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Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization
 
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of enhancing the visibility of a website on search engine results pages (SERPs) when someone is searching for relevant information on search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo etc. SEO helps a website to obtain high-ranking and thus increases the number of visitors to that website naturally. SEO makes a site more accessible to search engines and makes the site found by search engines. When a user tries to find information online, it is a common practice that sites which appear first are approached first. The higher the rank of a site on SERPs, the greater the chances for direct traffic, and this is where exactly SEO plays its role. The goal of search engine optimization provides a memorable and smooth experience for the user and be recognized by search engines for relevant searches.

What Do Search Engines Need?

There are a ton of components that search engines look for in a website to answer a query. Among many other elements such as title tags, keywords, internal link structure, the architecture of the site, image tags etc., here are what they consider and what they don’t before the search engines opt to list out a website for relevant searches.

How Do Search Engines Work?

The process of searching involves four stages:
  • Crawling
  • Indexing
  • Algorithms
  • Ranking

1. Crawling

Search to answer a query starts with “crawling” into different websites for relevant information. The search engine scans the site to acquire data such as – the page title, images, keywords of the content etc. An automated “bot” visits each page of the web, access the content and other information provided there. Modern crawlers consider the page layout, placement of advertisements on the website where the links are provided etc.

2. Indexing

The processing of all the data driven from crawling and organizing them in the database is called as Indexing. Example: Imagine a room full of DVDs of movies. Going through each DVD to know about the movie means crawling and writing the list of names of movies. This process is same as Indexing.

3. Algorithms

Algorithms are special programs and formulas that look for clues to better understand the search query.

4. Ranking

The Ranking Process is the last stage of the searching process. When a search query is entered, based on the clues provided by algorithms, the relevant documents are pulled out from the index and most relevant results are displayed to the users. The order of display is called ranking.

Google Major Algorithm Updates

If a website is engaged in suspicious methods to deceive search engines for a higher ranking, your site will be banned. Google sets its foot firm on the sites which manipulate the rankings. Google penalizes those sites and removes them from SERPs, and this process is called as “Google Slap.” Google changes its search algorithm 500-600 times a year, which comes around 1-2 times a day. Though most of these changes are minor, Google rolls out occasional major updates that significantly affects search results. Google’s most recent update was in September 2016, called “Penguin 4.0”. Penguin 4.0 update devalues spam by lowering the rank of that specific page rather than lowering rank of the entire website. Let’s look into each major Google algorithm updates:

1. Panda

Google Panda Algorithm - Digital Ready

Launch Date 24 Feb 2011
Hazards Plagiarised, thin or duplicate content, keyword stuffing, user-generated spam.
How it Works As per Panda algorithm, it assigned “Quality Score” to the web pages which is used as ranking factor. Initially, Panda was not a part of Google ranking algorithm; it was just a filer. But it was incorporated officially into core algorithm in. After Panda was incorporated, both penalties and recoveries were happening at faster rates.
How to Stay Safe To prevent your site, you can run regular checks for plagiarism, thin and duplicate content, and keyword stuffing with the help of site crawler like SEO PowerSuite Website Auditor. For content duplication or plagiarism, you can use plagiarism checker like Grammerly.com or quetext.com.

2. Penguin

Google Penguin Algorithm - Digital Ready

Launch Date 24th April 2012
Hazards Irrelevant or spammy links, links with over-optimized anchor text, Paid links, links from sites that are purely for SEO link building.
How it Works The main objective of Google’s Penguin algorithm was to de-rank websites with spammy and manipulative link profiles. Penguin is a part of Google’s core ranking algorithm since October 6, 2016.
How to Stay Safe
  • Monitor your link profile growth through SEO PowerSuite SEO SpyGlass. Google is not going to penalize you for one to two spammy links but take care of a sudden spike of toxic backlinks that could create a problem.
  • Check your website regularly for penalty risks through SEO SpyGlass and its Penalty Risk formula.
  • Remove request of spammy links by contacting the webmasters of the linking sites. Use Google’s Disavow tool to get rid of harmful links if you have a lot and cannot hear back from webmasters.

3. Pirate

Google Pirate Algorithm - Digital Ready

Launch Date August 2012
Hazards Pirate content, high volume copyright infringement reports.
Objective The main objective of the Pirate algorithm was to de-rank websites with copyright infringement reports. The majority of sites that got affected by this algorithm was the popular websites that made pirated content like movies, music, books, torrent sites etc. that are easily available to users.
How to Stay Safe Do not share copyright content.

