We’d like to share you self-experienced tips for better SEO and to bring more traffic to your website. These aren’t just 10 tips to improve the rankings of a website in Search Results. Rather, these are sort of our experience you should know while you’re doing hard efforts for better SEO and rankings.
While we are not top-notch SEO expert, yet, it is something that we learnt and want to share with you. Honestly speaking, the experience shared by a less-skilled professional contains the lessons that an expert could never tell you. Here, we’re sharing 10 tips or efforts we did for SEO and they ranked us better. These detailed tips apply on every platform including WordPress. So let’s start with Google.
1. Google Gives Information for Better SEO
Google, as well as other engines, share you decent information to increase the chances of appearing prominently in search results. First, start typing in the Google Search Textbox and it will show you the most searched queries. It gives hints for what words you should include in your post’s title, description and body as well. Include them in your content as they fit and the effort will bring better SEO and rankings.
Second, Google Search Console (formerly known as Webmaster Tool) is an excellent tool. It helps you evaluate and maintain your website’s performance in search results. One must use this free service and pay attention to what it is reporting. You have to verify your site ownership with Google to start with Search Console.
Analytics and Keyword Planner by Google are also great resources of information to lead SEO efforts in the right direction. Other Search Engines also offer such similar tools for better SEO. Also, don’t miss checking 5 Google tools that we use to speed up and optimize websites.
2. Optimization Doesn’t Work Standalone
SEO isn’t a separate tactic. Instead, it’s an integral part of your whole application components. The ranking of a page in Search Results depends on many factors. It includes code, web architecture, schema or rich data, SEO plans, social integration, speed as well as the content. Additionally, relies on the hosting and Search Engines like Google or Bing itself.
You can’t perform better SEO in one go to attend maximum optimization. Further, these implements require time. Either halt the launching or perform in parallel. Except for writing content, many of them tend to change rarely.
It takes times to let Search Engines identify your site. So, utilize this time to implement whatever you come across to increase the search traffic. Apart from these, the more you optimize, the more the ranking benefits and boosted traffic.
3. There are No Guarantees in SEO
You can’t determine that you have done everything right. Even if you have done, it will take time to go to the top. Search Engines see and accredit you over time. Also, neither you can meet all the ideal SEO expectations nor all the things are under your control.
For example, an unintentional mistake in the SEO plugin used in a WordPress website can hurt the page rank. Yes, that happens and has happened in the past. Few other examples are indecisive infrastructure by a host, IP-sharing or low reputation.
Further, rankings algorithms change more often than your thoughts. Search Engines are getting smarter than your kids. Even they can analyze your content like a human does. If your page is appearing at number one in SERPs, there is no guarantee that it will be there on tomorrow too. A hundred reasons are there to replace your position in Search Engine Result Pages. So better to say, SEO is about compromise and being careful. Chill and breathe!
3. Spam can ruin All Your SEO Efforts
SPAM sounds like a virus and definitely, it is. Alone enough to ruin all your search presence, reputation and efforts. Further, spam can be in many forms. Automated content/articles or numerous social media push by yourself are few on this list.
Additionally, repeating the same content as default for SEO elements like meta description in each blog post is also spamming. Never make such mistakes. Also, stay away from tempting offers of mass submission. “We’ll submit your bookmarks and posts to over a thousand channels”. Read the previous line and know, these are worse and irrelevant spam channels to crush out your hopes.
Pay attention to comment spam too. It’s quite annoying but lots of spammers leave unrelated comments with links. It does not only divide your link juice but also make Search Engines to penalize the site. Regular monitoring and removal of spams are the only safeguards.
4. SEO is Already Enough Complicated
Yes, it is. Have you taken maximum advantage of free Google Analytics account? Most probably, the answer is No. Then why buy premium tools with big promises? Like social statistic and click-through analytics.
Similarly, Search Engine Optimization tools now offer multiple keywords targeting. But we avoid it. Rather, we focus on a keyword with 2-4 words and use all variations in the post. So the conclusion is you don’t need to be complicated for this SEO stuff. Keep things simple and manageable initially.
