The year is 2019 and the landscape of Search Engine Optimization has evolved quite a bit in the past 8 years. With the advent of Google’s Rankbrain, and the integration of the Panda, Penguin and Hummingbird algorithms. Google has really put the clamp down on eliminating the spam sites from dominating the SERPs.
Gone are the days of scraping content, spinning articles, and pumping in thousands of low-quality links for desirable search results. These ‘Black Hat’ tactics will not only put your business website at risk for getting penalized but can ultimately get your site banned from Google.
The good news? For people like myself, I can comfortably use the Google search engine and not be constantly bombarded by really bad spammy websites. The quality of websites showing up in the SERPs has dramatically increased and streamlined for the better.
The tough news? The time, effort, and ultimately the cost has risen for obtaining high SEO search results. Businesses need to be more savvy with their online marketing budget and get their strategy optimized well from the beginning.
Follow the current suggested SEO practices closely, and there is no doubt that your business website traffic will benefit greatly! Even the most highly touted SEO expert would not hesitate to agree.
Make sure your website is optimized for speed, is responsive and Mobile Friendly
Next to high-quality content, and backlinks, having a fast loading and Google Mobile Friendly website would fall into the 3 most important Google search factors category. In the fall of 2018 Google announced their Mobile Friendly test and guidelines. In a nutshell, your website needs to pass this test or you risk not being indexed in the Mobile search results.
As over 53% of users are browsing the Internet on their mobile phone, it would be disastrous to not have your website indexed for mobile browsing. Get your website tested at the Google Mobile Friendly test page right away!
Also, your website speed plays a huge role in your SEO. Your bounce rate (the time your user is on your site) will skyrocket by having a slow loading site, and Google takes this in account for their search engine rankings. You can and should test your site on the Google Page Speed Insights site.
If your results come up short and you are not tech savvy or a web designer, hire a top web design company for help with this service.
Do a thorough website audit and have your website on page optimized for SEO
Having duplicate content, 404 pages, a bad robots.txt, and no sitemap are just a few of the problems that can really hurt your website SEO. It is a great idea to take care of this from the very beginning by doing a thorough website audit. One of the best tools out there for this is Screaming Frog, and they offer a free version which works excellent for uncovering these issues.
Also, there are some basic rules for on-page optimization that will do wonders for the search engines if you adhere to them. Make sure you have descriptive Meta titles and descriptions without keyword stuffing them. You are doing this to entice your potential customers to click on your site when they are browsing through the search engines.
Make proper use of your H1-H6 headings. Don’t keyword stuff these. Use only one H1 and H2 title per page in a hierarchical order and don’t have duplicates of these titles.
Optimize your image alt tags with a specific description of what the image is conveying and don’t stuff these with keywords.
Develop a well-optimized Content Strategy
The first thing to do here is do a thorough keyword research for your business website niche. You need to know which keywords are bringing in the highest traffic, and how competitive these keywords are. The free Google Adwords tool works really well and is very intuitive. Once you have a robust list of your keywords, then you move on to developing an optimal content strategy.
When you begin with your content strategy, you want to decide which pages you want to rank the highest for the search engines. In most cases, this will be particular service or product pages, an About page (which is important these days), and your home page. You don’t want to create a lot of pages for specific locations etc. as in this modern day of SEO, fewer pages = more link juice and easier to rank.
You will also want to consider your website link structure and think of a pyramid, as your home page on top. Link this to your Services, About, and Contact page. Your Service page could link out to individual service pages. Keep your page volume as low as possible for better distribution of backlink juice.
Create quality, relevant and engaging content for your website
Your content is still ‘King’ in the eyes of the search engines. Recently it has been noted that articles with 2000 words are ranking better than articles on the shorter side. Your content should be very niche relevant and with high user intent. Well written articles equal more customer conversions and all-around higher search results.
Content quantity comes into play as well. Google will reward you with more crawling and better indexing if your website is putting out more content on a consistent basis. Having a blog on your website is key for not only educating your users but also for adding your keywords in a natural flow that Google likes.
Build ‘white hat’ backlinks from high authority and trusted websites
Every great SEO consultant will tell you that over 75% of your search rankings depend on high-quality and Google trusted backlinks. As mentioned earlier, spammy low-grade backlinks don’t work anymore and, in some cases, will get your website banned. Google is very smart these days and your business has to be smart as well when it comes to backlinks.
The best way to get those high-quality backlinks is through writing awesome editorial articles that are very informative with high user intent. Guest posting is still very alive and a great opportunity to contribute these articles with your contextual keyword links.
Link building can be a challenging task even for the more experienced SEO experts. There is a lot of outreach involved and many factors to consider with the business website niche and link relevancy. It is highly suggested to hire an expert SEO company like Designatude for learning more about these services.