Our 15 SEO Tips for Showing First in Search

This topic of SEO Tips comes from a call I received a month or so ago, that I considered being very exciting.  It was a station owner who went to the NAB Show in Las Vegas hoping to talk to a website vendor to help him with his group of websites.

We didn’t have a chance to go to NAB Show this year and apparently no other website vendor did either.  After not finding anyone to help him, he went to Google while sitting in the back of a session. He couldn’t remember exactly what he Googled but he was quick to say that never clicks on the paid search results that appear at the top of those results (neither do we).  He clicked on us because we were the first search result after those paid ads.  I was elated to hear this because it was exactly what I’ve been working toward!

He went on to say that he was excited to talk with us because we obviously knew about SEO and that’s what he needed help with as well.  Imagine his surprise when I told him that we didn’t do anything special.  “Well, you appeared first so you obviously have an SEO team or service focused on doing that, right?”, he asked.  I explained that we simply do the right things, that don’t cost anything, consistently and the results speak for themselves.

Why SEO is Important

Why is it important to be at or near the top of search results?  Well, how many times have you clicked down to page 4 or more in any search result?  Regardless of the content your website is generating, being first builds trust and credibility in your brand.  It means more traffic too and that equates to more money, especially if you display client banner ads.  If your website is focused on getting more clients for your radio station, then it can mean more of those, which again, is more money.  See the importance now?

Here are my top 15 SEO tips to do consistently to keep your station or your market website at or near the top of search results.

1. Research Your Competitor’s SEO

If your competitors rank higher than you in keywords that you want to dominate, then find out what they are doing differently.  Are they producing more content than you?  Is there content better?  Did they add a Youtube channel?  Are they sharing their content on social media frequently?

When you find out what they are doing and do it 10 times better to get 10 times better results.

We’ve seen radio stations that wanted to draw more visitors to their website, nearly putting the local newspaper out of business with this strategy.

2. Create High-Quality Relevant Content

Great content will always be the king online. Relevant content will help you build trust and it’s sure to get more shares and traffic.  Never write articles that are misleading.

If your radio station doesn’t have a blog devoted specifically to advertisers.  Please start one. Offer advertising tips like creating the best radio commercial, the importance of promotional events, case studies about successful advertising campaigns, etc.  Creating this kind of content on a consistent basis is the best way to attract new clients because it’s free information that builds trust.

I’ll let you in on something.  You’re reading/listening to my way of building trust.  We want to give free insight into producing great things online because it gives existing customers and new ones a way to know us better.

3. Update Your Blog Posts and Write New Ones

Each week, this podcast serves multiple purposes. In addition to automatically appearing in your podcast platform of choice, it simultaneously also appears as a new blog post on our website.

It’s important to ensure your website content is updated on a consistent basis because search engines love new content.  In return, they’ll reward you with a stronger organic presence.  Websites that are not updated regularly are consistently pushed lower in the results by the ones that are updated regularly.

4. Make Your Headlines Irresistible

In addition to images, this is the first thing your visitors see. Make your headlines catchy and more attractive than your competitors’ without getting too “clickbaity”.  Irresistible headlines will increase your click-through rate and shares, which will ultimately increase your website traffic.

5. Write for Your Visitors

Create content or posts that will benefit your visitors. For our radio station website, ensure your content creators keep your P1s in mind and write for them.  Do not focus so much on ranking high that you fail to deliver content that connects with your audience.

6. Do Not Copy/Paste Content

If you copy and paste content from other websites, you’ll likely get demoted in search engine rankings.  It’s ok to borrow concepts and ideas from other sources, but make sure the content you’re providing is your own and unique.

7. Ensure Your Content is Readable

Readability is a very important factor in SEO. Make sure your content can be read by your visitors and the robots that scan your site.  One way to achieve this is by breaking down your content into short paragraphs and using very simple language. Avoid using very long sentences, as well.

8. Use Keywords/Key Phrases Effectively

When you know your audience, you’ll know what they might be searching for.  For example, if you have a website dedicated to attracting new advertisers, you might write the key phrase “radio advertising in (your town)”.  So, ensure your articles contain this key phrase often.  Do not overstuff them though.

Several years ago, stuffing keywords were used extensively to boost rankings.  Now, high keyword density can make Google and other search engines blacklist your site.

9. Learn and Follow On-Page SEO

On-page SEO refers to measures related to the content and HTML source code of a page including the meta tags, keyword placement, keyword density, the content layout, and user-friendliness of your site.  Think of the individual elements that make up each page.  Something as simple as using the wrong heading tags simply because the font is larger can hurt the ranking of the page.

Some aspects of a good on-page SEO strategy include:

  • Use keywords in the title, URL, and meta description.
  • Use of H1, H2, and H3 tags properly.
  • Including image titles and alt attributes (bonus points for using keywords).
  • Whether or not the keyword appears in the first paragraph.
  • Use link anchors (clickable link text) properly.

10. Use Internal and External Linking

Whenever possible, link to other pages within your website.  If you refer to something else anywhere on your site, within your articles, it’s good to link to it.  This process can generate more on-site traffic and keep visitors there longer.  In addition, search engines follow these links and increase the rankings of the pages you link to.

External linking, or links offsite, are also good for you because they show your content has been researched.

11. Make Your Content Sharable

Social connection has become a major ranking signal. Ensure your site has social share buttons so that your content can easily be shared out. This will not only increase your ranking, but it will also improve your visitors’ engagement rate.

12. Improve Your Page Speed

Page speed is an important ranking factor for all search engines.  Plug your domain into https://pagespeed.web.dev to see your website’s scores for desktop and mobile devices.  Shoot for the highest speeds possible.

Large image files are the number one culprit for slow page loading, so be especially mindful of those.

13. Work on Your Design

All you need is a very simple and neat design with clear calls to action to boost your user experience. Google loves websites with very simple and responsive designs because their studies show that people do also.

Consider conducting a website usability test.  If your website is cluttered (with useful information) and your competitor’s website isn’t, perhaps the search results are showing that visitors prefer the cleaner design instead.

14. Examine Your Technical SEO

Occasionally check for technical issues in your site like broken links, broken images, etc. Scan for malware and other issues that might affect your SEO.  https://www.semrush.com is a good resource to check for these types of issues.

15. Cull Dead Content

Do you have old pages that are present but not generating any traffic?  It’s time to get rid of them.  Google doesn’t want to rank sites that are bloated with thin, low-quality content.

One e-commerce site saw a 31% boost in search engine traffic (not to mention a 28% increase in revenue) when they dropped 11 thousand product pages.

Proven.com saw its organic search traffic increase by 88.3% after deleting 40 thousand dead pages from its site.

Before you simply hit delete on anything older than X days old, see if any of those older pieces of content can be rewritten and updated to modern standards.

Conclusion

So, those are my top 15 SEO tips to do consistently to keep your station or your market website at or near the top of search results.  There’s no need to hire an SEO Marketing Firm or major service.  In fact, if you do, they’ll simply train your team to follow these exact steps.  So, share this with your team and enjoy saving that money.

Keep in mind that SEO is not an overnight game, it’s a long game.  It could take months to see the rewards of applying all of these tactics, but it’s a worthwhile effort in the long run.

We’d love to help with your radio station or market website.  Be sure to reach out to us.

Jim Sherwood serves as the chief creative, brand strategist, lead developer, meticulous project manager, and station collaborator for all Skyrocket Radio sites and projects. Jim is a 30+ year radio veteran with a resume spanning several small, medium, and large markets including roles as Digital Content Manager, Program Director, Production Manager, and Morning Show Host.