It seems like SEO is getting more and more complicated by the minute. Unfortunately, more complications mean more resources, which in turn makes optimizing websites for search engines a costly activity.
But good news — it doesn’t have to be that way. This guide provides you with a list of 15 SEO tips that will help you win in 2021 and give your wallet a little break.
Title Tag Optimization
Our first SEO tip is Title Tag Optimization — A title tag briefly describes the content of a webpage for search engines and searchers. Title tags are one of the most important, if not the most important, ranking factor for Google and the most crucial aspect of SEO. It’s essential that you include your main keywords here.
When optimizing title tags, we have to view them from two different angles:
- What will give me the most significant benefit for my rankings?
According to Moz, adding your most important keyword(s) at the beginning of a title tag is the best SEO practice, and it helps increase your click-through-rate. Many users prefer to quickly scan the search engine results page (SERP), only taking in the first couple of words of a page title instead of reading it in its entirety, so having these keywords at the forefront is crucial.
From a user standpoint, internal linking allows you to navigate through a website. So it’s important to increase links to your important pages while decreasing links to less important pages. If a site had no internal links at all, that would obviously ruin the user experience, while too many links can lead to confusion and information overload. This is a common mistake and an important SEO tip.
Internal links also provide search engines with more information about the structure of a website. In this case, “structure” refers to how content relates to other content and what the hierarchy of the different pages are.
When you place an internal link, make sure you haven’t linked between pages that are totally unrelated in subject. It doesn’t make sense to link from a page about vegan dog food to a page about how to saddle a horse, right?
At the same time, internal links help to distribute incoming link juice throughout your website. Pages that have more links pointing to them get a bigger ranking boost in search engines.
And if you think about it, it only makes sense to point more links to the most important pages that are essential for a site’s overall goal (such as a product page or a page with a sign-up form) while decreasing the number of links pointing to less important pages (like contact or about pages).
Content-Length and Re-Crawls
Don’t get me wrong — longer content doesn’t mean better. However, as you can see here and here, the numbers clearly indicate that the total word count of a page has a direct impact on how well it ranks in Google and other search engines.
The optimum word count seems to go far beyond the average 500-word post and ranges between 2,000 and 2,500 words.
In terms of social media, content with 3,000–10,000 words gets the highest number of shares — almost twice as many shares as content with 1,000 words or less.
And let’s not forget that typically, the more content a page has, the more keywords it will rank for, which means more traffic coming to your site so this is a key SEO tip.
From a user perspective, it’s important to remove all fluff; don’t make the article longer than it needs to be for the sake of a higher word count. Simply put, focus on providing just enough detailed information to answer all of the questions on any given topic that a reader might have, but not more. We’re looking for value only.
A best practice and SEO tip for if you decide to revise some of your existing content, is don’t forget to have it re-crawled by Google using the Fetch as Google tool in your Google Webmaster dashboard. Although the re-crawl won’t happen immediately, it usually shortens the time period that Google needs to revisit your site and index the changes you’ve made.
When you run a simple site audit, chances are that you stumbled upon a handful of technical SEO issues that might have a negative impact on your site’s rankings. Some of these issues you will be able to resolve on your own in under five minutes. For others, you may need an experienced developer to get to the bottom of things.
The great benefit of running a technical site audit is that you often find low-hanging fruit. One example of this might be an immediate 20% increase in conversions for your e-commerce store — simply because you reduced page load times by half.
Addressing all of the technical issues a website can have would go too far for the scope of this guide, but if you want to run a simple site audit yourself, here is what you can check:
- Robots.txt: Your robots.txt might prevent the Googlebot from properly crawling your website
- Broken backlinks: Broken links pointing to your site lose their link power
- Page load times: Long page load times are bad for SEO and UX
- Mobile responsiveness: Again, it’s bad for your rankings and the user experience if your website can’t be properly viewed on a smartphone or tablet
- Duplicate content: If two nearly identical versions of the same webpage exist, they can create duplicate content issues
- Redirects: Redirects are important when reclaiming broken links or preventing duplicate content issues
- Sitemaps: A broken sitemap can lead to indexation errors
In SEO, NAP stands for “Name, Address, Phone Number.” When the name, address, phone number, or other information (such as an email address and the website URL of your business) are mentioned somewhere on the web — let’s say on yellowpages.com — it’s called a “local business citation” or just “citation.”
The number of citations that can be found, their quality, and their consistency are critical when it comes to local SEO — especially when you want to rank in the Google Snack Pack to be found in Google Maps.
What you have to know is that for local search results, Google browses the web collecting all the data that it can find about your business. For verification purposes, it compares the data to information from other sources like telephone or post office records.
If the information that Google has found is inconsistent, meaning there could be two different phone numbers or two entirely different addresses, it will almost guarantee a negative influence on your rankings.
The reason? Google doesn’t know which data is most appropriate to display. So for this SEO tip, it’s essential that you find all of your business’ citations on the web and double-check that they are consistent and up-to-date.
By the way, consistency also means that you have to use the same format in each citation. For example, if you register your business with Yelp entering “105 Main Street” as the street address, make sure to keep that format; don’t enter “105 Main St.” when you register your business with Yellow Pages.
Get a Professional SEO Audit
There are many tools on the internet that can provide a technical SEO audit. Some tools are better than others when it comes to providing great insight into the issues your site is facing. These tools will reveal issues with things like robot.txt, broken links, WWW-resolve issues, 300/400/500 errors, and many more.
On the other hand, data without interpretation is useless, right? A professional audit can give you clear direction based on your unique goals and selling propositions. A good, professional audit will consist of analyzing the content on the site using keyword research to make sure the on-page optimization is right — This is a SEO tip we highly recommend.
Auditing backlink profiles can be a challenge if you’re only using tools like Ahref or SEMRush. We suggest getting a professional audit if you’re trying to take your SEO seriously. If you’re ready to get started, don’t hesitate to reach out, we offer complimentary SEO audits to help you start reaching your SEO goals!