Search engine optimization remains one of the most viable and profitable ways to have free and targeted traffic to any website. When done correctly, it is a sure way to cut down on your traffic expenses and have a continuous flow of leads and sales to your site. However, when done in the wrong way, it is the fastest way to have your website sandboxed, and never enjoy the pleasures of free and targeted traffic. This is why it pays to know and adhere to the recommended guidelines for safe and sustainable rankings.
Many are the various approaches used in carrying out search engine optimization. However, at Search Engine Ways, we have tested and proven guidelines which we use for our clients’ websites to rank them high on the search engines and sustain those rankings. All our approaches are white hat and as recommended by the leading search engines.
In brief, here is the clear and concise SEO Guidelines Search Engine Ways observes when carrying out site optimization for client websites-:
Making Website Findable
Your website will never achieve any meaningful ranking unless search engines can find it. At Search Engine Ways, making your site findable is the very first SEO step taken, and it entails the following-:
Maintaining Logical Site Structure
A logical site structure is not just crucial for proper organization of the site, but also for ranking purposes. The structure of the website should make sense both to the site visitors and the search engines. The site should be organized in a logical-tree manner such that the most important pages are easily reachable from the home page. The name of the URLs should also be relevant to the site structure and in case a user is unable to find the content they are looking for on the home page, there should be a search box to help them discover the content they wish to see.
XML sitemap generation and RSS Feeds
The XML sitemap is what the search engine bots use to discover and index new content on your website. The RSS feed is used for notifying the search engines every time you add new content to your website. These are vital when it comes to giving the search engines information about the pages present on your website and providing all updates on the site for your site’s findability.
Leveraging featured snippets
Also known as a position 0 result, a featured snippet bears a brief answer to a search query. The importance of position 0 results in search engine optimization is growing at a faster pace, and it is one of the tactics used by Search Engine Ways to bring more visibility to sites. It will interest you to know that voice assistants usually choose featured snippets if available to respond to users’ questions and then recite the URL of the site containing that information.
This is immensely important given that voice search, machine learning and artificial intelligence are beginning to feature prominently in search engine optimization. If your website manages to be selected for such a nice spot, then this will not just enhance your findability, but also open a floodgate of traffic to your website.
Coming up with the right schema markup
Schema markup may not necessarily affect your site rankings, but it makes it easy for the search engines to interpret your content more precisely. Search Engine Ways uses schema markup to tag various entities in a page’s content as part of the strategy for making the website more findable.
If you have been following the happenings in search engine optimization landscape for the past few years, then you are probably aware of the dreaded Panda update by Google. Panda is a ranking algorithm designed to filter out pages containing thin, non-authentic poor-quality content. It is one of Google’s core ranking algorithm, and this is why every website owner must be cautious with the nature of the content they have on their websites. Search Engine Ways achieves this in the following manner-:
Creation of high quality content
Search Engine Ways has a unique dedication to creating beneficial, expert-level content that will not just give answers to the searcher’s queries, but also engage them in every possible manner. This feature not only the written word but also other types of content which would be useful to site visitors such as videos, images and infographics amongst others.
Right content canonicalization
Content canonicalization is a way of letting the search engines know which pages they need to treat as the “standardized” forms when several URLs feature the same content. In other words, it helps to avoid internal content duplication – which is not a bad thing, but a way of trying not to make the site look messy.
White Hat Link Building
As professional SEO experts, Search Engine Ways considers only white hat link building strategies. Just like Panda, Penguin has now become part of the core Google ranking algorithm, and it will always detect and penalize sites engaging in black hat link building methods such as buying artificial links. Our backlink building guidelines feature-:
- Obtaining editorial links earned as a result of other websites or publications sharing, quoting, or referring content on your website.
- Creating diverse and relevant anchor texts
- The backlink acquisition process is slow and steady
- Removing or disavowing low quality and spam backlinks.
Improving the Site’s User Experience
UX related metrics are now being considered as some of the ranking factors by the major search engines, and this is why ignoring a site’s user experience would be detrimental to the site’s ranking. The user experience is therefore one of the major guides Search Engine Ways uses to achieve higher rankings for clients. In doing so, the following are usually taken into account-:
The site’s speed
The page load time is important because it directly impacts the bounce back rate – a key metric in determining page rankings. A slow loading page will lead to higher bounce back rate to signify a poor user experience which will eventually hurt the site ranking. Search Engine Ways critically looks at the load speeds to ensure the pages are light and will load relatively faster so that users don’t have to wait for long before their content is served.
Engagement and click through rates
The click-through rate and the user engagement are other consideration worth taking note of when trying to improve the user experience. Greater engagement and higher CTR are likely to lead to higher rankings, and such has been confirmed by Bing, Yahoo and Yandex.
With the fact that the number of mobile searches has exceeded the number of desktop searches, it is almost suicidal to not have a mobile-friendly website. Just to illustrate how serious this is, Google is already carrying out experiments with Mobile-First index, where their algorithm will consider mobile versions of sites in ranking the pages.
It means that those who stick to mobile-unfriendly versions may soon see a drop in their rankings as well as traffic. Mobile friendliness is hence one of the core aspects of Search Engine Ways when it comes to enhancing the user experience and attaining higher search rankings.
Earning social signals the right way
There is no doubt that search engines love websites with lots of social signals and due to this, social signals are a major component of ranking at Search Engine Ways. Facebook posts, tweets and Google+ posts might find themselves in organic search results, making it an excellent opportunity to get extra traffic.
Additionally, when the search engines see a lot of social activity on your websites, such as lots of shares and comments, they will interpret that your content must be useful hence the buzz and then reward your site with higher rankings. Besides, Google has confirmed that they treat social posts open for indexing like any other webpage and this is a clear hint on whether or not social signals are necessary as far as ranking is concerned.
Hopefully, the above gives you a clear picture of how Search Engine Ways goes about the search engine optimization process. As a reputable industry leader, who has worked with several local, national and international businesses to rank their sites, we are always on top of things. And you can be guaranteed that best practices will always be observed to avoid unnecessary penalties that might deny you the juice of free and targeted organic traffic from the search engines.