There are no hard and fast rules for search engine optimization (SEO), nowadays things are constantly changing. Oh, let me be pretty blunt… anyone that thinks they can manipulate the likes of Google by changing a few of code is dreaming… those days are long gone. It is however possible with work to make your website the best it can be, easily index-able and appealing to the search engines.
Back to things to focus on, so you can be sure you are current on the latest thinking and are creating a solid site that will impress search engines and people alike.
Your site should be secure in order to comply with Google’s new rules, and to inspire confidence in site visitors. Ask your hosting service about purchasing what should be an affordable secure site certificate and making the changeover.
Some marketers don’t spend enough time on this because they’re told that Google does not give ranking weight to metatags. However, a good article or post title, description and keywords you want to rank well on are a must for Bing and Yahoo!. They also make your content more searchable at your site.
Your site should be fast and accessible within milliseconds. If it is loading slowly, people will click out, and when they “bounce,” Google will see this as a sign that your content is not high quality and will determine it to be irrelevant. Optimize all images and keep your pages clean and clutter-free.
If you are not already using a site map, add one. In particular, if you are using WordPress for your blog, install the Google XML site map plugin. Edit the settings so the site map “talks” to Google and the other search engines as soon as you publish new content. Google loves blogs because they are so current and up to date, so a site map can give you even more chances to rank highly.
Chances are you have a top 20 or 30 list of keywords you would like to rank well on. If not, it’s time to draw up that list. Next, search for each word on Google. Are you on the first page of the results?
If not, look at who is. Is there any way to get a back link from them or contribute to the site, such as guest blogging?
Next, go down to the “Related Searches” section. What suggestions do you see there that you could build content around and try to rank highly in? Add these under your main keyword and get planning.
Write with the needs of your target audience in mind, offering them content that shows you are an expert. Create a variety of content in terms of length and formats. In particular, start paying more attention to infographics, memes, eBooks and other content that is likely to be shared on social media.
Rich snippets help classify content and signal what it is to search engines. Classifications include articles, recipes, videos and more. If you are using WordPress, install the All in One Schema plugin. Your interface will change and you will need to start filling in those boxes with what can basically be described as metadata for the content, such as title and description.
Note that Pinterest likes content which has been marked up in this way, so if you have great content with one attractive image to support it, you can get more attention on that social network.