Search engine optimization (SEO) is a combination of strategy, techniques and tactics used to increase the traffic to a website from search engines by obtaining a higher ranking or position on the search results pages.
Over the years, Google’s search ranking algorithms have constantly changed which affects the results of different search queries. SEO has evolved since the 1990’s, it’s no longer just about keyword stuffing (adding multiple keywords and variations hidden in the metadata in attempts to rank for any and all keywords) and other black-hat techniques.
SEO techniques and tactics can be broadly classified into two different categories: “white hat” and “black hat”. White hat techniques follow Google’s rules and best practices in the Webmasters Guidelines and lend themselves to produce long lasting results. Black hat techniques, on the other hand, attempt to improve ranking by tricking the algorithm with some form of deception.
Search engines can penalize sites that use black hat techniques if they are discovered, either by hurting their search ranking or by completely eliminating the website from the search database.
What Affects Your Search Engine Results Ranking?
It is said that Google takes into account roughly 200 factors from on-page optimization to off-page efforts. These efforts can include:
- Domain authority
- Content quality
- Page speed
- Mobile usability
- User experience
- SSL certificate
- Site structure
- Internal and external links
They also, of course, include the ability to incorporate keywords into the websites content.
With many ranking factors how do you know where to start when creating a search engine optimization strategy? Start with the basics, create a good foundation, and continue to grow from there.
1.) Publishing High Quality Content
Publishing content your audience is interested in will increase the time they spend on your website, lower your bounce rate and increase your click-through rate. High quality content starts with keyword research and is written with your audience in mind.
2.) Make Your Site Mobile Friendly and Optimize Your Page Speed
In 2018, Google announced that they are now indexing domains and their content based on the mobile version of the website. With the mobile-first index waiting a few seconds longer than expected can result in the loss of website visitors and potential revenue or customers.
3.) Secure Your Website
Starting in 2014, Google began to use HTTPS as a ranking factor. SSL certificates are what secure the data and internet traffic on a particular website and move the domain name from HTTP to HTTPS. With a significant push in 2017, Google announced that it would begin to show a warning in the address bar for sites that were not secured with an SSL certificate in its Chrome browser.
4.) Optimize Your On-Page Content
Optimizing your user experience and website content can have a significant impact on your websites position on the search engine results page. On-page optimization includes meta data (page meta description and title tags), heading tags, image alt tags, use of bullets or numbers, and internal content to content page links to name a few.
Interested In Long Lasting Results Utilizing Continued SEO?
With multiple factors impacting your position in the search engine results page, having an agency such as WKH Solutions, that specializes in search engine optimization, takes the time consuming research and maintenance off your hands so that you can continue to connect with your audience and grow your business.