At times, I feel that Google has a mind of its own. Now I am not pitting against Sundar Pichai. I adore this Indian guy and with his recent “claim” to focus hard on Indian market scenario, my heart just grew big out of respect and admiration (majorly, for keeping his roots intact). Recently, Google held a grandeur event where it launched fresh products in the market. For instance, YouTube Go, upgraded versions of Chrome, Google Assistant in Hindi and more.
Hitting hard on reality, our SEO team is still trying hard to figure out Google Algorithm. Unpredictable as a twister, Google has suddenly out of nowhere chucked out the third most factor for ranking pages – RankBrain. The effects, though steady, is happening in a subtle manner. I will keep you posted on how it will be affecting us.
While Google plays a crucial role in impacting a webpage, it’s ultimately the users that are of prime importance. Keeping this in mind, many website owners and SEO service providers are shifting their focus from Google to users who demand for quality content, smart loading pages, mobile friendly and so on.
Here are top 51 of best SEO tips and tricks that you can implement on your website while welcoming 2017. Now I am aware few of you might have already implemented this, but still it’s worth browsing through (in case you have missed out on couple of points).
1. Content is the Alpha and Omega:
It all starts with a good content. If your content is exceptional, it will surely increase the traffic to your site. It will boost your confidence as well. Don’t write articles for the sake of filling up the website. Write quality articles not for search engines but for people. Make them connect with you. If you write for people than for engines, you will be able to heighten the traffic rate.
2. Appealing headlines:
Write catchy headlines. This great article at copyblogger.com will give you a hint in creating excellent headlines. Next time, you are writing a headline, put yourself in user’s POV and ask, “Is it appealing enough to get a click”?
3. Less is more:
Writing articles are always welcome but creating content for the heck of it, is not! I will say this again and again, but stuffing your website with repeated content will definitely backfire and make a negative impact on your Google ranking.
People have become much more intuitive. They quickly scan and walk away if they don’t feel a “connection”. Always write specific to-the-point articles than simply scribbling words.
4. Post Long Articles:
If you check Google, you can see that the length of the topmost ranking page is maximum while the second page gets the second position (obvious).
What does this mean? Write longer posts that will give your website a chance to rank higher on Google search engine.
5. In depth posts:
Though many posts are in-depth, it doesn’t imply you need to write big, long articles. Hence, make sure that it’s not just long but in-depth as well.
6. Keywords in Heading tags:
It is an important factor because it assists the search engines to detect about the content you write. This is a very crucial factor to be noted. After all, it delivers a strong On-page SEO signal.
7. Copy Scores:
While you are making the content accessible to all, it is vitally important that you make the content readable as well. Therefore, it is important that your content passes the Flesch Reading Ease test. The score can be 70-80. This means that even a 13 year old should be able to read and understand it easily.
8. Keyword Must Be Included in the URL:
For optimum page ranking, it is essential that you use keyword phrases in URL. This will make it easy for the search engines to crawl the data.
9. Insert Keyword in Sub-Headings:
Increase the keyword density by quoting keyword phrases in sub-headings as well. This doesn’t mean cloud the article with keywords. A density of 0.5-2% is considered best.
10. Images with Alternative Tags:
Use Alternative tag in images that should contain the keyword pertaining to your article.
11. Outgoing links:
If you want to increase your SEO, make sure your article contains outgoing/outbound links. It will help in increasing the SEO and traffic as well.
12. First paragraph must contain the keyword:
The key for organic page ranking and SEO booster is by including the prominent keyword in first paragraph of article.
13. Insert keyword at the beginning of page title:
Page title must contain the focus keyword phrase at the start. This is because search engines will like when you insert the hunt keywords at the page title.
14. Page title should not be more than 70 characters:
Moz.com says the recommended page title should not be more than 40-70 characters. However, it is better to restrain yourself at 55 characters. No more. Since we are hovering on the topic, make sure that the title tag is different from the H1 tag.
15. Control your curb while writing in meta-description:
CMS such as WordPress owns a preset character limit of 150 characters. Always make sure to limit the meta-description characters to 150 or less and not a letter more. This will help in boosting the site ranking.
16. How fast does your page load?
This is a very critical factor for search engines such as Google and Bing. These search engines prefer pages that load easily and at a rapid speed. Hence, make sure your webpages load within 6-7 seconds. Control the urge to install more flash images, animation, graphics etc. as it can slow down the loading time. You can check your loading time and page speed in:
Copy, Paste seems like such an easy job especially when you are sitting in front of real rich content that is smiling at you. If you love copy pasting content, bid adieu to your website. Forget traffic and you might as well forget ranking. Google and many other search engines rank websites that are free of plagiarism. You think Google cannot detect but No!! Google crawlers are much more clever and smarter than us. It can easily detect a plagiarized content and cut down your ranking.
18. No repeated keyword:
If you are repeating an article on the same subject, make sure to change the keyword. DO NOT use the same keyword twice.
19. Update your website often:
I like your website and I bookmarked it. This means I will be visiting your site again for latest updates. Now it’s your job to keep your consumers updated with the latest information. Make sure to post at least twice a week to keep the traffic coming.
20. Get a feedback:
Get feedback from your customers. This will give you an opportunity to break the ice and interact with your customers. Ask questions, take a poll and keep the interaction going.
21. Negative can be Positive:
As silly as it sounds, a controversial topic can actually help in boosting the traffic of your website. So why wait? Pick up a little negative, start a debate and see how consumers flow in. Sometimes negativity can trigger popularity and boost the website traffic.
22. High quality images work:
A simple Jane website can be dull and boring to look at, forget reading it. High quality images enhance visual support motivating the readers to delve more on the subject.
