Search engine optimization (SEO) continues to evolve with each passing year. A tactic that may have worked last year could offer little-to-no value this year — or worse, it may have a negative impact on your site’s search ranking.
This is why it’s paramount that webmasters plan their SEO strategy in advance, using the latest, “Google-safe” tactics.
The first step in planning an SEO strategy is keyword research. In order words, for which keywords are you hoping to rank? You may already have a general idea of some basic keywords, but you need more information on them, such as search volume, competition, related keywords, etc. Google’s Adwords Keyword Planner Tool is an excellent (and free) tool for this purpose. As long as you have an Adwords account, you can use the tool to research keywords for your SEO strategy.
Next, think about which keywords you wish to use as anchor text for your site’s backlinks. In the past, it wasn’t uncommon for webmasters to use the same anchor text over and over, as this encouraged higher rankings for the respective keyword. But Google along with the other major search engines now place an emphasis on diversified anchor text. So instead of using a single anchor text keyword, use several different keywords along with multiple variations of those keywords. Remember, your backlink portfolio should look natural and not artificial.
When designing your website, there are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, it should be compatible on both desktop and mobile devices. Responsive Web Design (RWD) is the preferred configuration for creating smartphone-optimized websites, as it uses proportion-based grids and CSS3 media queries to automatically adjust the website’s design to fit the user’s device. Google has said that mobile-friendly websites will rank higher in its mobile search index than non-mobile websites.
Another essential step in planning an SEO strategy is to optimize your website’s load times. Slow-loading websites may suffer from a higher bounce rate, which in turn may negative impact its search ranking. You can speed up your website by using a Content Deliver Network (CDN), enabling browser caching, enabling GZIP compression, optimizing images, and consolidating CSS files.
Content and SEO go hand in hand. By creating high-quality content that’s interesting and relevant to your target demographic, you’ll attract backlinks naturally, without having to manually create them. For this reason, it’s recommended that you have a sound strategy in place for creating web content. A simple and effective solution is to launch a blog and attach it to your website. You can then schedule posts to be published every couple of days, boosting your site’s authority while attracting new backlinks in the process.
Have any other SEO tips that you would like to share with our readers? Let us know in the comments section below!
Image attribution: https://www.flickr.com/photos/seoplanter/