Happy New Year 🙂
Google’s algorithmic changes are always challenging for anyone to rank for or to sustain an already ranking website for a keyword. There is no one way rule to do better in search rankings, but there are a host of activities that you need to follow to get your website search friendly, and then do keyword based targeting using content marketing.
Having tried and tested all optimization parameters in SEO, we believe these are the important elements that defined SEO in 2016, and will be taken more seriously in 2017.
1. Optimize all pages using Keywords – The first most important checklist is to write good content with the keywords that your audience are searching for. I would say it would be a good start with Google Keywords Planner, followed by comparing these keywords using Google trends. Once you have identified the keywords, use a “Prefix“, “target” and “suffix” to write headings and sub headings. And, for the content – you need to come with something that offers value to your readers.
2. SEO Implementation – Optimizing your pages with SEO elements (like Title Tags, Meta Description, Alt tags and Heading Tags – H1, H2) is important. This tells Search Engine bots that we have followed all webmaster guidelines, and that our optimization is completed. Then, we work on second most important elements in SEO:
- URL Structure – The URL of your website pages must have keywords in it. Even if it is a product page, it is recommended that you use a keyword that is relevant to the product in URL.
- Image and Folder Path – A lot of SEO Analysts fail to validate what image titles their designers/developers have put it. Keywords must be inserted in the image titles. And, for the Folder structure – follow a proper pattern. (E.g.: domain/products/categories/items)
- Webmaster Integration – Add your websites’ “www” and “non-www” versions as separate properties in Google Webmasters, and then select which version is your preferred domain – this is vital to help search bots understand what is your domain.
3. Update Sitemap.xml – New websites or existing websites, submit your updated sitemap. It’s inevitable that when we move forward, we create several pages and completely lose track on creating an updated sitemap.
4. Internal Linking – It is recommended that internal linking within your own website should contain keywords in the anchor text and anchor tags. But make sure you find a proper balance between Keyworded Call-To-Actions (e.g.: Car Services or Download Free SEO Report) and Generic Call-To-Actions (e.g.: Click Here or Sign Up or Free Demo). With regards to blogs, internal links within text of the content is important, this helps the readers to look for more information and it help search bots to rank for specific keywords.
5. Link Building – Build links with website that trusts you, and you trust them. First method would be, ask links from your friends and acquaintances. This would help if you’re starting a new website. Later, do a competitor research using SEO tools (MOZ, SEMRush, Ahrefs, spyfy and so on). This research should tell you where your competitors have got their links from, and check the PR and Domain Authority of these links. So, don’t get into buying spam links, always play within the webmaster guidelines.
6. Page Speed Insights and Mobile Responsive Sites – Google considers page speed (load time) as critical component for rankings. If you are not technically strong, search for Google Page Insights (URL: https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/), and ask your developers to consider the “Suggestion Summary” once you input your website . They will have to reduce the file size of images and work on the JSS & CSS modifications. This will enhance your page speed and reduce load time. And its 2017, so mobile responsive website is a must!
7. AMP Validation – Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a way to build web pages for static content that render fast. If your to offer your views an experience of load pages quickly in mobiles, integrating AMP codes is just for you. AMP is a Google-backed project, and from 2017 AMP will have a significant impact in search engines.
8. Schema.org Implementation – Schema’s offers codes to enable “rich snippets” through which search engines understand our websites better. Within the SERP pages, users can have a better idea of what the website is about with snippets about the product, ratings, foods etc. within the SERP. You can boost schema markup for your SEO in just 3 easy steps.
9. Crawl Error Fixing / Broken Link Redirection – Even if your active in checking Google Search Console, chances are you should have at least some 404 page errors. And for website owners who have never checked their Crawl Errors, you should 100’s of errors. To fix these errors, check the links that are directed to this error page, if it is a good back link then re-navigate it to another page. Google search bots checks the 404 errors very often and it might hamper our search rankings.
10. Content Marketing based on google trends – The final piece in the jigsaw for ranking is “Unique Content”. Content Marketing is vital for today’s SEO, and if a content answers a specific question it can get better traffic to the website. When you search on what topic to write, consider Google Trends and Google search engines.