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SEO Fundamentals to Follow

Have Great Content

Give your visitors high-quality content, a great user experience and a secure, technically sound website. That isn’t fast or easy, but it is the sure way to rank well and maintain your rankings. Search engines like fresh content, but they also like sites that earn clicks consistently.

Know your area of expertise and be generous in sharing insights. That markets your business to potential customers and helps search engines understand where your content fits with searcher interests.

Focus on original content over links to other experts in your area. While links to related sites are good for SEO, you need to generate a body of information that draws people to your website and your business.

Create the best quality content that you can, and consistently review and improve on it wherever possible. Demonstrate your expertise and stand out from the crowd.

Pay Attention to Speed

People don’t wait for sites to load. They move on. We all behave this way, yet we forget to check our own web presence for speed. Slow sites are not effective. Period.

Use Google’s free page speed analyzer often to make sure your site is fast to load.

There are several ways to speed up your website. Some may require more technical skill than you have, but it is worth the investment to bring someone on who can rev up your load time.

Images are one factor that you can control easily within your site admin area. Large, high definition images will take a long time to load. Always take the time to resize your images to the scale needed by your website.

Focus on Your Audience

You will only succeed online if you focus on what your audience wants and needs. Search engines aim to give users what they’re looking for. If your content doesn’t get clicked, you will never achieve good SEO.

Are you really offering searchers what they’re looking for when they type in their search? Are they looking for information or to take action? What do they need from you? Focus there.

Competition for attention is fierce. Users want to visit sites that solve their problem or provide the information or service they need. They don’t care about product-related jargon or why you want them to read your blog post. Always write for your audience.

Link Within Your Site

Link related content within your site. These are called internal links. These links make it easy for search engines to crawl your site to work out which articles are most important and to help your users find what they’re looking for.

Make sure that your most important articles also have the most internal links pointing to them. Use keywords in the link text to make the benefit of clicking the link clear.

Maintain Your Content

Keep your content fresh and relevant.

Do a site search for one of your most important keywords and see what comes up. Do articles overlap, and do you still need to keep everything? Delete or merge content as needed to ensure everything that is published is worthy of a click.

Avoid Getting Toppled by SEO Rule Changes

Focus on these SEO fundamentals and you will protect yourself from huge demotions as SEO algorithms change. All of these focus on providing great content that is meaningful to your audience. If you focus there, you can’t lose!

Top 10 No Longer Tops with Google

Have you noticed that Google changed the first page of search results? Being one of the top ten for a search term no longer guarantees that you will be on the first page of Google search results. Argh.

Google evolves search results pages to provide the content they think searchers will find valuable. There are now question boxes, map results and more mixed in with the standard page titles and links.

Today’s Google Search Results Page

Paid ads still live at the top of the results pages. There are also often Google Business results to the right and a box with common questions related to the search topic.

So, the good news is that the slots for organic search results are replaced with some additional opportunities for you to be found.

There’s another change that affects every search: personalization. Over the past several years, Google has worked to personalize search results based on the user who is searching. This means that a search performed by two different people likely will get different results. This is based on factors like location and previous searches and clicks.

Monitor Your Google Rank

No one knows the magic algorithm that Google uses to determine search rank. Some factors are generally assumed to be effective, such as keyword use in page content and providing meta description and photo tags.

For the best insight into your search rank, monitor your Google Search Console to ensure there aren’t any notices about issues related to your website. Some items are easily addressed. Others may need the support of a developer. The rules and technical requirements change all the time.

Look Your Best on Google

The Google top ten results has been invaded by rich results. These organic (non-paid) results are an effort to provide more interesting ways to get information to users. There are many types of rich results and more are expected to be added. Here’s a look at how you can capitalize on these opportunities in your marketing.

Current rich results include:

  • Star ratings
  • FAQs
  • Business listings

Rich Results and How to Get Them

Rich results stand out and tend to get clicks. Also, getting your content shown as a rich result is something like a stamp of approval by Google. In a sea of content, your content was selected for a rich result.

Earning a rich result has a lot of factors. It isn’t something you can buy into, so it is something that your online presence has to earn.

Start by knowing the rich results that are available for your important keywords. Find out who has them now. See what content they offer and determine if you have something better to offer.

Keep in mind:

  • Content has to be well-written and of high quality
  • Content needs to be optimized for the target keyword

Update your website content to showcase your better content. Hopefully, the next time the content is crawled by Google, your information will rise to the top.

Rich results are also easier to achieve if you keep your website well optimized for SEO. Even the best content can get missed if your site is not structured in a way that web crawlers can navigate and process.

There are coding conventions and other structural aspects to website that make them accessible to search engines. A SEO plugin or tool and Google Search Console can help you assess any problem areas and offer tips for improvement.