SEO now is a whole new field in itself and a lot needs to be done within itself.
No wonder people are getting more and more aware of smaller niches in SEO such as Local SEO, Technical SEO, Link building etc etc
But the story starts from a NEW website that needs to be optimised.
This guide will help you go about the process step by step.
But before we step into the process let’s dig into “why you are here?”
Let’s quickly dive into what you are looking for: How to optimise website for search engines.
There are a number of SEO factors that won’t be changing anytime soon. The following lines in this guide will show you the factors Google takes into account when ranking content. This can serve as your SEO guide 2019 for website optimization for beginners.
Opss did I mention It’s not enough to just have a website?
Important but nothing overwhelming
1. Identify your Site’s Structure
Regardless of the format, the content takes (blog post, sales page etc), and your website is the home for your content. While we will concentrate on the content later, do you know that the structure of your website is important when it comes to your Google ranking?
Most people focus on the content of the website leaving out the structure of their website. But this is equally important too when it comes to SEO and ranking high on Google.
Categorize and then Sub categorize
One of the things you need to consider is organizing the content on your website. You can’t just dump content after content on it. You need to categorize them into different subcategories. It helps your audience to find what they are looking for quicker and does much more.
I hope you are aware that Google ranks you on three basis
[Read more on this here]
By organizing your website into subdirectories or subcategories, your readers can have a good user experience. The odds of spending more time on your page increases. Increased on-page time, in turn, translates to authority which Google also takes seriously.
2. Keep a simple URL structure to optimize for google search
Another part of your website to take seriously is the URL. Your page URL is the shortest summary of the page.
A clear string of text at the end of each URL makes it much easier for Google to understand who you are. By including keywords in your URL engines, Google understands better what niche your website is focused on. It also shows Google what topics you are an authority on. And it can make you more visible in search engine results.
3. Check your site’s Page speed metrics
If you have all of these but the loading speed of your website is slow, it can hurt your rankings. Largely ignored, how quickly your web pages load is also a major ranking factor. The time it takes for your webpage to load when a searcher clicks on it from a Google search result is crucial. The faster the website loads, the higher it can rank on Google.
There are many factors that affect how quickly a page loads. The fonts used, the type of media (images, videos) can slow down the page.
4. Create a Content Strategy: Go Big or Go Home!
I know you’re heard this many a times; “Content is king”.
Even I have heard and read it a lot times.
But would it be the case in your client’s niche too?
To start with the content strategy for blog writing You can either be a jack of all trades or you can specialise. You can begin testing with a topic and write a complete solution to the problem people are searching for; in short, write long form content OR write several short form content. Test, Analyse and repeat which content is working best!
One means you can easily become an expert in a chosen field, The other means you can easily get lost in the sea of millions doing the same. Which one would you prefer?
The days of content curation and content aggregation will continue but won’t be of much help if you don’t add up a spice to it.
(By spice I mean tip on the iceberg; an expert tip)
The popular saying goes, “Content is king.” But how can you make your content reign supreme over the others? How can your content be so relevant that it helps you or your client to rank high on Google search result pages?
Well, let’s see what we have in here:
5. Do Keyword Research to optimize for SEO
You need to know what you want to be known for. What area are you specialising on? What keyword in your niche would you like a certain page to rank for?
This leads to keyword research. One question that can aid your keyword research is this: “What problem am I trying to solve?” When you can answer this, then you can know how to find the keywords people are using to look for related content.
Stuck at which keyword to use?
First up, Analyse the competition in niche to lay down your success goals at SEO!
If you are a beginner blogger you need to check on the competition in your niche and then decide to first go ahead with long tail keywords or medium tail or “big keywords”. By big keywords I mean those having very , very and very high difficulty level.
For eg; “travel” is a big keywords to rank for, on the other hand, “solo travel bloggers” could be medium, and “solo travel bloggers in Florida” could be a long tail keywords.
(However, since travel is highly crowded market now, even “solo travel bloggers” would be difficult to rank for.)
If however, you are not a beginner than you might need a different keyword research strategy altogether.
Ideally, seo gurus suggest free tools like “google suggest”, “uber suggest”, “google search console”, “google analytics” to find those keywords.
You might wanna check “How to do keyword research using these tools” here!
But while you go through this daunting research process, make sure you check the following for each keywords that you select
Monthly Search Volume
No. of backlinks needed to rank for the keyword
Associated keywords so you can build a mind map or a content flowchart, which I’ll explain next.
6. Keyword Optimization
When you’ve found the keyword to focus on, you have to strategically use them across your page. You must, by all means, avoid keyword stuffing. You cannot afford to have a keyword appear over 20 times in a page of just 500 words. One way to go about keywords is this: Use the main keyword a few times and then opt to use synonyms in the rest of the page.
