Struggling to rank top on the results of the search engine? Well, there are thousands of people trying the same. To stand out it’s very necessary to be unique and creative in every possible way. What do you think the top-ranked bloggers have so exceptional? Is it their writing skills or their SEO tactics? They just follow a simple trick—they write for both people as well as search engines.
Today, search engines are way too smart than we can barely imagine. They are even smart enough to comprehend the context and not just distinct keywords. By using the logic of SERP anatomy you can make your content attractive and engaging to both search engines as well as the reader.
As we all know that a building with a strong foundation is sure to last longer, we will begin with the basics to build a stronger base.
Here’s a small checklist for SEO beginners.
Whether a writer or SEO guy both are sure to appreciate the power of a decent catchy title. It’s very important to have a title that can grab the reader’s attention and lure them to click on. It will increase your website click-through rate (CTR) and also attract more traffic. Add the keyword in the title of your article, only if it’s short and has high search volume.
Avoid stuffing long-tail keywords in the title, it might affect its quality and make it boring and typical. Add tittle tags on your webpage and try to keep your title and H1 tag relevant but unique. Also, make sure your title adds curiosity in the minds of your readers because such articles are sure to get clicked.
SEO loves URLs that are descriptive and meaningful. And obviously, it’s the best place to add your keywords. If you ever planned to modify the URL, remember to redirect to avoid 404 errors.
And, of course, the length of your URL matters! It is ideal to keep it about 3 to 5 words long. Also, don’t forget to add hyphens as word separators because even your URL structure can affect your visibility.
3. Meta Description
Adding a relevant and descriptive meta description with the right keywords is very important. Because if not added, Google does this job for you. You might think it great, but Google just randomly picks any phrase from your article as your meta description. This isn’t good for your readers because only a custom made meta description can help the users understand what your article or page is about.
Note: Avoid using duplicate meta descriptions for different webpages.
4. Semantically Related Words and Keywords
Always try to add target keywords within the first 100-150 words of your article or blog. To add some extra weight, place a few semantic keywords in the body of your content.
Well organized content is quite easy to understand and go through. There are numerous ways to structure the text and make it more comprehensible. If your article or blog is quite lengthy with a lot of information then chances are that the user might get distracted and bounce back. To avoid this, use a list with bullet points or numbers – this makes it easy to notice and lets you put in all the information without losing the reader’s interest.
There is one more method which is more classy than the previous one— write an overview paragraph addressing the main problem and then split the content into 3 to 5 sub-points. Now title them with descriptive subheadings. Ideally, 3 to 5 sub-headings in a single article is more than sufficient to demonstrate your idea. In terms of SEO, remember to use H1…H6 tags for your subheadings and add your target keywords wherever possible.
6. Video Content
Videos are best to attract user’s attention and keep them engaged. If you add one it’s fine, but their absence can affect your visits. Additionally, adding a script besides the video is trending greatly, nowadays. This is because it helps both, the readers as well crawlers, notice your content.
It’s no doubt that articles having at least one image work better than those with no images. Though images don’t impact the ranking they greatly impact visitors and also help construct your article in an attractive way. When it comes to SEO: heavy images might adversely impact your site’s loading time. Hence make sure to use optimal file size and format, using a good image compressor that maintains visual quality.
Note: Images with a descriptive file name and ALT tags can help images from your webpage appear in Google image search results.
Search engines, as well as readers, usually prefer long and descriptive content.
But there isn’t any perfect predefined length for content. Length of content can differ according to your purpose for writing and also the topic you are writing on. Several studies say that content having a low word count can hamper the potential of that page to rank better. On the other hand, longer content is loved by people as well as search engines and hence, ranks well.
9. Internal Links
Internal linking is the best way to add additional useful material for readers. The internal links in your content grab reader’s attention to the related content you have written. From the SEO perspective, it’s one of the on-page fundamentals. In fact, it has a great impact on the way bots crawl your site. If you run short of time to build quality backlinks, internal linking might be a good place to start.
10. Social Sharing Buttons
Adding social sharing buttons adds more weight to your site and hence helps in ranking better. If an opinion leader or someone with a big scope of followers likes or posts your content, it’s likely that it will attract new readers to you.
11. Duplicate Content
The most common and tough problem to deal with is ‘content duplicacy’. Several studies say that around 50% of websites have at least a few pages with duplicate content. Search engines won’t penalize your site for this, but duplicate content signals the search engines that your website can hardly provide any value to your visitors.
It’s almost a dream come true when you find your website in SERPs. But if that’s not the case even after doing everything right then you must check that your site isn’t blocked from crawling, or else all your efforts will go in vain.
13. Page Loading Speed
Even a millisecond of delay might force a reader to bounce back from your site to some other website. The reason for lower page loading speed can be the large file size of the images used, problems with your server, etc. It’s highly recommended to optimize your website’s speed.
Almost 60% of website traffic comes from mobile users. If your site is yet not mobile-ready, you are undoubtedly losing a huge part of traffic flow. A responsive and mobile-friendly site has a high priority in mobile SERP.
Schema markup is code added to your website that helps search engines return more informative results for users. Adding markups increases your CTR; the best part is that you can add microdata to different types of content regardless of what topic your article is covering.
Schema implementation does not affect your ranking, but they do you affect CTR. Hence, anything that is good for your visitors is good for SEO.
By now you might have realized that Google is not the only one who decides if your site deserves a higher ranking – it’s your audience as well.
You may be amazed to see that some of the on-page SEO problems hardly affects your site’s position in the SERPs. Great writing and high-quality content appearance, can have a huge impact on page CTR, time on page, and bounce rate. User experience indicates the search engines to identify the quality of content and decide its position in the SERP.
Try your best to make your content appealing, after all, it’s rightly said that CONTENT is the KING!