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Web Development Fundamentals

Search Engine Optimization Techniques 2019

Search Engine Optimization or SEO in short, is a term that encapsulates everything you need to do to improve your website’s ranking positions in the top search engines.

Getting to page 1 of the search results is vital. 75% of users won’t click past the first page of google! If your site is new, it can be challenging to rank well in Google search results for high volume keywords because your Domain Authority and Page Authority are still very low. 

Page Authority was developed by Moz, and it means the likelihood that your page will rank highly in search. A higher number means it’s more likely to rank well. This is based on several factors: content length, links, keywords, readability and more.

Pre Content – Users & Optimizations 

Search User Intent

Over time, search engines have adapted and evolved to how people search. Search engines were successful in doing this because they understood that most searches can fall under certain types:

  • Informational: The searcher wants to know more about a topic.
  • Navigational: The searcher wants to navigate to a particular site, such as The New York Times website.
  • Transactional: The searcher is interested in transacting, ordering, purchasing, or buying.

Knowing the types of search intent will help you optimize for those searches and target the customers you want. 

Target customers & Research

You need to focus on what your target customers want. When you understand what they want, you can develop content that draws them in.

  1. What are people searching for?
    1. You may have a way of describing what you do, but how does your audience search for the product, service, or information you provide? Answering this question is a crucial first step in the keyword research process.
  2. How many people are searching for it?
  3. In what format do they want that information?

Website Architecture

One of the most important techniques to get your SEO right is to create a good website architecture. It is best to start structuring your website in your initial days. When you have less content, it is easier to make an organized site that is good for SEO.

This structure has the minimum amount of links possible between the homepage and any given page. This is helpful because it allows link equity (ranking power) to flow throughout the entire site, thus increasing the ranking potential for each page. This structure is common on many high-performing websites (like Amazon.com) in the form of category and subcategory systems.

Optimizing your URLS is important for maximum SEO. It has two parts. The first part is URL optimization and the second is URL structure. A permanent link (also known as a slug) is the unique URL of each page. Good URLs should be less than 255 characters and use hyphens to ‘-‘ separate the different parts. Just like the page title, an SEO friendly URL is short, descriptive and includes your target keyword.

Page Architecture

A page needs to be properly formatted. Think of it like a report which needs to have a heading (h1) and sub headings (h2, h3).

Each page needs to have only one H1 tag. If you are using WordPress then by default the title of a page is wrapped into H1 tags.

Avoid using a single word for a heading but make your headings interesting and useful for users that like to skim read an article.

Use headings hierarchically i.e. the first heading tag is the <h1> and then the <h2> and then <h3>, <h4> etc.

The subheadings are a great place to use related keywords in your content.

Page Loading Speed

When a user goes to your website, how long does it take for your web pages to load? This is an important question that all webmasters need to ask themselves. If it takes too long, it can turn away potential visitors from your website. Overall, it gives a bad user experience. 

Search engines also see this as a huge red flag. Page loading speed is an important metric that can influence your website’s SEO immensely. Since 2010, we have known that page loading speed is an important ranking factor for desktop searches. But in 2018, they took it up a notch.

Mobile Friendliness

Almost 60% of the searches in Google are now coming from mobile devices. This means that if your website is not mobile friendly, you are already losing half of the potential traffic. Check your website with the Google mobile friendly tool and fix any potential problems.

Then go one step further and test your website on mobile, like a real user would do, and make sure that everything is displayed correctly including your CTA buttons.

In general websites with a responsive design, have nothing to worry about mobile friendliness.

The Content

Write at least ~ 1,700 words

The most important piece of blogging – if you’re just joining the blogging community or this SEO-focused subculture within the marketing community, is that you create content ‘of substance.’ In-depth blog posts that seek to cover a particular topic exhaustively can help you get better search rankings. 

A website with brilliant content can do great with or without SEO. A website with bad content will not survive with or without SEO. A website with good content can become even better with SEO!

Original Content (articles, text, images, videos, presentations, infographics, comments etc.) – No copies or rewrites of existing articles.

Content published on your website first – Even if it’s your own content, if you have already published it on another website then it’s not good for your site (unless you specify the canonical tag correctly).

