As a website owner, you should already appreciate the need for great SEO. Search Engine Optimization is what will help your site rank highly on platforms like Google. As such, it will play a key role in boosting web visibility and organic online traffic.
The world of SEO has evolved, however, and you can ill afford to stick with outdated or incomplete methods. With over one billion active websites competing for visitors and online presence, mastering the field is your only option. Otherwise, you’ll immediately hand your competitors a huge advantage.
It can feel like a daunting challenge ahead, especially as the goalposts continue to move as the algorithms evolve. Do all of the things stated in this guide, though, and you will become a web winner in no time.
- 1 On Site SEO
- 2 Content Optimization
- 3 General SEO
- 4 Recap Of General SEO Practices
On Site SEO
Before starting, you should know that Google has clamped down on SEO in recent years. Consequently, this means using a bad SEO strategy could be worse than not using one at all. Therefore, if your website is already live, it’s imperative that you clean up your on page elements. Or, if yours is a new site, you must adhere to these rules immediately.
Here is a step by step guide to completing that transformation for improved on site elements.
1. Delete Dead Weight
Many website owners fall into the trap of overloading their sites with too many pages. Thanks to the evolutions in how Google determines its rankings, the golden rule in today’s market is to focus on quality rather than quantity.
That’s not to say that your website can’t have lots of pages. After all, news blogs and similar platforms will boast thousands. However, “dead weight pages” could actively harm your ranking. Pages that fall into this category include;
Outdated and low-quality blog posts Archive pages Category and tag pages on WordPress sites Boilerplate pages Outdated services/product pages.
2. Upgrade Pages & Blog Content
The on-page elements of specific pages and blog content is crucial for building a successful site that gains organic traffic. Good quality content is vital for readers and customers. Firstly, though, you must ensure that those pages are Google friendly.
Use headers (h-tags) and sub-headers to break up content into bite-size sections. Not only do those titles aid the SEO elements, but they also make the pages easier to follow for visitors. After all, some readers might not be native-English speakers.
The content itself should be easy to read for everyone unless your niche is aimed at academic readers. Without going crazy, adding natural flowing internal links can work wonders too. As well as boosting SEO in a productive manner, it can help keep visitors on your site.
3. Focus On Efficient Titles & Meta Descriptions
Anyone with even the most basic understanding of SEO will know that titles and meta tags are an integral factor for on site SEO. However, a very large percentage fall into the simple trap of trying to do too much. Sadly, saturating those elements can actually reduce their impact. In essence, less is more.
Before focusing on those individual placements, you must master the concept of using keywords in an efficient manner. Unlike yesteryear, keywords are now considered redundant without context. Therefore, you must put a great deal of effort into this aspect by finding LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) solutions. Essentially, these are the words that relate to your industry, services, and niche.
Furthermore, you must know how to use these features in the right fashion. Focus on these guidelines, and you will be just fine.
Page titles: Begin with a powerful and suitable keyword, and limit this element to no more than 65 characters. Punchy titles that spark an interest are the target.
Meta description: Aim for around 125-150 characters (no more than 155) and stick to a small number of keywords. They’ll pack a far greater punch that way. Local business can also include relevant info.
ALT (image) tags: Keep it short and relevant but do not ignore the need for adding those keywords. Essentially, it should simply provide a little info about the image being shown.
4. Add An FAQ Page
FAQ pages serve many purposes, not least the fact that they can save you the time and hassle of handling individual inquiries. However, they can also provide an organic SEO boost too.
Most importantly, this data may let your website appear in Google’s Answer Box. Many users will type questions into the search bar. If your FAQ page has the answers, it will be displayed to the visitor. This is a great way to gain organic visits.
Those FAQs can be linked to products, services, or general elements about the business and industry.
Recap Of On Site SEO
On site SEO is unquestionably one of the most important factors for a high ranking, and the elements mentioned above are all vital.
However, it’s important to remember that you needn’t target every page, especially when your website boasts many different pages. Pick around a dozen pages that you believe will gain the most attention and put the bulk of your on page strategies into those. Aside from anything else, it’ll ensure that Google highlights them rather than the less significant ones.
Some would argue that creating effective pages would fall into the category of content optimization. However, it’s not all about free flowing and well-presented information. In truth, perfecting this element of the SEO strategy requires a lot more work than that.
There are a number of tools that can be used to take content to the next level, ensuring that the website and its pages achieve a better ranking. Here are the crucial items that can be utilized.
1.UX (User Experience)
Google isn’t overly concerned with the companies it ranks. Instead, it is dedicated to the user and their experience. This is why UX should be a priority for all website owners. Essentially, if the site’s SEO strategies work well for the user, it will bring greater results for the owner too.
