Top 15 Aspects of SEO to Be Successful
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a crucial component of any successful digital marketing strategy. It involves optimizing your website and content to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs), thereby increasing organic traffic. Here are the top 15 aspects of SEO you need to master for success.
1. Keyword Research:
Keywords are the backbone of SEO. Identify relevant keywords that your target audience uses to find products or services like yours. Use tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or Ahrefs for this purpose.Google looks for keywords on your website and uses them to decide how relevant your content is to a specific search query. This means you need to choose keywords that align with your product or service and use them across your site.
2. On-Page SEO:
On-page SEO involves optimizing individual web pages for specific keywords. This includes using keywords in your title tags, meta descriptions, headers, and content. On-page SEO basically covers anything you can do on a webpage (or internally) to improve your rankings. Search engines like Google look at keywords and other on-page SEO cues to check whether a page matches a user’s search intent. And if the search engine decides the page will be useful to the user, it will display it higher in search results.
3. Quality Content:
Content is king in SEO. Create high-quality, engaging, and informative content that provides value to your audience. This will increase dwell time, reduce bounce rate, and improve your ranking. Google Panda is an integral part of Google’s search algorithm designed to filter out and lower the rank websites with thin or low-quality content and webspam. It was first released in 2011 as a part of Google’s efforts to eliminate black hat SEO practices and webspam.
4. Link Building:
Backlinks from reputable sites significantly impact your SEO. They demonstrate to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy. Search engines don’t just look at your website when determining your credibility. They also explore your wider presence on the internet. For example, whether other credible outlets link back to you, whether you have good reviews and plenty of mentions, and whether people engage with your business on social media.
That’s why activities such as guest blogging, publishing content that’s easy to share, getting great reviews, and growing your presence on social media can be so valuable. Getting listed in relevant directories can also be really helpful. For example, Angie’s List for home and garden businesses, Manta and Trustpilot for more general small business listings.
5. Technical SEO:
Technical SEO involves optimizing your site’s infrastructure such as URL structure, site speed, mobile-friendliness, and XML sitemaps. These factors contribute to your site’s crawlability and indexability. These are the technical behind-the-scenes factors that make it easier for search engines to ‘crawl’ your website.
Technical SEO can greatly impact a website’s performance on Google. If pages on your site are not accessible to search engines, they won’t appear or rank in search results—no matter how valuable your content is. This results in a loss of traffic to your website and potential revenue to your business.
Plus, the page speed and mobile-friendliness of a website are Google-confirmed ranking factors. If your pages load slowly, users may get annoyed and leave your site. User behaviors like this may signal that your site doesn’t create a positive user experience. As a result, Google may not rank your site well.
6. User Experience:
Google’s algorithms consider user experience (UX) factors like site speed, mobile-friendliness, and site navigation. SEO and UX go hand-in-hand and a good UX can boost your SEO ranking. When assessing a website’s credibility, search engine algorithms don’t only consider technical factors. They also look at how users interact with the website in order to get a read on the kind of user experience it provides. If the algorithms notice that, after landing on a particular website, users tend to leave within a few seconds, that website will very quickly lose favour. It’ll slip down the rankings to make space for competitors who appear to be providing a better experience.
7. Local SEO:
For businesses serving a local market, optimizing for local search is critical. Ensure your business is listed in online directories and has consistent NAP (Name, Address, Phone Number) information across the web.
8. Image SEO:
Images can also contribute to your SEO. Use descriptive file names and alt text for your images, and ensure they’re compressed for optimal loading speed.
9. Social Signals:
While social signals aren’t a direct ranking factor, there’s a correlation between social shares and visibility on SERPs. Promote your content on social media to increase its reach and visibility. Social signals are essentially any interactions with a social media profile or its content. From a social media marketing standpoint, these interactions are simply social media engagement, but from an SEO standpoint, they are signals that help search engines like Google to understand the identity, popularity, and reliability of a user, profile, or post.
10. Mobile SEO:
With more people using mobile devices to browse the internet, mobile SEO has become essential. Ensure your site is responsive and offers a seamless mobile experience. Given that nearly half of all searches are done on mobile devices, optimizing your website so that it works well and looks great on mobile devices is no longer a nice-to-have but a must-have. And it’s something that search engines consider in their rankings, too. In fact, Google says mobile-friendly sites show higher in search results and account for over half of searches on Google.com.
11. Voice Search SEO:
With the rise of voice assistants, optimizing for voice search is becoming increasingly important. Focus on long-tail keywords and natural language queries. Voice search optimization is the process of improving your online presence so you appear for voice search queries. The primary goal is to get selected by and/or read aloud by voice assistants when users perform a voice search. Those digital assistants include Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Amazon’s Alexa.
12. Video SEO:
Videos can significantly enhance engagement and dwell time. Optimize your video descriptions, titles, and tags for relevant keywords to improve their visibility.
13. Structured Data:
Structured data (Schema markup) helps search engines understand your content better, potentially leading to rich results and increased visibility on SERPs.
14. SEO Analytics:
Use tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to monitor your SEO performance. Track metrics like organic traffic, bounce rate, and conversion rate to measure your success and identify areas for improvement.
Continually creating great content means understanding what types of content your visitors love and how this changes over time. Tools such as the Google Search Console are brilliant for this, showing you how many visitors are coming to your site, how long they’re spending on each page, where they’re from, the devices they’re using, and how they click from page to page. You can use this data to refine your content so that you’re always delivering the best value to your visitors.
The search console is also great for checking which pages Google has indexed on your site. If you discover any that haven’t been indexed, you can “Request Indexing.” This is good practice when you publish new content to your site because it tells Google you’ve added something new.
15. SEO Updates and Algorithm Changes:
Search engines frequently update their algorithms, so it’s crucial to stay updated with these changes. Regularly check SEO news and blogs to keep up with the latest developments.
Mastering these 15 aspects of SEO will put you on the path to success in the digital landscape. Remember, SEO is not a one-time effort but a long-term commitment. It requires constant learning, testing, and optimization to stay ahead of the competition.
Rex Camposagrado is an SEO Expert & Digital Marketing MBA with over 20 years of experience. An Adjunct Instructor in Digital Marketing and an award-winning SEO receiving a BrightEdge Edgies Award winner for SEO Performance & Results in 2018. He’s worked with small businesses to Fortune 500 companies and enjoys helping companies grow their web presence because when they succeed, he feels that he succeeds as well!