12 tips to boost Organic Search Engine Rankings in 2018

12 tips to boost Organic Search Engine Rankings in 2018

There are no shortcuts when we talk about Search Engine Optimisation (SEO). If you want visitors to discover your pages via Google, it is important to apply the right strategies. Strategies that appeal to your users and help Search Engines index them effectively.
Simply put, SEO is all about user intent. Search engines job is to assist users with results that are relevant to their search queries. So the most relevant pages to queries get higher position on the SERPs.
To get higher visibility in Search Engines, you must follow the right strategies. We have outlined critical SEO strategies below that are a must have for any webpage.

Most Critical Strategy: Quality Content

Writing a high-quality article should be a key aspect of any SEO strategy. Google has been moving in this direction in the last year. For Google, Search is a business and the search results are its products. The main function of the Google is to answer the people’s search queries. Google wants it done intuitively. Goal here is to get the most relevant answer faster to the questioner. That makes a search engine great.
Keywords are now a double edged sword. It is true keywords helps in finding the right content. But, nowadays, keywords are a kind of hindrance. Most marketers are misusing keywords on pages. So a page might be completely different to the keywords that the page is being pushed for. Also people don’t usually use the right or the same keywords to ask a question. That’s what all the Google algorithm updates are about. It’s not just about the keywords, its about the information on the page. Quality content thus leads to higher ranking and higher conversions.
Google specifically recommends that users
  • Build pages for users not search engines
  • Find out your niche value and build your website to stand out using that value
  • remove user-generated spam from the site
Google also recommends that you avoid these techniques
  • Automatically generated content
  • deceiving your users
  • using tricks to improve search engine rankings, ask yourself “Would I create this content if search engines didn’t exist?”
  • Link schemes
  • Creating pages with little or no original content
  • Cloaking and sneaky redirects
Your content should be
  • of High Quality
  • Device Friendly
  • Quick loading (view Site Speed Matters below)
  • Accessible (view structured content below)
Once you generate quality content, you still have to optimise it to the relevant keywords to help Google understand the page better.

Key Concept: Title Tags

Title tags in SEO are like the title of your book. It is the main piece of text that people use to identify the different pages or posts on your site. Not only, it allows you to give a name to every web page but also outlines the main purpose of the web page. The title that you enter in a title tag also appears when you share your web page on social media. The length of the title tags should be between 50-60 characters. A great title is what it is – great and relevant. It should attract people to click the moment that they see it in the SERPs.

Key Concept: Site Speed

The speed of the website is the first impression you make on the visitor. Visitors love a fast site. Google loves a fast site. If your website loads fast, you leave a strong first impression on the visitor. It’s pure psychology that fast websites are both reliable and professional. Speed relates to the trust, efficiency, and confidence. On the other side, a slow website is always thought to be unsafe, insecure, and untrustworthy. And finally, it is really difficult to turn around the negative first impression.

Key Concept: Structured Data

Your website is essentially a lot of html code. When Google is trying to make sense of the data, its very hard for it to make sense of exactly what the data in the page.
  • If there is an address, is that the company address? or are you talking about another company, or an event etc.
  • If there is an image or a social media link, is that for your own company vs a partner company?
  • You have a lot of articles in your pages, but is that products you sell, events you run, books you like etc
Google allows you to put structured data to help it identify what information you have on your page.
It allows you to specify items on your site such as
  • Corporate Contact Details
  • Corporate Logo
  • Social media links
  • and more…
It also allows you to specify what kind of repeating content is on your site
  • Articles
  • Books
  • Courses
  • Events
  • Facts
  • Jobs
  • Products
  • Recipes
  • Reviews
  • Videos
  • and more….
Making sure you have structured data and passed on to Google means better visibility for your business.

Key Concept: Responsive Site

It’s 2018. There is no excuse not to have a responsive site. More than half of your users should be consuming your content in mobile devices now. It’s a deal breaker when you visit a site on a mobile and then you have to enlarge it or make it smaller. Visitors hate it and in turn Google will not give your site higher preference. Google is moving towards a “mobile first” approach to websites, and so should you.

Key Concept: Site Security and User Spam

WordPress, while its the best thing to ever happen to CMS since sliced bread does have it’s challenges. The most glaring one is site security and user spam. It’s an easy fix but not properly fixed in most medium to small websites. Looks like Google is now putting that in focus and using it in its algorithms. So you need to make sure that
  • you have rolled out HTTPS (secure url)
  • you have closed your forms so that there is no spam bots filling it out
  • you have closed your comments so that there is no spam bots filling that out

Use Heading 1 tags

Header or H1 is the largest text on any webpage and serves as its page title. H1 tells the reader whether the subject matter is relevant to their interests or not. The H1 tells browser and Google that it is the largest and most important text on your page. It draws the attention of the visitor and tells visitor if they have landed on the right page or not. The thumb rule is that a visitor spends about 10 to 15 seconds on a particular page to look for the information they want. H1 has a direct impact on the search rankings. They are used to determine the quality of the webpage.

Heading 2 tags should expand on Heading 1 tags

H2’s must be related to H1 however they should not deliver the same thing. Instead, they must go deeper breakdown the title and content of the page. It is not necessary to use keywords in the H2 tags. They can be a descriptive variation of the keyword or could be a subcategory of it. Headings allow assistive technologies to navigate the page.

Canonical Tags

Canonical tags or canonical link elements assist the webmasters to prevent the duplicate content issues. In case, you have several versions of the same content, it is recommended that you must pick one version of the same and point it to the search engines. In this way, the duplicate content problem will be solved and the search engine will know which version is to be shown in the search results.

File Names and Alt Tags

Descriptive and keyword-rich file names are crucial for SEO of your page. With the improvement in the algorithms, nowadays, the search engines not only crawl the text on your webpage but also crawls your image file names. The alt text adds value to the SEO of your webpage. Try to optimize images with relevant keywords. It improves the ranking of your website. Images optimized with right alt text helps the online stores to show up their images in Google image and finally increase their sales.

XML Sitemap and Robots.txt File

Sitemap.xml and robots.txt are used for SEO. Both of them are the major part for any webpage. Sitemap.xml is used by search engines to learn website structure. If your sitemap.xml is properly optimized with valid URLs, it helps search engine crawler to crawl all the pages of your website. Robots.txt file tells web robots what pages on your website are restricted and allowed. In simple words, it tells the search engines what pages should be allowed and disallowed in your website.

Older strategies

Unique Meta Descriptions

Meta descriptions are HTML attributes. They are the concise summary of your webpage. The ideal length of meta descriptions is between 155 to 160 characters. They appear underneath the blue clickable links in a SERPs. However, in an attempt to answer the searcher’s query in a better way, the Google can pull meta descriptions from other areas on your page. Nowadays, meta descriptions have been included in a plenty of protocols including Schema.org, Twitter Card, Open Graph, and more. But one thing, you must remember about the meta description is that they must be unique. Try to use a unique meta description on all pages.

Summary: A Strategic Approach to SEO

SEO is all about user intent. To be successful in growing your business online, generate quality content for your visitors questions.
By following the best practices, you tend to stay on the top even if the search engine algorithm is being updated. Finally, you’ll start seeing visible improvements in your company’s organic search engine visibility.

SEO by NetON Melbourne

We run Search Engine Optimisation for multiple Australian and Global companies. We have also built our own tools such as NetON Bolt SEO to help our clients optimise their web sites better and rank higher on your keywords. What we preach, we practice on our site http://www.neton.com.au. Please reach out to us for any of your SEO Melbourne needs.