Do you want to rank #1 on google? Are you stressed about your pages ranking? Do you want to improve your Google SEO?
If yes, then please read the post thoroughly as I have tried to shed light on some of the most critical SEO factors. You might be aware of all of them, but still, you will grasp some new things. The Article contains Video and infographic for a wider perspective.
Nearly everyone now a day is concerned about ranking factors. There are many misconceptions regarding what Google search engine. This is a result of not researching properly.
Search engines have now grown far more complex, now publishing the content is not the matter but the quality of the content. With the time content is building up on the internet at a much higher pace. For every single search, you will find thousands of pages presenting the same information, but Google is very cunning in ranking the pages, but if you follow the best practices then you can make your way on the first page or on the first number.
Today I would like to share five best SEO practices that can boost your rankings.
Content is the real deal. The very first and fundamental building block of ranking is the content. It’s the king. However, only having the content is not enough to rank your site or page for the keyword you are targeting.
An Ahrefs study concluded that 91 percent of online content generates no traffic from Google. So, how can we make the content generate the traffic?
User indent has to be taken in care while writing the content if the content is way beyond what a user wants then it’s of no use. A large number of Google ranking shifts in the past year were connected to preliminary algorithm changes, and this includes new neural matching capabilities and the dawn of neural embeddings.
Google algorithms are working efficiently to understand user search syntax and semantics better to provide relevant content. The main focus of the search engine giant has always been on providing quality content.
We can experience some of the benefits that it can offer in the form of answer boxes, knowledge panels and much more.
The most important factor is content relevance to user intent; if your content is not relevant to a search, then it will automatically be devalued like trash. It will be of no use either.
Steps you can follow:
->Understand the user intent and intent of your keywords.
->Analyze the SERP of the keywords and know what kind of content is ranking.
->Research semantic similarities of the keyword and optimize your content accordingly.
Content must address as many user concerns as possible. Search engines prefer long-form content. A study conducted by HubSpot found that content between 2000 and 2500 words receives the most organic traffic. This is the sweet spot for SEO. Always provide in-depth detail on the topic you are writing.
Steps to follow:
- Find for top ranking pages for the target keyword and look for their content.
- Add semantic keywords to touch up content with additional sub-topics.
- Try to answer all the queries that users may have on that topic.
Structuring your content well plays a vital role in SEO of your website. Tags must be used carefully. Use proper HTML tags for your content. Here are a few examples:
- Use H1 tag for first heading only. Pages should have only one h1 tag.
- Use h2 tags for subheadings.
- For additional subheadings, you can use h3 tags.
- Organize the content in such a way to make it easier for user and search engines to read.
- Make sure your page pass the 5 Sec rule.
- Insert your Focus Keyword in title tags, URL slug, and page titles.
- Make sure your paragraph is not very lengthy.
2. User Engagement
User engagement is very much critical. Design of the website must be user-friendly. Content must engage the user, and don’t bore them. User engagement is the ranking factor for your page. If your content is not engaging the users, then your website will be hard to rank. Let’s look at some factors which help in determining user engagement.
Pages per Session
This metric indicates how many pages are viewed by the user before leaving your website.
You can find this metric in your Google Analytics along with average session duration which tells the volume of time a user spends on your website.
With the help of this metric, you can easily guess how interactive and engaging is your website. You can analyze this and can figure out what is not working for your website whether it’s a navigational flow, or your content is boring or another factor.
Generally, if your posts are engaging, then the user will go through your other posts as well. If the user is not moving to other posts or if the session time is very low on your website then you must take care of it.
Steps to Follow:
Find out pages with high bounce rates, then figure out what is missing. Might be the reason that your content is not up to the mark or not engaging the users correctly. Then its time to optimize the content.
Insert CTAs(call to actions) on the pages to encourage users behavior and conversions. Have some additional navigation within the content. Expose your content as much as you can to the user.
Its the most confusing metric all around as it could either be positive or negative depending on your perspective. If the bounce rate is high, that means users are not engaging properly, or your content is boring.
Your bounce rates are high if the user is not moving to other pages of your website as well. Your content is not properly satisfying user intent.
Steps to Follow:
- Present your content in the form of a story.
- Dont annoy the user with pop-up ads or hidden ad links.
- Improve the page load time.
- Ensure proper navigation of your website.
- Use content relevant headings.
Listing of your website is the very first interaction that a user has with your website. CTR indicates whether that interaction was a success or not.
Low CTR could mean that your message is not relevant as per user search. It could also mean that your meta descriptions or title tags are not compelling enough.
Steps to Follow
Use exact matching keywords in title tags and meta descriptions.
Meta description must answer why this page in the shortest possible sentence.
