You can guarantee in the SEO world, someone will on an annual basis release a string of techniques guaranteed to boost your website to the top of Google overnight.
You can rest easy; this is not one of these lists. The solid strategies and actions listed in this post are timeless and will bring results in the medium to long term.
An important fact to take on board is that search engine optimisation is a process that must be implemented on a continuous basis, respect the quality guidelines of Google and other search engines, with a user focus.
The list of techniques to follow Is just a starting point and not the magic formula of SEO.
1 – Research your target audience and how your people search
This technique is known as keyword research. Today the definition of the terms we will use to optimize the content of a page is not limited to the average volume of monthly searches of a word.
It is, of course, important to determine the volume of monthly searches for a particular word, but we should also be concerned with the intention to search, or as Google ranked, the micro-moments of the research: I want to know, I want to go, I want to go and I want to buy.
Having an understanding of the search results for a certain vertical search is essential in gaining a good position?
If you adopt a reverse engineering in Google
if the results for a given search return vertical images and videos it is understood that users who search for that subject are interested in these content formats.
By working with images and videos on content we show Google that we understand what users are looking for and are rewarded with improved positioning.
2 – Implement the SSL / HTTPs security certificate
This is pretty basic and if you did not you are still missing out on a great opportunity to earn precious positions on Google. Yes, I’m talking about installing or enabling SSL, the famous HTTPS.
In 2014, Google confirmed that sites that started using SSL / HTTPS would benefit from organic results. For anyone who is a veteran in SEO knows that it is not always that Google comes to the public and confirms a ranking factor.
Today there are several companies offering security certificates at very affordable prices and others are free such as Let’s Encrypt and CloudFlare.
Regardless of which one to choose, just follow this step-by-step for a safe and risk-free migration of organic performance:
HTTP 301 redirect to HTTPS;
Test the site with the tool: https://dev.ssllabs.com/ssltest/;
Change all internal site links to HTTPS (requests for scripts, styles, images, etc.);
Update all Canonical tags for HTTPS;
Change to HTTPs in Google Analytics (Property Settings);
Create new Search Console with HTTPS address;
Create new Sitemap with URLs in HTTPS;
Submit the new Sitemap in Search Console;
Check if robots.txt is blocking some important page;
Integrate Analytics with the new Search Console;
3 – Optimize for Mobile First
In November 2016, Google announced that it will now consider the content of the mobile version of a page to assign its placement, even on the desktop. Welcome to on-page optimisation 3.0!
In the webinar I recently taught for the company owner of this blog, I presented some optimisation techniques for mobile first. Recalling that the move to mobile first index has not yet occurred and should happen in the second half of 2017 globally.
In short, make sure your mobile content is as complete as the desktop version and optimise the familiar elements of traditional on-page optimisation such as titles, meta descriptions, heading tags, images, loading time and more.
4 – Google AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)
The main goal of the Accelerated Mobile Page (AMP) project is to quickly load pages on mobile devices, even on low-speed connections. AMP pages have the code free of scripts and other elements that usually delay loading.
In Google’s mobile results, AMP pages are increasingly in evidence, whether in the carousels at the top of the results or in the icons in the snippet descriptions.
Developing AMP pages for your website or your customers is one of the fastest ways to reach the top of mobile search results.
5 – Invest in User Experience
Since I started working with SEO 10 years ago, one of the first things I learned was that it should focus on the user. At the time I confessed I did not pay much attention to the subject.
But for a few years now, more precisely since Rank Brain was incorporated into the algorithm in October 2015, focusing on the user has never been so important to achieve good results with SEO.
Modern layouts, content layout, concise and objective navigation, information architecture among other elements should be part of the search engine optimisation work.
Recently we ran a test on one of our customers where we only changed the layout, improved the mobile experience and reduced loading time. Observe how the “visibility trend” jumps from less than 20% to 40%. In terms of number of positions we are talking about a jump from the 4th to the 1st position, for extremely competitive words and of high relevance for our client’s business.
6 – Content still reigns
“Content is king,” is another jargon I’ve heard since I started working with digital marketing. And it remains one of the most important points for the success of an SEO job.
But after all, what kind of content makes organic results successful?
I could extend this answer by paragraphs, but I will be brief. The type of content that makes search success is one that has been written with a focus on the users and answers all the doubts in relation to a certain theme.
A very simple tip for producing quality content is to analyse the top 10 organic results. If the content you want to write is no better than them, do not waste time.
7 – Links, Links, Links
Links, Backlinks, Hyperlinks, no matter what you call them, they remain the main factor of Google’s ranking. Whether they are internal or external, the former being less relevant than the latter, but still very important.
A well-built internal link structure makes a huge difference in the organic placement of a site’s pages. So if you still do not use breadcrumbs or do not point links from within the content to other pages you better start.
External links are harder to win, but they make the difference. There are several ways to get an external link, such as:
- Guest Blogging
- Business partners and suppliers (excellent for B2B)
SEO is not a black box and as you may realise there is no need to have programming skills to have a well optimised website. SEO is one more of the various disciplines of digital marketing and should be looked at as such. Focus on the target audience, communicate and promote your products and services, which will succeed in the organic results of Google and other search engines.