Before getting started on into the process involved in SEO, you need to get yourself a clear idea of what Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is all about.
Any product or service these days will not be successful unless it gets the proper exposure it needs. Similarly, every website needs the added exposure so that people come and visit their sites; hence, increase website traffic. SEO, as a marketing tool, focuses on increasing the visibility of organic search engine results. By encompassing both technical and creative aspects, it involves structuring a website which search engines can understand.
Google is a black box; you will never know the complete date sets which make it difficult to pin down the cause and effects of what SEO is capable of or not.
Precisely for this reason, it’s important to experiment on a consistent basis. If it works, all’s well and good, but if it doesn’t, there’s always another thing to try out.
Aspects to take note of in SEO
Before you go through the process, you need to understand that being stagnant is an evil for SEO. Whatever processes are involved, one needs to continue to try new things and innovative methods without sticking to the stereotypes.
Strategy and research
One of the first things that should be your priority is researching keywords for the website optimization. One has to invest a lot of time in finding suitable keywords that are able to amalgamate high usage with low competition on search engines. Several online tools have made it easy to find the most used phrases containing the targeted keywords that have been searched in volumes in preceding months. However such high volume keywords are likely to be with the greatest competition. The ideal scenario would be to find a set of keywords that are heavily used but with relatively low competition.
Once the client has entrusted you to do SEO on their website, you need to understand everything you can about their business along with their history, reputation in the market and where they would like to be few years down the line. It’s important to know:-
- What is their expertise?
- Who is their target audience?
- What kind of products or services are on offer?
- Who are their direct competitors?
- Do they have other marketing campaigns running?
- What are their priorities? Do they want more traffic or more clicks?
Using several SEO metrics the subject site is analyzed thoroughly against some of its competitors. These metrics may include indexed content, inbound links, Alexa rating, and several others. Also, one has to find if the content of the website is working well or not. It is necessary to study the content of your competitor’s website and see where the links are coming for and where they are mentioned in the media. Emulating their strategy can be beneficial.
Websites can contain several poorly organized structures, broken links, and other technical issues which can prove to be a debacle.
- Using a site crawler, find out the list of URLs and all the relevant data about the website.
- Prepare a list of all the broken links
- Identify orphaned pages
- Make of all the pages which do not have a title
- Crawl robots txt
Broken links are a signal of low quality both for Google and its users. It is imperative to check a website for broken links on a daily basis. In most cases, one or two pages of a website will be orphaned which means that they will have no links pointing to them. In such cases, two things can be done – either remove the pages or point inbound links to them so that they can be crawled and shown in the rankings.
The other important factor is the presence of page titles of a website. They should not just be aligned with the keywords with but should be unique and attractive as well so that people click on them. A good idea will be to include the site in Google Webmaster Tools to get an overall idea of the issues the website is facing.
In Search Engine Optimization, content is and always be king. Why do you think people are going to visit your website? To find information, right? If there aren’t any relevant content to supply the information, it will only harm your website. All the main search engines love high quality and unique content in websites. Every targeted page should have enough original content having relevant keywords; plagiarized content can cause an enormous deterrent in Google rankings.
People visiting a website loaded with content are more likely to stay and come back to the site than those sites which don’t. But too much content is also never nice on any page. Every page should have content which is engaging yet divided amongst several headings and paragraphs.
Optimizing the pages
After you have added enough content, it’s important to optimize the pages keeping in mind the following aspects:-
- Title Tag: One of the most important elements of page optimization is the presence of good and attractive titles for each page of a website. It shouldn’t be more than 60 characters to be precise. The title tag should contain the keyword phrase and should be directly related to the content of the page. It needs to be appealing because it is what will show in the search results. If the business is targeting the local clients, the city and state should also be mentioned in the title.
- Meta description tag: It’s an extension of the title tag which elaborates the type of business the company operates in a more detailed format. But it also shouldn’t exceed 160 characters including spaces. Like the title, it should also contain the keywords. This will show just underneath the title and link in the search results.
- Headings: The H1, H2, and H3 tags cater to both users and search engines while defining the page’s information hierarchy. As they can be stylized easily using CSS, it seamlessly blends with the website design. The H1 tag should always contain the keyword.
- Internal linking and navigation: In a website, it’s important to link one page to the other =for easy navigation for the user. Also, it’s important to link optimized pages having keyword implemented content to other pages with related keywords.
- Site map: For Google to crawl each and every page and sub page of a website, there needs to a site map containing all the links to the website. Also, the home page should include a text link to the sitemap on the website.
- Image: Images in a page should always contain alt-tags describing what the images are all about. It should also be relevant to the page’s content and obviously, contain the keyword.
One of the more determining factors in achieving Google ranking for any website is its backlink status. The more high-quality links are pointing to a website, the better. A few years ago, quantity preceded quality when it came to links. But in the last couple of years, Google only considers links from extremely high-quality sites irrespective of how many they are. A good way to generate such links would be to post contents in several article and blog portals while also listing the site in directories.
Building social media platform
Social media these days is an extremely powerful tool to gain exposure for your business. It’s important for a business to establish a platform across several social media platforms. Increase client interaction with sharing site content, blogs articles is equally important.