- 24 May 2016
The big picture of SEO constraints many digital marketers having profound knowledge in SEO. Google rank is very critical for a business to succeed in this digital age. The art of getting found in search engines results page is considered good.
SEO is a mouthful, don’t let the title let you off. A simple series of steps in SEO can make a huge difference in attracting free traffic. User experience and usability of a website can be improved by getting the users to stay on your website and interact with your contents. Here are a few steps that can be considered as the basics to kick start:
Apply these steps and techniques apart from letting Google let you down. A well designed digital marketing strategy comprises of a number of factors of SEO, which is continuously evolving and getting affected.
Step 1: Check for Domain Authority (DA), Page Rank (PR) and Trust flow
Domain Authority is a rank or score assigned to your site. It’s a number on a point-scale of 100.
A score above 51 is a strong place to be. It represents a great site with a lot of recognition, link backs and a considerable authority in its niche.
A score between 41-50 is also a good place to be in. It shows your site is getting somewhere. Many e-commerce sites find themselves in this category.
A score between 31-40 is a competitive space to reside. It’s not bad, and you are getting close to the sweet spot. A lot of start-ups find themselves in this DA range.
A score between 21-30 is fair and your site shows signs of SEO activity, but there are many areas to improve.
A score between 11-20 shows it would be good to grow and your site isn’t stellar, and is doing better.
A score below 10 signifies your site is young and week. There is a lot of growing to be done.
Step 2: Determine the Site Load Time
If a site has a good load time, Google ranks it high. If the site is slow, then your site is poor in terms of SEO. Google and Bing, takes into account the loading speed of site in their ranking algorithm. Optimizing images properly helps reduce file size and improve loading speed significantly. It’s important to retain users, but this could be affected even if users have to wait a few extra seconds for each page to load.
A site speed of 0-1 seconds is excellent.
A site speed of 2-3 seconds is fair. Some speed improvements needs to done in the upcoming months.
A site speed above 4 seconds is poor. You must consider eliminating long load time elements, optimize image sizes, or make other speed improvements.
Step 3: Check for Sitemap and Robots.txt file
A good SEO practice requires an xml sitemap, which symbolizes an organized and easily indexable site. An XML sitemap is necessary to send a list of URLs and their importance to search engines to help them crawl your website in a better way.
When a search engine spider hunts your website, it specifically looks for the robots.txt file. This file instructs the search engine spider which webpages should to be indexed/crawled and which need not be indexed/crawled.
Reasons for the usefulness of robots.txt file
- Let’s you block search engine spiders from crawling any duplicate pages on your website.
- You can block search engines from indexing your internal search results pages.
- If you don’t want search engines to index certain pages of your website or a whole website.
- You can block search engines to index certain files on your website.
- Notify search engines where your sitemap file is located.
Step 4: Check for Header Tags
Heading tags are used to distinguish headings and sub-headings of a page from the rest of the content. Most and least important header tags are h1 tag and h6 tag respectively. A hierarchy of header tags should be maintained for a good SEO practice that is h1 tag should be followed by h2 tag and not h3 tag. This is because if you violate this hierarchy, the heading structure will break, which is not an ideal method for on-page SEO.
Special attention is given to the words in headings by search engines because these houses clues to the page’s main topics. Placing keywords in the heading tags can be very beneficial for SEO.
Proper implementation of headers can be helpful in breaking up your content into sections which are easier to read and understand.
Step 5: Check for Meta Description, Title Tags and Meta Keywords
“Meta data” is identified by search engine while indexing your site. Meta data is the key element which conveys to the users and search engines what the site is all about. There are three types of data in meta data:
- Meta Title: Text you view at the top of your browser is meta title. Search engines view this as the "title" of your page.
- Meta Description: A brief describing the page.
- Meta Keywords: It’s a series of keywords which are of relevance to your page.
Step 6: Check for Onsite Content
In order to rank well in search engines a site’s content needs to be continual and updated. A sustained SEO without consistent content output is very difficult task at hand. Content density is also an important factor to note.
The benefits of producing SEO friendly content lies far beyond ranking. A great strategy to improve search engine rankings is to create an evergreen content; this will make your site a more useful one. Keywords are the top essentials for content marketing and SEO to work together well. Content plays an important role in ranking the website and also to engage it’s users.
Step 7: Check for Image Optimization
To make sure images are working well on the SEO front, relevancy of the content can be signaled using keywords. An image used properly, can transmit your message on a single glance. Images can generate a good source of traffic from Google Image Search. The most important optimization factors include
- Alt tags: It’s the most important factor in image optimization. If the image is taking too long to load or does not appear, alt tag will be displayed in its place. Alt tag informs the topic of the image and also conveys to the search engines an image is placed in that place.
- Image size: It’s a very crucial factor for user experience. Images should be kept low in size as the loading time of pages and total time of visit has become a vital part for SEO algorithm and ranking.
- Image name: Keywords play its importance in URL and image names. Filenames which are keyword rich can help determine relevancy in search engines. Descriptions should be separated by hyphens (-).
- Title tags and Image linking: Proper linking techniques avoiding direct linking with the use of anchor text can offer better results. Title tags can be used as a tool tip when one hovers over your image and it’s a must while linking. This will in turn boost the traffic generated.
Step 8: Inbound and Outbound Links
Links have always been of utmost importance to determine ranking order by the search engines. Linking out to well-respected authority sites is the best method to improve relevancy of your content and to retain time spend on your site. But these needs to be limited in use to avoid letting your content loose its importance.
Backlinks/Inbound links are those which are directed to your website and serves as the building blocks for your search improvements. To determine the quality of your backlinks, it needs to be of good quality and relevance. By housing quality backlinks you are defining a way to boost your website’s traffic.
Step 9: Mobile User Experience
The amount of people accessing internet over mobile devices have surpassed significantly the number accessing desktop. A major modification is to ensure landing pages are optimized for both mobile and desktop users. Mobile optimization takes into consideration factors such as site design, site structure, page speed and more to ensure mobile-friendliness.
Mobile strategy is a must have for websites to grow exponentially to generate mobile traffic. Mobile SEO strategy needs to consider the obvious fact of less physical space while searching through mobile when moving forward.
Optimal user experience often results in higher conversions while traffic generated from SEO may give higher numbers in terms of ranking. A smart move can be best defined with better user experience clubbed with SEO tricks and tactics. SEO is a field of study combined with art and science to improve your chance of ranking well in search engines. These tips can help you start of well.