In this digital age, things change at a faster rate than we can imagine. Developments in SEO are no exception; so, what are the key elements to consider about SEO in 2020?
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) refers to a process of optimizing a website to easily be discovered organically in search engine results pages (SERPs). Essentially, it’s a strategy employed to get organic traffic to a website by achieving higher rankings in search engines results pages.
Achieving higher rankings on search engine results pages requires a combination of two factors, namely onsite SEO and offsite SEO. These two factors work hand in hand to attain the desired goal. It’s important to note that offsite work won’t do much without applying the basics of onsite and vice versa. In this series of articles, we’re going to touch all the essential areas for your SEO success, with part one focusing on onsite SEO, while part two will focus on offsite SEO.
Onsite SEO is the process of optimising web pages to achieve higher rankings in search engine results and get organic traffic to your site. The practice is centered around the following factors.
- Meta Titles
- Meta Descriptions
- Headlines and Header tag
- Image Optimisation
- Well-optimised content
- User Engagement
Meta titles – These are placed on the head section of the HTML files of each webpage or using plugins on CMS websites. Using targeted keywords on the meta tags is the strongest signal for relevance on searches. Search engines use meta tags to display the main titles for a site. Using relevant keywords with sufficient search volumes is preferable but avoid keyword stuffing in title tags as this may have negative implications for ranking in SERPs.
Meta Descriptions – Displayed just below the meta title tag on search engine results pages. Including relevant keywords with sufficient search volumes is one of the strongest signals for relevance and is a great strategy to increase the number of clicks, improve clickthrough rate and influence the perception of the search user about your website.
Headlines and Header Tags – Blog headlines must generate user interest. Choosing and writing compelling headlines and subheadings may impact clickthrough rates and increase dwell time on your blog. Moreover, using the right HTML header tags (H1 – H6) determines the flow of your content and assists in keeping the user engaged. While the above example emphasizes the use of headings in blog content, the same applies to landing pages for various products and services you may offer. These signals all influence overall website rankings.
Image optimization – In general, search engines cannot understand images unless given the meaning and relevance using their alt text, descriptions and captions. So as a general practice, optimize every image on your website using alt text. More so, the visual impact of an image cannot be disregarded. High quality, well-composed images make a website more attractive. However, keep in mind that large image files can adversely affect loading speed of a website. Compressing images (reducing the file size) is a requisite.
Keywords – This is arguably the foundation of SEO and is usually the most important element considered by most search marketers. Keywords must be researched thoroughly and with a proper understanding of user search intent. Keywords also need to be implemented strategically to enhance the site’s visibility while mitigating the possibility of being penalised by search engines. Below is a summary of some of the key factors to understand about using keywords on a website to succeed.
- Avoid keyword stuffing – Do away with the old SEO style of listing your keywords on webpages as this may adversely affect your rankings
- Understand that keyword frequency is not stuffing – Frequency is still a great strategy for search engines to index your website but use your target keyword in moderation
- Include your target keywords in Headings, title tags and descriptions, but remember, it’s all about balance and requires a deft hand.
- Include keywords in URLs
- Avoid keyword cannibalisation – overusing your target keyword on multiple pages may have a negative outcome
- Include synonyms to your main keywords as well
Writing optimized Content – Write content with the user and search engines in mind. Focusing on search user intent is key. The following is important for your rankings.
- Write original content
- Go for length – Google looks for informative pages to rank. The longer the content, the more ground one covers, but make sure the information is of a high quality
- Update your content frequently
- Audit your content – ensure the content is still accurate, relevant and serving its purpose
Internal linking – pass trust across pages within your website by linking from one page to another. This also provides an opportunity to keep users engaged by linking to interesting related content.
User Engagement – the main aim is to increase dwell time. This is achieved through better site speed, improved user experience, writing relevant and exciting content among other factors.
Look out for part two in this series where I’ll walk you through the most important elements of offsite SEO optimization. If you’re part of a business looking for an agency with the skill and experience to implement an effective SEO campaign that will get you the results you need, consider Let’s Go Media’s SEO services as an option, and contact us on the form below. Invest in the future of your company’s online presence, today.