4. Hummingbird

Launch Date 22nd August 2013
Hazards Keyword stuffing, and exact-match keyword targeting.
Objective The primary goal was to produce more relevant search results by understanding the meaning behind queries.
How to Stay Safe Expand your keyword research and focus on concepts, not keywords. Use Rank Tracker keyword research module to expand your keyword research. Use synonyms rather than exact keyword matches as Hummingbird adds more strength to the meaning behind the query rather than exact keyword or match.

5. Pigeon

Google Pigeon Algorithm - Digital Ready

Launch Date 24th July 2014
Hazards Poor on and off page SEO.
Objective Provide high quality, relevant local search results. Pigeon affects the searches which focus on user’s locations.
How to Stay Safe Put effort in on-page and off-page SEO. You can use Website Auditor to run an on-page analysis for your web pages. Get the list of relevant business directories for off-page SEO. They will help you get backlinks, and get your site rank.

6. Mobile

Google Mobile Search Ranking Update Algorithm - Digital Ready

Launch Date 21st April 2015
Hazards Poor mobile usability, lack of a mobile version of a web page.
Objective Mobile algorithm ensures the web pages to rank higher which supports mobile-friendly web pages. The web pages which are not optimized for mobile are filtered out from the SERPs or down-ranked.
How to Stay Safe Create mobile-friendly web pages and focus on speed and usability. Use Website Auditor for running Google’s mobile-friendly test which will help you to see which aspects of your page’s mobile version need to be improved.

7. RankBrain

Google RankBrain Algorithm - Digital Ready

Launch Date 26th October 2015
Hazards Poor User Experience, shallow content, lack of query-specific relevance features.
Objective Aim is to deliver better search results based on relevancy and machine learning.
How to Stay Safe Maximize user experience by keeping an eye on your web pages for user experience factors in Google Analytics particularly Bounce rate and Session Duration. RankBrain believed in identifying query-specific relevance features of web pages. So do competition research.

8. Possum

Google Possum Algorithm Update for Local Search - Digital Ready

Launch Date 1st September 2016
Hazards Sharing a physical address with a similar business, competitions in your target location.
Objective Deliver more diverse results based on user’s search location and address.
How to Stay Safe Do location-specific rank tracking and expand your keyword list. If you have a local business, then you have to target more keywords than what you are using due to the volatility brought into the local SERPs by Possum’s algorithm.

9. Fred

Google Fred Algorithm Targets Low-Value Content - Digital Ready

Launch Date 8th March 2017
Hazards Heavy-affiliated, low quality, and ad-centered content web pages.
Objective Filter out low quality, heavy-affiliated or ad-centered web pages.
How to Stay Safe Watch out for thin-content by reviewing Google Search Quality Guidelines. If you solely depend upon ads then make sure to add high-quality, relevant and ample information.
The above video by Lisk Assist is a small video describing all nine major Google algorithm update.

Benefits of Search Engine Optimization

Benefits of SEO - Digital Ready

1. Cost Effectiveness

SEO is more cost-effective than paid advertisements. Organic traffic is free, and once you rank higher on search engines, you do not have to pay for any clicks from search engines.

2. Increase in Traffic

Since SEO focuses on relevant content, keywords, and titles, it helps your website to show up in SERPs for a related inquiry. Top ranks in SERPs receive the majority of impressions and clicks from users and thus results in more traffic.

3. Increase in Credibility & Trust

SEO combined with other strategies helps a website to appear in first few positions of SERPs and appearing on first page results from search engines builds credibility and trust for customers.

4. Scalable ROI

The benefits of SEO are trackable and quantifiable. So, you can calculate the results provided by your SEO strategy periodically and streamline it accordingly for better results.

5. Long-Term Results

Unlike paid advertisements, SEO benefits are effective for longer periods.

6. Increase in Site Availability

SEO results in the better navigation of web pages by rearranging the architecture of the site. This makes your website more available for search engines to crawl your website to answer relevant search as well as for users.

7. Brand Awareness

Achieving top ranks in SERPs brings brand awareness, and this is where SEO comes in handy.

8. Increase in Conversion Rates

More traffic directed from SEO results in more conversions.