The idea of enhancing the UX should essentially boil down to the site’s appearance on those Google links. After all, these are essentially adverts that are competing against other websites to gain a click.
One of the best ways to boost the appearance is to incorporate Rich Snippets into your web page’s HTML. This tool allows search engines to digest data such as star ratings and reviews before presenting them in an eye-catching fashion. This ultimately provides the web user with greater trust and increased insight. More importantly, your Google posting will stand out from the crowd.
Given that Google has evolved the way it ranks pages, it’s now imperative that the content works well. The system now uses a facility known as RankBrain, which is why you must ensure your site is designed with this element in mind.
Content needs to be rich, and not only in terms of readability. Using various media types, including images and videos are liked by the Google algorithm, especially when the tags are correct. Meanwhile, pages that receive a lot of clicks are instantly seen as being a greater interest to the end user. This is another reason to focus on generating links (internally and externally) to those pages.
Ignoring the fact that Google now looks beyond the titles and meta descriptions will bring major problems. Essentially, it doesn’t like websites that waste the time of users. Be informative and easy to digest.
3.Click Through Rates (CTR)
Success breeds success throughout the world of business, not least with SEO. Google automatically deems websites that satisfy the audience as being more likely to give new users what they need too. Click Through Rates are one of the key barometers used to determine this.
Basically, you are looking to create SEO elements that gain a positive response from a greater percentage of the audience. This is why you want to choose keywords and descriptions that grab the user’s attention and solves their problems. Make it too vague, and they are likely to overlook your site. Over time, this will see the strength of your strategies decline.
A high CTR is heavily linked to success in the general SEO game. Do not underestimate it.
Recap Of Content Optimization
Presentation is everything in modern business, particularly online.
Ensuring that content reads well is one thing. But it will ultimately count for very little if the initial elements don’t gain the attention of your audience. Make sure that they do, and Google’s AI will look favorably on the website too. In turn, this will ensure far greater traffic levels.
Using some of the advanced features both on the CMS and pages themselves is vital for success in the modern world of SEO. Then again, those endeavors won’t bring the desired effect unless they are supported by strong foundations.
There are a number of fundamentals that can be easily overlooked. Make sure that you’ve taken each of the following aspects into account.
When using a CMS, it will be very difficult to generate any real success without an SEO plug-in. While your content could still be adapted, the lack of meta elements would harm the effect greatly. Essentially, if you want the SEO to work, it’s imperative that you install the right framework.
Like dead pages, broken links can undo a lot of the good work your website has achieved elsewhere. Landing on 404 pages, for example, can also make the website look unprofessional. Not only does it harm your Google ranking. It may also destroy a user’s trust in the business.
User expectations have evolved, as has Google’s. A website that takes too long to load will often lead to a quick exit. The need for speed impacts the mobile audience as well as the desktop one. Fail to achieve it, and your ranking will be penalized. Aim for PageSpeed Insights score of 85+.
A successful website needs to handle heavy volumes of traffic. A low speed will discourage users from revisiting while Google’s AI will punish you too. This is just one of the many reasons why your choice of web hosting package is vital for SEO.
Google is committed to presenting trustworthy websites to its users. Gaining an SSL certificate encrypts data, ensuring a secure connection between server and browser. Get your WHOIS data updated, and generate the CSR to gain that authority.
Redirections are often a necessity, but you don’t want them to undo the hard work elsewhere. A 301 redirect signals a permanent move, such as changing CMS or domain name. A 302 redirect is a temporary one that may be used to redirect from an outdated page. Understand them.
Sitemaps are commonly overlooked. However, this .xml file is crucial for the site’s visibility. Uploading this framework to the Google Search Console can help massively. Make sure pages are weighted with the right positions and sections.
The Robots.txt exclusion protocol is equally crucial. It informs search engines about the pages that should be ignored by their platforms when crawling for content. This can include restricted content or pages that are currently not relevant.
Understanding your audience is vital for adapting content. The Google Analytics tool provides the necessary insight into demographics. Given that this data can influence everything from content tone to keywords, it’s arguably the most important tool of all.
Recap Of General SEO Practices
Standard SEO provides the platform for your website to build its overall presence. Without those items in place, on page elements are rendered futile. Likewise, content optimization will become pointless as the scoring will be punished by the lack of basic features.
In truth, those fundamentals should be handled at the start. However, it doesn’t hurt to go back over them to ensure those features are all in place. When combined with the other aspects, the site’s ranking will soar. In turn, that should give the entire venture a far better shot at sustained success.
Tharindu is a passionate digital marketing specialist with over 14 years of experience planning and executing cross-channel digital media campaigns in the Asia Pacific and Australia. He is also known as the SEO wizard due to his extensive knowledge and technical skill in SEO.