3. Technical Structure
Let’s understand how our technical structure impacts user engagement and keyword rankings.
Technical structure is the basic foundation of SEO. Without a solid foundation, your content house will crumble.
Your website needs to be crawled to get indexed by the search engines. Search engine bots crawl through links. It’s imperative to submit the sitemap So that crawlers can crawl the links.
This is why the interlinking or we can say inbound links is very important. Make sure your website is crawlable and also optimize out crawl budget.
Your crawl budget is what determines how many pages will the search engine crawl during the crawl session. Your crawl budget is what determines how many pages will search engine crawl during a crawl session which is defined by your crawl demand and crawl rate.
The number of requests that a search engine spider makes to your site in a second is crawl rate, while how often search engine spiders will crawl your website(depending on the popularity of the website) is crawl demand.
Most of the webmasters don’t worry about the crawl budget, but it can be a considerable concern for more significant sites. Crawl budget is what allows webmasters to prioritize which page should be crawled and indexed first, which makes it an essential factor.
Steps to follow:
Create a sitemap of your website and submit it manually to Google Search Console and Bing webmaster tools. There are many tools out there to create a sitemap of your site.
Then create a robots.txt file and mention the pages which you want to block from indexing. Robots.txt file follows a specific syntax structure to do so; you can easily find this online.
Adding SSL to your website is very important and a sign of trust nowadays. HTTPS is the new factor you can say. There are many providers out there, and SSL certificates are not much expensive now due to huge competition. Some hosting companies offer them for free as a freebie for hosting plans.
The preeminent issue after HTTPS migration is mixed content. This generally occurs after migration to HTTPS. There are many reasons for that like your stylesheets are still on HTTP, watch out for static URL’s on the pages, watch out your media paths.
How to Optimize
First content your hosting provider if issues with SSL certification and implementation
Contact your developer in case of mixed content.
If you are using CMS like WordPress, then there are plugins available to bulk change URLs like velvet URL for WordPress.
Look for static URL’s and change them from HTTP to HTTPS.
Check your .htaccess file and add rewrite rule if possible.
This is again a significant factor. Clean up your URLs. Find out broken links or URL’s and deindex them if possible or redirect them to the fresh content. A lot of online tools are available to check for broken links.
Tips to Optimize
Use an online app or software to uncover broken links.
Use 301 redirects on broken links to a more relevant page for the same.
Use custom 404 pages with available URL’s to redirect the traffic to relevant pages.
It is the most critical factor from multiple SEO perspectives:
- UX and IA
- Link Building
If the foundation of a website is technical SEO, then internal links or inbound links are the doors that allow movement. However, over time as your website grows older maintaining consistency across your site and a solid interlinking can become difficult.
Since the dawn of the internet Deep linking is the best SEO practice to this date.
The idea behind is to link to orphaned pages on your website from a higher level category page and to pass the authority from one page to the other or in simple words let the SEO juice flow in between your website.
An organized interlinking structure around similar topics will allow lower pages on your website to pull some authority from higher authority pages.
It also helps the user with additional navigation to similar content. The more the content will be exposed the more traffic it will get.
Steps to follow:
Find out orphaned pages that are not being indexed.
Use the interlinking strategy to make the SEO juice flow within your pages.
All websites are made up of a topic hierarchy that is designed to talk to users and the search engines on the purpose of each section.
Tags are also useful in organizing the content. They help the user in understanding the context of specific topics.
Your hierarchy should follow top-down architecture, allowing search engines to crawl and index pages under the buckets and clusters.
Steps to follow:
Initiate user research to know what they are searching for.
Inset exact match keywords to optimize category pages and add semantically related keywords for sub category pages.
Add links in the footer also and enable breadcrumbs for easy navigation.
5. Mobile Responsivity
Mobile friendly is a very crucial element now. As we all know most of the traffic now is from smartphones. The mobile first is Google’s primary ranking index which means it is updated even before the desktop index.
Look out for breakpoints while designing for mobile. It’s very crucial that your design must fit all the devices. Use proper media queries while adjusting the layout on available breakpoints.
Page speed is also a crucial factor when designing for mobile. Your website should load faster within the 5-second window.
Steps to follow:
Design should be responsive.
Improve website speed by minifying the resources or by using CDNs if possible.
Neil Patel’s Thought on SEO in 2019
This article may not have been able to cover every aspect of SEO, but this should be considered as an insight into some of the critical google SEO factors to check.
SEO is an ever-changing industry as with the change in the search engine’s algorithms, the factors which are crucial today might not be in the future. We tried our best to put the latest factors on this page, if we still missing a big factor then do let us know in the comments section.