9. Helps to be Up-To-Date

With SEO the content is updated from time to time and helps to be on par with latest trends in the market.

Search Engine Optimization Process

As per John Tawadros, "SEO is the inherently iterative process." In other words, it's a process, not a project. SEO is an ongoing process, i.e. it doesn't start and finishes with just a few steps that we mentioned below and the initial work. It's essential to build meaningful content and monitor results on a continual basis. Here are the steps involved in an SEO process:

1. Website Audit

Website Audit - Digital Ready

A Website Audit is a complete analysis or in-depth examination of your website that covers factors like page errors, indexed pages and site speed which can determine your site’s visibility in search engines. A website audit can give you a complete understanding of the areas where to concentrate your efforts more and areas which are not working. Website audits are time-consuming but are necessary to drive success to your website. Google algorithm keeps on improving and updating. Search engines are getting smarter. SEO rules are changing day by day. So website audit is necessary to avoid any impact on your website. Look below for the website audit steps:

Organic Traffic Per Day

Check your organic traffic per day through SEMRush tool. You can get an instant overview of all main metrics for almost any website on the Internet through this tool. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors, clients or audiences. You can reveal traffic sources of your competitors like where do they get their traffic from, their most active affiliates, places where do they get the backlinks from etc. You can find out destination sites, subdomains, geo-distribution and overview of your organic traffic.

Traffic Analytics Through SEMRush Tool - DIgital Ready

Keywords Ranking on First Page

Find out proper and right keywords for your SEO and PPC campaigns through SEMRush keyword research feature. This feature of SEMRush provides you with well-tried and tested keywords that can help you stand out from the crowd and rank higher in Google’s and Bing’s top searches. You will be able to analyze data for both mobile and desktop index.You can gather phrase matches and related keywords to ensure keyword-rich content and successful keyword optimization.

Keyword Research Through SEMRush Keyword Research Feature - Digital Ready

Backlinks / Linking Domains

SEMRush is an effective backlink checker that shows you links pointing to your website and thus help you acquire competitive link intelligence. So how does it work? It checks all incoming links for the domain, URL, or root domain, sees the anchor texts, view the titles and URLs of linking and target web pages, compares inbound links on a competitors website, understands the referring domain and from where it’s located.

Backlinks/Linking Domains Through SEMRush - Digital Ready

Technical Errors

You can use SEMRush site audit tool to fix on-site errors effectively and perform technical SEO audit at high speed. You will be able to optimize your external and internal links, add missing tags, detect and remove error pages, find duplicate content pages, make unique and comprehensible titles, meta tags, meta descriptions, and HTML tags for users and search engines. You can check for the broken links and images and replace those images with Alt tags. You can crawl your website anytime to get fresh, effective reports of your technical errors.

Technical SEO Audit by SEMRush - DIgital Ready

Site Speed

You can check your site’s speed through GTmetrix (Google Site Speed) tool that gives you insight or full picture of how your websites loads and provides the ways of optimizing it. It helps you detect and improve your bottlenecks.

Analyze your Site’s Speed Through GTmetrix - Digital Ready

Page Elements

Use “On Page SEO Checker” the SEMRush feature to analyze all Google ranking factors that are affecting the performance of your website. You can keep on checking factors like Titles, Descriptions, Keyword Density, Keyword Prominence, Keyword Proximity etc. On Page SEO checker automatically offers you practical suggestions and provide you with an actionable plan on the ways to improve your page’s rankings for the Google’s top 10 results.

On-Page SEO Checker: SEMRush - Digital Ready

Site Structure, No of Pages

Site Structure, No of Pages - Use Screaming Frog tool to audit your site’s structure and no of pages.

Site STructure Audit Through Screaming Frog - Digital Ready

Length of the Content, Spellings, Grammar, Plagiarism

Check the length of your content of each of your web page. Do grammar and plagiarism check of your website contents through tools like Grammarly, QueText, Screaming Frog.

Perform Grammar Check Through Grammarly - Digital Ready

Plagiarism Checker Through Quetext - Digital Ready

Alexa Rank

Check your Alexa rank through either Small SEO Tools or Alexa.com. Alexa is not just a traffic ranker. You can know who your competitors are, how do you compare to them, what are they doing better than you, what are you missing out, etc.

