SEO (Search Engine Optimization) techniques have changed over time. However, even if it did, it’s still an important part of your web strategy. The techniques today are more sophisticated and involve more elements than before. Not only did the techniques change, but Google’s algorithm now prioritizes websites with quality content.
Your website will also score better in every category if you follow Google’s standards. How you can make the user experience better should be your number one concern. Achieving this can guarantee you the best spot in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
There are numerous factors to take into account if you want to rank higher. A checklist of the best SEO practices will help you create a successful content marketing strategy for your business.
What Makes an Optimized Content?
Before publishing your blog post, you need to check if it is search engine optimized. Search engine optimization, or content optimization, helps in boosting your page rank. By doing so, you can reach your target audience faster and easier.
You can do content optimization yourself. However, this will take most of your time, especially without enough knowledge of content marketing. With this, the best thing to do is to hire a digital marketing agency like ViralChilly.
Such agencies specialize in SEO. This means that you can get your website and content optimized with their help. Digital marketers are equipped with skills proven to provide you with a successful marketing strategy. With them by your side, you can rest easy and focus more on what your company does best.
However, a little knowledge about content optimization is still important. To give you the basics, here are some characteristics of optimized content:
1. High-quality. Having high-quality content does not mean stuffing keywords all over your blog post. This is not to say that keyword density is not important, it is. However, people want to read a post where they can get something from it. What you write should engage the reader and feel authentic.
2. Easy to find. You also need to make sure that your content is easily understood by search engines like Google. This is one of the most basic steps of verifying that your content is SEO-friendly.
3. Interesting. To make your content interesting, you can do keyword and market research. This will let you know what topics your target audience usually searches for. And if your content is interesting for your audiences, you’ll get more traffic for it.
4. Relevant. While having an interesting topic helps, it is only useful if your content is what users are looking for. The perspective, structure, and approach of your content should match what your site offers, and why the visitor was drawn to your site in the first place.
5. Credible. Being credible means you write about topics that you’re an expert in. It also means that your content is data-driven and well-researched.
A Checklist For a Successful SEO Strategy
First and foremost, you need to have a good grasp of some of the basics of SEO. This is true especially if you just created your website. It’s mostly about setting up a few tools and software for your website.
Listed below are some of the things you need to keep in mind to rank high in SEO ranking.
1. Set-Up Your Google Analytics Account and Bing Webmaster Tools
Making the right decisions for your company is important. However, without access to the right data, how will you be able to make good decisions?
With Google Analytics, you can access information about the status of your website. This includes:
- The number of visitors you have on your site
- The specific pages in your site where users visit more and engage regularly
- The time it takes for converting visitors to customers
Taking into account other search engines, like Bing, is also a good strategy.
Bing Webmaster Tools (BWT) function the same as Google Search Console. They allow you to monitor your website’s performance.
Here are some of their features that you can make use of with BWT:
- Uploading sitemaps
- Taking a look at your SEO report
- Checking your site using their SEO Analyzer tool
If you’re new to this, luckily, Bing posted a guide to get started with Bing Webmaster Tools.
2. Set-Up Your Google Search Console Account
The next thing to do is start your Google Search Console Account. Similar to Google Analytics, you can use this for free. It provides you with information about your website’s performance in search results.
Google Search Console shows how visitors discover your website through organic search results.
What are organic search results?
These are the listings on a SERP that appear to web users due to different factors. These include relevance to search terms and valid SEO efforts. These search results do not rely on search engine marketing (SEM).
3. Install SEO Plugins
WordPress is a content management system that currently powers 42% of the internet. To make the most out of it, you should install and set up SEO plugins. They offer you features that you need to effectively optimize your site.
However, if you’re using a CMS (Content Management System) other than WordPress, you can check with your developer. Some CMS have built-in SEO features, while you still need to install SEO plugins in others.
4. Create Sitemaps
Sitemaps assist search engines to know which pages are just duplicates of other pages. If the algorithm detects that your page is just a duplicate, it will not be ranked.
If you have a sitemap, you’re describing your site’s primary content to the search engine. By doing so, you’re saying that it is an original page and has no duplicates. In return, your site will be crawled and indexed.
Google accepts different sitemap formats, the most popular of which being XML. XML stands for eXtensible Markup Language, which is very much like HTML.
The sitemap for your website is generally found at https://www.domain.com/sitemap.xml
If you’re using WordPress, you’ll see that creating a sitemap is a standard feature. If not, you can always generate one yourself with a sitemap generator.
As mentioned above, keyword research helps in identifying what people search for. You’ll find the right phrases that people use to find your company. After doing that, you can start employing those phrases on your website to attract visitors.
To do this, you need to:
1. Identify Possible Keywords
Keyword research usually begins by brainstorming to have a seed list of possible keywords. You can start by thinking of any terms related to your company or even headquarters.
After doing so, you can now look for the right keywords.
