SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the original and key method of Digital Marketing. Search Engine Optimization or SEO is the technique by which a website or blog comes at the top of the search engine results page.
A search engine results page or SERP basically shows 2 types of results.
- Organic – Normal results of the search engine.
- Paid – Search engine also runs a paid marketing channel for website owners to pay and show their content to searchers.
search engine optimization deals with the organic portion of the search results page and how any website can come in the higher rank of the google search index.
There are various techniques to optimize a website or blog in order to improve the search engine ranking.
While some are technical in nature, but many are easy and can be done by the webmasters or business owners by themselves.
SEO can be done at any time but it’s always good to implement SEO best practices from start. Sometimes when we start our blog or write content we forget or don’t focus on SEO so much.
Types of search engine optimization
Broadly there are 3 areas to optimize any website or blog, they are
On-Page SEO – Working on the content of the website or blog to improve ranking such as use of relevant keywords, number of relevant keywords in a post, optimization of content.
Technical SEO – Working on non-content aspect of any website or blog such as page speed, security, formatting, readability etc
Off-Page SEO – Working on external influences so that Google can decide your content is highly valuable or relevant to the search terms and your blog or website has greater authority over others.
With the availability of numerous free and paid Online Tools, implementing search engine optimization techniques has become easier for business owners or bloggers.
By using those tools and techniques one can take their site or blog to a higher rank in the search engine results page.
This blog will share the search engine optimization best practices you need to do in 2019 to rank your site higher.
Anything related to optimizing the content of the website or blog comes under On-Page SEO,
In Digital Marketing the focus on attracting customers or readers is the content. Relevant content makes the site useful to readers.
Writing good content requires knowledge of the keywords people are searching for. Good content may not always come in higher rank by google if people search keywords that are not in your content of the website or blog.
So keywords are most critical for any content creation strategy. Proper tools should be used to identify keywords for creating content.
Tools along with data-driven research are required to get the right set of keywords.
Keyword research is one of the first and important activities all webmasters, content writers should know and master in order to get the right list of keywords to write content.
If you write great content but the target readers are not searching for the same, then the page will not show in the search result page.
It’s a good practice to find your top key competitors and list all keywords that are driving users to their site or webpage.
There are various tools available to perform keyword research, few of the tools are listed below
- Google Trends
- Google Keywords Planner
- Keyword tool
Please read Keyword research for how to know relevant keywords for writing effective web content.
Apart from primary content, one has to also take care of the other content which will increase your reader’s time spent on your website or blog.
In order to keep the reader engaged on your website or blog its useful to identify the related areas of interest and place those contents along with the main content.
Search engines not only look at your content of the website to rank higher they also look at technical aspects such as page speed, readability, formatting, Security etc for ranking and needs equal attention from webmasters and bloggers to optimize.
One of the primary objectives of any digital content is when the reader reads they find it easy to read and understand. So, readability is one of the key aspects that Google considers while ranking any site higher or lower.
Formatting and Heading Tags
Well, formatted content looks better and appeals to the readers to browse through. HTML provides various tags to format the content to make it more readable.
Once such tag which is of higher importance in search engine optimization is called Heading tag of H tags. Usage of at least 1 H1 tag preferably in the subject line and many H2 tags for subheadings are recommended for ranking higher.
Other ways of formatting such as bullet points, tables, font size and shape like bold, italic, underscore etc play an important part in making the web content easily readable and thus making the site higher in the search engine ranking method.
Domain Authority & Visibility
Search engines give importance to the authority of your domain. Various aspects of a website or blog are taken into account by search engines such as how many times people are searching the domain directly.
So getting a catchy domain name and making that popular is a good way to improve the ranking of the web site.
Keywords in the domain do not matter much so do not waste more time or money on this to secure a domain that has keywords of your business or blog content.
Some domains are having greater visibility to search engines like Facebook and WordPress, so it’s nearly impossible to displace them from no 1 position when searched for the keyword.