Alexa Rank Checker through Alexa.com - Digital Ready

Domain Authority

Domain authority or DA is the number from 0-100 which is used to check the reputation of your website. You can check your Domain Authority through small seo tools.

Domain Authority Checker: Small SEO Tools - Digital Ready

Page Authority

Page authority is the statistics of an estimated ranking capacity of your website. Through Page authority checker you can identify how strong your website is and how much efforts you need to put in the SEO of your website pages. You can check your page's page authority through small SEO tools. The higher the page authority, the more strong the page is to rank higher in the search engine results.

Page Authority Checker: Small SEO Tools - Digital Ready

2. Review Requirement Elicitation

Reviewing the requirement elicitation of clients will give an insight of the motif of their business. You can develop the SEO strategy based the Key elements of their requirements. Important sections to review are:
  • Type of business
  • Their target audience
  • Current competition
  • Their goals and metrics
  • Organic search
Thorough understanding of these areas will give you the clarity about the objectives of their business and how improve organic search will help to reach their goals.

3. Create Website Theme

A website is the face of any business. It is vital to have an appropriate theme for business. A website’s theme document explains each part of the website and what message the business wants to communicate with its user. A more detailed theme document results in more effective optimization and will have a better impact on SEO process.

4. Keyword Research

Performing keyword research is critical and requires a considerable amount of time. Few ways to collect related keywords are:

Brainstorm

  • Think about all the possible related keywords about your business and list them.
  • Think from others perspective about your products and services, and your business offers and come up with new words.
  • Think of possible misspellings or slangs that can be used
  • If the business is confined to one place, include local keywords.
  • Collect keyword suggestions from your colleagues
Tell your colleagues about your business and ask them what words they would use to search for such products/services.

Collect from Competitors

  • List out all your competitors relevant to your business.
  • Visit their websites and look for the keywords they have used.

Collect from Blogs and Other Related Industry Posts

  • Read related blogs and watch for relative words used.
  • Collect hints from your industry-related and social networking sites.

Collect from Customers

Pay attention to online users and their reviews.

Synonyms of Keywords

Identify synonyms for the keywords Build the framework based on the keywords collected so far. Start with most prominent or obvious word which can be used, and elaborate the list, group, and subgroup them if required for the clear outline.

5. Keyword Optimization

Keyword optimization is a balance between a keyword’s high usage and low competition. There are many tools available to identify how famous is a keyword and its click-through rates. Keywords can be optimized based on “Keyword Effectiveness Index (KEI)”. KEI= Number of Pages / Number of Searchers In the above example, Keyword = “Shoes online for kids” No of pages displayed = 606,000 No of searches = 1000 KEI for keyword = 606,000 / 1000 = 606 Based on KEI calculation, the best keywords to opt are the ones which have many searches but have less competition. Therefore, “low the KEI, more preferable the keywords are.” Once the keywords are listed, calculate KEI for each of them. Make the final list of keywords based on relevancy and low KEI. You can follow the criteria listed below to finalize the keyword optimization:
  • Clear and concise keywords.
  • Keywords that are going to be seen in the content of the web pages.
  • Convenience to group the keywords into sensible phrases.
  • Good mix of industry standard keywords and the ones which customers use in their search products/services.

6. Classification of Keywords

Keywords are classified into two groups “Short tail keywords” and “Long tail keywords”.

Short Tail Keywords

Short tail keywords are the keywords with 3 or fewer words. These are also known as “head terms”. These are the terms that come to your mind instantly when you think of something or doing something or go somewhere. These keywords bring more traffic as they are broad in nature. Examples - “Theme parks”; “Italian restaurant”; “Latest movies.”

Long Tail Keywords

Long tail keywords are the keywords composed of more than three words. These keywords are specific, more targeted and are not broad in nature. Examples - “Summer vacation beaches”; “Discount coupons for kids apparel.” It takes some practice to decide which type of keywords are good for your business. The best strategy is to balance it out between the two. The advantage of using short tail keywords is that they have higher search volume but significantly are more competitive. This makes attaining higher ranks very tough. Long tail keyword phrases are more specific and hence have low search volume and less competition.

