There are more than 3.5 billion searches everyday on search engines like Google, Bing, DuckDuckgo & Yahoo ,now where do you place yourself in such crowded and competitive market.
For better rankings and organic reach you need more than the knowledge of SEO. You must know how to implement your web pages or website to the google search results. The value of SEO is still unknown to the most of the online business users. SEO is an effective way to increase your organic reach to online space.
There are more than 200+ factors that takes into account for ranking any website on any search engines. Unlike the paid media good SEO will increase your reward for a long term.
The four key areas of SEO that site owners need to consider are:
- Technical SEO: Technical SEO deals with many parts of the website like Crawling, indexing, speed and technology used in website.
- Website Content: Website content is the textual, visual, or aural content that is encountered as part of the user experience on websites. It may include—among other things—text, images, sounds, videos, and animations, having the most relevant and best answers to a prospect’s question.
- On-site SEO: The on-site optimization deals with in-Depth content and it’s user friendliness like easy to navigate and read.
- Off-site SEO: Off-site SEO refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs).
Of course, these four areas have some complexity and overlap, but understanding your strengths and weaknesses in relation to them is key to focusing your efforts.
1. Technical SEO
In 2016, there’s been a lot of speculation on the value of technical SEO. It was called makeup; some of it was proclaimed dead; but ultimately, it was brought back to life gracefully and conclusively with outstanding examples of technical SEO tactics resulting in major traffic boosts.
Technical SEO can seem a little daunting, but really, what we are talking about is ensuring that a search engine can read your content and explore your site. Much of this will be taken care of by the content management system you use, and tools like Google Search Console and Screaming frog can explore your website and highlight technical problems.
The main areas to consider here are:
- Crawling- Make sure important resources are crawlable.To check your site’s crawlability, you may be tempted to simply look through robots.txt; but often, it’s just as inaccurate as it is simple.
- Index- Is it clear which pages the search engine should index and return?. Let’s start with the number of your site’s pages that are indexed by search engines. You can check this by entering site:domain.com in your target search engine or by using an SEO crawler like WebSite Auditor.
- Mobile- Does your site adapt for mobile users?. Google’s starting the “mobile-first indexing of the web,” meaning that they will index the mobile version of websites instead of its desktop version. The implication is that the mobile version of your pages will determine how they should rank in both mobile and desktop search results
.Here are the most important things to take care of to prepare your site for this change (For more mobile SEO tips, jump here).
- Test your pages for mobile-friendliness with Google’s own Mobile Friendly Test tool.
- Run comprehensive audits of your mobile site, just like you do with the desktop version. You’ll likely need to use custom user agent and robots.txt settings in your SEO crawler.
- Track mobile rankings. Finally, don’t forget to track your Google mobile ranks, and remember that your progress will likely soon translate to your desktop rankings as well.
- Speed – Page speed isn’t just one of Google’s top priorities for 2017, it’s also its ranking signal. You can test your pages’ load time with Google’s own PageSpeed Insights tool. It can take a while to manually enter all your pages’ URLs to check for speed, so you may want to use WebSite Auditor for the task. Google’s PageSpeed tool is integrated right into it.
If your page doesn’t pass some of the aspects of the test, Google will give you the details and how-to-fix recommendations. You’ll even get a download link with a compressed version of your images if they’re too heavy. Doesn’t that say a lot about just how much speed matters to Google?
- Hierarchy. How is your content structured on your website? Always try to provide HTML sitemap as well as xml sitemap to make sure your content and site structure get indexed properly.
If you are a small business using WordPress for your website, technical SEO should be something you can check off your list pretty quickly. If you have a large, bespoke website with millions of pages, then technical SEO becomes much more important.
Much of what is considered “technical SEO” here is actually part of your website design and development. The trick is to ensure your developer understands the interplay between website design, development and SEO and how to build a blisteringly fast and mobile-optimized site.
2. On-site SEO optimization
On site SEO is also referred as On page SEO, Your website should be optimized as a whole and at an individual page level. There is some crossover here from your technical SEO, and you want to start with a well-structured content hierarchy for your site.
The ultimate goal of on-site SEO can be thought of as attempting to make it as easy as possible for both search engines and users to:
- Understand what a web page is about
- Identify that page as relevant to a search query or queries.
- Find that page useful and worthy of ranking well on a search engine results page (SERP).
The main areas to focus on here are:
- Keyword Research- On-site SEO is less about keyword repetition or placement and more about understanding who your users are, what they’re looking for, and about what topics (keywords) can you create content that best fulfills that need.
- In-depth.“Thin” content was one of Google Panda’s specific targets; today it’s more or less assumed that content must be sufficiently thorough in order to stand a good chance at ranking.
- User-friendly – Is the content readable? Is it organized on your site in such a way that it’s easily navigable? Is it generally clean, or littered with ads and affiliate links?
- Unique – If not properly addressed, content duplicated from elsewhere on your site (or elsewhere on the Internet) may impact a site’s ability to rank on SERPs.
- Authoritative and trustworthy- Does your content stand on its own as a reliable resource for information on a particular topic?
- Aligned with user search intent- Part of creating and optimizing for quality content is also delivering on searcher expectations. Content topics should align with the search queries for which they rank.
- Descriptive URLs – A URL (Uniform Resource Locator), more commonly known as a “web address”, specifies the location of a resource (such as a web page) on the internet. The URL also specifies how to retrieve that resource, also known as the “protocol”, such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, etc. SEO friendly URLs are much more easy to crawl for any search engine.
SEO best practices for URLs
- Keeping URLs as simple, relevant, compelling, and accurate as possible is key to getting both your users and search engines to understand them (a prerequisite to ranking well). Although URLs can include ID numbers and codes, the best practice is to use words that people can comprehend.
