A comprehensive SEO strategy will bump up your website’s rankings in search engine results pages. However, your SEO strategy should not be aimed at desktop only. When it comes to page rankings and indexing, Google cares more about mobile.
- SEO keywords range from single words to complex phrases and are used to inform website content to increase relevant organic search traffic.
- Your audience uses them when searching for something related to your brand.
- When effectively-researched and optimized, keywords act as a conduit to connect your target audience with your website.
- Keywords give us clues to who people are and what they want, allowing us to better meet their needs.
- Keywords can provide a “bullseye” towards which marketers can aim their content.
- To get the most out of keywords, you must look beyond the explicit, literal translation and also pick up on the implicit clues to gain the true intent of each keyword.
Where to add keywords on a webpage
- URLs: URLs rarely change, are highly visible and describe the entire page. For those reasons, Google places some value in what they say.
- Static content: Search engines are getting much better at crawling dynamic content. Static content is a near-guarantee for indexing.
- Title tags: Title tags influence rankings and click-through-rate (CTR) and if written effectively, keywords can help with both.
- Meta description tags: Unlike title tags, meta descriptions do not influence rankings in Google. However, including them can increase CTR.
- Most visible content: Google’s job is to understand content the way we do. An H1 tag at the top of the page gets far more eyeballs than boilerplate content at the bottom. Whether it’s a heading tag, early body copy or a bolded phrase, the most visible content is generally the most influential for SEO.
- Internal links and surrounding content: Incorporating keywords into the anchor text of links pointing to your page helps show Google what your page is about. Similarly, content nearby anchor text pointing to your page also matters to Google and, to a lesser degree, is used to describe the destination page.
- Image and video file names: Instead of letting your phone give your image or video a default name that usually contains something random and nonsensical, give it a descriptive name using a relevant keyword.
- Image alt attributes Alt tags not only make your site more inclusive for your visually impaired audience, they give Google a better idea of your picture. Incorporate keywords when appropriate.
- Image title attributes: Image titles don’t work on all browsers the same way, which is why Google may not put much weight into this content. However, if there is an opportunity to gracefully include keywords, go for it
- ARIA tags: ARIA tags are similar to alt attributes i that they help make website content more accessible to those with disabilities. You ca use ARIA tags on certain types of dynamic content, interactive content, background images, and more.
- Video closed captioning and/or transcripts: Some videos contain extremely relevant keywords, but Google has no clue. Make sure what is heard and seen gets included in your indexable closed captioning or transcript.
- Schema markup: Schema helps add context to content. When applicable, mark your keywords up with the most appropriate schema properties to remove some of the guesswork for Google.
To kick off your SEO project, we’ve worked on a keyword research project for you and selected your 5 primary keywords. You’re probably wondering why we chose these particular keywords – here’s what it all means:
Firstly, what are the primary keywords?
Your primary keywords are search terms that include the topics and ideas that define your site’s content. These keywords are built into your site – in your titles, menus, copy, and more – and directly reflect your site’s offering.
Keywords are important because they act as the bridge that connects what people are searching for, to what you offer that fulfils their needs. Your goal is to be found in the search engine results pages, and the primary keywords you choose to target will determine the traffic you get – which is why getting them right is important.
How we choose your primary keywords:
We ask you to tell us the areas you’d like to rank for, which should reflect the products and services that you offer:
In our keyword research, there are two main things that we look for when finding the best possible keywords for you that relate to the main areas you wish to rank for (provided to us by you):
- Search volume, which refers to the average number of searches that particular phrase gets each month; and
- Competitiveness, which refers to how the keyword difficulty, and tells us how hard it would be to outrank your competitors for the particular phrase.
Basically, we want to find keywords that have the highest possible search volume, with a low to moderate level of competitiveness that will allow us to get you ranking.
Food for thought
User-intention is another important factor that we take into consideration.
While we optimise your site for the search engines, it is important to think in terms of “if we were a customer searching for a site like yours, what would we type in?” For example, if you’re a business that specialises in healthy Vietnamese food, you might think that a good keyword would be ‘Vietnamese delivery’, whereas a user would be more likely to search along the lines of ‘healthy food delivery’.
It is also worth noting that while you ideally would like to be found for a particular search phrase, say ‘Vietnamese delivery’, the search volume may be very low (10 average monthly searches), and, as a result insignificant.
A similar phrase, ‘healthy food delivery’, has 1,000 average monthly searches with a moderate competitive density, and therefore is the better option in this situation.
COMMON SEO ISSUES
Does my company really need a blog for social media marketing?
