Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is necessary for any online marketing effort. Proper implementation can lead to excellent results, with a higher ranking on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs) leading to an increase in website traffic, visitors and sales.
11 factors that affect on-page and off-page SEO and how they can impact your search engine rankings.
Title Tags. Title Tags tell the search engines and website visitors what the page is about. A Title Tag should be on every page of your website, be 70 words or less, and include the keyword or key phrase for which you want to rank.
Meta description. Whether or not a Meta Description is needed is debated among SEO experts. However, we recommend including it on every page to explain the web page. Include the keyword or phrase within this description too.
Create sub-headings. These make your content easier to read and help improve your search engine rankings. You can use them to add additional keywords and key phrases to your content and tell the search engines that they are important to your content.
Build internal links. This technique can be powerful and may be strong enough to rank individual pages without any external (off-page) SEO. Include a link in your shorter articles to a longer, more authoritative piece of content to help the longer content rank higher.
Use image name and ALT tags. Give each image on your website a name that includes your chosen keyword. When indexing the page, the search engines may rank these images when people search for that particular keyword.
Avoid over-optimizing. When creating the content for your website, it’s important not to over-optimize the content. This means that it will benefit you to sparingly use the primary keyword while including related keywords and phrases. You may be able to rank better for these other keywords as well.
Make your website mobile-friendly. These days, most searches and social media traffic come from mobile devices. So, your website must work properly on mobile. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, this will impact the user experience and ranking signals negatively.
Publish articles/blogs to your website. Use long-form content, considered 1200 words or more. Choose topics within the niche you want to rank for.
You must build trust. Trust has become an important ranking factor. It shows the search engines that what you say is accurate and that visitors can trust your content. To develop trust, build high-quality backlinks from other trusted sources, and ensure that your content is high quality and accurate.
Build backlinks. Most SEO experts gain backlinks by building relationships with other websites. This may be writing guest blog posts, or simply reaching out to ask for a reciprocal link or link to an article on your site. It’s crucial to avoid spamming your links or building them too quickly. This could result in your website becoming de-indexed, which is essentially being banned from the search engines.
Get social signals. According to some SEO experts, getting likes and shares from social media may impact your search engine rankings. So, it makes sense to create the most valuable content you can and share it on your social media accounts where others can like and share it.
Now that you know some of the on-page and off-page factors that affect your SEO efforts, you can make necessary changes to your website, leading to a boost in rankings and sales.
Just remember that SEO takes time to work. It won’t happen overnight and may take many months for you to see the fruits of your labor. However, this effort will be worth it once you’re continuously getting targeted traffic from the search engines, with the sales that come with it!
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Wendy Navarro is the Founder and CEO of NAVARRO CREATIVE GROUP, a marketing agency that helps businesses across a variety of market sectors to build their digital presence by providing website design, social media marketing, and consulting services.