There’s nothing certain when it comes to SEO. The methods that worked for your competitors may not work for you. The ever-changing algorithm of search engines may make it difficult for you to rank effectively using the same methods that you used in the past. The digital world and your competitors are changing the ranking factors and strategies frequently. You should also try and test different methods otherwise your SEO opportunities may become stagnant.
There are a few ways to stay up to date thankfully. In this post, we’ll be going over some effective SEO tips for 2017 to help you cope with the present marketing conditions.
Keep a Close Eye on Indexing
Before you start investing time in building links on your site, you have to ensure that the links that you’ve already created are properly indexed and crawled by Google. If not correctly indexed, those pages will have no visits. You can check for this information on Google Search Console, it’ll let you know about the technical issues your site encounters. To learn about the pages that have not been indexed, click on the “Index Status” under “Google Index” on the left sidebar. You will discover the total number of pages that have been indexed already. Ideally, the number of indexed links should be the total number of pages on your site minus the pages that have been delisted from being crawled. Google may also continue to show old titles and meta descriptions for specific pages that were changed. For both issues click on “Fetch As Google” under “Crawl” in the left sidebar and put the URLs that you want to be re-indexed.
Check Your Sitemap
Sitemaps are meant for enabling search engines to understand your site structure and that’s done through the sitemap.XML file. This is what lets the search engines discover if anything new was published on your website. Therefore, if there are any changes done to your site, you need to update it on your sitemap so that the search engines can learn about it. You should also keep it clean by removing unnecessary elements like non-canonical pages, redirected URLs and the pages that are not allowed to be crawled. To check your sitemap’s health regularly, you need to go to Google Search Console> Crawl> Sitemaps. Google doesn’t crawl more than 50, 000 URLs in a sitemap. This means you need to keep it short so that your important pages get crawled at regular intervals.
Name Your Images
There are a good number of websites that have images named without any relevance. Even the image file names on most WordPress sites differ from the alt text. By incorporating a little SEO best practices you can really see a boost in the SEO ranking. This begins with naming the image files with actual words used in the content. Hyphens should always be used between the words in the image file name because Google only reads words individually if there are hyphens between them. You also need to add at least one focus keyword on your featured image that is generally used in blog posts.
Include Schema Markup
Schema markup or structured markup is a code that helps Google provide a better result to the visitors. Have you ever seen the top-search results in the SERP? Well, they are there because of the schema markup. It helps you achieve a different stature in the SERPs while boosting your CTR. You can check whether your schema markup is working properly from Google Structured Data Testing tool.
Check Broken URLs
Broken URLs can be created through various means. They may occur because you edited the name of a URL that was previously added. It may also be because you deleted a particular page that was once live. But, if you have done this after Google’s crawling and indexing, then the pages are visible on the SERPs and when a user clicks on the results, he/she gets a broken URL with no content on display. This can eventually increase the bounce rate and may cause a loss of potential leads because of the miscommunication. Thus, you need to check regularly whether any broken links exist and redirect them to the relevant pages on your site as early as possible.
Shaping website URLs correctly provides a huge impact on on page SEO. The URLs should be search engine friendly and have relevance to the content of the particular pages. While creating URLs, you should also ensure that they are short so that your brand name becomes prominent. Apart from this, they should contain the structure of your website and must not include any special characters, alphabets or words if it’s not an eCommerce store.
Internal linking is another major factor for SEO as it helps bring traffic to other pages of your website and transfers the link juice. You also need to put smart anchor texts while interlinking other pages. You can use long-term keywords as anchor texts that are relevant to the pages. By doing this, you help Google understand what keywords your site has and rank for those keywords. This will encourage the search engines to consider your pages as important pieces of content and improve their overall SEO.
If you want to ensure your internal linking is set up correctly hire an SEO agency to implement it on your behalf.
There’s no better alternative to blogging if you want to rank fast with different keywords. There are several advantages when it comes to blogging, both on page and off page. While posting off page blogs, ensure that the site you’re posting on has higher domain authority than yours and gives a do follow link. By doing this, you can improve your domain authority and let Google rank you as well. With off page blogging, you are also getting the chance to attract visitors from that blogging platform and convert them into leads. What you need to keep in mind is that you should always only post on sites that are relevant to your business.
On page blog posts improve the overall authority of your site and help in attracting direct visitors. They also let you rank for particular keywords.
Those were the tips you needed for an effective SEO checklist for 2017. Implement them now and enjoy top ranking!