Top tips, SEO

5 things you don’t know about SEO

Laura Cameron

9 September, 2022

5 SEO top tips: 

1. Featured snippets
2. Gaining authority
3. Meta descriptions
4. Building backlinks
5. Topic clusters


1. Featured snippets 


Even the most experienced marketers, content creators and PR’s struggle to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of SEO. Google is keeping us on our toes, constantly changing the way it crawls and ranks content, and marketers need to be able to respond to these changes.

Keywords, headings, and internal links aren’t cutting it anymore, and it’s getting harder to get that top spot in search engine results pages. So, we’ve compiled 5 top tips for optimising your SEO to get the most out of Google’s ranking process.

What is a featured snippet?

A featured snippet is a search engine's way of presenting information quickly and clearly in response to a specific question. The idea is that a user wouldn’t need to visit a webpage to get an answer to their query, but that they visit your website for more information.

So how do you create a featured snippet? It starts by creating content that answers a specific question. That is, clarity and answering the question are essential to being featured.

You also want to be creating content that’s relevant to your readers, so they return to your site. We suggest researching your prospects, understanding their pain points, and creating content that answers their most pressing questions. Also, consider your competitors and what is working for them.

Unfortunately, content writing isn’t just a creative endeavour. Content structure plays a vital role. Clearly laid-out answers, especially in a bullet-pointed or numbered list, will help search engines and increase your chances of being featured as a snippet.


2. Gaining Authority

Although keywords are undoubtedly key to achieving top-ranking spots on Google, page authority is another key factor search engines use to determine rankings.

This is why it’s vital that your brand’s webpage is built to be a reputable source that publishes relevant content for your audience. There are many ways to do this, like regular blog posting, social media engagement, and guest posting on news outlets or other sites.

Ultimately, you want to prove that your business creates trustworthy content relevant to your readers; that’s how you’ll start to make your way up Google rankings.


3. Meta descriptions


A blog title isn’t the only way to describe your content. Meta descriptions are equally as important to your SEO and click-through rate (CTR). They should tempt the searcher to engage with your content over the other results, with the end goal being that they click through to your website.

A 2020 study found that the top result on a Google search page has an average CTR of 27%. So, that #1 spot is important, but if you have a well-written meta description, there is still a high chance of engagement with a lower ranking.

Your meta description should be clear and succinct to provide that little bit of extra detail to persuade the reader to choose your site over a competitor’s.


4. Building backlinks


Link building is the practice of acquiring links to your website from other websites. Earning inbound links from high-authority web pages is vital to building authority and ranking higher on results pages. Unfortunately, it’s not always simple to get other pages to link back to your page.

One way to get high-quality backlinks is to network with other sites with higher domain authority and request links to your content. From a PR perspective, creating articles and comments that place a member of your institution as a thought leader on a particular topic, with backlinks to your webpage, will help enormously to boost your rankings.


5. Topic clusters


A topic cluster is multiple pieces of content grouped by a shared topic, linked together by a pillar page on your site. Topic clusters are simple to make and will save your team a lot of time creating unsuccessful content.

It’s important you have a pillar page, that groups together all your useful articles and links into subtopics. Search engines recognise content that is overly promotional or rammed with keywords. Organising content into clusters allows crawlers to understand your expertise and the relationships between the pages, without forcing keywords.

Topic clusters can also help your brand to build a coherent content strategy, with high-level content that offers a broad overview of your specialist topics whilst also linking to more in-depth articles on specific subtopics.


The bottom line


Any part of SEO, whether it’s creating topic clusters or gaining coveted authority, takes time and a lot of patience. You shouldn’t expect overnight results and it’s always important to keep search engine updates at the forefront of your mind.

But, if you implement a well-organised and optimised content strategy that both benefits your audience and makes life easy for Google, you will establish a valuable and long-lasting search engine presence for your website and for your brand.