7. Website Architecture

A good site structure will have better chances to rank high. Site structure is one of the crucial aspects of SEO’s performance. A good site which is appealing to users is appealing to search engines as well. Below are few key steps to consider for an effective site structure:
  • A sensible hierarchy: A “hierarchy” is a way to organize the information.
    • The hierarchy should be logical.
    • The ideal number of main categories is between two to seven.
    • Have subcategories within each category.
  • URL structure should follow hierarchy: URL structure should be organized by site hierarchy.
  • Use HTML or CSS for site navigation: HTML or CSS will keep the coding simple. Other approaches will limit crawlers to cover your site.
  • Shallow navigation structure: Site structure should allow shallow navigation. If main pages are buried too deep within site, they won’t be available easily for users as well as crawlers.
  • “Header” should list main navigation pages.
    • List out appropriate keywords for each page.
    • Incorporate relevant keywords on the landing pages.
    • Assign short tail keywords to landing pages and long tail keywords to subpages.
  • Build an internal linking structure: Internal linking should be based on the idea that every page of the website should have some link either “to” or “from” another page of the website.
  • Linking should start with index page/main landing page.
  • Each page from subcategory should link back to index page but not vice versa.
  • Use rel= “no follow” if there is no appropriate page to be followed.

8. On Page Optimization

The content of the page is the centre for search engine optimization. The basis for all the optimization process on a particular page is the content of that page. So each page should be optimized according to the content of that page.

Page Titles

Each of the pages should have a unique title. By far, the page title is the most important ranking factor for optimization. Main keywords should be incorporated into titles so that the search engines can establish some link to the page title and know what that page is all about. It helps search engines to identify the topic of that page and relevancy to the search query. The best way to optimize page title is to include keywords at the beginning of the title. According to research by CPC Strategy, Google considers keywords from left to right.

Meta Description

Meta description adds more relevance. These descriptions are the right place to include relevant keywords for the content.

URL Configuration

It is recommended to include search engine friendly URLs for each page, as these help better crawling. Readable URLs with keywords are more reliable for crawling and perform better. Location of the keyword on URL is also important. Keywords should not be buried too deep. URLs which can act as anchor texts are powerful input for ranking.

Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, H4 etc)

It is advised when writing articles, to break the content into small sections and paragraphs for better organization and make it more appealing to read. Heading tags such as H1, H2, H3 etc. are used for headings of these sections. Usually, H1 tags are given to main page title, followed by H2, H3, H4 for subsequent headings. Search engines use these body tags to determine the priority. So, keyword rich headings in order of priority make more sense to search engines.

Keyword Density

Relevant keywords should be included throughout the content of the page for search engines to figure out what your page is all about. However, keywords should be used carefully and economically. Keyword density (KD) is the percentage of times a keyword or a phrase is used on a webpage in comparison to the total number of words on that same webpage. Excessive and repeated use of keywords for “ranking” purpose will alert search engines, and you may get penalized for the same. The best practice is to confine the keyword density to approximately 2-5%.

Image Optimization

A single image can speak out the same message that a hunk of text does. Including relevant images in content will break up the monotony of text and makes the page more visually appealing to users. Well-chosen images strengthen content presented and improves your site’s SEO. Images are treated same as page titles as they will be given titles too. Again, titles should use relevant keywords. Including Alt Text and Descriptions for images optimize them well for search engines.

Internal Linking

Internal links are links that go from one page to another page within the same website. Internal links make the navigation much easier for visitors to find all your content. It also ensures proper crawling by search engines by allowing them to find all the content provided on each page. It also enables the search engines to build relevancy of a page to relevant keywords and phrases. Content links and permanent navigation links improve internal linking structure. Content links are the links which are placed within article posts. These links are very useful for bloggers as they redirect people to other relevant pages of the site.

9. Off Page Optimization

Off-page optimization can be done only after on page optimization. Off-page optimization is the strategy followed outside your website to improve its position in search rankings. The strategy involves measures that create as many qualified backlinks (incoming links) as possible to your website. Few are discussed below:

Social Networking

Social networking is nothing but creating your community online, also called online reputation management. This is the first step towards off page optimization process where you begin to advertise, market and builds a reputation. To start social networking, you have to become a member of the popular, most used social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ etc. and create a profile of your own. Being the member of these networks, you can extend your presence online by connecting with friends, share things and moreover promote your brand which helps to build your reputation online.

