In previous blogs we have discussed various tools that help you improve your ranking, but do you really know enough to get you to the top? Not really, with the digital world changing by the minute, there is always something else you can know and do, to make sure your published content is cutting through and your website is ranking appropriately.
Google as the number one search engine, will take priority over any other search engine you can think of. As such, it is wise to get to know it and what it looks for, when ranking is involved.
Get into the basics
Website loading speed – websites that load faster, are most likely to rank better. Ideally the loading speed should be under two seconds, Google takes it a bit further and aims at under half a second loading speeds. Is your site meeting these standards?
Published content sharing – here is the perfect opportunity to emphasise how important content quality is. Content that is relevant, current and timely will be shared often, helping Google understand that people like it and consequently position better.
User behaviour – Help users find you by providing what they are looking for and not what you think it should be published. Google pushes up content that is solving the customers’ needs.
Structure – The way your website or published content is structured is key to improving your ranking. This helps your audience (and Google) understand your content better.
The list of tools and elements is extensive, making time to learn and understand how it all works is the best investment you will ever make when website and published content is concerned.
So, where to begin?
It is easier to improve the things that you can change and control, so a good place to start would be your On Page SEO. To start winning the SEO game, here are some of the changes you can start implementing immediately to have your website and published content positioning better:
Keywords – Are high-quality words – and in many instances phrases – that will be describing your product or service. The keywords are specific terms you want the user to find your content when searching on Google. You have to choose the ones that best suit not only the topic you are writing about but also the user’s search intent.
Page titles – These need to be unique for each page, clear and to the point (relates to the topic at hand). Also consider:
Limiting to 70 characters in length
Using the most important and descriptive keywords at the beginning of the title
Separating specific phrases or words, with symbols such as hyphen «-» or bar «|»
URL – Must be simple and suggest the content of the page.
Description Meta Tag – Are a short summary of what the page is about. Unlike the page title, there is no length limitation for the description, but make sure the content is unique and lengthy enough to inform and be of interest to your audience. Typically a well composed sentence or small paragraph (320 characters) will suffice. Google may also use them as snippets for the page if needed.
Quick tip: A good idea to attract user’s attention is to add emojis and other symbols on the Meta Descriptions
Heading tags – Are headings and subheadings used to highlight the importance of a topic and provide a hierarchical structure of your pages and articles. Nomenclature used starts with <h1> being the most important and higher in hierarchy, down to <h6>. Careful and thoughtful consideration to headings and subheadings will help readers get through your content in a structured and meaningful way, which in turn will help you rank better.
<h1> tag: Use it as the title of your content, so putting it once is more than enough
<h2> tag: keep this in mind to divide your page or article into the most important sections. It is recommended to use them with long tail keywords
<h3> tag: If the content of each section is long, divide it into subsections with this tag
<h4> to <h6> tags: Unless you are writing a PhD thesis or a book, reaching this level of organization can be counterproductive. Limit the use to very specific scenarios where extremely long pieces of content and structuring is required
Link building strategy
Nowadays, backlinks are vital for SEO, they are in essence, a vote of confidence from other sites. Other sites are validating your content as trustworthy, relevant and useful. The more quality backlinks you have, the better you may rank. Quality backlinks are hard to find, do your research and make sure you engage with reputable sites.
Quick tip: pay attention to the anchor text – clickable text that you see in a hyperlink – that is used to link to your site or its pages, as it helps Google to better understand what searches might be interesting to rank for
SEO, the gift that keeps on giving
Good SEO takes time, but now you have a few good places to start. Take time to bring yourself up to speed and stay ahead of the competition, by keeping up with the latest changes and tools available in the market. Remember to always:
Write unique and quality content that helps your audience: it may be the key to improving your web ranking. Google loves it when content is useful, original, complete and well-structured. Make Google happy
Promote your content: share your pages and articles on your Social Media accounts to attract more visitors. A good idea is also to create a list of email subscribers and participate in communities related to your industry. Get everyone to know you
Constantly review and update your content: Things change a lot in days, let alone months or years. Stay relevant and current
SEO is an arduous and long term exercise. Very much like going to the gym: everybody knows it’s good for their health, but nobody likes doing the hard work, or putting the time into it. When this happens, reach out to McCorkell, true and complete expertise in content, SEO and more is available at your fingertips, give us a call.
Written by José García
Digital Project Manager