SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can be a complex business with hundreds of factors playing a part in your overall ranking success in Google. As search algorithms become more sophisticated and better able to determine what content is served to the searcher, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the game. With so many billions of pages in Google’s search index, how can we ever hope to compete with any success?
Here are a few tips to set you on your way to better search rankings in Google.
In the old days, we used to obsess over our search engine rankings, constantly searching for ourselves or our clients in Google (or Alta Vista if you want to go back even further) and getting very upset if we didn’t appear or dropped had a few places. These days are gone, so leave these practices in the past. Not only will you spend little time doing your proper job as you obsess over your position, your time is better spent looking at how much organic traffic your target landing page is generating using Google Analytics.
The bottom line is generating relevant traffic to your landing page, and if you are seeing more traffic heading to your landing pages, then you know you are winning at that goal. The truth is that rankings are not fixed anymore. What we see when we perform the same search will be different because our search histories, our locations, and our connections, are very different. How we search is becoming increasingly more personalized and the way we measure our success should reflect that.
Aim to use an SEO friendly CMS like WordPress, which is SEO friendly right out of the box. There are all sorts of plugins such as Yoast, which makes it very easy to complete SEO in WordPress as long as you have a good, fast, reliable hosting service (like the one provided by the Onyx team, for example). Using the aforementioned, you’ll have everything you need to run successful SEO campaigns. Google loves fast websites so make sure performance is quick if you want an extra boost from Google.
Yes, there are hundreds of factors that affect your rankings and a lot of them are on page (the actual content on your page and in your code) but the 80/20 rule is at play here and only a few things have the majority of that effect. Probably the most important thing to do is to make sure that your content is not overtly written to appeal to the search engine, but rather, simply on-topic and designed to appeal to your visitor.
Get your core keyword in your Title tag; The HTML title tag is in the header part of your page code, along with the now defunct keyword tag and the still relevant, although not for ranking, description tag). Your header tag should be no longer than 55 characters, carry your most important keywords towards the front and make complete sense to the reader.