What are search engines looking for with your SEO?
Google reads your site to make sure your content is relevant to the keywords your trying to rank for to what searchers are searching for. The more relevant your content is, plus how new the content is and the most important how much content for that topic you have the higher you rank. That means the more blog posts that relate to your keywords or pages that tell more about the topic the higher you rank. And if people are searching for that topic and clicking on your site then that also will boost your ranking.
2) The quality of your content
Is your content helpful? Is it useful? Do you do videos that are popular? How about the most important do you write for humans. Writing like you talk goes a long way with readers. The more content you write is for the search engines but you need to write for helping the humans. Search engines care more about you helping their users with their questions. And if you have the content that will help them then you will show up first.
Keywords play a factor, but if the user is staying on the site and you are writing for them that is more important.
3) User experience
This very important aspect gets confused with the look. Search engines could care less about your pretty pictures. Seriously, the user experience is how users can navigate and search your site. If your content has links to other pages on your site and users can find what they want to buy easily your SEO score will increase quickly. Stop worrying about the background color and your font choice.
4) Site speed
Mobile first searches are taking over the world. Sorry but that is the way it is. Your site must load fast or it’s not showing up with someone using their phone. End of story.
All of those pictures you wanted on your site takes time to load so they better be optimized correctly or no one is seeing them. Coding of your site is important as well. But pictures will always slow your site down.
Relax I am not saying to not have pictures. Use them for new pages or posts. You do not need 5 pictures on a page.
5) Cross-device compatibility
Now this is where the coding is very important. If your site is old and you haven’t touched it in years guess what, your site is not mobile friendly. Mobile does not mean just phones. It’s also tablets. Your site needs to work on all devices and needs to perform like it’s on the desktop.
6) Internal linking
This is part of the navigation and links inside of your pages and blog posts. Internal linking helps you usher your users to a more helpful content or to related content on your site.
This also helps Google read your site and see’s that you are helping their users answer their questions. This makes your site more trustworthy in the eyes of Google.
This takes work. Your site authority does not happen overnight, it does not happen just because you made a blog post. This one happens when your users keep coming back, you get new users coming to your site when search engines see your content as helping users. When all of these factors are met that will raise your site Authority.
This is where your email marketing, social media accounts play a huge factor. You want a nice split of new and returning users coming from all avenues to make you an authority on the topic of your site.
More content that is helpful to users is the key here. Which means you need to stay consistent with publishing your content.
8) Meta descriptions and title tags
Meta Descriptions and title tags show up on the search results page. These are fairly important to do correctly as these will help steer people to your site and as well helps you rank for the right searches.
There is a strict formula for writing these. Meta descriptions need to be 156 characters and must have your keyword present in it. It also must describe the page or post that the reader is going to go into. I can not stress this enough it needs to describe the article that the reader is going into.
9) Schema markup
This HTML coding but it’s needed. This is basically some pretty tags around some tag to tell search engines what type of business or event you are. You can check it out and try it out yourself here at schema.org.
10) Properly tagged images
This one I catch people NOT doing and it’s the easiest thing to do. Especially if you are on WordPress. TILE AND DESCRIBE YOUR PICTURES PEOPLE. Same as your posts, titles at least 70 characters descriptions 150. If your putting them on a page or blog post should be pretty quick to figure it out don’t you think?
If someone is using screen reader software then they would like to know what the image is about. Wouldn’t you? It takes less time to do this step then it is to figure out whats for dinner.
11) Domain names
Ok. So here is the deal, you do not need www. No, you are not needing to buy www.yoursitename.com your server should be able to make it switch from www.yoursitename.com to yoursitename.com. IF NOT your server is not doing it right which means you are losing on out on SEO score points. Plus it’s just bad form since people are getting errors going to your site.
Your domain name should be relevant to the content on your site. Which means a keyword needs to be in there. The big thing is making it easy for people to remember your site name and easy to type. Nobody remembers a 200 character website name. And these days no one types that many letters unless they are on Facebook.
12) Headlines and permalinks
The headlines for your articles should be under 55 characters to ensure their complete visibility in SERPs. Make sure they’re snappy, attractive and as descriptive as possible. Dont clickbait people, you do not want to clean that Facebook mess up.
You want comments. Bad, Good which ever hear what your people are saying. You shut them down they will find a place to vent at you. Plus with comments you can interact with them (even the grammer police) and better yourself or fix an issue with the site.
Careful though the trolls like cannon fodder so rule number one don’t feed the trolls. That means grammer police as well. Just go on with your life.
16) Local SEO
Now if your not doing this then you better start. Like yesterday. I mean it. Those people on their phones are looking for near me or kitty kat support groups Washington, D.C. and if your sitting right across the street from them they wont see you.
It only takes a couple of mineuts to create a Google My Business account.
Do you need to use all of them? No? Just pick one or two should be sufficant. This is a quick and easy way to boost your SEO score in a hurry. But, you still need to make sure that your content is still constant and set up correctly to make sure those users will come to your site.
You can also use ads to get your content out in front of new users with almost pinpoint accrucy.
What are search engines NOT looking for with your SEO?
You want to make sure no one finds your site do these steps. If your site is not showing where you think it should you may want to read this list and fix whats broken. Google does not play when it levy’s a penalty.
1) Keyword stuffing
This is when you over use a keyword in a page or post. This worked in the past but will not work now. With WordPress there are plugins to help you use your keywords correctly.
2) Link buying or excessive link exchanging
Link building takes work and time. Anyone or any site that offeres you high quality links to boost you to number 1will tank your site faster than you not paying your hosting bill. Link building isn’t even that high on the SEO grading scale anymore so stop.
3) Annoying ads
STOP WITH THE POP UP ADS!!!! Not only do these piss everyone off, Google hates it as well.
4) Mobile app interstitials
If you have a full screen ad telling people that they need to download your app Google will kindly hide your site from everyone.
5) Duplicated content
Duplicate content, I don’t know why this is hard for people to get. If you have two sites and you want to be lazy and use the posts from one site on the other, the site that your putting the old posts on will not be ranked in Google. End of stroy. Don’t even argue with me about it. New sites mean new content.
6) Hidden text and links
This is just as bad as pop ups. If your one of these people that need to have a link hidden or a hidden text for the special customers then your site deservs the penalty from Google.
If you have any questions leave a comment or contact me here. Other than that have fun fixing your pages SEO and don’t forget to blog.