, grouping together related content pieces helps to position you to search engines as experts in your field, showcasing that you cover a topic in great depth.
This helps search engines understand what your website is about and give context to the keywords you should be ranking for.
Highlight Your Most Important Content
The right site structure helps you highlight your most important pages (often called pillar pages or hub pages) and position them as the pages that should rank for competitive, high volume keywords (think generic terms).
A Good Structure Makes Your Site Easier to Crawl and Find New Pages Faster
A good site structure makes it easier for search engines to crawl your site and find new pages (and changes to existing pages) faster.
If Google can’t crawl all of your website’s pages, it’s going to struggle to index them. However, you shouldn’t face this issue with the right structure as all content should be linked to from at least one other page.
Your Site Structure Passes Link Authority
Backlinks are a key ranking factor. To maximize the benefits from your link building strategy, you need to make sure that you’re properly distributing link authority throughout your site.
To earn high-quality backlinks, you want to have different pages answering different questions. This way, you have several pages across your domain that are beneficial to users. You’re able to acquire more relevant, quality backlinks this way, too.
The right site structure helps you to do this effectively.
Helps to Prevent Keyword Cannibalization
Keyword cannibalization can prevent your site from ranking as well as it could when two or more pages that have the same intent compete with one another. The right site structure can make it easier to stop this issue from occurring due to a clearly defined place on your site for a particular topic or piece of content.
What Does a Good Site Structure Look Like?
We’ve already defined that a good site structure should:
Group topically related content together
Highlight your most important pages
Keep content simple and organized in a logical hierarchy
Before we dive into how to define your website structure, here’s what a well-organized structure looks like:
See how content is grouped around key pages that come off from the site’s homepage? Content is placed in a logical hierarchy, and it’s clear to see how this could easily be expanded as the site grows.
This site architecture is based around what is known as topic clusters, and we’ll give a quick breakdown of the strategy:
Topic clusters are a group of content that revolves around a central topic and use a pillar page to link to and from. In short, topic clusters are centered around a single topic and offer multiple internal linking opportunities to keep readers on your site.
They’re an effective approach to structuring your site, helping you group topically related content together and putting in place a solid internal linking structure. Here’s an example topic cluster with a pillar page:
Using topic clusters helps you showcase topical authority, which is vital for earning top rankings on the SERPs.
How to Define a Site Structure That Works
Ready to plan out a site structure that works great both for your users and search engines? Here’s a step-by-step guide to defining your website structure: – Read more
One of the biggest ‘arguments’ in SEO is the subdomain vs. subdirectory debate.
Which is better for SEO? Does it actually make a difference? If a blog is hosted on a subdomain, should you migrate it into a subdirectory? What’s Google’s stance on this?
These are just a few of the many questions commonly asked in the SEO community on social media, often met with differing responses.
And in this guide, we want to clarify the confusion and help settle the debate about ‘subdomain vs. subdirectory.’ We’ll dive deep into the technical SEO considerations that you need to take and outline the instances when they make the most sense to use. Specifically, we’ll look at:
Essentially, a subdomain is a child of the parent domain, and they are sometimes used for hosting:
ecommerce stores (when these are part of a larger site)
Internationalization (different websites to target different markets)
Separate mobile sites
Notice that in the subdirectory (also known as a subfolder) example, the /blog/ sits within the main domain. It’s part of the main yourdomain.com website in the same way that any other page would be. For all intents and purposes, this is just another page on this website.
But a subdomain sits outside of the main domain; it sits within its own partition of the domain. In this example, it’s being used to host a blog.
A subdomain will always sit before the root domain when looking at a URL, whereas a subdirectory will always sit after.
If you’re currently not sure how many subdomains your site is using, or if it’s using any at all, you can use the Semrush Site Audit Tool to view your site’s structure, including any subdomains:
Just make sure when setting up the tool that ‘including all subdomains’ is selected for the crawl scope.
Why is there such a significant debate in the SEO community between subdomains and subdirectories? And is one better than the other when it comes to ranking on the SERPS?
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Giving Context to the Debate
Let’s clear one thing up; your website’s structure significantly impacts your organic search performance.
The choice between a subdomain or a subdirectory for certain areas of your site can help or hinder your ability to drive growth. But similarly, there are instances when it does make sense to host part of your site on a subdomain.
This is very much an ‘it depends’ scenario. It’s important that you understand the different use scenarios and how they can impact your site’s organic performance.
So then, where does the confusion come from?
This debate is sparked by the fact that Google treats subdomains as separate entities to your main domain, largely because some websites place different content on subdomains that shouldn’t really be associated with the main site. Or in some instances, those subdomains of the main domain are controlled by different people. – Read more