1. Remove every thing that slows down your website. Page load speed has been a factor in search rankings since 2010 but in today’s world it is absolutely critical. 40% of visitors will abandon a website that takes over 3 seconds to load and 80% will not return.
2. Link to other websites that have useful sources of information. A lot people think that linking out to other great sources of information, potentially even competitors, is bad because it takes users away from your website. But it’s really useful for your customers and if your goal is to build authoritative incoming links, how can you expect to get if you’re not prepared to give?
3. Write your content to help people and forget Google even exists. More and more I see clients that write content “designed” in a way they think Google will favour. So they stuff content full of keywords, but that’s the old way and if that’s how you write content you’re missing the benefits of writing valuable and engaging content that really helps your reader.
4. Pay attention to your link profile. Incoming links are still a vital part of SEO. But not all links are equal, some should be disavowed. You need to build a natural profile that includes follow and no-follow links. And if you’re going to use directory syndication, do it manually, and make sure all your company details are consistent.
5. Use analytics. You need software to track what’s working and what’s not. This will form the basis of “test, refine and improve”. Start with Google analytics and search console.
6. Write a unique, relevant meta-description for every page. We often find duplicated meta descriptions when we review a new client website for the first time. Sometimes across the entire site. Duplicating meta-descriptions can really hurt your SEO. This is because Google really doesn’t like duplicate content. And since Google serves up the description tag right on its results page for everyone to see, it can be very reluctant to rank pages like this highly. Take the time to write a well-crafted tag for every page.
7. Only use URLs your customers will understand. Google uses machine learning called RankBrain and has since 2016. What this means is that if a real person can’t understand your URLs then Google won’t either. A good rule of thumb is to make sure your URLs are between 2 – 4 words long.
8. Use the right keywords with your images. Google has dedicated an entire section of its search results to images! An indication of how important they are. That’s why you should always use the right keywords in your image names, caption text and even file names. However, you must still avoid the temptation to keyword stuff.