- Increases credibility as an industry expert
- Provides fresh, keyword-rich content on a regular basis, which pleases search engines
How important are keywords in content marketing?
- It’s still best to include the exact phrases you want to be found for
How long does SEO take?
- A never-ending endeavour – can’t ‘win’
- Must stay on top of sustaining traffic and increasing conversions
Why is keyword research important?
- The foundation of an SEO campaign
- Determines which words should be targeted for on-page optimisation
Why is mobile SEO important? Is my site mobile-friendly?
- Becoming increasingly important, as much search queries are made on a mobile
- Very important to create a responsive site that automatically adapts to mobile settings is not only a key way to improve user experience, but also earn Google’s mobile-friendly distinction
How can I avoid Google penalties?
- The best way to avoid Google penalties is to practice white-hat SEO tactics, rather than black hat
- Black hat SEO tactics include things like stuffing pages with keywords rather than quality content or creating duplicate content, featuring irrelevant or poor links or overlinking direct keywords
- Google takes notice of black hat tactics, especially when the user experience is off
- You can also be penalised for things such as: 404’s, outdated XML sitemaps, and overuse of anchor text
Why is blogging valuable?
- Immense value in blogging, especially for SEO purposes – content is king
- What really gives a site authority – and generates leads – is frequently publishing content that viewers want to read
What are meta tags?
- Meta tags refer to meta titles and meta descriptions, which provides the information a user sees in the search engine results pages
- Title tags should be less than 60 characters, and, if space allows, the name of the company
- Meta descriptions should be less than 155 characters. Ideally should include a CTA, a company name, and a target primary keyword. The meta description should never end in ellipses when showing up in the search engine results pages
Is video important for SEO?
- Yes – video content can actually produce immediate SEO results – one study reported that web pages with a videos are 53 times more likely to rank on the first page of a Google results page
- Because searches are blended (meaning that a results page can display a mix of web pages, PDFs, videos, and images when keywords or phrases are queried), videos are definitely in the running to appear in top result spots
- Google’s inclusion and seeming emphasis on video results is also reflective of its move away from keywords and towards quality content; because videos are seen as more engaging and favorable to users, they often rank extremely well
What is SEO? What are the best ways to locally optimise my site?
- To locally optimise, it is best to research and select keywords that customers in your local area are searching for
- With these keyword terms, which will likely include your store’s location, you can optimize your page titles, meta descriptions, H1s, content, blogs, social media posts and more
- If you have more than one targeted local area, it’s a good idea to create separate web pages on your site for each of these locations
What’s the difference between organic rankings and Google AdWords?
- Organic rankings refer to those generated as a result of natural traffic to your site; in other words, your site generated traffic based on the services it offers, the appeal of its title and meta description, the brand recognition you’ve built, your implementation of white hat SEO tactics, etc
- Conversely, AdWords is an advertising platform in which businesses pay to run ads for their sites
- However, AdWords shouldn’t be dismissed; AdWords is a good tool for targeting niche audiences based on specific keyword searches and only operates on a pay-per-click basis
What’s a call to action, and how to create it?
- A call to action is a statement that directs a reader to do something
- A call to action should be direct, succinct, and most importantly, prompt a reader to do something. Calls to action should be included in meta descriptions, ads, email marketing and, where appropriate, blogs and web page content
- Could be something as simple as ‘Call today!’
What is lead generation?
- Lead generation is a digital marketing tactic used to create interest in your product or service and establish a pipeline for sales
- Lead generation involves the collection of prospective customers contact info, such as a name and email, and these prospects can then be reached out to via email marketing, the creation of product videos, whitepapers, and much more
Does web design affect SEO?
- The structure and design of a website actually can affect its rankings and overall traffic
- Web design must provide an intuitive and easily navigable site structure that features a design/content that users are able to understand and interact with
- Things like site hierarchy and overall aesthetic can significantly affect your site’s bounce rate and, in turn, the effectiveness of your other SEO efforts
What is conversion optimisation?
- Conversion optimization refers to the practice of determining how a site can increase its ratio of visitors to actual customers
- One way to optimize conversions is to conduct A/B testing, which simultaneously runs two different web pages with altered designs or content to see which yields more conversions, and thus which page business should implement going forward
Why are image alt tags important?
- Search engines also crawl alt tags to help determine what an image represents
- Alt tags, therefore, not only improve user experience but contribute to the effectiveness of your SEO campaign
Why does adding my business to local directories help my SEO?
