Search engine optimization (SEO) is a highly competitive and constantly evolving industry. The constant changes in SEO techniques and tools can fly by so quickly that it can sometimes be tough for anyone to keep up with the trends and latest developments in the various aspects of SEO. Google’s search algorithm is the primary reason for the periodic changes in the techniques, as well as the development of new tools to help improve a website’s search rankings.
If you are an avid follower of the various SEO techniques, it would seem that every day, there are new link building methods and other online marketing trends that make a huge impact on search engines and the way they crawl web pages. But, whether it’s a new type of schema data markup or a new method of generating back links, there are several fundamental SEO practices that have always remained the same. These practices are time-tested and proven to be very useful in improving search rankings, regardless of the latest Google algorithm update.
The 6 Keys to Ensuring a More Desirable Search Engine Ranking
1. Research Optimal Keywords and Search Terms
Targeting the right key phrases and search terms associated with your niche is the building block of every highly effective SEO campaign. As a business owner, you must first determine what your target market is searching and which industry terms and keywords they frequently use when scouring the Internet. You then develop your SEO strategy around this knowledge in order to gain visibility and improve traffic to your pages.
There are a variety of tools available, such as Google’s Keyword Planner, which allows you to effectively conduct keyword research. WordStream’s Keyword Tool, FreshKey, and Soovle are also highly efficient tools that are often used for pay-per-click (PPC) marketing and SEO practices. Whatever keyword research tool you decide to use, just remember to pick keywords that have average monthly searches of at least over 500 times. You can then develop content for your website that target these specific terms.
2. Consider the Efficacy of Your Meta Titles
Meta Titles that are enticing enough for searchers to actually click is just half of the battle. Meta Titles are a piece of Meta Data intended for search engine bots to read and compile when generating search results and display links. Coming up with good Meta Titles is a two-pronged approach. First, you must make sure to include your target keywords, as well as your brand name, in the Meta Title. This will help search engines rank your pages higher.
The second part is making the Meta Title enticing or appealing enough so that searchers will actually click on the link and browse through your page. Reviewing your pages and making sure they meet these two basic criteria may help improve your search engine rankings and boost click through rates (CTR).
3. Use the Appropriate Meta Descriptions
Just like your Meta Titles, Meta Descriptions are also a piece of Meta Data for search engines to use and display in the search engine results page (SERP). These descriptions normally appear just below the Meta Title, giving the searchers a bit more insight about the contents of the webpage. For the same reasons, the Meta Descriptions have to be optimized accordingly as well. They have to contain your targeted keywords, as well as be appealing enough for searchers to want to click through and visit your website. Search engines often have a set of standards when it comes to Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions, such as the number of characters and so on. So, you need to make sure that you adhere to these standards when coming up with your content’s Meta Title and Description.
4. Utilize Page Headers Properly
Like Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions, Page Headers are not just for the benefit of search engines. When constructed properly, they provide scannability for users as well. Page Headers are the H1-H6 tags visible on the body of your webpage’s content. For efficiency, break up your content using H1-H3 tags and make sure they contain your target keywords.
The rule of thumb on Page Headers is that keywords should be incorporated naturally, meaning they should still read well and make sense to readers even with the targeted keywords. For local SEO, Page Headers must also include the city name to further optimize the page for local searches. Practicing these key elements may help improve your search engine rankings.
5. Utilize Keywords to Improve Content Relevance
As mentioned earlier, keywords and search terms are the building blocks of any successful SEO endeavor. You build your website around the target keywords and related terms associated with your industry. But, this doesn’t mean that you just spam keyword phrases and search terms in the content all over your website. That’s black hat SEO technique. What we are trying to achieve here is an efficient and more ethical SEO method to help bolster your website’s search engine rankings. That means incorporating targeted keywords throughout the website by creating sensible and relevant content.
Utilize keywords and phrases, including the related terms, where they are applicable and make sense to users. Obviously, you need to sprinkle these targeted keywords and related terms all throughout the content of your pages. But, when doing so, you have to be careful not to stuff keywords in or overuse certain terms and phrases. Keyword density is essential when it comes to incorporating search terms into your content. Overusing the same keywords and terms can be considered as spamming, and can get you penalized; worse, Google might decide to index your webpage all together.
There are several keyword density analyzer tools available online for free. These tools will help you determine and analyze the keyword percentage of your webpage’s content, which will then allow you to adjust the content accordingly.
6. Internal Linking of Related Pages
Links are among the most important elements associated with on-page optimization, and SEO in general. They help search engines crawl through the web and provide authority to individual webpages. Linking related pages accordingly, within your website, has a significant effect on your Page Rank, which, in turn, greatly impacts the ranking of a webpage in search results. Properly linked webpages can help users, as well as search engines, find all of your content. This improves the accessibility and ranking of your website as well.
A well designed website with the right internal links consists of clear and proper placement of the primary navigational menu—linking all your primary landing pages (Home, Products/Services, Blog, Contact/About Us, and so on). Linking all related webpages on the site is also extremely important, so that search engines can rank their relevance accordingly. Adding links in the content body that provides users access to other relevant pages in your website or other related webpages offers convenience to a lot of your guests and readers.
With this checklist, you can perform regular SEO analysis of your website. Figure out which areas need better optimization and develop more updated techniques to further improve your search engine rankings. You can also use these six key points to optimize and maintain your website for local searches, especially if you’re operating a business locally. Whatever changes we’ll be facing next, whether it’s a new SEO method or a brand new tool for SEO analysis, you can be certain that these key elements will remain pretty much the same.