The year 2015 brought up some more concerns about SEO ranking due to Google’s algorithms being updated. Big G updates its search algorithms up to 600 times annually, according to SEO consulting company, Moz. As you may already know, these algorithm changes go by the names Penguin, Panda, Hummingbird and Pigeon.
If you have just started an online business and you feel a bit uncertain on how to consistently give your first steps, these tips will surely provide you with useful information.
But first! Don’t forget about the basics!
The first thing you must know is that the essential strategies for positioning your site still have total validity. That is, even though Google’s algorithms will keep on changing, the core of online marketing remains the same. If you want your business to be among the first places in SEO rankings, you must focus in providing relevant and high-quality information for your target audience. Once you have decided how you are going to accomplish that, it’s time to know more about the technical stuff. Another way to see this is: adjust your content to be useful for real people and not only attractive for crawling bots.
Let’s take a closer look at the cornerstone practices for all sites, whether they are new or not.
Insert links that read naturally
This may be the feature that Google loves the most. By all means avoid providing your audience with long lists of links. Instead, make sure all these are relevant to your content. Put yourself in the reader’s place and figure out what you would totally love in order to get the most useful information.
Take a look at alt texts
If you post images, don’t forget to add relevant keywords in the alt text field. That way, search engines will have one more reason to display your content. Make sure to update your alt texts every once in a while, especially when you think that a worthy post could do much better.
Adjust your heading text
Texts between the heading tags are more likely to show in search engine’s results. Categorize your titles with <H1>, <H2, and even <H3>. If these tags follow a coherent structure, it is more likely that your site will get a better place in rankings.
Put your main keywords in titles
This is obvious, but there are also some considerations for keywords in titles. What you definitely should avoid doing is stuffing your main titles with keywords. One strong keyword is enough to be well-ranked as long as the other words are consistent. Keep in mind that your titles should be less than 70 characters in length. A good word counter may come in handy.
Make your URL as simple as possible
Google really hates to see long cyphered URLs that tell nothing to the audience. Keep your URLs descriptive and short. They should always directly relate to your content.
And now that you have verified that your site complies with all of the above, it’s time to focus on the new aspects that will take you beyond your competitors.
Improve your audience’s experience
According to Google, user experience must be taken into account very seriously in 2015. Site speed, site structure and security are among the most important factors for SEO ranking. Make your site as simple as possible when it comes to navigation. All users should find the information they need with no more than two clicks.
Gain local authority
Add some keywords related to your location. If your business already has more than one site, the basic information must be consistent in all those sites. Make sure you included your business’ phone number, address, logo and description. It is also a good idea to add information about the business’ owner.
Besides including consistent information, you should work with other businesses near you and exchange links. If those other businesses are related to press, chances are you will get a very good SEO ranking for local searches.
Boost your content with videos
Videos are a great way to promote your business. They also allow a different way to engage with your visitors. An attractive video will surely boost the navigation time for your site, so make sure the duration of your video is between 3 to 9 minutes (max).
Yes, I know, producing a high-quality video is a lot of work. So, if you decide to go this way, make sure you do it right? Don’t forget the SEO basics for videos: use a catchy title, a consistent description and links to your business’ main page.
Mobile internet has grown at very high speeds in the last years and the trend shows it will keep on growing. Google is well aware of this fact, so mobile compatibility is a must in 2015. In other words, you will not get good rankings if you don’t make your site mobile-compatible.
Increase your online impact by offline means
You cannot go wrong with offline advertising. This is something most bloggers and new entrepreneurs forget about. When it comes to SEO strategies, offline promotion can be as important as work done online. Make sure your offline campaigns direct your audience to the main sections of your sites. A satisfied client won’t hesitate on recommending your site or your products to other people. Done effectively, a good offline campaign will boost your presence in social media and search engine rankings.
Personally, I also recommend creating a Google Business Profile so your audience can directly post comments and reviews about your site. By doing so, you will get trustworthy feedback and, at the same time, Google will rank your site higher.
Optimize your old content
Over the last few years, a high number of bloggers and publishers embarked themselves into a frantic race to post as many articles as possible. With the new Google’s parameters, that strategy will only take you down on the rankings. Think of terms of quality above quantity.
Do you have an old post that worked very well in the past? Make sure you update it and optimize it to follow the last SEO considerations. Having your content updated to fit the most recent trends is as important as writing new high-quality content.
Turn yourself into your site’s best critic. In 2015, content quality is the king. With that in mind, optimizing your site sometimes will also mean to delete old post for good. Just a piece of advice, when you decide to remove some of your content from your pages, make sure it is also gone from search engines. On previous article, I have shared the right steps to accomplish this and completely remove thin content from search engines’ indexes.
Use variations of your strongest keywords
This part of the algorithms has become very important since 2014. By introducing this change, Google gave publishers a better chance to be among the first places in rankings as long as they know how to use it in their favor. Once you have come up with a list of your strongest keywords, make sure they are evenly spread all over your content. Then add some variations (singular to plural, for example) on the secondary sections of your site. These variations will enforce the main keywords and help you get a good position in rankings. Keep in mind that all of the keywords and their variations must be totally relevant and read naturally for your audience, otherwise you’ll get penalized.
And finally, be patient! Keep Informed & Stay On Top,
Personal experience has shown that in order to see an important increase in traffic and SEO rankings improvements, you should allow your techniques to develop for around 3 months. SEO is all about creativity and patience.
Some final comments
In this article I have covered the main points in order to have your business among the first results. As you develop your content and implement SEO strategies, keep mind what your target readers may search for. All these changes in Google’s algorithms go by the guideline: “If this site is relevant for real people, it is important for us.” Don’t forget that behind all those coding and hundreds of search algorithms there are big teams of smart people that aim to improve the way search engines work.
Another piece of advice I can share with new online entrepreneurs is too create a good relationship with your colleagues. Make sure to collaborate with them so you can promote each other’s content.
Be creative and original. This is what will take you to the first place in search engines. If your feel that your creativity is at a low level, you may consider to have a team to support you in moments like these.