SEO: Make Search Engines Love Your Website
Written by Nazeli Abrahamyan
21 February 2018
Have you ever faced the challenge of promoting your one of a kind website on the web? Yes, website promotion can be a strenuous task, but it’ll be worth the effort once you’re done with it and are ready to reap the fruits of your labor. So it’s high time you explore all the ways you can unlock the full potential of what is called SEO. Ready?
Let’s first define this term that might be new to you, one you will start dealing with from now on. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process focused on growing your website’s visibility on search engines. Although Google is the most popular search engine, it is not the only one. Others like Bing, Yahoo and Baidu are also widely used, but most traffic still comes from Google.
So why is search engine optimization (SEO) considered to be the pillar of successful Google promotion? To make it plain and simple, we will break down all SEO elements as well as point the necessary steps you’ll need to take and delve into some tried-and-tested techniques that will bolster your promotion endeavors.
(Source: TNW News)
WHY IS SEO SO IMPORTANT?
Every marketing manager has his/her eyes set on the No.1 position in search engines. No wonder marketers put so much effort into search engine marketing, especially when you get to know that top 1 result gets 33% of total clicks. Impressive, right?
First things first, you should submit your website to Google via its Search Console. Of course, Google will discover your site even if you don’t submit its URL, but it will take some time. Since every search engine crawls the Internet in order to index pages, submitting your site will speed things up. Moreover, if you make changes on your website, you can just re-submit it. By doing so, you’ll keep Google in the know and get it to index your website’s latest version.
Furthermore, you can also submit your site to Bing and Yahoo because the more your site gets noticed, the merrier!
START A KEYWORD HUNT
Well, you need to make sure people find your business online by ranking well in search results. To accomplish this, you’ll need to focus on search engine marketing, or, to be more precise, your site’s content. Unlock the full potential of words and phrases that best reflect your business. Google collects and analyzes words and phrases on your website, as they tell what your site is about, and then ranks your pages for these keywords.
Think of keywords as a bridge between you and the searchers. Having said that, choosing the right words for your content is a must if you want online audiences to visit your website. Keywords will not only improve your search engine organic rankings but will also be your starting point for search engine advertising. The more you understand the power of keywords, the better you will perform that search engine optimization thing.
(Source: Search Engine Watch)
Let’s explore the world of keywords in detail, shall we?
While doing a keyword research, ponder over these factors:
- the number of searches per month
- how competitive your keyword is.
These two points are crucial and have a direct connection with the structure and length of a keyword.
KEYWORD STRUCTURE AND LENGTH
Speaking of structure, every keyword has a head, a modifier and a tail. To be more exact, a head is, of course, the main word, whereas a modifier is a word you can easily replace if you want to change some aspect of your keyword. Every other word you use to further describe your search represents a tail. Both the modifier and the tail relate to the head.
In this example, the word ‘shoes’ is the head (the center of our search). ‘Discount’ is the modifier, and the word that adds more detail to our head is ‘online’ (the tail).
When it comes to the length of a keyword, we can talk about short-tail, medium-tail and long-tail keywords. Short-tail keywords are simple and consist of only one word, that is, a head. These keywords are very competitive, which makes ranking for them difficult. Medium-tail keywords have 3 to 4 words and are exactly what you need to pursue in order to rank. As you can guess, long-tail keywords entail more than four words. People generally don’t take notice of them due to their low monthly search volume, but you can rank quite easily for them.
For example, the word ‘ring’ is a short-tail keyword, whereas ‘women’s engagement ring’ would be a medium-tail keyword. As for the long-tail keyword, we could use ‘white gold women’s engagement ring’.
You’ve probably noticed that the longer a keyword is, the lower its search volume becomes. Even though medium-tail keywords would be a safe choice in this case, you shouldn’t choose difficult keywords and try to rank for them if your site is not big enough. However, even when you find those suitable keywords, your work isn’t finished. By this, we mean you should start putting them into practice to figure out which keywords perform better and focus on them.
(Source: Smart Insights)
MASTER META TITLES AND META DESCRIPTIONS
When searchers stumble upon your website, it’ll take them two seconds to decide whether to visit it or not. Their choice will depend on meta titles and meta descriptions - two extremely important elements of SEO. These text elements are attributed to your site and provide information about it in the search results. Don’t worry, even if you didn’t know about these elements and are now horrified to see what title and description have been attributed to your site, you can always customize them. That said, you have to make sure your meta titles and meta descriptions are so well-written and informative that they can lure those unfamiliar with your business. One more thing, ensure each page has a unique title and description.
When it comes to writing these elements, keep in mind that you are given a limited amount of space and should use it wisely. Your title should be short, appealing and can go up to 55-60 characters, spaces included. If you use more characters than you’re supposed to, Google will truncate your title, and you don’t want that. Once again, try to understand what your potential visitors might be searching for, as this can help you write the perfect title. Having a title, or a part of it, match a person’s query will result in Google placing your site higher and bolding the matching words.
