SEO optimization denotes many other things other than best keywords.
Content Still Reigns
Today’s world is content world. Content is the king that rules the ranking in search engines. Most important is the Meta description. A well-written and optimized meta content drives organic traffic to your pages by enticing users to click through to your site when they see your page in search results.
Meta Titles & Descriptions
Whenever you write a new content, check meta titles and descriptions. Meta descriptions give users a snippet summary of your site. Google recently changed the ideal length of meta descriptions. Instead of 165 characters, now it is 320 characters without the risk of it being cut off in search results. Keep in mind that search engines penalize you for both reasons. Either for missing meta content or keeping it too long, too short, or duplicate across multiple pages. Ideal length is 230-300.
Content Quality and Readability
High-quality and engaging content means many things now. It should be current, concise, and easy-to-read. Website content is a vital ingredient of SEO – and be sure your pages are free of broken links.
Readability is about making your content clear and easy to understand. Not only is it a hidden gem of SEO success, it also increases the accessibility of website content for all visitors. If sentences are too long or words are too complex for your target audience, not only is the content lost on your readers, but Google picks up on these things too.
Irrelevant or outdated content in the website should be removed. Outdated content bounce off the page that web page’s ranking will continue to fall. In order to stay relevant in the SEO game, updating content frequently is mandatory. Keeping a content inventory and updating them time to time will make all the difference to your web ranking.
Broken or Unsafe Links and Misspellings
Broken links and misspellings on your website can harm your website traffic and brand reputation—and your SEO rankings. Enlist the help of an automated tool like Siteimprove Content and Accessibility to automatically catch broken links, links to dead-ends or unsafe domains, and embarrassing misspellings.
Don’t Overlook the Details of Technical SEO
Without a solid technical backdrop on your website, the rest of your SEO efforts are moot. We want to focus on three key areas of technical SEO for improving your website ranking:
- Technical Quality
- Your Server
Indexability has everything to do with how well those mighty search engine bots can navigate your site.
One of the top issues to tackle is duplicate content. It is common knowledge that duplicate content is an SEO no-go, but sometimes you can’t avoid it. However, you can tell Google not to crawl those pages. For instance, you might have a Google AdWords landing page set up as part of a marketing campaign. But if the content of that page largely reflects a page on your normal website, you can manage that duplicate content with canonical tags.
That way, you can still focus on improving your ranking on those pages with longer life spans.
Rethink the 301 Links
Another way to improve your website’s indexability is by making sure you have as few 301 redirects as possible. A 301 redirect is used when a user or search engine lands on a URL with content that has been permanently moved to a new URL. The user is then redirected to the correct page.
While it may be a good temporary solution, for instance during a website redesign, redirects should be avoided as often as possible. They slow down page load times and lead to loss of link equity. Instead of relying on them in the long-term, make a plan and use an automated tool like Siteimprove for locating and updating these URLs across your website.
Don’t Forget the Sitemap
Having a sitemap (an XML file containing a list of URLs on your site) helps search engines understand your website structure. It allows you to specify which pages the search engines should prioritize when they crawl your site.
If you have a particularly large site, be sure your developer uses a sitemap index file to reference multiple sitemaps, each of which can contain up to 50,000 URLs and can be up to 10MB. As best practice, these should be compressed in .gz format.
Search engines are also interested in the quality of technical SEO elements on your site.
Stop Linking to Unsafe Domains
Linking to unsafe domains is detrimental for many reasons, and search engines recognize that. Google recently made a push for a more secure internet by alerting users when they’re using HTTP websites—aka websites that are not HTTPS secure. Avoid sending your visitors to unsafe domains for their own privacy and to keep improving your website ranking.
Avoid Cascading Style Sheet and HTML Validation Errors
Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) are applied to web documents to define how they should look and be displayed in the browser. CSS validation is the process of checking that your CSS is properly formatted by W3C (World Wide Web Consortium) standards.
While it’s not a ranking factor in search engine algorithms, there are certainly indirect SEO benefits to ensuring that your CSS is error-free. Properly validated code means your website is accessible and more likely to behave as expected across different browsers and platforms. This provides a better user experience and makes it easier for search engines to read your site.
How fast and responsive your server affects your site’s desktop speed and page load times, which are crucial to improving your website ranking and the user experience.
Improve Site and Page Speed
Studies have shown that users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less. The longer a page takes to load, the more likely your visitors will abandon the page. Over time, a high rate of page abandonment signals to search engines that your site isn’t providing what users need. A slow page load time also means that search engine crawlers crawl fewer pages on your site, which means fewer pages get indexed.
Remember to compress images, reduce your number of 301 redirects, and enable browser caching so returning visitors don’t have to re-download all page components the next time.
Get Creative With the 404 Status Code
We’ve all stumbled upon the infamous 404 page. This happens when a requested page can’t be found, which is bad for the user and your website ranking. When a user encounters a 404 page and immediately bounces back to the search engine, this can signal that visitors aren’t finding what they need on your site, which can hurt your rankings. Ensuring that your server returns the correct status code and minimizing errors can mitigate the negative impact on your SEO.
User Experience Impacts SEO
The way your visitors experience your website is important. Since SEO and UX go hand-in-hand. Search engines look at how effectively embedded information like links and images are used to enhance the user experience.
Page Depth Navigation
Rule of thumb: The optimum depth of a page should be a depth of five. Page depth means the number of clicks it takes a visitor to reach a given page from your home page, which has a depth of one. A page linked from the home page has a depth of two, and pages linked from there have a depth of three. Pages deeper than this will affect the ranking detrimentally.
Website Visuals and Accessibility
Search engines use alt attributes (also known as “alt tags” or “alt texts”). This indicates what an image depicts and what purpose it serves on a page. Having an alt attribute to describe an image is beneficial for SEO. It helps visually impaired visitors who rely on screen readers to describe the contents of a page.
The Future is Mobile
Since the world has gone mobile, optimizing your website for mobile responsiveness is mission critical.
Mobile Speed :
A page should load in two seconds when it comes to mobile page. Low speed on mobile hurts your conversion rates, it will cause search engines to rank your page lower in search results. For starters, optimize your mobile website for a better user experience and better website rankings by compressive images, reducing the number of redirects, and using HTML5 instead of Flash—among many other things.
Consider Font Size and Spacing
Font sizes on the majority of websites vary between 15 and 18 pixels. Anything less becomes difficult to read, especially on mobile devices. Visually impaired and older users may have even more difficulty reading small fonts. If mobile users can’t read your content, they probably quit your page immediately. The best way to ensure that your font size is readable on mobile devices is to incorporate responsive design into your CSS file. Line spacing must be at least 1.2 times.
Ensure Touchscreen Readiness
A touchscreen-friendly site needs touchscreen-friendly tap targets. Tap targets are the elements on your site that users interact with using their fingers, like buttons, links, and forms. When tap targets are too small or close to each other a user will hit a button or link not intended by him. The result is that Mobile users get frustrated and will quit your site.