Acing the SEO ranking requires knowledge, skill, and a lot of work. You have to be in the know of basics as well as the latest developments so that your page doesn’t get lost in a dark corner of the internet.
Because SEO is evolving into an intelligent discipline that requires constant upgrade of tools and strategies, you must keep abreast of what’s latest in the SEO scene. For example:
With every new year, a new set of algorithms present new challenges in SEO relevance and ranking. Therefore, you must refresh your knowledge about which SEO tactics to focus which tactics could work for you, and which ones are no longer relevant.
How SEO works step by step?
To begin with, you must know the SEO concepts for beginners. These are SEO basics. For instance, the following steps are a key to develop and implement any SEO plan.
● Create a list of keywords
● Analyze competitor sites on Google’s first page
● Conduct keyword research
● Optimise for on-page SEO
● Optimise for search intent using long-tail keywords
● Create optimised and relevant content
● Link building
● Track progress and make changes
But, knowing these basics aren’t enough to get you ranked higher than the competition. The optimisation techniques that worked last year won’t produce results ahead, and therefore, you need to constantly change your SEO efforts.
What are the SEO success factors?
Of course, the 200 ranking factors used by Google is a treat but this article will help you concentrate on the best. These will help to drive more organic traffic, improve search engine rankings, and hence, are absolutely necessary to know right now.
Certified and accessible
The right kind of URL as the starting point is a no brainer. It may be a lightweight ranking factor but remember that a lot of users would bypass a website that isn’t SSL security enabled. HTTPS makes your site accessible to Google’s bots to easily reach, crawl, and index.
Remove the speed killers
Data shows that 40% of visitors abandon a website if it takes more than 3 seconds to load, and 80% of visitors never even return to it. Even top quality content and a professional website design cannot redeem slow speeds. Bounce rate, conversion, page views, reader satisfaction, search ranking, and revenue rely on faster speed. Therefore, declutter all non-essential widgets. Mobile page speed algorithm update penalises slow loading pages on mobile devices. According to Strange Loop, a mere 1-second delay in page load time can mean a 7% loss in conversions and 11% fewer page views!
Be friends with the mobile
The mobile usage statistics have shown the steady increase in traffic and page views from mobile devices. Accordingly, Google—obsessed as they are with the best in user experience, have rolled out their mobile-first index. This means that mobile-optimized sites rank higher than desktop-geared ones. Google AMP can help in this regard.
Content marketing is still king
Valuable content in the form of engaging and popular topics can attract traffic. Understand the metrics behind keyword targeting, and capitalise on the long-tail keyword research. Keywords are important for search bots but remember that your site needs to have content for people to read and then engage with. While you are creating pages optimised to attract organic search traffic, do not forget to align your content with the ‘search intent’.
Linking both ways
Link building to other sites that are authoritative and relevant sure leads traffic away from your site but it is crucial and a smart search engine optimisation strategy. Build trust and in turn receive inbound links from influencers and quality sites. A healthy combination of dofollow and nofollow links provide a natural link profile that is rewarded in search engine rankings.
Meta titles and descriptions
Search engines use meta titles to show pages in search results, creating a compelling one is a great opportunity to attract users. Well-crafted and unique titles and descriptions being the first section that people see when Google serves up a page to search users makes organic traffic viable. On the other hand, meta descriptions help in the click-through rate. Truncation is one concern in this arena and can be avoided by using the SERP pixel tool.
Don’t dehumanise the URLs
A meaningful URL is easier to read for a human as well as search engines. Search spiders are programs and accordingly are following search users and also need to be guided. Ideally, a URL should be readable and not be just numbers and characters; be memorable to users; not more than four words long; and search engine-friendly.
Did you know that very few sites receive top ten Google search ranking if they have pages more than a year old? An Ahrefs study of two million pages found that 95% of newly published pages don’t get to the top ten within a year but 5.7% do manage to get there in about 2–6 months. How? A lot of hard work guided by some solid knowledge of SEO. Remember to publish unique content consistently to improve your rankings. This article can be a starting point to get your page among the 5.7%
Keyword the images
An entire search section dedicated to images is proof enough for the importance for images. And images are searched with—keywords! Thus, inserting keywords in image names and captions can go a long way in improving search rankings. Think about relevance here rather than creativity, and of course, steer clear of keyword stuffing.
Social media shares are important but not yet in the algorithm ranking factors according to Google. However, many case studies conducted have shown that social shares, likes, tweets, and pins do have an impact on search engine ranking. In a way, social shares increase traffic in a page by itself, and also is sure to build more backlinks. Hence, an indirect improvement in search engine rankings. Make content accessible in social media, easy to share, and then amplify these social signals to boost your brand in social media.
The SEO success factors listed above will keep both Google and your audience happy. The predicament is never about sacrificing one for the other. Create a user experience that your audience will love and then optimise it for Google to understand and rank well.
Take a look at the below related Chapters
Chapter 4: All About Tracking Google Algorithm Updates
Chapter 6: SEO Keyword Research: How to Do it Right?
Chapter 7: How to Communicate Your SEO Strategy in 2021
Chapter 11: Things You Need to Know About Mobile SEO
Chapter 12: Top 8 KPIs to Track for SEO Success