Five Essential Aspects of Modern SEO
The meaning of SEO is no longer what it used to be. Google has penalized many professional and business sites in the last few years for following unethical SEO practices. It’s easy to get high ranking for a keyword in Google search, but many websites follow an alternative path to get quick benefits. Black-hat SEO tactics will not give you any long-term benefit. In this article are five essential SEO aspects to consider.
1. The Site Organization
When it comes to changing your site for search ranking, consider coming up with a proper internal structure that helps a user navigate your site without getting lost. Visiting your site should be a pleasant experience for a new user. Do not mar it with unnecessary number of ads and ill-formatted content. A website should have a great content management system (CMS) that properly organizes the articles, videos, images, links, design, forums, forms, and interactive content.
You should ensure that each page has an appropriate amount of content and is linked to other pages properly. Think of your website from the perspective of a visitor. Are there places where the visitor can learn about your site, its author, topics, etc.? Does the site provide a proper meta description and title on each page? While modifying your website, consider these matters.
2. The Site Speed
Site speed is one of the most important, albeit frequently overlooked, aspect of SEO. If a person visits your website and does not see any content for four seconds, he is likely to leave. With the advent of smartphones, tablets, and high-speed wireless technologies such as LTE, people have become too impatient to wait for a site to load. You can test your site’s speed and performance with a number of tools: Google PageSpeed Insights, Pingdom, GTmetrix, Load Impact, etc.
3. Social Media Optimization
Today, search engines value user input more, and they gather user input mostly through social media channels. Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and LinkedIn are a few social media channels you can never avoid. A website must have social media sharing buttons in order to maximize reach. The social media buttons should also be properly highlighted either at the top or on a floating sidebar. Look at professional sites like Mashable and TechCrunch to learn how to place social media icons. Giving sharing stats along with the buttons can encourage more shares.
4. Some Technical Aspects
Many people overlook some technical aspects of SEO. Your website’s URL should be properly canonicalized, for instance. Canonicalization is the process of ensuring that the non-www version and the www version of your website point to the same page. Your site should have a well-formatted XML sitemap and a robots.txt file. Robots.txt should disallow any internal pages that you do not want a search engine to see. HTML coding should also be done in an appropriate way. You should include major keywords in title and heading tags. If possible, use <strong> tag to highlight some keywords. Ensure that this is not overdone though. Internal link structure should be maintained in such a way that a search crawler can access all pages of your site starting from one of them.
5. Take Care of Any Negative Aspects
A number of negative aspects can destroy your site’s ranking. Keyword stuffing, paid links, doorway pages, etc., are some of them. One way you can identify if your site has any issue is by looking at Google Webmaster Tools. If your site is penalized in Google, you can find out about that in the Manual Actions section of Webmaster Tools. Having no manual action on your site does not guarantee that your site is safe. You still have to go through all pages and look for issues. External links pointing to your site should also be analyzed carefully. If you have dofollow links coming from highly irrelevant sites, it’s potentially going to damage your site’s ranking. Disavow all irrelevant links. Look for keyword stuffing on all pages and rewrite content if necessary.
Today, a person does not have to be an expert in SEO to build a high-ranking site. You only need to come up with useful content that people will like in order to rank your website high. Creating unique and useful content will slowly build reputation and the number of links.