I’ve been a web developer since 1994, working with clients from small businesses to large Fortune 500 companies. But I didn’t really start thinking about how Google would index my sites until 2007 or so. That’s when I began implementing SEO strategies into my design process.
In the past decade, Google has done an amazing job of indexing content. There are many ways to find out what Google is thinking about you and your business, but one of the best is to read their blog. They write about technology trends and new features they’re testing. You can also see if there are any changes in ranking algorithms. You can read more about Google updates here on https://heisenbergseo.com/
The other way to get a feel for what Google might think about your site is to look at the SERPs in your niche. If you have a website in a competitive field, you’ll want to see how your competitors are doing, if they are getting traffic and if there are any changes in the rankings.
There are a few more things you should know about SEO, depending on what kind of site you have and how much time you have to devote to it.
1. Write for Humans First and Search Engines Second
You’ve heard this before, right? It applies to everything you do. When writing a blog post, a piece of copy, a page title or heading, or even something as simple as a name or URL, use keywords that people will type into a search engine. The goal is to attract visitors to your site by helping them solve a problem.
When you create a page, make sure each section has a clear call-to-action. Make sure your images load quickly and that you remove any elements that slow down the loading speed. Your call-to-actions must be clearly visible and easy to click because visitors don’t want to wait.
2. Get Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites that point back to your own site. Getting backlinks is important because it tells Google that your site is useful to others. This helps you rank higher in the search results.
If you want to build backlinks, you need to offer valuable content, which means offering helpful information and sharing it on social media. Don’t just link to articles you wrote; share your expertise. Be generous with your knowledge and help others. Ask questions that only experts can answer.
3. Link to Other Sites
Google doesn’t care if you have a link from your site to another site. What matters is whether those sites are related to yours. For example, a site that sells shoes isn’t going to be very useful to someone who is looking for a site that sells fishing equipment.
4. Keep Content Fresh and Updated
Your readers come to your site looking for information about topics they care about. If your site isn’t fresh, chances are they’ll go elsewhere. If your site is updated regularly, you’ll keep your audience coming back.
5. Provide Links to External Resources
This is a great idea for both search engines and users. If you have good content, but no links to provide context, your site will appear incomplete. However, if your site includes lots of links to external resources, people will find you easily.
6. Offer Help to Others
People love to give back. If you offer to answer questions, solve problems, or help someone learn, you will gain credibility. If you have expertise in your area, consider sharing it with others. People appreciate knowing that someone else understands the topic and can guide them through it.
7. Create Good User Experience
Good UX means making sure your site works well on different devices and operating systems. It also means providing a clean layout that keeps visitors engaged. A site that is hard to navigate wastes everyone’s time.
8. Focus On Building Relevant Links
Search engines pay attention to the quality of your links. If you have a lot of low-quality links pointing to your site, your Google Ranking will take a hit. In addition, readers will notice and avoid your site.
9. Avoid Anything That Slows Down Site Loading Times
10. Format Content for Featured Snippets
Featured snippets show up on the top of the SERP. These are usually displayed within the search box itself. Google displays these snippets on the left side of the SERP.
These snippets are often displayed next to a keyword that helped trigger the snippet. If you want to increase the odds of your snippet being seen, make sure it is relevant to the keyword it is next to. Include relevant keywords throughout your content.
11. Remove Unnecessary Elements
Anything that takes away from the user experience should be removed. This could include ads, pop-up windows, or anything else that distracts users.
12. Improve Your Page Speed
Page speed is especially important if you are offering services online. Most browsers now prioritize pages based on page speed. If your page loads slowly, your customers will leave and never return.
13. Update Your Site Frequently
It’s tempting to skip your site maintenance routine. While it’s true that keeping up with updates is tedious, it’s necessary for staying ahead of the competition. If you update frequently, you can take advantage of any improvements in Google’s algorithm.
14. Optimize Images
Images can be difficult to optimize because they aren’t text. Still, they are a big part of your site so it’s worth the effort. Use tools like TinyPic to resize and optimize photos.
15. Add a Contact Form
A contact form can be used to gather information from your readers. You can collect email addresses and other details that will help improve your content.
16. Submit Press Releases
Press releases can be submitted to media outlets in exchange for coverage. Media outlets love to cover breaking news and they will publish press releases if they think it will generate interest.
17. Add Social Signals
Social signals are easy to add to your site. Just install Facebook and Twitter buttons and include some sort of social sharing tool.
18. Test Different Headings
Headers are a good place to add keywords and phrases. You can test different headers to determine which ones work best.
19. Install a 404 Error Page
A 404 error page is displayed when a visitor clicks a link that doesn’t exist. Having one will prevent visitors from leaving your site without realizing it.
20. Use Schema Markups
Schema markup is a set of tags that define the structure of your page. This makes it easier for search engines to crawl your pages and understand what’s on each page.
22. Have a Mobile-Friendly Site
While not every visitor uses mobile devices, if you want to reach the widest audience possible, you need to have a site that works well on phones and tablets.
23. Add Related Pages
Related pages are a great way to increase the visibility of your site. If you have a blog, for example, you can add a “related posts” tab on the navigation bar. Visitors will know where to find additional information once they land on your site.
24. Consider Redirecting Old URLs
Some users might still be searching for the old URL of your site. If your domain was purchased recently, you may want to redirect old URLs. If not, you can still implement 301 redirection. You will need to submit a request to Google Webmaster Tools to let Google know where the redirected URL points to.
25. Use H1, H2, H3 Tags
H1 headings are the most important. They tell Google what the main topic of your article is. H2 headings are secondary and include subheadings. H3 headings are tertiary and describe the contents of the section.
26. Use Alt Attribute Text
Alt attribute text is used to describe images. This makes it easier for screen readers to display the image.
27. Improve Crawl Rate
Crawl rate refers to the number of times a site is crawled. More frequent crawls mean that Google has a better understanding of your site and its content.
28. Implement 301 Moved Permanently Redirections
301 redirections move visitors from an old URL to the new URL permanently. If you change your URL, you can use 301 redirections to direct traffic from the old URL to the new one.
29. Add a Robots.txt File
Robots.txt is a file that tells search engines who to allow and who to block. You can use robots.txt to instruct spiders to ignore specific parts of your site.
30. Use XML Sitemap Files
An XML sitemap file lists the URLs that are available on your site. This lets Google know what content is available and where it can be found.
31. Be Clear About Credentials
If you have a login requirement, be clear about it. If you require a password, make sure you spell it correctly. You don’t want your users to struggle trying to log in.
32. Use HTTPS Everywhere Browser Extension
HTTPS Everywhere is a browser extension that forces connections to your site to use encryption. If you have a secure connection, you will improve security while increasing your overall performance.