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WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
Build a brand for a product
Position yourself as an expert for consulting
All of the above…
Your goals matter!
Were you affected by the early March update?
THE SEO BASICS
Basically without these things – you will have trouble ranking well.
TTB – 1.3 seconds
Resources – 50
Webpage size: 500kb
Load time – 3 seconds
Theme, hosting, too many plugins all cause issues with speed
MOBILE FIRST INDEXING
What is it? Well Google USED to crawl your desktop website and THEN your mobile website to deliver your pages in the search results. It has been said 80% of the crawling was by the desktop Googlebot and 20% from the Mobile Googlebot. Now it is reversed with the Google smartphone bot crawling 80% and desktop just 20%.
This change has been rolling out slowly – but in March they released a notice that they would start rolling it out to everyone. You should receive a notification via Search Console when your website goes to mobile first indexing. Alternately you can check your Smartphone Google bot crawl right….if it is high, you have already changed over.
- If you have a separate mobile website you will be hurt – responsive websites are best
- No interstitial popups (once that take up the whole page) – look at options for not having popups at all
- Test your pages to ensure they are mobile friendly
- Search Console > Search Traffic > Mobile Usability
- Make website responsive (best option) – alternately you can use AMP pages with a plugin if you are on WP
Test your pages at https://search.google.com/test/mobile-friendly or https://www.seocentro.com/tools/seo/mobile-friendly.html
Google is committed to having a secure web experience for their users. If our site is not secure – do so ASAP. Check if your web host offers “Let’s Encrypt” which is a free service that is fine for bloggers. If not you will need to purchase a certificate from somewhere like GoDaddy. If you look at most top ranked websites you will see 99% are probably secure websites.
This summer (July estimate) there is a plan to have all non-secured websites MARKED as non-secure which will greatly reduce visits since users will tend to lean towards a secure experience.
THE CONTENT <—- It’s HOT
Adwords not great any more due to change that requires spend to see search volume – and they will be discontinuing accounts that have no ad spend in the last 15 months anyway. Serps.com/tools/keyword-research is a good alternative but even better is a Chrome add-on called Keywords Everywhere: https://chrome.google.com/webstore/detail/keywords-everywhere-keywo/hbapdpeemoojbophdfndmlgdhppljgmp
“People also ask” in Google is a huge resource
Google’s Gary Illyes confirmed that placement of content on a web page impacts ranking. Because Google wants to ensure focus on key message for user queries – it is important to map your queries in main content areas – meaning above the so called fold.
What is your potential reader looking for?
Why would they need to search for this keyword?
Do they need help? Do they need to buy something? Do they want to be entertained?
What information would make them happy in terms of a page result?
How are they feeling when they search this keyword? Happy, sad, angry, panicked?
Are they looking for in-depth information or a quick answer?
This last item may be the most important but the one that most writers do not think about enogh.
If you’ve been running your website for a few years, you’ll likely have multiple pages/posts targeting the same topic or keyword.
This is bad.
Or is it?
“nonprofit website design” example
People linking to you is still a very important piece of the SEO puzzle – although some say not as much as in the past. I have had sites rank in the top 20 results with absolutely no backlinks – but these were non-competitive keywords. Then there were websites that had minimal content – I added 2 powerful backlinks and rank position grew tremendously.
I would highly recommend backlink building as a part of your overall SEO strategy.
Nofollow / Dofollow should not be an issue — just get a mention and it will benefit you.
Linking out to authoritative resources adds value and shows you care — be an AUTHORITY.
“Hub page” for each primary keyword – internal links to that hub
3-click rule – no page should ever be more than 3 pages deep.
- Use keyword in URL
- Make URL as short as possible
Keep in mind what your URL is too – if dog is in your domain name you do not want to replicate it:
Keywords should be in titles. Shorter title tags have shown to out perform long ones. Avoid click bait style titles – you can test those once you are on page one to increase or test CTR, but until then just be authentic.
GOOD: Puppy Food Guide for Beginners | Puppy Nutrition
BAD: The Best Guide
Has not been proven or unproven to affect rank – but does affect Click thru Rate, which in turn may affect rank. What you enter as a meta description may NOT be what is actually used by Google if they think something else from your page will serve the user query better.
For example entering “what is a website audit” on 4/17/18 brings me this for my website. Clearly Google is wrong on this one – this does not answer the question at all. (4/17 added alt tag to image and rewrote meta description – ran fetch and render)
But this is what I have for my snippet.
GSC > STATUS > PERFORMANCE
Toggle Queries to Pages
Hover filter rows
Look for pages with high impressions but low CTR – this means the title and meta description are not doing a good job
300-320 characters in meta description now – recommend targeting about 250-300 (used to be 160 or so)
Include semantic keywords
Think like a marketer!
Unique for each and every page
Different call to actions – test test test, rewrite but save what you had in case a new one goes bad
QUALITY RATERS’ GUIDELINES
Did you know this was a thing? Yes, real people review your websites in addition to their algorithm. While these people do not have a DIRECT impact on your website rank – they can offer negative feedback to the engineers that can ultimately affect you as the engineers modify the algorithm based on that feedback.
2017 Blogpaws summary:
Quality Rater Guidelines: