The process of influencing your company’s website to rank higher in a Google search is commonly referred to as SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). The basic premise is that various modern tools are used to cause a website to appear closer on the top of ‘page 1’ in a google search. This means that, if executed properly and by people with the know-how, SEO will result in your website appearing sooner in searches when potential customers Google the services your business has to offer. Everyone wants their business to rank on the first page in a google search, preferably close to the top. This is never a guarantee, but understanding SEO in 2018 will be the reason a website ranks high, attracts more customers, and ultimately produces long-term business.
SEO targets many factors, including key words and services/products which are specific to a company, along with other potentially important factors such as one’s location. Attempting explain the layered and expanding process of website-ranking, using SEO, can be tricky these days. There is however a simplified way of approaching this which could help you gain a step ahead of your industry competitors. Without getting overly technical, the bellow list of requirements and techniques is a broad guide to help the non-SEO professional understand the fundamentals of website ranking. If you follow these guidelines, your website should at least be on its way finishing ‘first’ in the Google search.
1. Have an Accessible URL for Google.
It is vital that we get the basics correct before considering the active effects of SEO. This is the very first question to ask yourself;
‘Is my website easy for the internet to understand and access?’
The content of a web page needs to be organised and added properly for the search engine to understand. Of course, the text within a page needs to be well written, clear and coherent, while videos, images and links also need to be inserted correctly. For any of this to matter however, a website needs to be sufficiently indexed within Google to enable viewing, and to then later perform SEO. So an accessible URL needs to exist in order for google-bot ‘spiders’ to first crawl through your site, for the purpose of understanding the content and where the page exists. If you make sure to get this right at the beginning, everything that follows will then be much easier.
When people attempt to search for information, without yet knowing what website they plan to visit, well-crafted terminology will guide them to the site which has taken some time to match their needs and motivations. Websites tend to exist as the solution to a problem or the answer to a question.
‘Where can I buy this? Who can provide this particular service?’
If we try and think of your website as being the representative of the brand and company, what question is your website going to be answering? If you are selling products using an e-commerce website for example, or offering a specific service to customers, it is vital for SEO that such factors are properly defined using primary and secondary keywords. Doing research into what exactly is the function and purpose of the website will hopefully produce some definitive key terms that represent your output. In addition to this, you should have secondary keywords that are related to the primary. This will help optimise and solidify the website’s place in relation to the terms being searched. To summarise:
a) Find out what words your potential visitors are using to search with.
b) Choose well informed primary and secondary Keywords.
3. Find out what Keywords Google Considers to be important.
It’s now time to do some SERP (Search Engine Results Page) investigating. After defining a list of Keywords, you can now troubleshoot to see what works and what doesn’t to ensure all of your site’s content is geared towards attracting as many hits as possible. Simply searching the web yourself is a great way to see for what words are considered relevant in the Google search. Playing the part of a potential visitor to your site, it will become apparent from seeing what words consistently result in higher rankings in other websites that they are the kinds of Keywords you need to replicate for your own.
4. Have a reliable content-creator.
Paramount to the success of both primary and secondary Keywords, is a competent writer who will phrase text in such a way that optimisation in search rankings in strengthened. As previously stated, your website URL needs to be structured in such a way that it is easy for Google-bots to understand. The same methodology needs to be incorporated into who is writing the content. So, whether it is a team or one individual, be positive that their writing will be excellent for the credibility of your site, the chances or link-building/sharing, and the chances of success in social media. All of which will reflect positively in SEO ranking.
5. Be Aware of Meta Descriptions.
A title meta description is a ‘snippet’ of up to 320 characters, summarising the content of a webpage. This is visible content that appears in a Google search, before a visitor decides to click into the site. Key words and phrases are also typically within this content for ranking optimisation. As previously stated, having a good writer is imperative and this is just another example of why.
- Avoid ‘waffle’, as space is limited.
- Make sure to maintain consistency with Key words.
To reiterate; Using the best text content, on web pages and within meta titles/descriptions, is so important for SEO because Google will find it far easier to process than imbedded information within videos or images for example.
6. Rich Snippets.
Rich Snippets refers to mark-up coding that can be added to already existing HTML within a website. This organised information, when added correctly, helps to give search engines an easier experience in understanding and locating a web page. In terms of Engine Optimisation, utilising these types of SEO snippets will enhance comprehension of your website to both Google and the potential site visitor. While this may not be the most important element of SEO, Rich Snippets are certainly another tool at your disposal.
7. Be Fast, be Secure and Look Good.
Part of SEO is acknowledging that being successful from a ranking perspective, is doing things in accordance with Google and what trends the platform supports. For the past three years, being able to show a HTTPS ‘secure’ for the URL appearing at the top of a user’s display has been considered important to Google and will probably continue to be. UI (User Interface) and UX (User Experience) are becoming terms used across the board in Google and with website professionals. Possessing decent UI and UX simply means that your website loads fast, and is designed in a way that provides a rewarding experience to the visitor. It is important to be consistent across all platforms of viewing, so a concentrated effort to also have an optimum UI/UX on mobile devices and tablets will go a long way.
8. Who can help your site with SEO?
Having links to your website on other sites and on social media is greatly beneficial for ranking, as is having your site being mentioned elsewhere online in general. This may not always be applicable to your specific interests depending on what kind of website you have, however for any business based site this a great way to amplify your ranking and additionally publicise the brand through people’s interest.
There You Have It
SEO is not an exact science and Google has in the past changed algorithms of how a website is ranked. These steps however are the most up to date and relevant SEO techniques in 2018. Taking a note and putting them into practice should do wonders for your search engine ranking.
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Source content for this article came from Rand Fishkin moz.com https://moz.com/blog/rank-in-2018-seo-checklist