- Inclusion of profiles on local sites like Yelp and Google + allows businesses to appear more visible in search results, as these profiles improve their authority
- Ultimately, local directories are a proven, effective way to not only build a brand and provide easier access to contact information but generate site traffic and conversions
How do I improve my local rankings?
- Using Google Plus and Places for Business (which are essentially the same thing now) will do wonders for your local SEO
- Make sure that everything is filled out in full and your location marker is in the right place
How can I improve my rankings in a competitive industry?
- SEO is like many other things – you only get out what you can put in
- Long Tail keywords offer much higher conversion rates and better search positions – the best part is, people who come to your site are further down the sales funnel and specifically looking for your products
- Another way to gain good search positions when you don’t have the same budget or resources as your competitors is to look at alternative ways of ranking
- Using video marketing can help you rank in YouTube, which is also owned by Google so you’ll rank on the ‘videos’ part of the results too
11 Most Common Issues Hurting Your SEO
- According to SEMrush, 50% of analyzed web pages face duplicate content issues.
- Although there isn’t a specific penalty against duplicate content, the problem arises when your similar web pages begin cannibalising each other for the same search positions and Google ends up filtering one at the expense of another, and this may not necessarily be the page you want to see ranking.
- This is where the rel=canonical attribute can help, by letting Google know exactly which duplicate page to rank.
Missing alt tags and broken images:
- Alt tags are a way to accurately describe your images to search engines to make sure they’re indexed properly in image search, and therefore bring some extra traffic to your site – also a good area to include your keywords
- Broken images can cause the same issues like broken links by providing poor user experience. One way to avoid this is to make sure you’re hosting images within your own media library, not on a third-party image host
Title tag issues:
- Title tags are used to tell search engines and visitors what any given page on your site is about in the most concise and accurate way possible.
- SEMrush found that 35% of sites have duplicate title tags, 15% have too much text in the tag, 8% are missing them and 4% don’t provide enough text – all issues that negatively impact your performance in the search engines
- The meta description is the short paragraph of text placed in the HTML of a webpage that describes its content. The meta description will then appear under your page’s URL in the search results.
- The SEMrush research reveals that 30% of sites have duplicate meta descriptions and 25% of sites have no meta descriptions at all – all issues that negatively impact your performance in the search engines
Broken internal and external links:
- The research showed that 35% of sites had broken internal links that returned bad HTTP status codes (70% of which return a 4xx page not found code)
- A further 25% of sites had broken external links, which can seriously impair your website’s authority
Low-text to HTML ratio:
- According to SEMrush, this means that these sites contain proportionally more back-end HTML code rather than text that people can actually read. They recommend an acceptable lower limit beginning from 20%.
Here’s a thorough checklist of things to help lower your ratio according to Woorank:
- Remove huge white spaces
- Avoid lots of tabs
- Remove comments in the code
- Avoid tables.
- Use CSS for styling and formatting
- Resize your images
- Remove any unnecessary images
- Keep the size of your page under 300kb
- Remove any hidden text that is not visible to people
- Your page must always have some amount of plain text. Include easily readable – text with quality user information
H1 tag issues:
- It’s important to know the difference between H1 tags and title tags. The title tag appears in search results, whereas the H1 tag (normally your headline) is what visitors see on the page.
- Of the sites analyzed, 20% had multiple H1 tags, 20% were missing H1 tags, and 15% had duplicate information in their title tag and H1.
- You should ordinarily only use one H1 tag per web page and break up articles with plenty of h2 tags
Low word count:
- Increasingly Google is ranking more in-depth articles over what it considers thin content. Of the websites crawled, 18% had a low word count on some pages.
Too many on-page links:
- Having a maximum number of links on a page isn’t a problem as such, but cramming a page with unnatural links definitely is. After all, a cluttered page full of links can be bad user experience, especially on mobile.
- As SEMrush states, good SEO means having a natural link profile that includes relevant high-quality links.
Incorrect language declaration:
- SEMrush has found that 12% of websites have failed to include a language declaration stating the default language of the text in the page.
- Language declaration is useful for translation and page display and ensures that people using text-to-speech converters hear your content read in the correct dialect of their native language
- According to SEMrush, a 302 redirect can cause search engines to continue to index an outdated page while ignoring the page you are redirecting it to.
- Although Google’s John Mueller has stated its algorithm does not penalize for 302 redirects and the index will eventually treat a 302 as a 301 if it remains long enough.
- But it is worth keeping in mind that a temporary 302 redirect won’t pass any link authority on to your preferred page, but a permanent 301 redirect will, so it’s best to avoid them.
Technical SEO Issues
Poor mobile experience:
- If your website offers a poor user experience on smartphones and tablets and is slow to load on mobile devices, visitors will likely click away, upping your site’s bounce rate.