Also, avoid cross-linking deals. Just think, why do a higher rank owner will share a link to your website? Doesn’t he/she understand that linkback shared by you will be weaker? Don’t waste your rich content and link juice with buying/getting bunches of such URLs. Search Engines are smart and they know it’s a deal. So, very most of the time, these links and redirects cause hurt.
5. Content is the King for Better SEO
Experts say, “Content is the king”. Let us add a few terms and conditions to this statement. Fresh and original, web and social content produced with continuous blogging, get rewards from Search Engines. And keep it free if you can. Remember, the best content is free.
Updating content is equally important. Removing outdated content and adding relevant information can boost rankings significantly. It can also honour you with standing on the top in SERPs over years and receive more link juice.
Search engines love good, unique and relevant content. Having more content is good but duplicate content and exceeding the word count or load time, are bad. Having more readers that are reading more of your content will lead you to better rankings. That’s why experts advise, write for your readers, not for Search Engines.
7. 301 Redirects and Canonicalization are Critical
These two are really big and important terms. If ignored, leads to duplicate content issue, thus leaves bad impressions on SEO. Unfortunately, most of the time you don’t even know this is happening.
For us, the www and non-www versions of a webpage have only a subtle difference. Correspondingly, HTTP and HTTPS versions are the same for us. But these are absolutely different websites for Search Engines. If SEO hasn’t done well, Search Engines would never rank them as one. Conversely, a penalty will occur for having two or more websites with duplicated content. This happens mostly with CMS platforms, like WordPress.
A proper use of 301 redirects can save you from all these harms. However, sometimes you don’t want to set a redirect. Here canonicalization resolves the troubles. It can save from website devaluation in case of having pages with identical or very similar content. It applies in the following manner:
- Choose the most important page among those similar pages.
- Apply a rel=”canonical” tag to every similar page except the chosen one.
So suppose a website has pages http://example.com/10-seo-tips/ and http://example.com/best-seo-guide/. Further, assuming that the later is more important, the first one should have the canonical link. So adding the code below in the head section of the former page will create the canonicalization:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://example.com/best-seo-guide/" />
In addition, place a self-referencing canonical URL to a page itself. Since it eliminates the risk of exposing duplicate content by variations of the URL like trailing slash, query string.
8. Search Engines Love Schema Markup and Structured Data
Schema markup is one of the most powerful forms of optimization. You can boost your website in the search engine result pages (SERPs) using Structured Data. The only downside is you need to add markup or script into files. Yet it’s nowhere as compared to SEO benefits from Schema Markup, Structured Data or Rich Snippet.
Schemas are additional markups around the content of the page. They give great information to Search Engines to understand your content and bring more details to users. Structure Data tells what your data means, not just what it says.
We have utilized schema markups in our pages. Just look at the screenshot above. It shows a breadcrumb trail to one of our WordPress Interview Q/A post, rather than just a plain link. A user can now see the trail starting with the website URL followed by the category link and so on. You can also form the breadcrumb rich snippet, as explained in the article link.
Schema markup is available for all kinds of content types to let a website rank better. This is indeed a detailed topic and needs separate explanations. We will cover it in upcoming posts. For now, you can learn more about Structured Data/Rich Snippet here:
9. Few Words About SEO Techniques
Now speed and secured connection have been important factors to decide the rank of a page. All optimization lies around speeding up page rendering and organizing content wisely for better SEO. Also, there are plenty of resources available sharing tricks to apply for better search result appearance.
You don’t need to micro-fine everything, just keep them reasonable. Either you’re starting or have already started, keep points expressed here in the mind for better SEO efforts. Constantly improve code as well as content, give time and keep patience, all will be fine.
10. Touching WordPress for Better SEO Efforts
If you’re using WordPress then you are already in advantages. WordPress creates enough markup as per Google’s specification for a page, like defining a language attribute. Further, there are numerous themes and plugins available to make the work easier.
Similarly, few reliable plugins are there at WordPress repository specific for Search Engine Optimization only. Use the only one you are comfortable with. Just remember that the plugin isn’t enough alone. You must have to improve other areas as well, as expressed at the second point.
Finally, the post ends here. We would like to know what tips did you apply practically for better SEO. Did they bring more traffic to your website or improve rankings? Do let us know in comments.