Perhaps you already heard about the latest(and also the last)Google Penguin Algorithm update, which is aimed at decreasing search engine rankings for websites that violate Google’s Webmaster Guidelines! Follow these tips and make sure that you stay out of the Penguin 4.0’s radar!
What if you don’t know any SEO (search engine optimization) tips&tricks that will get your site all the way to the top positions? A lack of SEO practices can leave your website in a dark corner, which means no one will ever know you even exist, no visitors, no cliks which leads to no sales!
The truth is – that Search Engine Optimization ain’t no rocket science, getting to know and to master the subtle nuances takes time and effort, but the reality is you don’t need to spend years to learn the basics to optimize your website properly! We hope that you’ll find this simple article helpful in getting started with your SEO endeavour!
First thing’s first, what is SEO?
There are way to many definitions of SEO, but organic SEO nowadays is all about getting free traffic from Google (the most popular search engine in the world). (tedd a snippetet)
It’s also very important to understand what search engines are looking for?
To be very precise there are 4 main elements that search engines look at when determining which website is the most relevant and should show up in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages):
1, Content: the content must be relevant to what the user is searching for?
2, Performance: how fast is the websites load time and does it work properly?
3, Authority: is the content relevant and useful enough to link to and do other authoritative websites use it as reference or do they cite the information that’s available?
4, UX (User Experience): how does the site behave an look? Is it easy to navigate trough, doest it look safe? And doest it have a healty bounce rate?
The true purpose of SEO is to help users who are looking for you find you. In order to do that, you have to match the content on your website to what people are trying to find. It’s not about traffic, it’s all about figuring out what your goal is, and then optimizing for keywords that bring in visitors who want the same things.
Keyword Research / Content Research
One the most important SEO factor next to good and relevant content is a good keyword research. Most of the SEO experts still use the keyword research today as a tactic of identifying terms and phrases to use to optimize pages on a given website, the act of keyword research nowadays implies much more than a simple keyword research. In order to know what and how to do here are some examples of dont’s:
– don’t choose keywords that are to generic or to broad
– don’t choose keywords without enough traffic
– don’t choose keywords that are not relevant to your product or business
– don’t try to rank for one keyword at a time
Avoiding these mistakes you can find keywords that:
– have a really high search volume (keywords or keyword phrases that are often used by your audience to search for your type of business or product)
– with low competition level
– are relevant to the content of your website
You should also do a little research on your competitors, to see what are the keywords or keyword phrases that are getting traffic to their website!
After you’re done picking the right keywords, it’s important to start crafting on your content. All search engines have bots, that automatically will crawl your website and try to find out what it’s about and then deciding which keywords each of your web pages should rank for. The bots can be influenced by strategically optimizing your website content for certain keywords. It’s true that keywords are important, so you better make sure you’re writing for your visitors first, and then for the search engines bots where you can. All of your website content needs to highly relevant, fresh and engaging, if not you won’t have a chance in converting your websites visitors into those highly desired customers.
When you’re writing your content you should focus on:
– Titles: write eye-catching titles that catch your visitor’s attention from the first glance, you have one shot to make a great first impression.
– Keywords: use relevant keywords that will help you bring people to your website.
– Quality: you must have unique and quality content, your visitors came to your site searching for information or for a solution so make sure you’re delivering the best possible solution or information for them.
– Links: make sure you link to quality sites that confirm what your website is all about, this will make other websites to also link to you.
– Length: if you’re looking to get links for your content then make sure you create 500+ word long posts
– Freshness: you need to add new relevant content on a regular basis, this could also be a in a form of a blog.
Don’t forget to optimize your code
The bots of the search engines don’t just read your website’s text, they also read your website’s code. With a well optimized code you have the chance to rank your website high in the search engines:
Your URL structure has to be friendly and clean, otherwise search engines will have a hard time crawling them and in this case they won’t be able to properly index it, which means you will not rank in the search engines.
Keep this things in mind if you want to achieve an SEO-friendly site URL structure:
– your URLs should not contain extraneous characters ( $ @ ! * % = ? )
– Numbers and letters should only be used in URLs.
– do not use underscores, the search engines prefer dashes.
– shorter URLS usually rank better than longer ones.
– sub-domains can rank better than sub directories.
The way you cross-link web pages will make a big impact on your rankings. Here are some good tips when cross-linking your web site:
– keep the number of links on each page under 100.
– links within your content usually carry more weight than links within a sidebar or in a footer.