As for a meta description, you need to write a descriptive and relevant text that’ll present your site/business in the best possible light. After all, this description is your own advertisement. Make sure you use your keyword in the description but don’t overuse it, once is enough. Its length should be around 50–300 characters. Snippets can now be up to 320 characters or even longer in some rare cases. As Moz puts it, the "optimal" length will vary depending on the situation, and your primary goal should be to provide value and drive clicks. Once again, meta titles and meta descriptions should be different for each page, as Google hates duplicate content.
THE ART OF LINK BUILDING
We’ve come to link building - the most challenging part of the search engine strategy. It is what you know as off-site SEO.
Even though link building is of paramount importance for your search engine rankings, you shouldn’t think of that as its only purpose. At the end of the day, you need to get valuable traffic and visitors to your website, and that should be your main goal. Before you set off on your link acquisition journey, arm yourself with creativity and patience. To help you decide how to build links in ways that best reflect your personality and business, we’ll go straight into the basic types of link building.
Non-Editorial Link Building is next in line. These links are unnatural because you make them yourself. To be more precise, these are the links you can leave in the comments on some blogs or forums, or even add to your user profile and/or forum signature. Even though these links can be the easiest to get, you need to be very careful not to be spammy, otherwise, Google will penalize you, and your ranking will be affected.
WRITE TO BE RIGHT
Creating a company blog is one of the most valuable actions you can carry out. If your blog is packed with informative and unique content, you’ll stand greater chances of earning natural links from other sites/blogs and being mentioned on social media. You’ll gain attention and people will share your content with their friends. There’s no better way to build trust with your online audience/potential customers than by building and maintaining a company blog. That said, you need to do your best to get your creative juices flowing and come up with original and relevant content on a weekly basis.
To intensify your link-building efforts, you should also consider becoming a contributing author/guest writer on websites and blogs that are relevant to your niche. You can find the ‘Write for Us’ section on almost every site, and from there you’ll need to check the requirements and read the submission guidelines. Just like with your company blog, you’ll need to pour all your knowledge and creativity into writing quality articles if you want websites that are an authority in your industry to publish your work. Once again, content marketing is key to nailing your search engine and link building strategy.
Furthermore, you can step up your link-building game by writing guest blog posts you’ll then use to outreach to established bloggers in order to have your content published on their sites. It goes without saying that these blog posts should be original, not published elsewhere and about topics you’re an expert at. Do your research, see what their followers are interested in and provide informative and valuable insights for them to share.
(Source: Search Engine Journal)
JUICY TIPS FOR YOUR NEED TO KNOW
Search Engine Marketing Tip 1: While doing your best to earn backlinks, you should make sure these links are ‘dofollow’. We’ve already mentioned that search engines crawl websites. By doing this, they look for external links that point to the site in question, so if a link is ‘dofollow’, search engines will follow it. However, if a link is ‘nofollow’, search engines will ignore it, that is, they will not follow it. ‘Dofollow’ links are very important for both traffic and ranking. You can easily check if a link is ‘dofollow’ or ‘nofollow’ by adding the ‘NoDoFollow’ addon to Firefox or by using the ‘NoFollow’ Chrome extension. ‘Nofollow’ links will appear highlighted in red.
Search Engine Marketing Tip 2: If you want your content to grab your potential visitors’ attention and stand out, you should consider creating infographics. Information graphics are a mixture of text, graphics, statistics and quotations that tell your story in a creative way. Once you understand what your audience wants to read, present your theme in a clear and reader-friendly way by making infographics. Don’t worry, even if you’re not a designer, you can easily create one with the help of various online tools such as DesignBold, Venngage and Canva.
Search Engine Marketing Tip 3: As technologies evolve, you tend to think about SEO on mobile devices as well. As every day more and more people tend to search anything using tablets or mobiles. Mobile optimization takes a look at site design, site structure, page speed, and more to make sure you're not inadvertently turning mobile visitors away. New tendencies of SEO should also take into account intelligent personal assistants, such as Siri, Alexa and others.
The moment your website is all set up, devising a search engine strategy should be your priority. Invest your time in good on-page optimization and immediately after that start building quality links to your website. We strongly advise that you do everything by the book and not take any shortcuts, otherwise, you risk getting a penalty which will undermine all your SEO efforts. Just follow tips and recommendations laid out in this guide, they will surely help you avoid all common SEO mistakes other companies make.
To back you up, Ucraft takes care of your website’s optimization with SEO App. It will ease your life not only in building a professional-looking website within a couple of hours but will also boost your website rankings.
By harnessing all the possibilities Google has to offer and making use of the right tools, you’ll stir both your website and your business in the direction of success via SEO.