Keyword optimisation is one of the most important factors to focus on as you implement SEO strategies for your page. If you’re not sure what your audience is interested in, you can try using Hubspot. Further, Hubspot helps you to track what keywords your type of audience is considering and can help you to make smart decisions. Of course, you can get Hubspot free.
7. Content structure
If your page is helpful but hard to read, this will lead to a bad user experience for the reader. This can, in turn, hurt your rankings. But you can avoid this.
What font size to use?
Well, I would suggest a 16 to 18 px depending on the site structure.
Next step would be Content Sharing or Marketing
Get your content viral overnight!
As you try to share helpful content, consider the structure of the message you’re trying to pass across. When it comes to content structure, one important thing to consider is headers and sub-headers. This makes reading your content easy for the readers and also helps them to make sense of it all.
Your content can also include bullet points, and numbered lists. This of great importance as it helps to keep your readers engaged with your content. The more the engagement, the longer they’ll stay on your website. Being one of the Google ranking factors, your page climbs higher up the search results.
Heard about On-page optimization? following factors contribute to it
This is one of the most important parts of your page. When you’ve found a suitable keyword, you need to find a way to integrate it into your page title. Your page title which appears at the top of the browser also appears as the headline in search engine result snippets.
With a useful and helpful title, your page will be preferred above others in search engine results.
10. First paragraph
The attention span of humans is constantly reducing with each passing day. With so much information out there, the human brain is predisposed to shutting out unnecessary information. Also, if the first few lines of your page are not so helpful, readers may leave your page, never to return.
Returning to the search engine after spending a few seconds on your page will hurt your rankings. To avoid this, you need to craft a catchy headline for your content. Not only that. The first paragraph has to be informative enough to make the reader continue reading.
As an SEO rule, make sure to at least include your keyword in the first paragraph. If you can, include the keyword shortest summary in this paragraph too.
11. Inbound Links
When ranking pages, Google considers trust. Also, one of the ways to “build trust” is to create high-quality content so other websites can link back to your website. We’ve decided to NOT add link building to this SEO guide 2019 because it is completely a vast topic in itself has a huge impact on your ranking.
According to Hubspot, inbound links can make a major difference in where you rank on a search engine results page. Simply put, it’s an important part of content marketing that must not be ignored.
Once your site is fully optimised and you have developed the rightful content go for BACKLINKING strategy. There are many ways to go about link building. You can connect with fellow publishers in your niche and ask to guest post on their platform. While doing this, you can link back to your page/website.
You might wanna check this guide for back linking, later ofcourse!
12. Meta Tags
A Meta tag helps Google to recognize the specific purpose of a page. This is a way Google uses to assess a page and find out the role each component of that page plays to the topic and target keyword.
When it comes to Meta tags, there different types of Meta tags that should be filled in. Remember that they have to be in relation to the keyword to be used. In this SEO guide 2019, let’s look at the different Meta tags:
13. Meta Description
You must have noticed the summary of different web pages that appear as part of a search result snippet. This is what is known as a Meta description. Usually found below the page title on Google’s SERPs, it plays a huge role in deciding whether your link gets clicked or not.
This is what search engine users see before deciding whether to visit or not. As you use your content management system to create content, look out for the Meta description field. Be sure to fill it with necessary information about the page.
This helpful information can be a summary of the page. It can be a question, which prompts them to want to click through for answers.
It’s not a must to include the keywords. But you need to put in the right keywords to increase the number of visits from search engines.
14. Meta Tags
This is something that most people like to leave for the programmers. It is thus the most underused aspects of most content management systems. But it doesn’t have to be so. Instead of leaving a lot on the table like most people, you can make the most use of your Meta tags.
Meta tags help Google to discover the purpose of a page. They are small texts that describe a page’s content. If you’re wondering where to find your page’s Meta tags, look in the page’s code. You’ll find it there.
Most SEO guides only stop at this description. But this SEO guide 2019 will take it a step further. There are 4 types of Meta tags you should be familiar with. They include:
15. Meta Keyword Attribute
Remember what we said about the keywords above. This attribute includes the group of keywords you feel are relevant to the page in question.
16. Title Tag
There’s a text at the top of your browser when you open your page. This is the title tag. Most search engines see this as the “title” of your page.
17. Image Alt Text
Unlike the way Google spiders can crawl text, they can’t do same for images. To rank high on the pages section of Google, use image alt texts that best describes the image used in the text.
18. Meta Bots Attribute
Meta Bots Attribute tells the search engine bots that crawl your page what to do with your page
8* . Social Media Sharing
Search for new platforms other than the traditional ones
A few to mention:
Linkedin Pulse articles
There are many new channels, but a few of them would only be niche based, for eg, selfgrowth.com
After focusing on building quality links pointing to your site, get people to share your content on social media sites. These days, Google is paying more attention to social signals. These signals include the number of retweets, the number of Facebook shares and more.