Effective SEO (search engine optimization) is part art, part science, and frequently changes in terms of what really works and what is an old trend that should no longer be prioritized. SEO offers the opportunity for free traffic to your site based on your content, which you optimize for search engines in the hope of getting to one of the top spots on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
Each search engine has its own algorithm, or formula, for ranking site pages. Most SEO professionals try to discover what Google’s algorithm is because it is the largest search engine in the world, and therefore has the potential to send you the most free traffic.
So, what are the best ways to earn high rankings?
Talk to Google More Often
You can do this in several ways. The first is to use Google Webmaster Tools. Install their snippet of code on your site and they will crawl or scan your site and check that your pages are accessible. If you know you have 100 pages and only 50 are showing, something is interfering with the page being seen. Check the error logs and do what you can to correct the issues.
If you have a WordPress blog, use the XML sitemap plugin and set it to update daily or weekly depending on how often you publish new content. Whenever you do publish, it will tell Google about those pages. https://www.xml-sitemaps.com/
If you have a regular website, use an online sitemap creator and upload it to your site. Update it as needed. Remember, if Google can’t crawl your pages, you will never get into the search engines.
Write naturally, but be sure to use keywords that you know the people interested in your niche will be searching for. Use the keywords in the headline, subheads, and in the metatags for your site:
If you have a WordPress site, use the All In One SEO plugin to create custom fields for these on each blog page or post you create. Fill in the information in the three boxes.
Think of common problems and offer solutions. “How-to” type titles work well.
Research the SERPs for Your Top Keywords
Run searches for the keywords you wish to use. See what come up on the first page. This will give you clues as to what Google believes to be relevant to the searcher. Relevancy can be based on exact keyword matches. It might also be due to recency – that is, a new blog post.
It could be a video from YouTube, which Google own. How-to videos make up 75% of all videos searched for at YouTube. Google is serving up content based on what they think the user’s intent is, so including video listings can make sense depending on the topic.
Produce High Quality Content Consistently
The more posts and pages you have, the more chances you have of winning the SEO lottery. A well-maintained site that is regularly updated is also worthy of Google’s attention. This is why they like blogs so much; new and interesting things are happening all the time.
Make Sure You Are Mobile Friendly
Google will give preference to sites that are mobile friendly. Run your keyword searches on your mobile device. If you have a WordPress blog you’ve created recently, and/or are using a modern, up-to-date theme, this should not be an issue. If you have an old HTML-based site, you need to get it mobile ready.
Use Rich Snippets and Schema Markup to Enhance Content
These are certain ways to present particular forms of data in a way that signals to the search engines what the content is all about. Schema markups include recipe, video, products, articles and more. Here is a free generator to use: http://tools.ranksider.com/rich-snippets
Have a Fast Page Load Speed
Avoid huge, clunky graphics and overly complicated pages. The faster your page loads, the more Google likes it.
Follow these tips to make sure that you can easily be found by people searching for products and services in your niche.