Don’t underestimate the power of SEO
If you’re running a website of any kind and want someone different from your family and friends to see your page…
…then my friend, your website must appear in search engine results pages…
Sad truth: nobody ever check page number 2
To show in page 1 you need to know few things about SEO and Google ranking.
What is SEO?
All actions taken from the webmaster to make the website rank high in the search engine results page.
There are different aspects you must consider when optimizing the website;
some are mere technical and others much more human;
The one thing that should never be overlooked is of course the final user, ultimately
if your website gives value to the final user, you’ve already done a big part of the job;
valuable content will payback no matter what other precautions you take or not.
Of course, if you have a more structured strategy and know how search engines work, your chances to rank high will grow exponentially.
Important rule: Never try to fool the search engine or you will soon learn the meaning of the term: manual action…
… a website can be de-indexed as punishment for violating Google’s Webmaster Guidelines.
Let get to know the Search Engine’s algorithm
Google’s algorithm changed a lot since its first appearance in 1996;
to make sure to end the webmaster’s malpractices and tricks to rank high, in 2016 Google’s pets, Panda and Penguin, were included to the core algorithm,
no more low-quality content websites, spam tactics and keyword stuffing;
Google keep on working on the algorithm to align it with users search behavior;
Typing queries is still strong but Vocal and visual search are realities which need to be kept in high consideration because they will be prevalent soon;
They were the fundaments of early SEO, there were rumors saying they were useless and dead but no, keywords are still very important,
the way to use them it might be different from the past but they still kick ass;
There are many keyword research tools so let’s see how to properly use the keywords once you find them;
Don’t abuse of them unless you want to meet Google’s pet (Panda);
have a global view of their use across your website to avoid keyword cannibalization (multiple pages trying to rank for the same keyword, making them compete with each other);
You should have keywords in each of these elements:
- URLs: add keywords making sure they help to describe the entire page, Google look at URLs and gives value at them;
- Title tags
- Meta description tags
- Most visible content: h1, bold phrases…
- Internal links
- Visual files names
- Image alt attributes
- Image title attributes
Do I need to tell you that content is one of the most important ranking factor?
Here’s the deal:
Content is any piece of information on any of the available format that you pass to your audience;
It goes without saying that it should be high quality, original and unique and of course, provide with value whoever consume it…
…or you’re just producing rubbish.
But here’s the kicker:
Once you have your nice piece of content you must take care of few technical aspects to optimize it and rank;
- Do your keywords research and use them naturally inside your content so that search engines can find it;
- Use long-tail keywords and avoid highly competitive ones;
- Don’t trust yourself, use keyword research tools instead;
- Readers can’t focus too long so make sure your paragraphs are about 2 sentences long;
- Use subheadings and add images to keep users interested;
- Always stay on topic and target your keywords;
- Title tag should be under 60 characters, keywords should be at the beginning but make sure not to stuff it with them
- Meta description should be under 160 characters, gives an overview of the content and include keywords
- URL it should be readable not scary:
Which one would you better click?
What’s the bottom line?
If you have quality optimized content the search engines will find it and your visibility and exposure will be maximized,
if not you’ll be just consuming server space for nothing.
Since the early days Google algorithm PageRank uses links between web pages as a ranking factor;
It counts the number and quality of links to a page to determine how important the website is and has a direct impact on the ranking
The shady webmaster’s techniques to create fake links to rank higher made Google a bit mad few years ago and when it got tired of these people trying to fool it, it unleashed Penguin
It gets better:
Penguin checks the quality of the links and punishes anything that is created only for ranking reasons rather than trust and value
Want to know the best part?
If for any reasons someone links to your web page, your web page trust and authority grow and the more links it gets the better;
However, quantity is not the only parameter that Google considers, the quality of the links will make a big difference when it comes to ranking;
Links coming from
- Online forums
- Blog comments
- Guest books
are often artificial and once Google realizes, ranking will be penalized and in the worst case scenario a manual action taken.
Usually inbound links point to the homepage making it quite strong link-wise and resulting in good ranking;
Other pages have less or no links and will be weaker and won’t rank so good…
…and this is where internal linking comes handy;
Internal links will help the user navigate better through the website and the search engine to crawl it;
you should have a good structure of internal links paying particular attention to your menus and footer,
use sitemaps and for long pages is very good to have in content links;
As usual, link naturally and with the user in mind, if you overdo it you could occur in a penalization.
It’s common to hear that having too many outbound links is not good since you will pass your “juyce” to another website,
That’s why at some point the “nofollow” attribute to outbound links became so popular, but its systematic use appeared unnatural and you don’t want to look unnatural on the eyes of GOD Google
Let’s say that outbound links do leak out page rank but if you link to good quality sites is not a major problem;
If it’s the natural thing to do just go ahead and link out to other sites.
Page Speed Factor
Page speed is a ranking factor and can make the difference; it’s defined as the amount of time it takes for the page to completely load;
There are things such as videos and images that if not optimized can drastically slow down your page loading time; for videos it’s better to have them embed and images should always being compressed (JPEG PNG)
Whatever you read about it, Google made it very clear that social signals don’t have a direct impact on search ranking.
Now go and do some SEO!
My friend these are only few basic things to keep in mind to rank with search engine.
SEO can get very complicated and I’m going to talk you about it in more depth very soon.
What do you thing? are you ready to optimize your pages and rank high? let me know and if you have any questions just ask me! I’m here to help you.
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