I have a long list of things I like: reading interesting books, petting cats (who doesn’t!), cooking, drinking latte, walking through a park on a sunny day, arranging flowers in a vase. But most of all I like to notice similarities in very different things.
Will you be surprised if I say, that SEO is like a pizza?
Like a pizza, SEO consists of a crust, sauce and toppings. You decide what to add and how to mix ingredients to get the best results.
A crust is needed for effective SEO
Like you can’t cook a pizza without a crust, you can’t have a successful website without basic SEO being implemented.
What are effective SEO basics today?
Today, because you can’t obtain the best results on SERPs if all you do is add keywords sporadically, old players often say that SEO is dead. It is not. The cleverer search engines get, the more important it is to play by the new rules.
1. Add structured data
Structured data (aka microdata) is a specific vocabulary of tags that you can add to your HTML to improve the way your page is represented in SERPs. Structured data is the language search engines speak the best.
Structured data markup increases search engines’ understanding of your site’s content, as well as enhance search visibility via rich snippets, featured snippets and Knowledge Graph results. That is how you can create more search engine-friendly signals, which can indirectly impact search rankings.
We’ve written about how to decorate SERPS with structured data patterns from your website.
2. Improve page speed
Page speed is the time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page. There is no surprise that the faster, the better. Google uses site speed (that consists of various page speeds) as a ranking factor.
Slow pages ruin both the user experience and the ability of search engines to crawl properly. Slow pages tend to have higher bounce rates and a lower average time spent on the page. When a page loads slowly, it means that a search engine can crawl fewer pages of your site and that can negatively affect your indexation.
3. Optimize for mobile
Mobile optimization is no longer a competitive advantage, it is a must-have now that mobile has overtaken desktop as the primary device used to access websites.
We’ve published a Mobile SEO Issues Checklist that is very relevant.
Add some secret SEO sauce
In recent years search engines pay great attention to user needs and the overall user experience. A successful website is a servant of two masters: site visitors and search engines. To please search engines you should take care of your internal link structure, avoid duplicate content and over-optimization. To please site visitors you should understand their intent.
If you know your customers and their needs, you are a cut above your competitors.
1. Understand user intent to finetune your keyword strategy.
Start your keyword research by developing user/buyer personas. What are they looking for? What are the long-tail keywords they are searching for? Are their queries informational, transactional or navigational?
2. Learn user intent to create landing pages that convert better.
The best landing page appeals to a specific user’s needs, pains, interests or problems. Learn what your audience may be afraid of and show how you can assuage that fear.
Choose your toppings
The best SEO topping is to get into Google vertical search. Think about where your customers are going to look for content.
1. Go local
It is vital for a local business to be added to Google Maps. If you have an offline shop, a barbershop or a cat cafe, be sure to pitch your business in local search.
2. Image & video search
Image search is the most popular vertical after web search, you can’t miss the opportunity to be present here, especially if you provide visual content.
3. Voice search
As the fastest growing type of search, voice search may change the SEO industry forever. Remember how you usually talk to Siri and be sure to use such question phrases on your site, because Siri and her friends may decide to pull your content forward in answer to questions posed to them.