Category: SEO Basics

35 Essential SEO Strategies to Start as Soon as Possible

35 Essential SEO Strategies to Start as Soon as Possible

By now, there are literally hundreds of ways to optimize your pages to search engines. Even though SEO strategies are always changing, and Google’s first page is more disputed every day, the main essential SEO good practices are easy to implement.

Think about it like building a castle: each little brick adds to the end result. However, before starting to think about the details, it is essential to be sure you have a good foundation.

With this in mind, we listed all the basics and essential SEO tips and briefly explained each one of them to ensure you are on the right track.

Essential SEO: Basics

1. Generate a Sitemap

The sitemap’s is an essential SEO strategy to show Google’s crawlers which pages on your site are essential and give google valuable information, such as how frequently they are updated and any other language versions available. According to Gary Illyes, XML Sitemaps are the second most relevant Discovery option for Googlebot after hyperlinks and previously discovered URLs.

2. Index Your Website

You need to make sure that Google can index your website because you are entirely invisible online if it can’t. You won’t be visible on search results or get any organic traffic. So double-check if your main pages can be indexed and save yourself from future issues.

3. Essential SEO Plugin for WordPress

You need to install an SEO plugin if you are using WordPress as your CMS to implement features that you need to optimize your website more effectively. But remember: SEO plugins can’t do all the work alone; you need to produce content with relevance and quality.

You can install SEO plugins to assist you with: keywords implementation, internal linking, meta description, etc.

4. Set Up Google Analytics

Google Analytics provides the most valuable information for website management. How would you know what needs improve without the right information?

With Google Analytics you can find out how people found your website, what’s the users’ behavior once they arrive on your site, where they click, how much time they spend on it, you can track the conversions rate, and on top of everything, Google Analytics is a free tool!

Essential SEO: Keyword Analysis

5. Keyword Map

It’s essential to map your target keywords on your website and recognize gaps on the pages. The keyword mapping goal is to help you discover where to optimize and improve to bring more traffic and leads. With a keyword mapping, you will know if you are targetting the correct pages with the appropriate keywords, allowing you to make adjustments to boost your strategy!

6. Pillar Page Keywords

Pillar Page Keywords are the ones that bring money to your website. They attract potential customers and increase your conversions. You need to know your money keywords!

7. Know Your Competitors

A good, quick, and straightforward way to start your keyword research is to discover which keywords your competitors are using that could work for you. The SEMrush Domain Overview tool is a great tool for this task. This data will allow you to identify how competitive each term is, and who is competing with you for the same keyword space.

8. Search Intent

You need to match your content to the searcher’s intent. It’s fundamental to take the time to analyze what pages are ranking for your target keywords and make sure that the content and the search intent are a match.

9. Understand What People are Asking

It is essential to know what your target audience is asking on search engines after you understand what they are looking for, you can build your website’s content answering those questions and bring more traffic! The website Answer the Public is an excellent tool that allows you to enter a keyword and discover what people ask about it; they provide questions, prepositions, comparisons, and alphabetical.

10. Long-tail Keywords

Long-tail keywords have lower volume than head terms, but they are more specific and focus on a niche. This kind of keywords is much easier to rank because the competition for Google results is smaller, so they become essential for any SEO strategy. By concentrating on long-tail keywords, you will gain traffic and increase your conversions because the customer who comes to your website using those terms is more likely to make a conversion.

11. Popular Keywords Ranking

It’s important to understand from the very beginning to avoid frustration, that is very difficult for new websites to rank for popular and high-volume keywords. That happens because new websites don’t have much site authority, which is a ranking factor, and because popular keywords have a tough competition. In short, if you want to rank your new website on the first page of Google, you should start focusing on long-tail keywords and work on your content, hard work pays off!

Essential SEO: Technical SEO

12. Website Speed

Google’s algorithm judges websites based on the users’ experience. As a matter of fact, in 2021, Google confirmed that the user’s experience will have a greater impact on ranking factors. One factor that influences this experience is the loading page speed. The faster your website loads, the better the user’s experience will be.  So you must guarantee that your website loads fast because users won’t wait for slow loading websites.