- Responsive design (when a website displays automatically and appropriately for both mobile and desktop devices) “provides an experience customized to the device, yet the content is the same for all users,” Stricker says.
- Thus, it can improve secondary signals that Google takes into account for search rankings, including page visits, time spent on a page, visit duration and bounce rates.
Shady link building:
- Unnatural, spam-like, irrelevant, and “black-hat,” or “just plain bad,” backlinks can cause your site to take a hit in the rankings
- Backlinks today should be done at a natural pace, should be diverse and varied and look and appear natural
- Poor engagement statistics paired with ‘crawlability’ issues and other technical issues are all indications of low authority
- If your site is considered irrelevant and is not deemed useful to visitors, it’s not going to rank in the search engines
Images that are not search-friendly:
- By using a combination of Web fonts, HTML and CSS, it’s possible to retain the beauty and achieve good SEO by creating all of the text elements within a banner as ‘live text’
- Images with beautiful fonts, etc. are just an image in the eyes of Google
- Messy URLs can hurt your trust and credibility with search engines and users, leading to decreased clickthrough rates
- SEO-friendly URLs contain keywords and are easy to read and understand for both search engines and users – it’s crucial to have SEO-friendly URLs
Slow page speed:
- Page speed is important not only for a good user experience but also for achieving good search rankings.
Local search and structured data markups:
- If you aren’t taking advantage of local search data or Structured Data Markup, you’re missing big opportunities
- Google recognizes local search intent better than ever, and sites that ensure they have a presence on all the local search data providers, such as Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Bing and Yellow Pages, can see boosts in local searches within their immediate city scope.
- By creating a separate Web page for each location, businesses can more effectively leverage local SEO, which is geared toward providing local results to consumers looking for information about local businesses specifically. This is also becoming more important as the number of mobile-device searches continues to increase.
- Though rich snippets and Structured Data Markup may not affect search result rankings, they can help improve clickthrough rates
Too much Flash:
4 of the most complex SEO problems and how to fix them
Problem 1: Improper indexing of your pages
- The best way to see if you have any indexation issues is to use Google Search Console.
- Using an audit tool, you’ll get a nice layout of your website’s SEO health, with all of the pages that are and aren’t indexed in there
- See what pages are violating Google’s best practices, and which simply didn’t have the correct tagging and/or robots instructions. It’s generally a good practice to check your website for crawling issues every month or so
Problem 2: Keyword cannibalisation:
- A common problem stemming from the fact that some of us marketers start to “overcrowd” the same topics, publishing extremely similar materials, which more or less target the exact same keywords
- What ends up happening is that various pages compete in ranking for the same keywords. This, in turn, hurts the ranking chances of all the pages involved
Problem 3: Wrong page structuring for its target topic
- It’s not only about the content, but also very much about the acceptable form
- Let’s just say that you posted a beautifully written and informative article on the best cities to live in. It’s a big piece of text with a couple of images. Names of the cities are woven throughout the text, The New Yorker-style
- Then you find out that on every page in the top-5 results for “best cities to live in” the information is presented as an image gallery with very little text. That means that Google considers this to be the best format covering that particular topic
- Simply edit your own content to fit these criteria: make it a gallery of images sporting short, clear descriptions, and see your page rise through the ranks
Problem 4: Incoherent internal linking
- Look for ways to link not just to your core pages, but from them to your smaller, “supplementary” pages
- Go back and create new links from your old content to the new.
- Make sure to not over-optimize your anchors. This means that you should avoid the anchors containing the keywords you’re trying to rank for, and aim for naturally suitable anchors instead
No redirect from HTTP to HTTPS page version:
- Since Google announced HTTPS to be a ranking signal, lots of websites moved to the secured protocol.
- Statistics show that a third of websites have trouble redirecting users from HTTP to HTTPS.
- The thing is that if you don’t set a correct redirection, you won’t get the boost promised by search engines for HTTPS websites.
- Besides, there’s a chance that your pages will lose their ranking positions in the SERP
- Google strongly recommends using 301 redirects on a URL by URL basis
- It makes your migration plans clear to the search giant and shows that you’re doing everything the same way on your secure version as on the HTTP one: you have the same content, you noindex the same pages, and set the same rules in the robots.txt file for both versions.
- This is what Google calls a clean migration.
Missing XML sitemaps:
- An XML sitemap is a file with a list of a website’s URLs and information about how they are related to each other.