2. Use Keyword Search Tools
To check your keyword list, you can use keyword search tools. Google Keyword Planner is the most popular tool. However, to get pay-per-click data, you must be an AdWord advertiser.
Don’t worry, though. There are other keyword search tools that are available online. In terms of search volume, competitiveness, and popularity, such data is still useful.
Search volume is the most important piece of data that you can get. This will give you an estimate of how many new users you can attract and convert.
A word of advice. You would want to avoid keywords with lots of searches. The reason is that more companies are attempting to rank for such terms. This means you’ll face more competition.
Make sure you know the search volume and cost-per-click for the terms you pick.
When choosing the best keyword to use, you should look for long-tail keywords. These keywords are longer and more specific. They are more likely used by visitors when they’re closer to a point-of-purchase or when they’re using voice search. They are usually:
- Equal to or more than 3 words
- Searched for 10 months or so
- Extremely important to the user
However, they don’t attract a large number of visitors to your site. While this is true, they can target a large number of users to generate easy, consistent traffic.
Checklists for technical SEO may appear overwhelming especially if you’re unfamiliar with them. However, it is still an important part of the marketing strategy. That’s why you still need to go through and implement this checklist.
1. Use Google Search Console to Fix Crawl Errors
Google Search Console isn’t only used for checking your web’s performance. It can also help you to find and fix crawl errors.
A crawl error occurs when Google is unable to read or view your website. This is problematic since Google will not rank your page for the phrase you want. That results in less traffic for you, so you should resolve this issue.
2. Use Google Search Console to Inspect URLs
Google does not see your website the same way as web users. When it comes to pictures, Google uses alt text to figure out what the image is and what it’s for.
Alt-text is a tenet of accessible web design. Its original (and still primary) purpose is to describe images to visitors who are unable to see them.
Because of this, it is wise to use Google’s URL Inspection Tool. After doing so, you can now make any updates or changes to your site.
3. Find and Fix Broken Links
Users, and even Google, don’t like broken links (commonly known as 404 error). That’s why it’s your job to check and fix any 404 errors right away.
There are different tools available online to find broken links and avoid the dreaded 404 error.
This task in your checklist should just take a few minutes considering you have a small website. A larger site, on the other hand, may take more time and resources. This is especially true if the site hasn’t been updated for a few months or so.
4. Make your Site Compatible With Mobile
Mobile devices account for more than half of all Internet traffic during this year’s first quarter. Making your site mobile-friendly is as important as ever. If you don’t, not only will you lose traffic and ranks, but you’ll also lose sales.
5. Check Your Site’s Page-Loading Speed
Page speed is also a factor that Google looks into when ranking your website. Users will leave you if your site’s page loads for more than 3 seconds. Google’s free PageSpeed Insights Tool can help you determine how fast your pages are.
Any element you put into your site is referred to as content. This includes blogs, infographics, videos, and images.
A blog is an area of your website where you can post about any events and updates from your company. Blogs are fantastic for discussing almost anything. Regularly adding fresh content to your site helps Google understand your site.
This means you’ll get better ranks, as well as additional customers that come with them.
Infographics are visual representations of facts on a certain topic. Since they summarize numerous information, they are great for attracting visitors.
Posting your infographics on social media also helps you attract visitors. You’ll also have more chances of getting new customers if your fans share them with their friends.
This is because the majority of people can read and enjoy an infographic at a glance. This is in stark contrast to blog entries where visitors need to read in-depth to obtain a complete picture of the topic.
However, you should use fewer words, more facts, and a lot more data visualization.
Images are excellent additions to blog posts. This is because they add a visual aspect to text-based material. Google’s algorithm can’t “see” photos like a human can. However, it can appreciate the fact that you have an image on a page.
By doing so, it adds value to your reader. And, it can also rank you higher in Google’s algorithm since it knows that readers respond more rapidly to images than text.
This indicates to Google that you’re writing material with the user in mind. And if your content is user-friendly, you will rank higher in search results.
Videos are wonderful as stand-alone pieces of content. In addition to that, they also increase the SEO value of a website.
You can summarize a whole post or blog in a handful of minutes using videos. This means that someone doesn’t need to read a complete page to know what you’re saying.
This gives a lot of value to your users, which Google appreciates.
Adding high-quality videos to your website is a successful approach for any business.
- The YouTube SEO Complete Guide
- How to Rank for Local Search on Google
- 8 Creative Ways to Improve Your SEO
- Keyword Research 101: How to Rank for Lucritive Keywords
- SEO for StartUps: 5 Ways To Up Your Rankings
- 10 Quick Fixes to Improve Your Website’s Search Rankings
- 21 SEO Tactics To Boost Rankings And Traffic
In digital marketing, SEO-friendly content is an important part of a good marketing strategy. Improving the searchability of your website takes time and effort on your part. Unless you hire a digital marketing agency, the checklist above will help you achieve your goals.
This can all seem daunting, at first. But it’s feasible. If you stick with these strategies, your efforts will surely pay off in the long run.