Your 9 Points Simple SEO Guide
Since over 75% of online searches never scroll beyond the first page of search engine such as Google , Search Engine Optimization, or SEO in short, is crucial in this modern digital age. However, the world of Search Engine Optimization is complex and the myriad of jargons and phrases can be confusing to those just starting out. Whether you are setting up a new website, seeking to improve your current website or just curious about what SEO is about, MarketingGuru’s 9-point SEO Guide is your handy guide to the complex world of SEO.
“practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”Search Engine Optimization
So, what exactly is SEO? Moz defines Search Engine Optimization as the “practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”. Simply put, it is optimizing your online content so that it appears as top results on Google when people search a certain keyword.
SEO is a big word and this checklist will break it down into 3 broad areas: On-site, Off-site and Technical SEO.
On-site SEO is simply Google’s ranking factors within your page such as headline, content and page structure.
Point 1: Content Quality
The key to on-site SEO is content and that means the quality of content will affect a site SEO. While quality is subjective in nature, a website content quality can be judged based on relevance, length and readability. One way to improve content quality is to ensure that it meets the search intent of your visitors. Basically, it means that your article must address what the visitors are looking for, otherwise they would bounce off your page.
Secondly, article length is also important since there is a correlation between article length and page ranking, A longer article with relevant content encourage visitors to stay longer and thus also reduces bounce rate. Lastly, the usage of short paragraphs of not more than three sentence improves readability. It’s obvious that articles with long paragraphs can be tiring to read.
Point 2: Keyword Research and Selection
One way to identify search intent is to identify keywords people are searching for. This can easily be done using Google Keyword Planner to show the keywords’ competition and which keyword that will be easier for you to rank higher. Once you keyword selection is done, it is important to use them effectively by placing them at the beginning of your title and within the first 150 words.
Point 3: LSI Keywords and Synonyms
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are words commonly found together. Though some LSI keywords may be synonyms and they differ in that LSI provides Google the context of your article. One way to identify LSI for your article is to use the Google Auto Suggest function. LSI can help improves your search ranking as it helps Google understand your page context, squeeze in more keywords and allow your page to be appear in search results of those LSI keywords.
As you can infer, Off-site SEO refers to the activities to increase search ranking that are outside of your website and often beyond your control.
Point 4: Inbound Links
Inbound links are hyperlinks that connect your websites with other websites. Websites with more inbound links are deem as having higher reputation and trust by Google and thus rank higher. In this case, the quality of the links is more important than the quantity.
Point 5: Trust
There are four parts to building trust: authority, bounce rate and domain age. Authority is a combination of domain authority (how widespread your domain name is) and page authority (how authoritative the content of a single page is).
The bounce rate determines how often visitors leave your website after viewing just one page. This is when relevant content comes in to encourage them to stay on your website. The older a domain age is, the better it helps the website rank on Google.
Technical SEO, as the name suggest, focus on the non-content aspects of your website such as how well search engine crawl your site and index your content.
Point 6: Mobile Friendliness
With the growth and adoption of smartphones across the world, it is not surprising that more people are accessing the internet on their mobile phones. In fact, more that 54% of Facebook users access the popular social media platform through mobile phones. Hence, the importance of your website being mobile friendly cannot be ignored. The benefits of a mobile friendly website go beyond user experience, but it is also an important Google ranking factor. Fortunately, Responsive Web Design (RWD) can solve this issue and allows a website to appear perfectly regardless the type of device being used to view the website.
Point 7: Page Speed
Another important Google ranking factor is the page speed. This can be simply described as the time taken to fully display content of a page. From search engine’s perspective, a longer page speed means that it takes longer time for them to crawl your page and this could greatly affect your page. Page speed goes beyond ranking and that can affect your bounce and conversion rate when your website visitors give up on waiting for the page to fully display it’s content.
Point 8: HTML and URL
The text format is how Google crawls and index your content. Therefore, no matter how appealing your website is, Google will not rank your website highly because Google cannot understand your website. This means the usage of HTML is crucial for search engines. Some tips on how to use HTML are as follows:
- Provide text for images.
- Create text transcripts for video or audio content.
- Use title tags, subheads and meta description for your textual content.
- Utilize Schema tags.
Your website or page URL is also important and appear in many important places during a search query. The use of intuitive URL not only help user experience but also tell Google what a particular page is about. Some tips for smart intuitive URL inculdes:
- Keeping it simple.
- Use hyphens to separate words.
- Use the URL to let visitors know what the page is about.
Point 9: HTTPS & SSL
Have you ever wondered what is the difference between ‘HTTP’ and ‘HTTPS’ ? The ‘s’ in ‘HTTPS’ refers to the Secure Socket Layer or SSL. In short, HTTPS is more secure then HTTP and according to Google, websites with HTTPS would rank higher. Not only does a website with HTTP lose traffic, these websites would also have a ‘Not Secure’ notification pop-up for Google Chrome visitors. It is therefore obvious how important having SSL can help boost your SEO ranking.
A Final Note
SEO is a huge topic and these 9 points SEO guide are only to provide you an introduction of what each aspect of SEO is about. Often, companies do not have the time to start and manage an SEO project. This is where experts such as MarketingGuru step in. SEO is a key component of any digital marketing strategy and you should also seek to understand the difference between B2C and B2B digital marketing. Contact MarketingGuru to kick start your digital journey.