Blogging

Another powerful measure to promote your business online is blogging. Create blogs with useful information for customers that gives them a reason to read what you have written and make them visit your website. Blogs should be clear and focused on what exactly you want to convey to your visitors. Keep the blogs live with updated trends in the market. This helps in optimization of your site for search engines as they have to crawl your website to update your latest posts and thus eventually helps in ranking higher in search engine result pages (SERPs). If blogging is not your thing, there are many professional writers available to hire and do the fine job for you.

Blog Marketing

You can add a link in the comments section by posting comments on other blogs of relevant areas as yours. These links are identified by search engines and point them towards your site. These are referred to as “Do-Follow” blogs.

Forum Marketing

Participate in forums of the related field by joining discussions, offering advice and answering queries etc. This will bring awareness about you among the group and builds a reputation. It’s recommended to use “Do-Follow” forums so that you can include the link to your site, which helps in crawling.

Search Engine Submission

Submit your website to popular search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing etc. This will avoid the delay to be eventually found by search engines.

Directory Submission

Directory submission is effective when you choose right directories and right category. To name a few: DMOZ, Yahoo directory, ZoomInfo, One Mission, Pegasus etc.

Social Bookmarking

Social bookmarking is another effective way of promoting your website. Some popular bookmarking sites are StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Reddit etc. Be cautious while using these sites in handling tags.

Link Baiting

Give a reference to the source of information if you use any content from other websites.

Photo Sharing

Share some real photos of your business or products with the public to view. Some photo sharing websites are Flickr, Picasa, Picli, Photo Bucket etc. People may find it interesting, leave comments and follow the link to your site.

Video Marketing

Prepare some videos about your products or services, expert opinions, reviews or feedback from customers who used your products and share them via YouTube, Metacafe, Vimeo etc.

Business Reviews

Share your opinion about other businesses; Ask your customers and clients to review your products or services in places like RateitAll, Shvoong, Kaboodle, Stylefeeder etc.

Local Listings

Limiting your website to local listings prevents enormous facing competition. If your business is local, the local listing will help you target your particular segment of the audience. You can submit your site for local listing to Google Local, Maps, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Superpages, HotFrog.

Article Submission

Write some articles on related topics to your business and submit them to sites like Ezine, Go Articles, Now Public etc. This will drive some audience to your site. If the articles are interesting enough, other sites may share them, and you can gain some links. This builds up over a period and needs patience.

Social Shopping Network

Social shopping network works better for an e-commerce business. You can advertise your products for free. Some effective social shopping network sites are Google Product Search, Yahoo Online Shopping, MSN online Shopping, Style Feeder, Buzz Shout etc.

Sharing Documents

Share your information brochures, catalogues of your products on sites like Slideshare. This public sharing will allow some light on your business.

10. Site Level Optimization

  • Load Time - Implement Gzip.
  • Add Local Meta Tags.
  • Internal Linking Structure - Prepare the internal linking structure document and check the links (follow SILO process).
  • Missing Pages - Add all missing pages (or) correct the links and make sure each link works.
  • 404 Page - Create a custom 404 page, with necessary information. It should return proper response '404 page not found' for HTTP requests.
  • Create and Add Robots.txt, optimize based on the report available in webmaster tools.
  • Create and Add XML Site Map, optimize based on the report available in webmaster tools.
  • Create & verify Google Webmaster Account, and Bing webmaster account.
  • Keep Google Analytics Tracking Code on all pages.
  • Resolve duplicate content issues with canonical, no index, and redirections.
  • Redirect important pages, if not working.
  • Check and validate if all forms are working perfectly, if not fix them.
  • Implement Rich Snippets for products, users, videos, and breadcrumbs.
  • Implement Google Tag Manager code and fire tags on all pages appropriately.
  • Identify the key actions on the website and Set Up goals in GA, for better tracking perspective.
  • Implement ecommerce tracking code on 'order success' page. (thank you page or order confirmation page).

Link Building Strategies

Link building is the process of getting external links from other related websites to a page on your website. Link building is an art. Receiving high-quality links to your website is a difficult and time-consuming process. Link from an authoritative and trusted site will have a greater impact on ranking than a link from recently built websites. Link building is very important as it is a major factor in how Google ranks the websites.

1. Some NOT TO Dos While You Attempt Link Building to Your Website are as Follows:

  • Do not copy content from authoritative, well-known websites in the same field as yours.
  • Do not produce any articles or blogs which won’t add any value to readers.
  • Create good quality content.
  • Do not use any shady techniques to drive traffic to your website.

