SEO. If you’re here, you have undoubtedly encountered that word several times before. First off, no, you must not overlook the effectiveness of proper SEO practices, nor should you ignore SEO because it seems grueling and difficult. In order to start optimizing your content and make it available to more people, you need to understand the 5 following factors in SEO and why they are so important
1. User Experience (UX)
Now that web service providers like Google are focusing on the user, the focus of every website and the content needs to be focused on the user as well. Nothing is better for your rankings than a site with quality, mixed media content and social media that has a steady flow of visitors who stays for a decent period of time. Make sure every person can personalize their experience and that the website runs smoothly. Once you do that, you have decent UX and can start optimizing other places around the website.
2. Link Building
A long-time SEO practice is “link building.” Kind of like networking, link building is done when you receive backlinks from another site or link your own content to an authoritative source. What you need to be careful of, though, is the quality of the pages linking to you as well as who or what you are linking to. Google values quality, not quantity, so choose the best, most supportive links for your content. Think of links as citations in research. After all, this also coincides with user experience.
Some ways to get started with link building is to have guest bloggers on your website link back to their personal blog.
3. Mobile Responsiveness
Now that everyone has a smartphone, having a website that doesn’t immediately switch to mobile mode is going to work against you. Google no longer marks websites as mobile-friendly, because the believe is that all websites should have a mobile version. If you don’t, you’re going to be penalized for it.
4. HTTPS Encryption
Google has recently been upping its support of encrypted HTTPS pages over plain HTTP pages, and the reason is thanks to UX. People want to feel safe, and HTTPS encryption is one of the first ways to ensure they do. HTTPS is a security measure that protects the transmission of sensitive information like browsing history and credit card numbers. Having HTTPS encryption will definitely boost your ranking.
5. Long Tail Keywords
Gone are the days where a single word had the power to sway search engine results. Now that Google is embracing the human side of the internet—as in, people like you—algorithms are changing the way they understand searches. Therefore, long tail keywords, or clusters of words that mimic the way someone looks for something on the internet, are essential too. Make sure you have long tail keyword phrases in your content so that it becomes more visible.
A few examples are: “authentic Mexican food” or “veterinarian for small animals.”
SEO is inevitably the reason people make it to your website or not, so if you don’t commit to ensuring your pages are optimized, you won’t last against the competition. Now that you know, be sure to start using these 5 essential SEO practices immediately.