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Basic Guidelines for Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

shutterstock_245542387Are you still using the same SEO tactics as last year? It might be time for some changes. Here are some basic SEO guidelines:

Keyword research

The fundamentals of doing keywords research have not changed over the years. You should still look for keywords and phrases that prospective customers are using to search for your products and services. Use tools like Ubersuggest, SEMrush and Google’s Keyword Planner to look for popular keywords that are not very competitive.

You should also look at your competitor’s websites to see which keywords they are targeting. All these strategies are effective in finding keywords that are relevant. Google has started looking at search queries in terms of user intent, not just keywords.

What does that mean in terms of keyword research? It means that you should focus on finding relevant themes and topics to build your content. Make sure that you consider user needs instead of just writing for search engines.

On-page SEO

Aside from keywords, which other on-page SEO should you focus on?

  • Word count – Google prefers longer and comprehensive content. This means that instead of writing short pieces that barely scratch the surface of your topic, you should write comprehensive and exhaustive pieces.
  • Relevant and proof terms – Using these terms shows Google that you are covering the topic exhaustively. Proof terms must be used for certain topics: for instance, when talking about SEO, the term ‘search’ must be included. Relevant terms on the topic SEO include ‘rankings’ and ‘Google’.
  • Internal links – the number of internal links used does not matter. What matters is the optimization of your overall link structure. The links should guide a user through your content optimally.

Site-wide SEO

Making sure that each page is well optimized is important. However, if you do not use site-wide SEO, your on-page SEO will not do much good. Here are the site-wide SEO elements that will improve your ranking:

  • Proper content structure – structure your content logically for the benefit of the user. Proper structure also improves your rankings. You can provide optimal structure by using bullets, menus, buttons, and internal links.
  • Quick loading times – your website should load quickly on all devices including mobile devices. If it loads slowly, users will abandon it in favor of faster websites.
  • Mobile-friendly – this is a very important ranking factor. Make sure that your site has a responsive design or have a mobile app made.

Mobile SEO

It is no longer enough to optimize websites for desktop users while ignoring mobile users. In fact, according to Google, more people search from their mobile devices than from desktops. Here are the things that matter in mobile SEO.

  • Word count – when it comes to mobile users, the content needs to be shorter to encourage quick skimming.
  • Site speed and file size – mobile sites need to load faster than desktop sites. Moreover, files should be smaller than desktop files to boost site speed.