2. Some TO Dos of Link Building Are:

  • Aim to earn links from the sites which are in the same business field.
  • If your link provider is exactly in the same industry as you are in, they should have some relevance to your business or products.
  • Links from irrelevant sites are valid only when the link from a page which has the information directly relates to the page that your webpage is linked to.

3. Various Link Building Strategies

  • Create compelling content and promote it so that people will refer to it.
  • Submit your site to popular, and relevant directories.
  • Use influencers to review and mention your products and services.
  • Build relationships through various social channels and make yourself popular.
  • Ask people you know to link to your site.
  • Avoid following the same strategies that your competitors follow.

Backlinks

Backlinks are incoming links from another related website pointing to one of your web pages. Search engines evaluate these links to determine popularity, authority, and importance of a website.

Good Backlinks

These are genuine links pointed to your website from another website which is related to your business or experts who write about your products or services.

Bad Backlinks

Links from unrelated websites

Ugly Links

Links from spam sites. These type of links will instantly destroy you.

Latest Trends in SEO

To win the battle of SEO, you have to stay ahead of your opponent. SEO is a dynamic aspect of marketing which evolves continuously. To accomplish competitive dominance, you have to be aware of how SEO industry is changing and adjust your content and strategy according to the updates. Here are few latest updates on SEO:

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP)

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google-initiated project for websites to load quickly on mobile devices. Google made this standard as one of the search engine ranking factors. This update is about making your website mobile friendly as search is rapidly shifting from desktop to mobile. We say “patience is the virtue” but not when it comes to website loading times. Nearly 40% of users will abandon the website if it doesn’t load in less than 3 seconds, according to the data from Kissmetrics. AMP will help to cut down loading times on mobile. So start optimizing your sites for mobile users.

Machine Learning

Machine learning is the ability of search algorithms to learn and update themselves automatically according to users phrases of the query. Google is implementing machine learning with RankBrain, to improve “search quality” and for higher user satisfaction. RankBrain is Google’s algorithm and third most important contributor to the results of the search query. Therefore, optimize for search queries by a human from the perspective of human intuition.

User Experience Optimization

A critical part of SEO is User Experience Optimization. Everything we do in the realm of marketing revolves around “user”. So, user experience optimization is nothing but focusing on users and to provide them with the best experience. Search engines collect related data when there is a query. Algorithms work on gathered data to give searchers what they are looking for. This makes it clear that websites that do a good job to meet searcher’s queries will land on the first page of search results. Hence, optimize your website for searchers rather than search engines. Consider the key points “searcher language” and “searcher intent” while optimizing for the best practice of user experience optimization.

Progressive Web Apps (PWAs)

According to developers at Google, Progressive Web Apps are installable and live on the user’s home screen without the need for an app store. Progressive Web Apps are more reliable, fast and engaging. PWAs provide the app-like user experience. They load instantly even in poor network conditions, respond fast to user interactions and feel like a natural app on the device. PWAs are the next-generation online activity of users. From SEO's perspective, a PWA of your website is more convenient for users.

Local Search/Mobile Search

Considering the rapid shift of search from desktops to mobiles, local marketing on mobile seems more promising. It’s going to be an increasing habit of people searching on the go more and more. So, optimize your website for local mobile searches.

Video sharing

One short video is worth much more than a bunch of text. The video is more effective in engaging audience compared to text ads. The effectiveness of videos is because 90% of the information our brain picks up as visuals. So it is easier for us to remember what we watch than what we read. Video marketing and video blogging are going to be the trend in coming days.

Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual reality is going to be the next platform for user experience. Just like internet and smartphone revolutions, next will VR applications. The whole idea of VR, 360-degree surroundings improves visual transmission. VR allows users to interact with the 3-D environment. Social networking platforms like Facebook has already moved towards VR with live 360 videos. Virtual reality content will be the bait of the future soon.

Voice Search

Voice search is going to be the prominent type of search very soon. Conveniences of voice search such as fast, hands-free, multi-tasking making it more and more irresistible. Great improvements in speech recognition made voice search smooth for users. Optimizing your site for voice search queries will help you win the race. Focus on long tail keywords, add pages with FAQs (with questions begin with what, why, who, where, when and how) and keyword research on conversational queries.

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