If you are an average individual of the digital age, you might have come in contact with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and related practices on your digital travels some time or the other. However, even if you are a casual surfer or a blog owner, you might be eager to know the intricacies of this concept.
You may be wondering how a particular page ranks first when you search for a particular word. Well, there is more than meets the eye as far as Google search engine result page (SERPs) and SEO is concerned. Once you look behind the curtain, SEO takes on a whole new level of importance.
Firstly, it is necessary to understand what search engine optimization is exactly. Search Engine Optimization is a process by which one tries to maximize the number of visitors to a particular page by designing and optimizing the page according to certain pre-defined standards. Standards related to SEO include page layout, metadata, keywords and so on. The diagram below details the SEO process.
The SEO Process
Factors for Search Engine Optimization
The pre-defined standards or rules of SEO are constantly changing due to the cyclic shifts that occur in the Google algorithms. These points could help you get a head start as far as SEO is concerned. The purpose of these points is to assist you in equipping your website as per the parameters of SEO and also to help you surf the tide of change set forth by future modifications of the Google algorithm.
Add Modifier to the Page Title
What is a modifier? In grammar, the modifier is an adjective, which modifies a noun or a pronoun. If you add a modifier to the page title, it will help your page garner a higher rank. The modifiers can be a year, or, a version, or, any adjective. A few examples of this could be “2017”, best, greatest and so on.
Add Flexibility To The Usage Of The Headline Tag
The "H1" tag or the headline tag gathers particular attention because it is one of the first things that readers come across. Wrap your title in the H1 tag for increasing your possibilities of gaining a higher rank. However, you should be careful as certain themes override the settings for freedom of using the H1 tag in more ways than one.
Keyword Placement Redefined
The Google algorithms that code for the SEO factors, which need to be followed by each and every website, are currently undergoing some significant changes. One of the major elements that have changed in this particular algorithm is the scope of keyword placement.
In an age where using exact-match keywords in titles and meta description was one of the staples of on-page SEO, some SEO testing sites have observed that Google has changed the way in which it ranks websites by keyword placement. As far as keyword placement goes, placing the focus keyword in the domain name is the most significant facet. On the scale of importance of keyword placement, the title or the H1 tag comes next, with the beginning of the title being the least important.
Keep The Url Of Your Page As Simple And Uncluttered As Possible
Avoid ugly URLs. Keep the URL of your page as short and legible as possible. Also, keep it keyword rich. A Google study has revealed that shorter the URL, higher is its rank on search engines.
Use Multimedia to Grab Attention
The use of relevant images, videos, infographics, and diagrams can certainly help you generate traffic.
QL Tech Fact File: as per studies conducted on user engagement, an observation was that the willingness of visitors to read a particular piece of content increased up to 80% on the inclusion of colored visuals.
Moreover, a study by Moz has revealed that shorter the URL, higher is its value in search rankings. According to the same study, adding keywords to your URLs is another important aspect to consider for higher page rankings. Ultimately, avoid ugly URLs by maintaining the links on your page as short and legible as possible.
Content Is Important, But Not Merely What You Are Trying To Say Through It
At one point, most of the SEO related elements that one read about, as far as on-page optimization was concerned, essentially spoke about the same thing – content is king. However, the amount of hoopla on this has died down as more significant factors are rising into the forefront of SEO.
In the world of today, one of the most important elements that need consideration as far as content goes involves the overall age of the page or web content, the length of content and its relevance, and other aspects such as anchor texts and backlinks.
It is critical that old pages are remarketed and shared as if they are new, owing to the entirely new perspective that even an old page could provide to readers. Moreover, the length of the content appears to be associated with higher search rank, as Google seems to be ranking pages with longer content higher than those with short content. Moreover, relevance to the search query or more specifically, to the keywords used in the content is imperative as far as search results are concerned.
Improve Page Speed
Research conducted on Google algorithms demonstrate that page speed is a valuable asset for ranking. The aspect of page speed is so important that most visitors do not visit a page again if it takes more than four seconds to load. One can boost the loading time of a page by using CDN (Content Delivery Networks), by compressing images, or by switching over to faster hosting.
Use Image Optimization
By using images with smaller sizes, you can improve page loading speed. Further, by using keywords in the image name as well as the image alt text, you can further optimize your website according to SEO standards.
Using Social Media Sharing Icons
Social media buttons appearing at the bottom of your page or, for that matter, any other location also help in improving the search ranking of your page. Social shares assist in generating interest and chatter in the target population. If one reader shares the page with his colleagues or friends, then the probability of the page getting a higher number of hits increases manifold.