If you are a business owner and you already have a good website, that’s good, but that’s not enough. In order to boost your website’s online presence, you need to do more with that website, you need to fabricate a SEO Strategy . To make a strategy by yourself, you will need the basic understanding of the aspects of SEO.
SEO can be categorized into three aspects:
- 1. Technical SEO ( Search Engine Optimization)
- 2. On Page SEO
- 3. External Aspects
First two aspects can be taken care of by optimizing the content and meta data on your website. While external aspect relates to the “extra” you can do outside the website to promote your business.
One of the most important functions of Search engines is to collect data from websites by Crawling and then this data is Indexed. When a search query is entered, this indexed is searched and results are shown to users. For better Crawling and Indexing, you can take care of few things as mentioned here.
1. Free Reporting Platforms
For tracking the success of your website, you can use some free tools that measure Search Traffic, analyze Performance and fix issues. You should use Google Search Console, Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Bing Webmaster tools etc for your site. These tools will analyze data and give you report of the performance of your site.
2. XML Sitemap
Sitemap is a new way of submitting web pages to search engines. It is like a table of content for your website. You can have two types of sitemaps- Dynamic & Static. Dynamic sitemaps are synced to your pages and adjust themselves as you make changes to the web pages. Static sitemap is generated once and it won’t change with the changes in the website. Hence, Dynamic sitemaps are preferable. Many popular website platforms have this function to create dynamic sitemap.
Search engines use web robots/ Bots or Web Spiders to Crawl a site and index it into their database. Robots.txt is a file that gives instructions to these bots as which pages are to be indexed and which not. Even if you want all your pages to be indexed, you should have this file in your site. Also, make sure it is accurate and doesn’t block any important content pages from being indexed and it validates in Webmaster tools. Professional Web developers generally take care of such files.
If you have more than one domain names or you have redirected to a new domain and a new URL, make sure the old URL or the other domain name redirects to your New URL/ Primary domain name. And for this, you should use 301 Redirect and Not 302 redirect. [301 Redirect- when a page is permanently moved to new location. 302 Redirect- when a page is temporarily moved to new location. ] Using 302 redirect will confuse search engines, they might suspect you are using Duplicate content. It will also result in indexing of both domain names and this will divide search traffic and hamper the search rankings.
5. Site Architecture
It is good practice to set a structure or hierarchy of your pages. This makes easier for search engines and users to navigate through them. The more Organized content you present on the pages, the better. Also, if the page URL matches the content and files on the page, it makes SEO easy for that content. So, give significant time and thoughts to the directory structure and sitemap.
7. Mobile Friendly
As a huge portion of Users have switched to mobiles from laptops, it is crucial that your website performs just as well on mobile. You can use user experience (UX) and Google’s Mobile Friendly SEO test to make sure all functions work well and you have a truly responsive design.
8. 404 Pages
In case there’s an error with the default browser, you should have a 404 page ready. The useful information which must be present on the 404 page is: Contact Options, Helpful links, Navigation etc. This way, you can reduce chances of losing a visitor.
SSL certificate for your site is really important because even users are cautious about Privacy and personal data. Especially for sites having Payment pages, Online forms and login pages it is a must. SSL certificates ensure encrypted, secure communication between site and browser.
10. Plugins, Add-ons, Extensions
Using trusted plugins and code extensions gives better control over SEO and you can analyze things better. There are many useful tools that can be pluged-in or added on to your website to have more control and enhance functionality.
11. Pre-Existing Issues
By any reason if you have duplicate content on your site, you should remove it immediately and replace it with unique content that advocates the superiority of your products or services. Copied or duplicate content can be checked by many online tools. Keep all your content in your Niche and avoid any mistakes on the site.
ON PAGE SEO
Gone are the days when inserting keywords and title tags on a page used to be enough for SEO. Now On-Page SEO Factors go beyond keywords and content.
1. Keywords & Topics
There are steps one can follow to create content for a site. First step is keyword research; know your audience and know the words or phrases they use to find a business like yours. Second step, pick up the context for your keywords and content. Third, use SEO and Analytics tools to see how your keywords are performing. Fourth step, keep revising and categorizing your keywords.
Having comprehensive and detailed content on your site surely helps a lot but don’t compromise on the quality of content. It should always be relevant to users and keywords should never be used without a context. The Search engines as well as the users dislike keyword stuffing.
Search engines do not discriminate between good looking URLs and not-so-pretty URLs. So, chose a URL for your page that enables SEO opportunity; it may include keywords and context. This also helps better indexation.
Have a Unique and relevant title tag for your pages. Maintain the context and length, keywords & phrases can be used but they shouldn’t look irrelevant.
5. Meta Description
Again, for each page on the site, keep the meta description in context with the title tag and content on the page. It’s better if it contains keywords. Whether it’s a static website or a dynamic website, make a relevant meta description.
All elements on the site work together for better SEO, so don’t miss on the heading. Prefer having just one H1 tag or some H6 tags which relate with the content and includes keywords.
7. Body Copy
It contains most of the ‘indexable’ content; so it can’t be ignored and there’s no other way but to include keywords here. But refrain from keyword stuffing and focus on keeping it natural & smooth.
8. Image Alt Attributes
Adding Alt Text to images helps the search engine understand what the image is about. Even if someone uses a screen reader, your site becomes fully accessible to them if you use Alt text. Plus this is another chance for you to use keyword.
9. Structured Data
It’s not absolutely necessary but having a well structured data markup for your website will help search engine rankings to categorize your subject matter. Some website platforms allow structured data markup while some platforms don’t.
These are the factors outside your website that have significant impact on business. Promoting your business outside the website is also important; by having impressive presence on social media platforms and digital channels, you can attract visitors to your site. Coming up with dazzling ads or noticeable catch phrases can be included in good advertising; but making these advertise reach to your targeted audience is good Off page SEO.
External aspects of SEO include the following-
A content which can be naturally linked is an asset to the site, adding accredited quality links will facilitate better digital presence. Inbounds links (backlinks) and Unlinked brand mentions benefit a business in many ways. Remember that you should link your content to relevant sources to avoid violating search engines’ respective guidelines.
2. Local search
Listing your business and contact data in the local and social directories will help people in your target region to find you. Local Search Directories enable you to reach people who are looking the kind of services that you provide. Putting your NAP Data (Name, Address, Phone no.) in the relevant Local and Social Directories is always advantageous. That’s why Directory Submission and Forum Submission matter much for SEO.
3. Social Media
Linking your website to your Social Media accounts and Vice-versa is very important. Promoting your business or having paid ads will not directly improve search engine rankings but it will help you in Image building and popularizing your brand name. In indirect ways this will increase the number of visitors to your site.
There’s a lot to do when it comes to SEO or Digital Marketing. Understanding just the basics is sufficient if you just have to supervise these tasks. Performing these tasks will require good understanding of the SEO tools and other tools that provide better control over your website and increase functionality. It’s no rocket science to understand the tools, you can learn them if you want to do SEO for your site or you can just hire the SEO Professionals or SEO Experts to do it for you.
Stay Informed, Grow Fast!