This is the perfect time to get back to the basics if your site isn't achieving the rankings you always wished for. With the constantly changing Google's algorithm, the major functions of SEO usually stay the same. Just by following these simple, yet very imperative strategies, you will without fail notice your rankings improve.
Here are the seven major SEO functions you can't afford to miss out.
1. Keyword research
An effective SEO campaign always starts with keyword research. This research will support you make out topics and themes that your target audiences is actively searching for. It will also foster you identify words and phrases that aren't very competitive; this way you, in fact, have an opportunity of ranking for them. You can use a tool like the Google Keyword Planner to find out appropriate keywords.
The best keyword or keyword phrase will fulfill these three fundamental criterions:
- It gets a good number of searches. This will make sure that the entire endeavor can potentially drive a huge traffic.
- It isn't too aggressive. Highly competitive keywords may be very hard for smaller sites to rank for.
- It matches the content, services, and products, offered on your site. Words that aren't a proper fit for your site will not be able to result in conversions and will leave visitors unhappy.
2. Link building
A number of ranking factors studies have revealed that inbound links are significant for high rankings. Google has also confirmed this fact lately.
The Search Quality Senior Strategist at Google Andrey Lipattsev, in a Google Q&A video, mentioned the two most crucial ranking factors are content and links.
Link building can be a complicated and time-consuming method, but it's very indispensable for achieving high rankings.
A few strategies recommended are:
- If you are a local business, submit your site to local directories such as Google My Business and Yelp.
- Make use of Ahrefs or SEMRush to identify who links to your competitors and ask those sites to link to your content too.
- Create detailed and convincing content that journalists and bloggers and are likely to link to a guest post on high-quality sites in your domain.
3. On-page optimization
This is the procedure of ensuring that Google understands what your content is talking all about. It counts keywords usage in strategic locations on your page, in a way that both Google and your readers find it valuable.
The most imperative places you must use your keywords and phrases involves:
- Header tags (H1, H2, etc.)
- Title tag
- Alt image tags and captions
- Within your content
- URL (e.g., www.yoursite.com/your-keywords-here)
Keyword usage is vital but it's also vital to note that the proper use of your keywords isn't as imperative as it used to be. Since the increase of semantic search, Google is now able to analyze the topic of your content by looking at the complete context of the page.
This says that you don't have to engross into over using your precise keyword X number of times. In its place concentrate on using an assortment of relevant words and phrases, covering relevant sub-topics, and ensuring that your content is extensive enough to broadly cover your topic.
4. Add a dependable stream of content
According to Google, the content is one of the first two most crucial ranking factors. In other words, regardless of how hard you work at executing the strategies, they are doubtful to work without a strong foundation of content.
It is recommended to initiate with at least 10 comprehensive articles that include topics in your field. After that, make sure to add new content once in a week at least (more than that is preferable). Do keyword research to make certain that you are selecting topics that people are interested in, and then optimize your posts depending on what you have found.
As a general rule, it's best to write an article with a length of at least 1000-1200 words. While smaller articles can rank, but some research advises that the top ranking pages are in the 1200-1300 word range.
5. Share your content on social media
A lot of business entrepreneurs believe that Google considers social media shares as links. However, Google has clearly mentioned that links on Twitter and Facebook are not part of their search ranking algorithm.
On the other hand, social media can be a tremendously important tool for promoting and sharing out your content. As your content gets shared, more people will be able to see it. And as more people will see it, the opportunity of gathering links increases. In this manner, social media shares ultimately will result in increased rankings.
To ensure your content gets the consideration it is worthy for, create a plan precisely on how you will promote it - particularly on social media. You might even think about boosting your exposure by investing in a couple of social ads.
6. Technical optimization
Technical SEO includes making sure that the whole thing behind the scenes is the set up for top rankings. The main objective of technical optimization is to make sure that your website structure enables Google to effortlessly crawl and index each and every piece of content on your site.
Site speed is the prime factor of technical optimization. We know that median time to the first byte - how much time it takes for a site to first start loading - is the main factor for ranking. Hence, it's essential to check out your site's speed from time to time with the help of a tool such as Google's PageSpeed Insights.
Other key technical SEO strategies count having an HTML and XML sitemap, created by using a schema markup, flat site architecture, and making sure your site is highly mobile-optimized.
7. Internal linking
Internal linking is a time and again ignored strategy, but one that's very important for increasing your rankings. It supports Google and users to navigate all over the site, help to multiply link equity among your pages and offer a way to readers in finding valuable, relevant content.
For using internal linking effectively, you must crack down on linking from higher authority pages to lower authority pages. Utilize anchor text that helps both Google as well as your readers. Without fail link to appropriate content that provides more information on the topic of the post. If we talk about numbers of internal links don't go overboard – for example, in a 1000 word post use 2-3 links and that should be enough.
Bear in mind that your navigation bar(s) are also measured as internal links. Use these for your benefit to link to high-value pages and then will see a lift in the rankings.
The Final Say
Remember, all the 7 tactics mentioned above are important to getting high rankings. They will underpin in creating content that Google and your readers, both loves, and will lead you on the path to great traffic as well as conversions.