13. Mobile-Friendly Website

Google announced that by September 2020, all websites will be mobile-first indexed. This change came because most of the web searches come from a mobile device, and this initiative’s goal is to improve the user experience on mobile devices. It’s highly recommended that you make your website mobile-friendly because if Google can’t access your site with the mobile-crawler, your web pages indexing and rankings will get a negative impact.

14. Broken Internal and Outbound Links

Malfunctioning links on your website harm the user experience. In addition, broken links can ruin your ranking on search engines, your revenue, and bounce rates. However, this is a simple fix: you need to run a test on your website, identify the broken links, and update them!

15. Structured Data

Structured data is fundamental in SEO. It makes a lot easier for search engines to see what your website is about to show it to the correct users. Besides, it will make your description of search results seem more accurate and more likely for customers to visit your website, increasing your rankings. If you are not using structured data yet, take a look at Schema.org to improve your website. They have multiple formats for structure data, such as articles, people, organizations, local businesses, etc.

16. Duplicate Versions of Your Website

It is essential for SEO that all versions of your website on Google’s index redirect to a single one. It means that, for example, “https://www.domain.com“, “https://domain.com” and “http://domain.com” should all 301 redirect to the main one, especially if they are leading to different versions. A 301 redirect is important to redirect permanently users and search engines to a new URL.

17. SEO-Friendly URL

SEO friendly URLs are the ones created to please the needs of users and search engines. It’s essential to give special attention to your URLs because search engines use your web page’s URL to understand your content.

18. 302 Redirects

A 301 redirect tells search engines that a website or webpage is permanently removed. A 302 redirect sends the message to search engines that a website or webpage has been temporarily moved. It’s not unusual to find 302 redirects being used in place of 301s, so if you are using a 302 redirect on a page or site that is not expected to return, it needs to be updated to a 301 redirect. When used properly, a 302 redirect will not hurt your SEO efforts.

19. Crawl errors

Crawl errors happen when a search engine can not reach your website. It is possible to use Google Search Console to identify any crawl errors that may be affecting your website. You must take the time to try to fix any crawl errors you may find, and explore the cause of excluded URLs in more detail.

20. Make sure you are using HTTPS

If your website is still running on HTTP, you probably want to change it to HTTPS as soon as possible. HTTPS is much safer, and Google has been using it as a ranking signal since 2014.

21. HTTP Links on HTTPS Pages

Even though most of the websites already relocated to HTTPS, it’s common to find internal links that lead to HTTP pages. If you have only a few incorrect links, you can fix them manually, but if it is a site-wide problem, you will need to update your templates or run a test on your website and correct it on the database.

22. Page Depth 

Users should not have to go too deep in your website to get where they want. If it happens, it shows that your website is not being as straightforward as you might want it to, and search engines might not find it. Besides, quickly reached pages are more relevant, as it shows the importance of that content.

23. Redirect Chains and Loops

A redirection chain happens where there are multiple redirects between an initial URL and the destination URL. When there is a redirect link that leads to a previous URL, it’s called a loop. These events make your website crawl-unfriendly, difficult the user’s experience, and decrease your rankings.

Essential SEO: On-page SEO & Content

24. Pay attention to the H1 tags

The header 1 (or H1 tag) is crucial to help users and search engines understand the main subject of each page. Having too many H1 tags can signify a low content structure and weaken keyword associations with the page. On the other hand, the H1 title also shouldn’t be empty or missing, so double-check if everything is alright before publishing any new page.

25. Improve your page’s meta tags

Your site’s meta title and description fields are also known as meta tags. They are so essential to SEO because they show Google what your page is about. The meta title is the first thing that a search engine spider uses to crawl your page. For this reason, it is good to use head keywords and action words. Meta descriptions can also affect your website’s ranking, despite Google’s announcement that it doesn’t directly impact SEO. In any case, it’s always good to use calls-to-action (CTA’s), include your unique selling points (USPs), and explore your audience interests.

26. Audit your content periodically

It is important to analyze your website’s content to decide what should be updated, redirected, or even deleted. Regularly auditing and pruning the content can improve your website performance by reducing the number of low-quality pages. Moreover, having many low-value-add URLs can negatively affect a site’s crawling and indexing. You can use Google Analytics to see which pages have no meaningful traffic or zero followed backlinks to find which pages need attention (or deletion).

