Updated: Nov 9
Those unfamiliar with Search Engine Optimization may believe that SEO involves the strategic use of keywords to direct web users to their content. They'd be correct!
In headings, URLs, content, internal links, and SEO titles, keywords are crucial.
Keyword research is one of the most essential aspects of search engine optimization, and it entails identifying relevant and attainable keywords to target with your website.
Choosing the proper keywords is not as simple as it may appear. Targeting the right keywords requires expertise; for instance, if you choose keywords that are too competitive, you may take on more than you can handle and never rank. You also want to make sure you target a selection of keywords rather than focus on too few and target keywords with high user intent.
Although keywords and keyword research are essential, SEO is not as simple as installing WordPress, installing the Yoast SEO Plugin, adding your focus keyword; and if you receive a green traffic signal from Yoast, then the job is complete. Now, all you must do is wait for Google to crawl, index, and position your website highly. That is not how SEO functions.
There are numerous additional factors to consider, each of which is equally as essential as keywords and keyword research.
In addition to keywords, the following are some of the most essential aspects of SEO:
When attempting to rank in Google, you are competing with other websites. Some keywords, such as 'home insurance' and 'hair salon,' will inevitably be extremely challenging. If you are launching a new website, it will be difficult to rank for highly competitive keywords. Your strategy will need to take into account the intensity of competition. To determine how difficult it is to rank highly on Google, you must conduct a competitor investigation. There are numerous tools, such as Ahrefs, that aid in competitor investigation.
If your website is secure, Google and other search engines will be much more likely to trust it.
Ensure your website is secure and has an SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate. Since 2014, this has been a ranking factor. You can easily verify this by searching for a lock icon in the address bar. There are online tools to verify that your SSL certificate is installed, valid, and trusted.
Ensure that your WordPress site's plugins and motifs are always up-to-date. Invest effort in securing and backing up your website. If your website is compromised, Google may immediately remove it from its index.
Optimizing for Mobile
Google is optimized for mobile search. This indicates that Google will prioritize your website based on the mobile experience rather than the desktop experience. Ensure that your website is mobile-friendly and well-optimized. Now, websites should be optimized for mobile. Almost every Google Analytics account will display a greater proportion of mobile users than desktop users.
If your desktop website is rich in content while your mobile website is sparse, you may need to reconsider your strategy. Google suggests that the content on both sites should be identical.
In the past few years, we've worked on websites with a desktop site and a separate "alternative" mobile site. These sites have labored and not performed as well as they would have if they were responsive websites with one version of the site that works on all devices.
In terms of SEO, quality websites perform better than amateur websites. If you had a professional design and optimize your website for search engines, it will have a significant advantage.
SEO should not be a secondary concern. Even before your developer begins developing your website, you should consider SEO. How will you categorize the site, what will the URLs look like, how will the internal links function, and how many steps will it take a user to reach the products or services pages from the homepage?
Technical SEO refers to the optimization of websites and servers. This assists search engines in efficiently crawling and indexing a website. The more efficiently a search engine can crawl and index your site, the higher it will rank.
Your developer can ensure that a sitemap, robots file, and Google Search Console are configured and that your website can be efficiently crawled.
It is crucial that your website does not contain broken links, or links to pages that no longer exist. Ensure that you engage in good maintenance and that the user experience is excellent. The last thing you want is for users to select a link and arrive at a 404 page. Ensure you have a reliable hosting provider. Don't simply choose the inexpensive option. If your site is frequently unavailable, the server is sluggish, or your hosting is repeatedly hacked, then your SEO will suffer.
Navigation & Organization
Having a clear and logical site structure and an intuitive internal linking structure makes it much simpler for search engines to crawl your site. However, these factors are not only crucial for Google; the navigation of your website's structure is also essential for a positive user experience.
A tree-like or hierarchical information structure is the optimal method for organizing your website's content. Consider the following structure for your website: websites will have a homepage that links to subpages/categories, which in turn link to pages.
This information architecture remains the most effective for Google's optimization and indexing because it is easy to follow. If you do not organize your content and information into pertinent categories and subfolders, people will be discouraged from browsing your site, and Google will not crawl it as effectively as it could.
It's recommended that all of your navigational menus are methodically structured and that no page should ever be more than three clicks removed from any other page on your website. This simultaneously generates a positive, user-friendly website and satisfies Google, which is increasingly incorporating "usability" factors into its algorithm.
The pages at the summit of your site's hierarchy will typically have the most authority.
Utilize text-based navigation, sitemaps especially for larger websites, breadcrumbs for navigation, internal links, and URLs that are well-named and descriptive.
Google has used page rendering speed as a ranking factor for some time.
The significance of a website's performance will continue to rise. Google announced the Core Web Vitals factors recently. These metrics pertain to the quickness, responsiveness, and visual stability of the user experience. Google will provide reports on these user metrics through its Search Console, which will play an increasing role as ranking factors.
Ensure that your page titles, meta descriptions, headings, images, and keywords have been thoroughly researched.
We have an on-page SEO Checklist for you. You're welcome.
Length and Quality
Your content's duration and quality have nothing to do with keywords. You could be using the best keywords on offer, but if your content is of low quality or an inappropriate duration, it will fail to attract web traffic. Ensure that the content you produce is current, interesting, well-written, and informative. Prioritize value; do not simply produce something futile and tedious. Spelling and grammar must also be correct.
The intent of the user is also crucial. Ensure that your page corresponds to the intent of a user's inquiry. A quick search for your keywords on Google can disclose the types of pages that Google expects to find.
Rich content refers to images and recordings that do not exist elsewhere. You can utilize existing media, but creating your own rich content is immensely effective in terms of search engine optimization. If this content is unique, it has a greater chance of ranking highly, and other websites will link to you if they share it.
Thus, you will receive credit if your content goes viral, and your SEO rankings will skyrocket. If you are unable to create your own content, find a method to leverage existing rich content. It is always preferable to use it rather than not use it.
Google began as a search engine based on connections. Links from other websites were the algorithm's foundation. " A backlink (also called an inbound link) is a link that comes from another website to yours. Visually, the link could be placed in a text, on an image, or as a button -- as long as the source is a different website, all of these connections count as backlinks. In SEO, backlinks are very important because they are one of the most important ranking factors for every major search engine out there." - Hubspot