- It helps search engines spot every page on your website, even isolated ones or those without links from other sites
- An XML sitemap is a way to introduce all of your pages to search engines
- Also, if your site is full of media content (images, videos) that you want to get indexed, adding them to your XML sitemap will speed up the process.
- If our Website Audit found out that your website is missing the XML sitemap, you should generate and submit it to Google.
- Note that our audit bot searches for the sitemap by looking in your robots.txt file and by adding sitemap.xml to your domain. It can miss the sitemap if you keep it in any other format than XML or on a non-traceable URL.
Non-performing contact forms:
- Is there something wrong with your contact form? Do users not want to fill it in?
- Research by Formisimo reveals that only 49% of 1.5 million web users start to fill out a form when they see it.
- What’s more, out of this 49%, only 16% submit a completed form. So you need to go the extra mile and rectify this problem if you want to collect your customers’ info
- Try to make the contact form as compelling to users as possible. Make it as short and simple as possible.
- Collect only the information you need, such as name and email address.
- It is recommended that you have no more than five fields in your form.
- Use something interesting for your CTA copy other than the generic “Submit.”
- Gauge the performance results using A/B testing to see what works for your business and what does not
- One of the most prevalent SEO issues faced by business owners is NOINDEX. In fact, the destructive effects of this issue far outweigh those of a misconfigured robot.txt.
- For starters, a misconfigured robots.txt is not going to remove the pages of your site from the Google index, but a NOINDEX directive is capable of wiping out every single one of your indexed pages from the Google Index.
- NOINDEX is useful for websites in the development phase since the directive prevents them from showing up prematurely in the users’ search results.
- But for established business websites, it brings nothing but trouble.
What is Schema Markup and Why It’s Important for SEO
- Schema markup is a form of microdata
- Once added to a webpage, schema markup creates an enhanced description (commonly known as a rich snippet), which appears in search results.
- Schema can provide context to an otherwise ambiguous webpage.
- Rich snippets do make your web pages appear more prominently in SERPs. This improved visibility has been shown to improve click-through rates.
- According to a study by acmqueue, less than one-third of Google’s search results include a rich snippet with Schema.org markup. This exposes a huge opportunity for the rest.
What Is Schema Used For?
- Businesses and organizations
Above are some of the most popular uses of schema. However, there’s a good chance that if you have any sort of data on your website, it’s going to have an associated itemscope, itemtype, and itemprop.
GOOGLE ANALYTICS OVERVIEW
Sessions: the period of time a user is actively engaged with your website, app, etc. All usage data (screen views, events, eCommerce, etc.) is associated with a session.
- The number you see indicates the percentage increase/decrease between the total number of sessions from 01/09-30/09 compared to 01/08-31/08.
New Sessions: this indicates the number of sessions by new users.
- The number you see indicates the percentage increase/decrease between the total number of new sessions from 01/09-30/09 compared to 01/08-31/08.
Pages/Session: also referred to as ‘average page depth’, is the average number of pages that are viewed during a single session. Repeated views of a single page are counted.
- The number you see indicates the percentage increase/decrease between the total number of pages viewed per session from 01/09-30/09 compared to 01/08-31/08.
Bounce Rate: this refers to the percentage of visitors to a particular website who navigate away from the site after viewing only one page.
- The number you see indicates the percentage increase/decrease between the bounce rate from 01/09-30/09 compared to 01/08-31/08.
Average Session Duration: this refers to the average length of a session.
- The number you see indicates the percentage increase/decrease between the average session duration from 01/09-30/09 compared to 01/08-31/08.
Goal Completions: this refers to the total number of conversions, which, in your case, refers to the number of completed ‘book appointment’ forms.
- The number you see indicates the percentage increase/decrease between the number of goal completions from 01/09-30/09 compared to 01/08-31/08.
GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE (GSC) SEARCH PERFORMANCE: OVERVIEW
Total Clicks: this refers to how many times a user has clicked through to your site.
- The number you see indicates the number of total clicks between 01/09-30/09, with a percentage increase/decrease compared to 01/08-31/08.
Total Impressions: this refers to how many times a user saw a link to your site in the search results.
- The number you see indicates the number of total impressions between 01/09-30/09, with a percentage increase/decrease compared to 01/08-31/08.
Average CTR: the average percentage of impressions that resulted in a click.
- The number you see indicates the average click-through rate between 01/09-30/09, with a percentage increase/decrease compared to 01/08-31/08.
Average Position: the average position of your site in the search results, based on its highest position whenever it appeared in a search.
- The number you see indicates the average position between 01/09-30/09, with a percentage increase/decrease 01/09-30/09 compared to 01/08-31/08.