27. Optimize images

The images on you pages are also an essential part of any SEO Strategy. There are many tips on this topic, which we already explored on this blog post, but in short: use good alt text, choose wisely the image format, name your file properly and be sure it is mobile friendly.

28. Internal linking

Internal links are one of the most basic and essential SEO tips in the book. It connects your content and gives Google an idea of your website’s structure. When a page of your website links to another page on your website, it also helps to establish hierarchy, giving the most important pages and posts more link value.

29. Avoid keyword cannibalization

When there are too many identical or similar keywords throughout different pages of your website, search engines like Google can’t determine which content to rank higher. Search [your domain] + [keyword] to see if it is happening. Merging similar content, deleting pages you don’t want to rank anymore, or removing the keywords from some pages can help you solve this matter.

30. Resolve orphan pages

Pages that are not linked from any other page of your website are called “orphan pages”. They aren’t indexed and cannot be found by search engine crawlers. Every now and then, remember to get a full list of your current website pages, see which pages don’t have internal links, and correct them.

31. Keep your content updated

If you’ve been producing content for a long time or if your site hasn’t been updated recently, remember to check if your content still makes sense – especially the pages that receive the most traffic. Making a simple update can increase your retention rate and help you boost your post again.

Essential SEO: Off-page SEO

32. Competitive link analysis

Knowing your competitor’s backlinks is a powerful way to see what they’re doing for SEO. There are many different ways of link building, such as blog commenting, directory links, press releases, interviews, resource pages, guest posting sites, sites authoritative in their niche, publications that are experts in their field or even high-level news publications. There are many online tools to help you keep track of your competitor’s backlinks, both free and paid options.

33. Turn unlinked mentions into links

Unlinked mentions are online citations of your brand that don’t link back to your site. Finding them and converting those mentions to links is a simple way to get a bunch of new backlinks a little faster. Use google search, find the mentions and ask the authors to turn it into a link.

34. Link building

Link building is a essential part of any SEO strategy. Backlinks to your website indicate to search engines that your website is trustworthy and that your content is worth linking. Therefore, build internal links, share your content on social media, be a guest blogger, start to spread your domain across the web.

35. Set up and optimize Google My Business

Beyond being one more link building opportunity, Google My Business is also an excellent tool for driving traffic to your website. We already have a full post blog about this, so click here to learn how to improve your local SEO strategy.

Successful SEO doesn’t happen overnight. The sooner you start, the sooner you’ll see the results. So use this post as a checklist and start getting more traffic day after day.

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5 Tips on Image SEO: How to Optimize Images For SEO

5 Tips on Image SEO: How to Optimize Images For SEO

We at DigiFlow prepared these 5 steps Image SEO tutorial with some fundamental tips that you must pay attention to when optimizing your images. Follow this guide will help you improve your rankings, site speed, and decrease your bounce rate.

1. Alt Text

For a good alt text, you need to be accurate and concise. Avoid lengthy descriptions, keep your alt texts short, and describe the image accurately, to help Google understand its value. Also, you don’t need to state that this is an image on the alt text, Google can understand that. Don’t stuff your alt text with keywords, choose only the essentials.

2. Image Format

When it comes to image optimization for SEO, the best image formats are JPEG, PNG, and WebP. Use JPEG for large images; you’ll get great results with small file sizes. Choose PNG for line drawings and texts. Or go with WebP to get high-quality results with smaller file sizes.

3. SEO Image File Name

An essential technique for image SEO is to optimize the image file names. Create descriptive names with proper keywords. Customize the file names to help Google and search engines understand your images and improve your SEO value.

Keep your filenames clear, descriptive, and don’t stuff with keywords.
Good: dog-labrador.jpg
Bad: dog-breeds-dogs-labrador-puppies.jpg

4. Image Uniqueness

In terms of image SEO, uniqueness is an essential factor for optimization, and for that, you got two options: stock images or creating your visual content. Stock images are faster and more practical, but for better ranking on SEO, it is preferable to create your own images.

5. Mobile-Friendly SEO Image

Google prioritizes the experience of mobile users. Your images must be responsive to devices, with different resolutions, screen sizes, and other features. It means that your SEO images must work fine on the various devices that your users access your website or blog.

Are you ready to see your page speed load and rankings improved with our Image SEO Optimization tips?

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