- URLs should be definitive but concise. By seeing only the URL, a user (and search engine!) should have a good idea of what to expect on the page.
- When necessary for readability, use hyphens to separate words. URLs should not use underscores, spaces, or any other characters to separate words.
- Use lowercase letters. In some cases, uppercase letters can cause issues with duplicate pages. For example, Umangdhawan.com/Blog and Umangdhawan.com/blog might be seen as two distinct URLs, which might create issues with duplicate content.
- Avoid the use of URL parameters, if possible, as they can create issues with tracking and duplicate content. If parameters need to be used (UTM codes, e.g.), use them sparingly.
- Page titles. Page title should be relevant to the content you are providing. Also watch the length of the page title, it is recommended that your title tag should be under 60 Characters. Every page has its unique content so it must have its own unique page title.
- Meta descriptions. Craft meta descriptions like they were ad copy to drive clicks.
- Content optimization. Sensibly use keywords and variations in your page copy.
- Good user experience (UX). Ensure your site is a joy to use and navigate.
- Strong calls to action. Make it easy for your users to know what to do next.
- Structured data markup. Tap into the latest SERP features to improve click-through rates.
Non-keyword-related on-site SEO
Beyond the keywords (topics) used in content on a webpage and how they’re discussed, there are several “keyword-agnostic” elements that can influence a page’s on-site optimization.
Those include things like:
- Link use on a page: How many links are there? Are they internal or external? Where do they point to?
- Page load speed
- Use of Schema.org structured data or other markup
- Page URL structure
- Mobile friendliness
- Page metadata
All of these elements tie back to the same basic idea: creating a good user experience. The more usable a page is (from both a technical and non-technical perspective), the better that page’s on-site optimization.
Content is king. That’s the saying, right? It’s true in a way. Your website is really just a wrapper for your content. Your content tells prospects what you do, where you do it, who you have done it for, and why someone should use your business. And if you’re smart, your content should also go beyond these obvious brochure-type elements and help your prospective customers achieve their goals. For one thing, without content, SEOs would have nothing to optimize for search engines. Every link earned by every marketer points to a piece of content, and the keywords that people type into search engines are an attempt to find—yep—content.
For service businesses, we can loosely break your content down into three categories:
- Service content. What you do and where you do it.
- Credibility content. Why a prospect should engage with your business.
- Marketing content. Content that helps position you as an expert and puts your business in front of prospects earlier in the buying cycle.
It’s really important to realize that SEO is important for all of these kinds of content, but it is often only really considered for service-type content. SEO is often forgotten when it comes to credibility content like reviews, testimonials and case studies.
Ensure you optimize all of your marketing content, including case studies, portfolio entries and testimonials — not just the obvious service pages.
A solid content marketing and SEO strategy is also the most scalable way to promote your business to a wide audience. And this generally has the best ROI, as there is no cost per click — so you are scaling your marketing without directly scaling your costs. This kind of SEO strategy is not right for every business, but when it is a good fit, it’s almost unbeatable.
Here are the key takeaways:
- Optimize all content across the entire customer journey.
- Determine whether content marketing via organic search is a good fit.
4. Off-site Optimization
What is off-page SEO?
“Off-page SEO” (also called “off-site SEO”) refers to actions taken outside of your own website to impact your rankings within search engine results pages (SERPs).
Optimizing for off-site ranking factors involves improving search engine and user perception of a site’s popularity, relevance, trustworthiness, and authority. This is accomplished by other reputable places on the Internet (pages, sites, people, etc.) linking to or promoting your website, and effectively “vouching” for the quality of your content.
Links and off-page SEO
Building backlinks is at the heart of off-page SEO. Search engines use backlinks as indications of the linked-to content quality, so a site with many high value backlinks will usually rank better than an otherwise equal site with fewer backlinks.
There are three main types of links, defined by how they were earned: natural links, manually built links, or self-created links.
- Natural links are editorially given without any action on the part of a page owner. For example, a food blogger adding a link to a post that points toward their favorite produce farms is a natural link.
- Manually built links are acquired through deliberate link-building activities. This includes things like getting customers to link to your website or asking influencers to share your content.
- Self-created links are created by practices such as adding a backlink in an online directory, forum, blog comment signature, or a press release with optimized anchor text. Some self-created link building tactics tend toward black hat SEO and are frowned upon by search engines, so tread lightly here.
Regardless of how links were obtained, those that offer the greatest contribution to SEO efforts are generally those that pass the most equity. There are many signals that positively contribute to the equity passed, such as:
- The linking site’s popularity
- How related the linking site’s topic is to the site being linked to
- The “freshness” of the link
- The anchor text used on the linking site
- The trustworthiness of the linking site
- The number of other links on the linking page
- Number of relevant internal links
Non-link-related off-site SEO
While earning links from external websites is the most commonly practiced off-page SEO strategy, almost any activity that a) occurs outside of your own website and b) helps to improve your search ranking position could be thought of as “off-page SEO.” These include things like:
- Social media marketing
- Guest blogging
- Linked and unlinked brand mentions
- Influencer marketing
It’s important to note, though, that the net result of each of these activities is to somehow create a reference to your site from elsewhere on the web — be that reference a link, a mention of your brand or website, or otherwise. So, the concept of truly “non-link-related” off-page SEO is actually a bit of a misnomer!
A note on local off-page SEO:
Of-page SEO relies on human behavior (namely, that people only reference and share content they like). As such, it applies to both organic and local SEO. Even in a real state business, high-quality products get a lot of word-of-mouth referrals from current customers — the in-person equivalent of off-page SEO.
SEO does not need to be overly complex. There are four key areas of SEO that you need to consider, and there is a structured, methodical process that can be followed to optimize your site.
I sincerely hope this post helps you cut through the noise, improve your rankings and generate more business from organic search!