Page titles

The page title was and still is one of the most important on-page SEO factors. 

Add keywords to the beginning of your page titles – When possible add your target keywords to the beginning of your page title. This helps search engines understand right from the beginning what keywords the page is targeting.

Write short and descriptive titles – A page title doesn’t have to be long. The general recommendation is to keep it below 60 characters because this is the average amount of characters displayed by Google in the search results.

Include numbers and power words – Having numbers in the title as well as power words like “Ultimate, actionable, amazing, checklist, etc.”, makes titles more interesting and this increases their CTR (Click Through Rate).

Meta Descriptions

Avoid auto generated descriptions – Even though Google may not use your description, it’s always a best practice to avoid using auto-generated descriptions that sometimes don’t make sense.

Add your target keyword(s) in the description – Google still highlights the search terms both in the title and description so adding your target keywords, makes descriptions more relevant and appealing to the searcher.

Keywords

It’s important to note that entire websites don’t rank for keywords — pages do. Many websites receive more organic traffic to pages other than the homepage, which is why it’s so important to diversify your website’s pages by optimizing each for uniquely valuable keywords.

Primary and secondary keywords 

As the name implies, primary keywords are the most important keywords you want your page/post to rank for. They’re typically a logical description of what you sell or what type of service you offer. Your secondary keywords, then, are typically related to your primary keywords but use alternate phrasing.

Long-tail keywords

Long-tail keywords are technically defined as keywords made up of three or more individual words. But in many cases, they’ll be significantly longer. These are often the most valuable keywords for an SEO strategy because they’re highly specific and have clear search intent. To get a clearer idea of why this is the case, just consider your search engine use. When you’re early in the research stage of any purchase, you likely use short, broad search terms.

With shorter keywords, competition for rankings can be fierce, but visits can be scattershot and ROI can be quite low. With the smart implementation of long-tail keywords, you may pull in less traffic, going purely by numbers, but the return on your investment will be proportionally much higher: you’ll be attracting exactly the audience you’re looking for, and that audience will be far closer to point-of-purchase than that of your less-savvy competitors.

Competitor keywords

Essentially, this is the practice of identifying the keywords that are already working for similar businesses in your industry. Then, you can add those keywords to your strategy. At the very least, this will help you ensure that you’re not missing any obvious keyword opportunities. After all, if one of your competitors is ranking well for a valuable phrase, and you don’t have a single page targeting that phrase, the chances of the users searching for it becoming a lead or customer for your business are slim to none. If you find any keywords that fall into this category, they should be top priorities for your SEO strategy. 

Google autocomplete suggestions

Well, one of the easiest ways is to take a broad topic and begin typing it into Google. You will then see Google autocomplete suggestions. You can also check the “People also ask” box. And the “Searches related to” area at the bottom of the search results.

Link to external sites with high Domain Authority

It helps pass link juice to your content when you get links from high authority domains. Likewise, it also helps your overall trustworthiness in Google’s eyes when you link to high authority sites.

Landing pages (High conversion pages)

A well-designed landing page can improve your lead generation and sales. The more landing pages you create, the more gateways you open up for incoming search traffic.

The key elements of a good landing page are:

  1. No navigation (you want users to stay on the page!)
  2. Useful, informative content
  3. A call to action (to sign up for your product, service, download a lead magnet, or another type of action)

Recent research found that businesses with 10-15 landing pages have 55% more conversions than those with less than 10 landing pages.

 

Post Content

Audit & Analytics 

Auditing your website helps you discover why you’re not getting enough search traffic and sales. Many SEO companies offer this service, but you can save a lot of money by doing it yourself.

Updating Old Content

To make the most out of your content, go through your older blog posts. Are any of the topics that you have written about still relevant?

Instead of writing a fresh article, it is advisable to add more information to your existing article. You may want to update the headline to make it more about the latest trends. You should also edit the copy and make it more SEO-friendly.

This SEO technique is an easy way to come up with more content in less time. Also, it can help your blog posts reach a wider audience. For popular posts, you may even have a better chance of getting ranked higher up in search results.



Topics:

· Analytics · Architecture · Optimization · SEO · Speed ·