Search Engine Optimization: The Basics

By January 12, 2018On Page SEO, SEO Tips

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to different methods used in order to increase visibility, keyword ranking and ultimately increased visitation to your website on search engine results pages.

A SEO campaign can be classified into two main categories known as on-page and off-page. On-page search engine optimization is in referral to the actual specific pages of your website, while off-page search engine optimization refers to factors not directly related to your website that may be affecting website rankings.

 

Ranking factors for On-Page SEO

On-page factors deal specifically with alterations, either HTML or content concerning. A few on-page SEO ranking factors are explained below:

 

Increase Your Ranking by Improving Metadata

Important elements, such as meta descriptions, specific and descriptive title tags and H1s, are valuable because they can help internet searchers and Google better understand what your website is about. They also help increase click through rates as meta descriptions are incentive for potential customers.

The keywords you are targeting should be placed in your meta description and in your title tag, with the most valuable words found closer to the title. Title tags are limited not by length of characters, but by pixel width, 568 pixels to be precise, so be conscientious with space and usage. Moz’s title tag tool is useful to see how tags will appear on Google to ensure that length has not been exceeded and that searchers are able to see all of your valuable information.

Meta descriptions should be thorough, enticing, informative and relevant to your website content. Google will highlight matched keywords to searched keywords so be sure these are included. And keep character amount less than 160 to ensure Google does not exclude any of your descriptions. To preview meta description, utilize SEOmofo’s SERP Snippet Optimization Tool.

The largest text on a page are usually H1s and they can be used as a title. A page that would be talking about an SEO company in Melbourne would have a title that would reflect this, such as “Searching for a SEO company in Melbourne?” Relevance to the content of the page should include H1s and target keywords, keeping character count between 20-70. It is suggested that H1s are not too short however, as this is a great opportunity to give your searchers valuable information.

Optimizing Speed of Site and Improve Overall User Experience

A study completed by Google in 2017 showed a 32% increase of bounce rate when a mobile page takes from 1-3 seconds to load, and up to a 106% increase if it takes 1-6seconds. Higher bounce rates could result in decreasing rankings and overall visibility due to a lower ranking score from Google, which takes bounce rate among other user engagement metrics into consideration when ranking websites. Consider running a Google PageSpeed Insight test to assess ways to increase overall site speed and site optimization.

On-Page SEO: Quality Content Creation

A survey in 2017 conducted by BrightEdge showed that 97% of technological marketers are in agreement that content marketing and SEO have converged or are in the midst of converging. That being said, content alone will not increase visitation to your website. It is vital to have high quality content including long-tail keywords, easily understood and informative content that answers the customers’ questions, and provides information that is easily shared. It is important not to publish copied or plagiarized content as many search engines can detect, and possibly punish, websites with duplicate content. Try using a SEO content checklist as reference if needed when constructing your website and content.

Schema Markup: Improving your SEO

In order to better help search engines understand the content on your site, shared markup vocabulary can be added to your HTML. This is called Schema. Although there are many different types of schema, a vital one to utilize is Site Navigation Schema Markup, which aids search engines understanding and comprehension of your site navigation and overall structure.

A survey in 2017 conducted by BrightEdge showed that 97% of technological marketers are in agreement that content marketing and SEO have converged or are in the midst of converging. That being said, content alone will not increase visitation to your website.

Ranking Factors for Off-Page SEO

Search engines use information signals from other websites to determine how authoritative a website is and to help establish trust in any given specific website. Because this information is acquired from an outside source and not directly from your website, it is known as Off-Page SEO. A few Off-page ranking factors are explained below:

 

Establishing Authority by Link Building

Establishing authority online can be done most efficiently by establishing strategic link building.

In its simplest definition, link building is essentially using other websites to acquire links. Google will rank a website higher if it has established authority, and authority is achieved by websites acquiring more ‘votes’ (votes of confidence.) Search engine crawlers will move from site to site by using links and the easier it is for crawlers to move from the linking site to the linked site, the more perceived confidence the website acquires.

More links = More confidence = Higher rankings from Google.

Increase Local SEO Rankings by Creating Citations (NAP)

A valuable off-page SEO factor for increasing local rankings is having your NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) accurately listed on other websites that have established a high level of authority, such as Yelp or the Yellowpages. When your NAP is “cited” on a high authority website, it acts as validation for your website by increasing your trustworthiness. Citations on websites that are directly related to your locations and industry are the most ideal and ensure your NAP format is listed the same as it is on Google My Business listing.

Strong Social Media Presence

A great way to establish your online presence, gain additional trust with customers and legitimize your business is by constructing a strong social media presence. A reputable social media presence provides an easy way for those customers who may be unfamiliar with your business to discover you and to overall increase the amount people exposed to your brand. It can also allow for search engine crawlers to discover you via social media posts and potentially index included links, and in turn, boost your ranking.

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Our team of SEO experts is dedicated to developing and implementing cutting-edge search engine campaigns to help our clients grow their web presence. Our strategies complement the services of many of the world’s top tech companies, such as Yahoo, Google, and Amazon.

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