In a previous article we talked about SEO, how it can be implemented and how it can assist your HVAC business. Here we will get into the more advanced techniques and concepts of SEO to help further your understanding of this branch of marketing.
We have already discussed the most basic fundamentals underpinning SEO. Now we will build on those fundamentals.
Upgrade Current Content
Rather than spend the time and resources developing new content wholesale you should instead look at the content you already have. Even if you do develop new content the fact it is new means the new content will need time so as to accumulate and drive traffic towards itself. It is in fact quite rare for a brand new page to land a top spot on a search engine results page. Much less page one which is responsible for driving the most traffic.
Try to maximize what you currently have. You may be sitting on opportunities already in your possession but you simply are not aware of them.
It may be possible for you to achieve short-term boosts in search result rankings and traffic simply by bettering some (if not all) of the content you have already made.
Here are some ways to examine and then upgrade your current content:
it can be all too easy for your content to be rendered at best outdated or at worst completely obsolete even totally contradicted by new knowledge. Content that is no longer up to date tends to be deemed as less relevant by the search queries. Or in other words search engine users stop going to that web-page because the information is outdated and thus of little to no use to them.
Check to see if your content addresses issues, technology, and techniques in the HVAC as they are now. Are there any advancements you are not talking about? Any issues regarding technology your website is not mentioning? Statistics that were taken years ago when there might be new ones currently out there? Or more simply, are there posts that were made before 2020 that could be updated to 2021?
Answer questions like these as you reexamine the content you have already posted before starting on anything new.
- This one will require use of the Google Search Console. Once there you will want to look at performance report by following this route:
Performance > Search Results > Pages
Here you will be able to look at search queries as well as any data associated with those queries including clicks, impressions, and the average search engine result ranking of any specified URL.
Order the table to sort according to ‘position.’ In addition input filters so that terms ranking at the bottom of page 1 or even 1 also appear.
At that point you should be able to view the search queries that have resulted in impressions on web pages you own but do not possess any noteworthy SERP ranking.
Filter and then sort the table’s results so that it prioritizes queries which have triggered most impressions.
The queries at the very top of the table because they have triggered the most impressions will be your striking distance keywords.
Go back over your web pages and expand on these keywords. Get into more detail and emphasize them more. After updating your content with the striking distance keywords in mind check to see how those updated web pages do. You should hopefully see increases in traffic as well as visibility.
When we say topic clusters we mean a grouping of content that is centered upon and loops back to a central topic. This necessitates a page to serve as a pillar which the content in a specific cluster connects back and forth to.
Topic clusters are an effective SEO technique because they help you construct groupings of content which in turn emphasize the relevance and expertise of said content related to the topic you are posting about. Relevance and expertise are two of the major factors that affect search engine algorithms and as a result search engine results placement.
The more content you have that relates back to a specific topic or subject the more credence you give to the idea that you are an expert in your field. You achieve that by maintaining clusters of content that are internally linked showcasing how the content you have posted relates back to the topic of your expertise.
Admittedly it can be difficult and time-consuming to migrate and restructure your website’s content into a topic cluster setup. However, you will likely see positive results in both the short and long term.
Audit and Remove Content
Make sure that all pages on your website possess a purpose. That nothing posted to your website can be construed as ‘frivolous,’ ‘unnecessary,’ or ‘superfluous.’ To that end you need to examine your content for anything that can be improved upon or anything that should be removed from your website.
Perform regular audits of your content to identify the lowest performing pages (in terms of impressions and clicks) of your website. Once you have flagged these lowest performers you can examine them and make decisions on what to do with them going forward. It is recommended you do these audits once or twice a year.
Make sure to have a spreadsheet at the ready. When it comes to audits and data examination spreadsheets will be among your most valuable tools.
Much like defragging and removing data clogging up your computer system to improve its performance so too are you doing the same for your website’s content.
While there might be pages you can improve upon (see Upgrade Current Content above) you will also likely have to completely remove and excise content. Even content you are quite proud of. To that we will quote one of the most popular and successful fiction writers of our time, Stephen King. In his book on writing simply titled Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, the acclaimed author said:
“Kill your darlings, kill your darlings, even when it breaks your egocentric little scribbler’s heart, kill your darlings.”
What King meant was: you should be ready to cut out whole sentences, whole paragraphs, whole chapters even if they do not serve a purpose in your book. Even if you feel it is some of the best writing you have ever done, cut it out if it does not actually help the overall book. Or in this case your marketing.
Maybe not necessarily delete it. It may serve a purpose elsewhere in the future. But for the purposes of your current project it only takes up space and threatens to drag down the rest of your website.
Other than deciding on pages to improve or remove you may also come across pages to merge. These might be pages with some differences in content but are ultimately talking about one thing and thus can be merged together. Or it could be that you feel the content of one page is still relevant but that page is a low performer. Hence the merging of pages.
Keyword Cannibalization Containment
Keyword cannibalization occurs when you have at least two web pages that- either by design or accident- are all targeting one search user intent.
It is more than possible to have multiple pages that are geared to focus and utilize the same keyword. What matters is the intent, the search queries those pages are meant to answer. This is a consequence of advances in search algorithms that favor matching search user intents over simply matching keywords.
Signs that keyword cannibalization is occurring on your website include:
- Incorrect URL rankings for a page
- The search result rankings for any of your pages constantly fluctuates
- The ranking of a URL in SERP is constantly changing
- Difficulties at trying to increase the rank positioning of a keyword
If you suspect or simply want to check for keyword cannibalization there are tools available for you to use. Tools that measure by page as well as by keyword. Such tools can also show if the above listed fluctuations and rank changes are happening.
There are 3 types of SEO you should be aware of. Different approaches to keep in mind as each handles different aspect that are meant to work in concert with each other.
On Page SEO– refers to the content you actually post on your website. This aspect of SEO is what interacts with search engines to clarify what topic is being presented by your content and thus whether the search engine will list your website in the search engine results.
Examples include: the keywords you research and use, the quality of the content you post and how well you come off as an expert in your field.
Technical SEO– is the aspect of SEO most search engine users do not see. It is affected by how ‘readable’ your website is by search engines as well as to how convenient it is for readers. Whether or not a reader has a positive experience using your website beyond the content posted.
Examples include: mobile device compatibility, faster loading times, whether or not you have any broken pages. navigability.
Off-Site SEO– can mean any technique that deals with your website’s reputation and its place in the larger digital community.
Examples include backlinking- which is getting links from other sites seen as authorities in fields related to yours who post and share links back to your website. Another form of Off-Site SEO is getting bloggers to talk about your brand and direct viewers to your website on their own blogs (especially if those bloggers are known to focus on fields related to your company’s).
Incorporating SEO does not mean having to throw out everything you have already done and starting from scratch. It is about optimizing what you already have. Determining your strengths and weaknesses then improving yourself from there. Whether that means streamlining your content, updating or cutting out material, restructuring, or even taking a close look at how well your web pages load on a smartphone. Then you see if you actually need to come up with anything brand new.