There are many aspects that affect SEO but the two main ones are on-page and off-page factors. In order for your site to rank highly in Google and other search engines, you need to be doing the right things both on your site and off of your site (backlinks).
With that said, we’ll take a look at a few tips and guidelines that will ensure that you know exactly what you need to do.
We’ll start with on-page SEO since that is the first thing that you have control over. This includes proper keyword research and selection, content creation, optimizing each page of content, creating the site’s architecture, interlinking, internal anchor text ratios and more.
The first place you should start is with keyword research. The last thing you want to do is use random keywords for your pages or keywords that are too competitive. If you choose very competitive keywords, then you won’t be able to rank your site or it will take very long to do so.
The best types of keywords to use are long tail keywords that have a couple hundred or thousands of searches per month. To give you an example of a long tail keyword it would be something like “best dog collars for Golden Retrievers” versus “dog collars”.
Not only is the long tail keyword more specific, but it is also less competitive and further along the sales funnel. You’re more likely to get a sale from that long tail keyword that someone who is just searching for dog collars.
Another important aspect of on-page SEO is writing great content that ranks. Google is becoming more intelligent which means that it is becoming better at knowing which page’s content is better than the other. This means that you should strive to write the best content possible that actually deserves to rank highly. You can do this by seeing what your competitors are doing and doing it better.
You should also include lots of images, videos, structured data like tables, bullet points, numbered lists, etc.
It is important that you avoid writing about the same topic twice or more times on other pages of your site. This can cause keyword cannibalization where the two or more pages are trying to rank for a particular keyword. Many people mistakenly do this and it will cause your site to be held down in Google’s rankings or even penalized.
Next, we will look at site architecture. If you’re trying to build an authoritative site, then your home-page is best being a portal for the other pages on your site. The home page is typically the most powerful page of your site, so you can possibly use this page for your most important keyword.
However, if you do this, then the rest of your site will need to only be themed around this keyword. For example, if your home page is about best fishing rods, then your other pages need to be about fishing rods or similar topics.
However, if your home page is a non-ranking portal page about fishing, then you can talk about anything on your site such as fishing rods, fishing gear, different types of fish, the benefits of fishing on health, etc.
Lastly, with respect to on-page optimization, you need to ensure that you are interlinking properly throughout the site. The concept of link juice is still very much in play and you need to make sure that the power from your site and backlinks point to the most important pages. These pages will probably be your pages where you make money or get people to sign up for your service or even to your newsletter.
The next most important aspect of SEO is off-page SEO which is building links or backlinks. You need to be very careful when building links since many of Google’s penalties revolve around links. There are three main ways you can build links and these are white hat, grey hat, and black hat.
It is best to avoid black hat links since these are the riskiest when it comes to getting your site penalized by Google. However, it does offer the fastest results and includes links such as paid links, Sape links, PBNs, etc.
On the other hand, white hat links are the best and safest links you can get for your website and these include outreach links such as guest posts, infographics, resource links, broken link building, etc.
Grey hat link building is a mix of both black hat and white hat strategies. For example, you may start off by building a couple of PBNs to the site so that it gets a ranking boost, but over time, you remove those PBNs and replace them with white hat links.
In closing, we have just looked at both on-page and off-page SEO. The above guidelines will definitely help you to rank in Google once you put them into action. However, remember that SEO takes time so make sure that you remain patient and the rankings will come.