The more I delve into my studies and learn about web design, the interested I am in the related discipline of search engine optimisation, also known as SEO. The last few weeks, I have spent many hours researching how Google treats both on-page optimisation and off-page optimisation like link building by reading reputable websites by both local SEO Singapore companies such as CloudRock as well as overseas ones like Hubspot. There are many guides out there but I thought that it would be good for me to create my own one as well so that others can share my perspective on what makes great SEO.
Getting Started with SEO
In response to many spammers trying to game their search engine algorithm, Google released several filters that penalises websites whenever it thinks that the site is employing undesirable methods to try to rank. The two main penalties are called Google Panda Penalty and Google Penguin Penalty. The Panda penalty stomps on sites that have thin, low quality content while the Penguin penalty is more concerned about the links pointing back to your site. You must make sure that your site is not hit by either penalties. The best way is to ensure that you follow Google’s webmaster guidelines.
Keyword research is important, especially with the emergence of Rankbrain that takes into consideration conversational search queries. Make sure that the keywords you are targeting are valuable to your company. You can use Google’s Keyword Planner to help you do this.
Meta tags refers to your meta ttle tags and meta descriptions, The meta title tag should always be properly optimised as it is an important ranking factor. Google will use it to determine what your page is about. The meta description tag is not a ranking factor. However, it is still a very important component as a well-written meta description will lead to higher click through rates (CTR) and thus will lead more engaged visitors to your website.
Ensure that you use the appropriate heading tags in your web pages and that they follow the proper hierarchy. Try to add your keywords to the tags, but do watch your keyword density to ensure you don’t go overboard.
Each page should link to other pages in your site as and when they make sense. This helps not only search engines, but your readers as well. Make sure that you use the appropriate anchor text to provide even better relevance. You can try using exact match anchor text here as Google is more forgiving when it comes to internal links.
In this day and age, there is no excuse for having a website that is not optimised for mobile visitors. A responsive design is important as more people are accessing websites using their mobile devices than desktops these days.
You want to protect your visitors’ important personal information so please ensure that you use encryption for your site. A HTTPS helps protect them, and is also important since Google now sees security as a ranking factor.
How fast your website loads is a consideration when it comes to how high your website will show up in the search engine ranking pages, or SERPs. It is also important for your user experience (UX). Visitors hate slow websites. It is estimated that the giant ecommerce platform Amazon would lose billions of dollars for every 1 second of loading time on its website.
Structured Data & Schema
Structured data helps Google create ‘entities’ by providing it with additional information to populate its databases. You can try adding rich narkups like Schema.org to improve your organic search results.
Outbound Authority Links
Linking out to authoritative website increases Google’s trust in your site as they think that you are providing your visitors with additional information that is useful to them. But do ensure that you link out to high quality, trustworthy sites.
Longer Blog Posts
Research has shown that the top rankings typically contain longer pages. The optimal content length would be between 1,500 – 2,000 pages. Try to keep your content length around those numbers. But do not use filler content. You want your website content to be in-depth and valuable, not long and boring. Longer content also increases your dwell time, which is apparently a factor in your organic search performance.
Once you have finished writing the content, don’t just let it sit quietly on your website! Content needs to be promoted to be seen and to help you build quality backlinks to your website.
Be careful when building backlinks because you do not want to get hit by the Google Penguin. This algorithm will measure the number of links to your site to determine if they were made unnaturally. If they were, then Google will not count those links in your link profile.
Guest posting refers to reaching out to other website owners and asking them if they would like to publish a piece of content from you. The fact that you have to conduct manual outreach means that this link building tactic will typically take a lot of time. But on the good side, you can be sure that these links are very powerful as they come from actual websites with good traffic. Ensure that you are able to create the types of high quality content that the website owners require.
Claim Web 2.0
Web 2.0 refers to interactive websites such as WordPress.com, Blogspot.com, Facebook.com, Twitter.com and others. When you claim a profile on these sites, you are essentially building up your brand across the Internet as you are becoming more active on other platforms. At the same time, these can be great sources for dofollow links as their domain authorities are very high. Claim as many of your Web 2.0 portals as you can.
Other SEO Tips
Do you have any other WordPress SEO tips that you would like to share with the rest of our readers? It doesn’t matter if you’re not SEO experts like CloudRock or Moz, but it would be great to hear comments from across my community.