Everyone keeps talking about SEO and rankings, but why are they so important? Search engine optimization is a highly competitive field due to the constant and sometimes unexpected changes that Google implements into its search algorithm. Even though these amends are difficult to predict they can seriously influence the positions of your website in search results. For this reason, it’s a must for an SEO-professional to be a step ahead of the most recent updates. But, is there a proven way of winning the battle for higher search rankings in 2017? Absolutely! Follow the SEO trends and learn more of the things affecting your site’s positions on SERPs.
Suppose, you don’t have a website yet. So, you’re faced with the necessity of building it from scratch. Or maybe you’re currently looking for a web designer or a web studio to fix this one for you? Today, people prefer easier ways of handling these matters – using WordPress CMS combined with ready-made WordPress themes. There’s no need to care about coding if everything you need is right there. With thousands of template providers, you can find online, you can easily get multipurpose Web Design WordPress Templates and fit them to your project with minimum effort. You still need to make an effort if you want high rankings. Don’t be mistaken, there’s another benefit of using these pre-made themes – they are all geared for the search engines, so it’ll be a lot easier for you to start with your SEO.
Let’s discover 10 working tips that will help to improve your website’s positions in search engines in 2017.
- SEO Plugins for Websites powered by WordPress
So, you’re a beginner website owner and know nothing about SEO at all? Is there any SEO fast track for a web project based on WordPress? Try installing Yoast SEO Plugin or any other WordPress SEO plugins with similar functionality. These types of plugins have a vast range of functionality to help a resource rise from the search pit. For example, Yoast provides such features as a snippet preview, posts length check, checks meta description snippets for focus keywords etc. The benefits of using these plugins are obvious: you get rankings and the CTR increase for organic search results.
If you’re looking for a variety of plugins, there is a vast selection of plugins like
‘All in One SEO Pack’ and ‘SEO Ultimate’ etc.
- Getting Into the ‘Rich Results’
Infiltrating the Google’s top 10 results with your target keywords is paramount of their SEO performance. Still, there is a thing called Rich Answers (Rich Results)! Google users must have noticed that sometimes there are results appearing on top of organic search results framed in a separate section.
These are ‘Rich Results’! According to recent stats by StoneTemple, ‘Rich Answers’ are displayed by Google for approximately 40% of search queries. This percentage keeps growing by the day. ‘Rich Answers’ are meant to provide search results bearing the maximum value and the most relevant answers to user queries.
- Use Different Types of Featured Content
Videos, images and other supportive content is featured content. Since Google is constantly changing the features on search engine results pages over the time, it’s useful to keep an eye on what’s trending. It’s possible to follow the most used types of featured content via the Google SERP Feature Graph by MozCast. Which types of featured content you should use? That gravely depends on the area your business operates in, so there are different ways of gaining better rankings in search results.
- Increase User Engagement
Even though user engagement doesn’t influence search rankings directly, website owners still have to think about improving it. Increasing number of web users tending to return as well as low bounce rates somehow makes a website rank better in search results.
So, how do you increase user engagement? The optimum solution for a website owner is to use instruments to analyze the interaction levels a specific web page generates. And then, improve the other pages using the mapping results and the statistical data. There’s a variety of tools for assessing user engagement and providing analytics. For instance, Clicky collects the real-time traffic data and measures all visitor’s actions. It also makes a list of incoming keywords you can use for optimization. KISSmetrics will be a great choice for eCommerce projects. It’s a tool giving insights on customer habits before and after making a purchase from a website.
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- Choice of Competitive Keywords
Keywords are still the cornerstone of SEO. This can be a word or a phrase of 3-5 words to use for content creation. Keywords have to be relevant to your business field and a topic you dedicate your content to so that users could find your resource in search engines. As a rule, 3-5 relevant key phrases inserted the meta description snippets, title and h1 tags are enough. Refrain from keyword abuse, in this case, the more is not better at all. If Google has a suspicion of keyword stuffing, your website can lose its rankings or even a penalty!
- Refresh Keyword List
Refreshing your keyword list from time to time is important, but only if you choose relevant and competitive keywords. For starters, using Google Suggest can be a great idea. Google’s Autocomplete provides a selection of variations and searches queries other people used to search for something related to your content. Also, it’s possible to use other tools for keyword research:
– Keyword Planner suggests keyword variations and gives statistical data like search volume, competition rates, and ads pricing.
– SEMrush is a versatile tool for estimating the keyword rankings, the positioning of a website and keywords suitable for content creation.
– Ahrefs will be great for discovering the backlinks and carrying out the SEO analysis. The ‘Site Explorer’ feature allows to check backlinks for a specific website – as well as things like organic keywords, social data, pay-per-click data etc.
The general recommendations concerning keyword research are as follows:
- relevance to the content
- medium to high search volume
- low to medium competition
- Don’t Forget About The Meta Tags
In spite of the fact that meta tags are considered more of service tags hidden within the html code, they still bear significance. They are used by Google bots to pick the information of website’s content to index it within the search database.
<meta name=”description” content=”Write Your Meta Description Here”>
In this respect, meta description tags are important because they provide a brief description of a website using target keywords. It’s better to keep the meta description between 135 – 160 characters. It is shown in the search results as a snippet that helps users to decide if a website is worthy of their attention.
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- Get Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are staying crucial for getting high rankings, so don’t save up on quality link building. How does a website prove to be of authority? If there is a selection of quality sites or blogs linking back to a specific resource, the search engines think it has authority, so it will make it’s way to the top of search results eventually. Of course, there are many ways to get backlinks and yet, not all of them can come from resources bearing value.
Below are some of the commonly used ways to get backlinks:
- blog posts with links to your website;
- guest posting;
- reciprocal link exchange;
- press releases;
- social media posts;
- forums and message boards.
In short, it’s preferable to choose the authority resources generating valuable content and making regular content updates.
- Revise Your Content Strategy
Still posting haphazard content on your website in 2017? Work out a consistent content strategy instead. Search engines register the amount and frequency of content updates on a website or blog and treat that as a sign of value. Also, when creating a post for a blog or a marketing copy, think relevance. Obviously, all of the content has to correspond to the products sold or services provided and provide as much details as possible.
If you’re using the services of third-party content writers, make sure all content is original. Search engines prefer to rank websites with unique and relevant content a lot higher!
- Engage in Social Networking
In this day and age, social networks can influence a website’s authority in the eyes of your target audience. Social media is a great way of promoting a company’s website, still, it’s hard to prove if that can be considered a solid ranking factor. It’s possible that a significant part of your incoming traffic originates from social networks like Facebook or LinkedIn.
Keeping this in mind, aim at making your content “social media friendly”, insert hashtags, images, eye-catching gifs etc. when posting on social sites. All it takes is to get the latest SMM insights to boost your resource on social networks.
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Here we are! Hopefully, these 10 tips will help your website skyrocket on Google and get better rankings. If you know any other ways of search rankings improvement, sound off in comments and we’ll add them on the list!