23. The word order of your Keyword:
If the keyword you impress on your article is searched by the same keyword, then your article will be high for that word order. For instance, if your article’s heading and content carry “Best SEO tips” that is the searched keyword, you will be ranked high for this keyword order. This is why keyword research is very much challenging and essential for websites traffic and ranking.
24. Quality of outgoing links:
The quality of outgoing links or referral links can have a huge impact on your website. Government websites, organization etc. carry a lot of potential to boost your ranking. Hence, think twice before putting any link to your post. And make sure to do a lot of research.
25. Cut down on grammatical errors and spelling mistakes:
Search engines love webpages that have minimal grammatical or spelling errors. Since Microsoft has default spell and grammar checker, you need not bother much.
25. Broken links:
Noticed that 404 error? That can be because of a broken link. Stating the obvious, a broken link can cut down the traffic of your website. If you want to get good traffic, you need to fix such issues manually. Google webmaster tools or a redirection link can help resolve such issues.
26. How old is your page?
Google loves to display a new page than an old page. Hence, it is necessary to keep old posts updated with new changes. Such modified pages also have a chance to rank higher in search engines.
27. Use Bullets and Numbering:
90% of people prefer bullets and numbered form. This is because they are looking for only specific details. It also makes them easy to scan the key points efficiently. Bullets format breaks down the content for users making your page seem more worthy.
28. Leave breadcrumbs:
Google mentions every little string in the search results. Hence, it is recommended to enable the breadcrumbs to your website.
29. WordPress Tags:
WordPress SEO by Yoast claims that tags can be quite significant to a certain limit.
“The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other.”
30. Correct page category:
Always ensure that the page falls in the right category. This will easen out the work of Google crawlers to deliver exact search results. This will, in return, improve the page ranking increasing blog traffic.
31. Use dot com websites:
If you are using country or region based domain extensions, it’s time to rethink. For instance, if you have a domain extension .ca, this means your ranking will be high only in Canada. This can inhibit growth of your site globally. Hence, it is best recommended to use .com extensions. .Net falls second in place.
32. What’s in a name?
If your website name contains a word that is searched by many, then chances of you getting in top is good. For instance, your website name is XYZnaturalremedies and if a person searches for natural remedies, then the chances of ranking is pretty good. Thus, make sure to use a domain name related to your topic.
33. Hold good reputation:
Review on websites such as ripoffreport.com, yelp.com etc. hold good reputation in Google algorithm. If your website is booed out by consumers in such websites, be ready to get penalized. Oh yes, Google loves domains who get good customer reviews.
34. Google Analytics and webmaster tools:
While they trick you to think, they are helping, here is another thought. They are also getting information about our websites. In a way, you can say they are spying on us (if not, totally). They get valid info such as bounce rates, traffic we generate from back links etc.
35. Mobile friendly website:
While desktop and laptop users are not extinct (as yet), majority of the users hog mobile for visiting ecommerce sites, paying their bills, renting a taxi, booking flight tickets and so on. So make sure to create a website that is mobile friendly as well.
Google has more faith in companies/websites that has a private policy page. So make sure to create a private policy page…today!!!
37. SSL certificates are mandatory:
Google has announced in its blog that using HTTPS is a ranking signal for them.
38. Pages matter:
If you have less number of pages in a website, Google bot deems it unapproachable. To distinguish between a good and bad website, Google actually uses the number of pages available on this website. Ensure that you write more in-depth content and build more sophisticated pages to raise the ranking.
39. Website Design:
An organized and well put website helps Google to correctly decode the content.
40. Trust Rank:
This means how many links are connected to your website from reliable source (website)? Higher the number, better the ranking.
41. Linking matters:
Realize the fact that links from a 2000 word post is much more credible than from a short 250 word snippet. Next time, you are link building, keep this in mind.
42. How socially active is your website?
The amount of likes, shares, comments your pages/posts receive in social networks such as facebook, twitter etc. does matter. Google keeps count of such things and sees that your pages have valuable information in it. This will automatically raise the conversion.
43. Important links:
While TLD’s do not have much regard as they used to, nevertheless, they are still considered vital and have a special position reserved during the SEO process.
44. Domain linking:
If your website has received a link from another domain possessing same subject, then your website will be much more valuable. This is because it is related to your topic. Unrelated topic linking is basically useless in domain linking.
45. Yahoo! Directory Listed:
Believe it or not, websites listed in Yahoo rank much better than other domains.
46. Link exchanging:
Google confirmed that using reciprocal links must be avoided at any cost by bloggers.
47. Valuable Backlinks:
As per Google Adviser, an old backlink has much more value than a relatively new backlink.
Wikipedia is a powerful and resourceful domain. Domains getting links from Wikipedia gets a strong foothold in the Google ranking. It gives the sense of an added trust and authority.
49. Minimal use of forums:
Heavy load of spamming has led Google to demote websites who build links via forums. So don’t think that pushing links at forum is going to help with ranking.
Pages that support micro formats not only rank high but also deliver impeccable results in search engines. Such websites also get good amount of traffic as people love the ratings they receive.
51. Google Sandbox:
Google gets suspicious when a website becomes the centre of attraction out of nowhere. If your website is receiving all the attention (i.e. too much links), Google will put you in a Sandbox. This means your links will stay invisible for a specific period of time deemed by Google.
Sum it up
I understand few of the points are basics which probably you might be already aware of. Though it sounds ‘duh’ to add few basic points here, trust me they do matter and can definitely help with the ranking. I know this blog is quite long, but it isn’t over yet.
There is more to come on best SEO tips. Part 2 of healthy tips for SEO services coming up in next post…!!!