Most webmasters and site owners are always talking about landing on the first page of query results. What is all the fuss about anyway?
So what if a website appears in the second or third page? The users can still find it, right? All they have to do is browse through the succeeding result pages.
Truthfully, this is not usually the case. How sure am I of this? Check out this statistics to know.
“Around 75% of people looking for information through search engines never go beyond the first page of the results. “
Considering this whopping figure, it becomes clear that you can obtain huge traffic by landing on the top search engine result positions (SERPs). The big question is, “How?”
The key is to practise search engine optimisation (SEO), which encompasses the following strategies.
1. Combine SEO with other online marketing methods such as branding and email marketing. By overlapping your practices, you can take full advantage of the Web’s offers.
2. Generate credible links meant specifically for your target audience and not for the spiders.
3. Validate your website’s codes for easy crawling and indexing.
4. Create a sitemap to help the users and search algorithms find your site’s available pages.
5. Optimise your social pages, especially now that Google includes its search results with personalised queries (involving content that many individuals in networking sites favour).
6. Optimise Rich Snippets through markup formats such as RDFa, microdata, and microformat. Snippets are generally brief excerpts of text information, which describes site content on SERPs.
7. Create footer links for essential pages, such as “About Us” or “Sitemap”, on your site rather than link to several inner pages.
8. Make use of different content such as infographics (information presented through graphs), videos, and photos for visual appeal. While doing so, do not forget to add captions and tags to help these elements rank in image and video searches.
9. Use Google AdWords or Insights for Search to find out which niche-related keywords are highly popular or commonly researched.
10. Take advantage of Google Analytics, as well as tools from other companies, to determine the effectiveness of your current SEO strategies.
11. Utilise Google Trends to know the recent changes and patterns of traffic generation in various markets.
12. Associate your new product, especially if not too many people are familiar with it or if not too many merchandise are similar to it, with related keywords.
Let us say that you are launching a unique invention. When you create content for it, do not forget to integrate its description with a general term (your main keyword).
13. Apply appropriate link building methods, focusing more on earning backlinks from high-ranking and authoritative websites in your niche. With the release of Google Panda and Penguin updates (which, generally involves algorithm changes and data refreshes), it is all about the quality of your links and not about the amount you have acquired.
14. Avoid placing your homepage with Flash graphics because all the spiders will see is a blank page. Instead, put calls to action and user forms (if you have any) here.
15. Come up with simple questions for your surveys or polls unless you want several users to leave your site because of confusion.
16. Create an “About Us” page, which contains your main keywords and tackles your website’s theme. It must also be engaging to encourage the viewers to explore the inner pages.
17. Boost user experience through a site layout and design that fits most computer screen sizes and resolution. You must also consider a good combination of text font and colour, page background, and scroll systems.
18. Get listed on Google+ Local, especially if you are catering to a specific area. Then, add videos and photos to optimise your listing.
19. Include your targeted location in the title tags, place landmark caption in photos, and write geographic descriptions for videos.
20. Place the most important links on top to ensure that the users click on them first.
21. Use 301 Redirect to navigate old pages to new ones, especially those that tackle topic updates (like the different versions of Google Panda updates).
22. Produce informative yet engaging content, and do not forget relevancy.
23. Update your posts regularly given that the Web is always progressing.
24. Come up with catchy and interesting titles that will leave your audience wanting to know more. Additionally, remember to limit the length to 65 characters or less than 12 words.
25. Place the keyword or key phrase at the beginning or middle of the page title to make it look better when shown in search results.
26. Make a descriptive and appealing meta description, and do not forget to integrate your targeted key phrase.
27. Create internal links. As Google Webmaster Guidelines state, “Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link”.
28. Generate content that your target readers will want to read and share on their social networking pages.
29. Inspect your website for broken links using tools like validator.w3.org, addme.com, iwebtool.com.
30. Customise your site’s 404-error page to make it less frustrating for the users that they have not obtained the information they need. You can also redirect them to another page with similar topic.
31. Use modifiers to make your keywords more specific and less competitive. This element generally consists of quality (e.g. best restaurants), price (e.g. cheap laptops), or geographic (e.g. London hotels) types.
32. Avoid buying links and other link schemes.
33. Limit the number of images on a webpage. If you want to add several pictures, you can use CSS sprites.
34. Make a list of primary, secondary, and tertiary keywords.
35. Build links from one inner page to another using an anchor text, which usually consists of a keyword.
36. Create a descriptive URL and separate the words (after your domain name) with a hyphen or underscore to make it look like this – http://socialwebqanda.com/write-for-us/ (for example).
37. Write for other bloggers and comment on other blog posts, particularly those that are relevant to your niche.
38. Engage in social media activities such as blogging, networking, photo sharing, and video posting.
39. Come up with original articles rather than duplicate other people’s content.
40. Prevent other website owners from copying your work by using canonicalization.
41. Enhance your website’s layout or architecture by placing certain elements (e.g. sitemap, toolbar, header, footer, adverts, etc.) strategically.
42. Integrate a breadcrumb trail to help the users navigate easily to the pages they have previously viewed.
43. Create and submit a sitemap to Google for easy crawling and indexing.
44. Add your social media activities with SEO strategies.
45. Promote through your networking pages creatively.
46. Diversify your anchor texts, links, titles, and meta descriptions.
47. Produce glossary and FAQs pages on your site. These serve as unique content while encouraging internal linking.
48. Make your site compatible with mobile phone browsers, especially since plenty of users access the Web through their smartphones and other mobile devices.
49. Keep up with your competitors by checking out their websites. Then, determine how you can do better.
50. Optimise your pages for both search engines and your target audience.
These strategies are quite plenty. What is more, they can be overwhelming, especially if you are new to SEO. However, this should not intimidate you. If you find it hard to take all these tips in, you can start slowly. And, once you have considerable knowledge and expertise, you can work on advance methods for better results.