Each of your web pages needs to have a unique title tag that describes what that page is all about. A title tag is the main text that describes an online document. Focus on the title tag because this is what people see in search engine results when they’re searching for your service or product. The title tag also shows up in posts shared on social media sites like Facebook, so next to including your main keyword in the title you also have to make it enticing enough to convince people to click it.
When you write your title tags, make sure you:
– add your keyword in the tille
– include a unique title tag for each page
– make sure you keep your title tag between 42 and 60 characters, including spaces. To make sure your title is properly displayed, try not to go over 60 characters.
Meta description tag
The meta description needs to summarize the content on your page, the reason for this is that this will show up in search engine results together with the title tag.
Meta descriptions are HTML attributes that provide concise explanations of the contents of web pages. While it won’t help you rank higher in the search engines, a well-written meta description can have a huge impact on whether users decide to click through or not.
When you write your meta description, make sure you:
– include your keywords
– write a different one for each page
– includes a call-to-action that convince people to click
– stay between 100 and 150 characters, including spaces
Heading are used to visually break up the content of a web page into sections (from a usability point of view) and to tell the search engine spiders what that page is about. These come in a specific order. H1, H2, H3, H4, and so on, with H1 starting the page as the main heading. Your headings should also contain keywords that are relevant to the content on your website.
A sitemap is like a road map for search engines. They give the bots directions to all of the different pages on your website, so you better make sure they find everything. There are two types of sitemaps: XML sitemas and HTML sitemaps. The difference is that XML sitemaps are created for the search engines and HTML sitemaps are created for your visitors.
After your XML sitemap is created, you should submit it to Google Webmaster (Search Console) and Bing so that the major search engines can crawl and index your web site.
In order for search engine bots to properly index images on your website, alt tags need to be added to each image, in form of a brief description. For example, if there was an image of a “casino logo”, I would tell the search engine that the image is XY’s casino logo by using an alt tag. Also make sure your image names are relevant to the image. The picture of the casino logo would be called thenameofthecasino.jpg instead of image6.jpg.
The next step would be measuring the effectiveness of your SEO efforts and see how your website is performing. How many visitors per month is your website attracting? Which are the most popular pages? How much time are they spending on your website? These are a few of the things that you can uncover by using an analytics tool, make sure you set up your Google analytics now so you can start collecting data right away.
Google Analytics is the best choice because it’s free, easy to set up and use, and provides loads of useful information about your visitors’ behaviour on your website.
Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console)
The Google Webmaster Tools (Search Console) allows you to go more in depth and see things like:
– who is linking to your site
– what search terms are sending visitors to your site
– whether your site has any issues that need to be fixed quickly and so on
If you have a WordPress website, you should install an SEO plugin to help you optimize your content. One of the best plugin is Yoast. Why? Because it’s completely free, easy to use and packed with powerful features. The Yoast SEO plugin will help you meet all of the recommended SEO criteria while you become comfortable writing keyword-optimized content for your website.
The robots.txt file includes a list of commands, like: allow and disallow, that tells web crawlers such as the Googlebot which web pages it can or cannot retrieve. If a URL is disallowed in your robots.txt files, that URL and all its contents won’t appear in Google search results.!
Links are still an important ranking factor and continue to be a great indicator of what content is important but also relevant. It’s very simple: the more websites that link to your website, the higher your webpage will rank! from a search engine’s point of view, the more trustworthy, non-spammy sites are linking to your website, the more authority you must have on the topic. Nonetheless it’s not about getting thousands of links really quick but about getting quality and authority websites to link to your website.Before you start building or earning links you need to know the following:
– links from related sites are worthier than links from non-relevant websites
– content links are more effective than links from a footer or sidebar
– create great and purposeful content, that is useful and engaging so that people want to link to it and share it with others too
– promote your content in order to reach the right people who will be motivated to link to it and also share it
– build relationships with influencers in your niche and convince them that your content is of a high enough quality to share
– avoid links from spammy or irrelevant websites
– Site wide links tend to hurt more than they may help
– don’t buy links
– do not use reciprocal links (I link to you and you link to me)
The most effortless way to get links is to see who links to your competition and contact them by email telling them the benefits of your website compared to your competition. You can also submit your website to directories, general ones or more relevant ones to your service or product. Getting on social media sites like StumbleUpon or Digg won’t just drive you a ton of traffic, they will also increase your visibility, which improves your chances of getting linked to. Search the web for citation of your brand or company name and turn thhem into links! Try guest posting on highly authoritative and relevant websites.
If you follow these advice’s and tips, your traffic from search engines will increase. You just have to be patient as it takes time for search engines to crawl, index your website and start ranking it.