Search Engine Optimization Techniques: The Ultimate Guide
Search engine optimization or SEO is often about making minor adjustments to your website. These changes might look like regular improvements, but when incorporated with other SEO strategies, they could have a major impact on your website’s user experience and search engine rankings.
You might be familiar with many of these actionable SEO techniques in this guide, because they’re building blocks for any website, but you may not be using them the right way to get the best out of them.
You might be probably wondering: where to find search engine optimization techniques that actually work? Well I’m going to make it less stressful for you.
Here are some of the best actionable SEO strategies that you can implement to increase your website traffic and search ranking. These include on-page optimization tips, keyword research, backlink building, user experience and more.
Create Great Content
Your website content is the building block of your website. Without great content, it’s impossible to get rankings in search engines. Your articles must be descriptive and provide great value to your users.
Latest ranking factors study from Searchmetrics suggests that Google gives more emphasis to longer-form of content that understands users’ intention and engage them.
So, instead of worrying about the search engines, you should create great content for the users.
Do Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important aspects for any search marketing campaign.
Without researching which keywords users are actually looking for in your space, you’ll be depending on luck, rather than stats. With solid keyword research you can take your SEO efforts to the next level.
If you’ve just launched your website, you’ll find it really tough to rank for highly competitive keywords in your niche.
It is possible, but you’ll need to work real hard and create something out of the box. Then you need promote the content like crazy.
So if you want to grow your search traffic fast, it makes sense to target less competitive keywords.
Create Unique Page Titles/Descriptions
A title tag gives an idea to both search engines and users what the content of a particular page is. Ideally, it makes sense to create a unique title for every page on your site which helps search engines know how one page is different from the others.
You need to create the page title in such a way that it effectively describes the topic of the page’s content.
Your page titles need to be both short and informative. Avoid creating extremely long titles that are not helpful to users.
A page’s meta description tag provides a rough summary of a page on your site. A page’s title contains a few words or a phrase, whereas a page’s description tag contains a sentence or a short paragraph.
Create a description that both informs and engages users if they came across your description meta tag used as a snippet in SERPs (search engine results pages).
Focus on Site Structure/Navigation
The site structure of your website is very important in helping users find the content they are looking for. It also helps search engines to understand what content the site owner thinks is important.
Every site has a home or root page, which is usually the most important page on the site and the starting point of navigation for your visitors.
Ensure more convenience for visitors by using breadcrumb.
A breadcrumb is a row of connected links at the top (or bottom) of a page that allows a visitor to quickly navigates back to a previous page or the home page.
Improve Site Speed
According to Google, site speed is one of the key factors used by its algorithm to rank webpages. And many studies have shown that Google is specifically measuring loading time when it considers page speed.
In addition that, slower page speed reduces the number of pages crawled by the search engines, and this could have a major impact on your site indexation.
So, optimizing and improving the site speed is always should be your top priority.
Use Mobile-First Approach
In 2015, Google rolled out Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) which has long-lasting impact on search marketers and content publishers.
The concept relies on AMP HTML, an open source framework built entirely on existing web technologies, which helps websites to create light-weight webpages.
Since then Google has been pushing webmasters to enhance site speed for better user experience.
Focus on URL Structure
Simple-to-understand URL structure can convey content information easily to your visitors.
Search engines are good at crawling all kinds of URL structures, irrespective of how complex they are, but keeping your URL structure simple for both users and search engines is always beneficial.
URLs with keywords that are relevant to your page content are friendlier for users visiting your site.
URLs with keywords that are relevant to your page content are friendlier for users visiting your site. Visitors can recall them better and more interested to link to them.
Use Better Internal linking Structure
Internal linking is one of the key SEO techniques for publishers and search marketers.
Internal linking can be defined as the link from one page which leads to another page on the same domain.
It provides your users with further browsing options. As long as pages are relevant and you use correct anchor text. This might also help to reduce the site’s bounce rates.
It also helps to improve search ranking for certain keywords.
For example If you want your article to rank for the keyword ’SEO tips’ then you can start linking to it from other relevant pages using variations of related anchor texts.
This informs search engines that this post is highly relevant to users searching for the term ‘SEO tips.
Build Quality Backlinks
It is a well-known fact that only way to climb up to the top of search engine ranking is to build quality backlinks and you need plenty of them.
Don’t waste your time acquiring bad backlinks from low quality article and directory submissions websites. Instead, try to get backlinks from high quality and reputable websites.
To improve the domain authority, you need to build backlinks from authoritative websites in your space. You must focus on the relevancy, which is very important.
Keep in mind that one quality backlink is more valuable than 10–15 low-quality links.
Follow this link building guide from Brian Dean, which will help you to get great backlinks from quality sites.
You can make the appearance of your search results more prominent by using Schema markup code to the body tag of your web pages.
Schema markup refers to the collection of various HTML tags that can be incorporated to a web page.
These html tags create more informative description which appears in search results, also known as rich snippets.
Many webmasters forget to implement the image alt attribute when they use images to their content.
But this is something you should never overlook because Google cannot crawl your images, but it can read the alt text used in the image.
Each image must have a relevant name or ALT tag. Captions or texts are also useful to describe what the image is all about. By optimizing your images, you also get greater chances to rank higher in Google image search.
Social media is the next best thing happened to internet marketing space. Social media is a very powerful tool for search marketers.
You can now engage and interact with your audience at any time as long as you have a cell phone and data connection.
You need to ensure you have a presence on all relevant social media channels (according to your niche), and not just publishing your content in a random manner.
You must use social media as a customer engagement channel and try to interact with your audience in a friendly, entertaining and helpful manner.
While you want to be active on all the major social platforms, it makes sense to focus on the one that drives most engagement and traffic to your niche.
Place social sharing buttons in prominent positions on your site to make social sharing as easy as possible.
These search engine optimization techniques should help you take your SEO campaign to the next level. Follow the SEO best practices and stay updated with latest happenings in the industry.
Did I miss anything? Share your thoughts in the comments section.
Originally published at www.creativemoz.com on March 27, 2017.