Every job has trade secrets, and that is no less true for Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Getting your site ranked high by search engines doesn’t happen as haphazardly as it might seem at first glance. There are several strategies used to rank your website in search engine results.
Before you learn about some of these strategies, you have to familiarize yourself first with how search engines work and react to your website content.
What is an algorithm?
An algorithm is a mathematical process that is used to create a result. Because the amount of information online is humongous, it would be impossible to find what you need without an algorithm. They are used by search engines to determine the web pages that are most relevant to an online query and rank them according to relevance and popularity. Search engines will weigh various elements and factors in their algorithm to determine the relevance of a page to a query. These elements could be such things as the words you used in your query, the meaning of your query, page relevance, fresh content, quality content, and many other factors, totaling to more than 200 factors. Sites ranked on the first page of search results are considered by search engines to be the most useful and relevant pages to that particular search. It’s important to understand that there is no human intervention in ranking pages.
When a website’s position changes to a higher or lower ranking, or remains the same, it comes from the competition it is facing from others and how optimized its content is.
Search engines don’t specify outright all the factors they take into consideration when ranking site pages, but SEO experts know. The algorithm will add more value to some factors more than others. For instance, SEO professionals would agree that the following are crucial ranking factors:
- Site structure
- Site speed
- Time spent on the site
- Number and quality of inbound links
- Mobile usability
The algorithm is much more complex than this, but it’s important to familiarize yourself with these key factors, how they work, and what they do because everything done in SEO is based upon it. Ranking high will change your visibility online and increase your traffic, and that traffic could generate more sales for your business, provide you with leads, or expand brand awareness of your site.
Now, here are some of the best practices of SEO to improve your website.
The best place to get your keywords from is the search engine itself; that way you are sure to be using the words that people are actually using. Say you have an SEO site and you type in the word SEO, you will find a list of suggested words following, like services, companies, practices, and many more. Long-tail keywords have less competition on them than short-tail keywords. So, “5 SEO Best Strategies” will have less competition than “SEO Strategies”, for instance.
When a page links to another page that is called a backlink. In the past, pages that had a lot of backlinks tended to rank high in search engines. But then search engines got smarter and saw that people were using low-quality backlinks, but still getting ranked highly. So, it’s not just a matter of collecting more and more links; you have to get quality links that are relevant to your site. Getting a backlink from a site about monkeys isn’t going to do you any good if your site is about SEO.
Anchor text refers to the clickable words that link one page to another. You will typically find it underlined and written in blue as a hyperlink. They provide users and search engines alike with relevant contextual information about the link’s content. There are different types of anchor texts; one could be an exact match if the text includes a keyword that exactly matches the page it is being linked to.
Going back to the example SEO site; an exact match would be “SEO practices” that links to a page about SEO practices. You can also have generic types of anchor text like “click here”, which is a common one used. The trick is finding the proper anchor text distribution for SEO that works best for your website optimization. If your anchor text isn’t in the right place, it doesn’t matter how many backlinks you have because the positioning of the anchor texts is based on a rationale that search engines want to see. This will also feed into your link building strategy.
Structured data, also referred to as database schema, is the blueprint of how data is organized. By using schema markup, search engines are able to return more information to the user searching online. Schema markup tells the search engine what the vocabulary on your site means, not just what it says. To improve your ranking, search engines will use a combination of content, location and more to decide which pages get ranked.
Well-designed landing pages
Creating a lot of landing pages opens the entryways for more search traffic, hence are a great way to connect better with users. Most people focus on their homepage, which is important, but your landing pages are no less important. With high-quality landing pages on different topics on your site, you’re going the extra mile. You’ll know you are going in the right direction when your landing pages convert visitors into leads.
Search engines are focusing their efforts on mobiles because chances are people visit your site through their phones. The search engine will be looking for Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). If your pages don’t have this, you’ll get left behind. AMP helps search engines deliver quality websites.
These are a few trade secrets that give you a basic understanding of what successful SEO strategies can entail. As a site owner, you might not have the appropriate knowledge about SEO practices, so you could consider hiring an individual or company to get your page ranked high. With the right optimization, you’ll witness a change in your traffic and eventually in your revenue.
– A keen writer covering topics such as Internet Marketing, SEO, Travel, Beauty and the such. He enjoys spending time with his two kids on his past time.