SEO In Order of Importance
Site Speed & Security
In todays fast paced world Google is always changing it’s Algorithm or way it ranks websites in the free organic rankings. As more and more people search online then Google needs to make sure the websites suited to their needs and searches are placed at the top of the results, the websites that are more likely to provide what the searcher needs and also provide the best user experience.
For this reason alone site speed now plays a major part in where Google ranks your website, slow websites are more likely to appear lower down and on pages people will never get to. A slow loading website will harm your rankings and business more then you think. Security also plays a factor in rankings. If you collect data like a form or retail online you should have an SSL. Infact as standard nowadays more and more websites even if just an information website are built with SSL included, besides the fact it costs a matter of pounds your website should be SSL enabled already.
If your website is an old one then chances are it was never built with mobile phone sin mind or tablets for that matter. That alone will be harming your rankings. Over 90% of searches are done on a mobile and for this reason alone your website should be mobile responsive, otherwise you are losing a lot of traffic and the traffic you do get will be experiencing a horrible time when trying to browse your website. Most people brows on their phone nowadays or a tablet so you need to make sure your website is usable on these platforms.
Also simply updating your old website may not be enough, there are many mobile devices and browsing platforms like Safari, Google etc and your website needs to work on all these and work fast and efficiently too. Chances are if it’s an old website you will need a new one doing.
Content is king and for SEO this is true. However it needs to be the right content and not just spam. Google likes fresh content so give the crawler a reason to keep coming back to your website. This could be blog articles, news updates or simply refreshing the actual text content of the website. Don’t forget to include your keywords as H2 or H3 tags too for extra SEO boost.
Never use duplicate content as Google doesn’t like this. Avoid replicating the same text on it’s page, even on your metatags like page title and description. Each page should have unique content for text, Alt tags, metatags and images. Ideally you will have done your keyword research so you know what keywords to base your content around, this helps with increasing the weight of your keyword SEO.
Whilst not the be all and end all of SEO these small factors still play a part in factoring in where you rank on search engines. Things like server location, Google Search integration, sitemaps, robot.txt, image file size and internal linking strategy all play a part. Create an XML sitemap, add analytics and use canonical tags for any duplicate content. There are free tools online that you can put your website address in and get a free technical SEO report telling you where to improve your website. Technical SEO Is a Necessity, Not an Option.
The keywords you choose will play a part in where you rank. We could maybe have listed this is top as essentially you need to know what keywords you want to target before you start any SEO on your website. If you choose keywords too competitive then unless you spend hours every day you won’t get rankings. If you choose the wrong keywords then you will get no or little traffic and your SEO will have been a waste of time. There are plenty of free tools to check how many people are searching per month for any keyword you want to check for so there is no excuse for not getting this part right.
Google considers domains registered for longer than a year as more trustworthy. You may not be the first person who registered the domain. And if your domain has been penalized in the past, its history might affect its current rankings. If you try to target a particular local market, it is said that having a domain with a country specific TLD (.pl, .co.uk or .ie for instance) will help to achieve better rankings for that location. Starting with a brand new domain name is not the end of the world though you just need to make sure your SEO is on point from day one and build up trust.
The better quality websites that link to you the better. It is still better to have more links from individual domains rather than from a single domain. Try get links to your website from trustworthy quality websites. Never use link farms or any other spammy method as this will quickly see you penalised by Google. Links from homepages of websites to your site are considered to carry more SEO weight also. Links within text articles are also considered better for SEO too rather then sidebar or footer links. Link building is a long and thankless task but one that is essential to your sites SEO. Always try also to get inbound links from website sin your industry and relevant to your business too.