Visibility of any domain also increases by backlinks from other high authority sites, and search volume for the site.
Over the years meta description has become an important factor for optimizing webpages or blogs. A meta description is not visible to normal readers but is meant for the search engines to understand the content of the website. So effective use of meta description is important in order to rank higher in google index.
Use search engine optimization Plug-ins like Yoast for editing meta descriptions of your blog.
With the surge in online traffic, the threat to security has also increased and Google also gives importance to site or blogs which are more secure than others while handling personal information of people and financial transactions.
One of the first and the recommended solution is to use secure transaction protocol or https instead of http.
For a normal blog or website where personal information is not being collected or monetary transactions are not expected, https is not mandatory but since google uses this in the ranking, it’s always good to have this.
Chrome browser shows not secure for non-https sites and created psychological impacts on readers’ minds while browsing as well.
For E-commerce sites, this gives buyers trust to make a transaction online.
There are various companies that provide https like Cloudflare, Let’s Encrypt. It’s always better to get this from your hosting provider like in motion, blue host, etc
Page loading time
Readers abandon the site if it’s slow in loading. So it’s very important for webmasters to keep the loading time of blogs and website well within the average time for mobile and desktop.
Few areas to focus on improving the page speed are as follows
- Compress images
- Add CDN (Content Delivery Network)
- Use optimized theme
Sitemap is a file containing the relationships between your site contents like pages, videos, files, etc
This helps search engine bots to crawl effectively. A site map can differentiate the important and unimportant contents of your site and tell Search Engine bots, apart from that it also can tell how often the pages are getting updated or changes, etc
Site Map can be created using tools/plug-ins like Yoast
User Experience (UX)
Not only readers but also as a webmaster or blogger, one must take care of Google Bot when it comes for user experience, as Google Bots will analyze the user experience and make the site available for searchers or reader only when it thinks the experience is good and it will rank higher compared to other sites.
Videos & Images
Apart from formatting properly for readability, one must take care of non-text areas also like Inserting images and videos to keep the users engaged and reduce bounce rate.
Advertisements that distract readers do not help in retaining readers in the sire and hence they abandon the site making a higher bounce rate.
if we have multiple advertisements or pop-ups for email sign-ups, etc. then user experience reduces. Effective use of advertisements on a page makes it better for users to browse through and decrease the bounce rate and increase the ranking by Google.
Responsive Design, Themes & Flash
Readers nowadays use multiple devices such as desktop, tablet or mobile. All these are having different aspects or sizes.
It’s very important to make your website or blogs responsive to these devices so that the user experience does not hamper when browsing in different devices.
Webmasters make use of responsive design and themes to handle this scenario.
If you are using themes, then it’s always good to use Responsive themes so that it adjusts for different sizes of the devices the reader uses.
Google gives higher ranks to site with non-flash content so better to avoid flash content on your site.
Browser Compatibility & Font Size
Similar to divide people use various browsers to browse the content and it’s important to make sure your website or blogs are compatible with most of the major browsers.
Bullet Points & Tables
Formatting your content using bullet points or lists and tables can help a lot in making the content readable and thus higher ranking in google.
The title can also help you in coming higher in search engine ranking. Usage of H1 tags and keywords helps.
Internal links between your pages or blogs alco consider a positive sign for search engines. Use related content to link your pages.
Links of Hyperlinks are present in any websites or blogs to open new pages or sites explaining more on the subject or word.
Backlinks are links from other sites to your sites which will bring readers from other sites to your side. This shows how popular and impactful your content or domain is.
It’s always not good to have more numbers of backlinks but the quality and age of those backlinks matter a lot.
The importance of backlinks is getting reduced and things like shares like and tweets also impacting the quality of the content and freshness over backlinks with the adoption and usage of social media.
If you follow the search engine optimizationsearch engine optimizationbest practices mentioned in this blog then you can easily take your blog or website to highre in serach engine reasuts page.