SEO is a bit of a technical challenge, but this blog will give you five fundamental things to focus on to ensure Google ranks your site high for a keyword or for certain keywords.
For the sake of simplicity I’m going to focus on words that are not highly competitive. If you want to rank high for something popular, like “vacation rentals”, then you have to bear in mind the millions of other websites vying for the same keywords.
Let’s for example say you want to rank high for your own name, which, in the greater scheme of things, should be pretty unique. If you have already designed a personal brand website, use the following technique to determine which of your pages are in Google’s index:
site:yourwebsite.com firstname lastname
Please note that the above:
- Has to be done in Google Chrome or the Google search box
- There is no https://
- There is a colon (:) after the word site
- Note no WWW. If you want to just check pages with the prefix of WWW, then add that. But we generally recommend you don’t because Google will automatically include subdomains if you don’t include a prefix
Now that you know if your website ranks, let’s move on to our five tips
#1 Page Content
This might sound a bit obvious but Google has figured out how to read your page’s content. You can plaster the words you want ranked repeatedly on the page, that won’t help. Google’s algorithm has been developed over many years and knows people who plaster words on a page are out to guy them. So instead, they analyze the page’s content. There is a technical term for this as well called Semantic SEO but for the rest of us it basically means your page’s content must be highly relevant to the keyword.
Tip: Make sure your page’s content is relevant to the keyword(s) you are trying to promote.
#2 Page Titles
It’s kind of obvious, but many people don’t realise the importance of a great site title. If you’re working in Microsoft Word, the title of your Word document could be super important, especially if you have many documents. Now imagine you’re indexing million or billions or trillions of pages. Hence, the page titles for your website is super important.
Tip: Choose great page titles, and don’t overdo it
#3 Inbound Links
The most powerful tip is unfortunately not relevant to most websites. Google gives extremely high priority on inbound links. So the more people you can get to link to your site, the better off you’ll do in the SEO game. Be realistic about this, and don’t try and cheat. Try to find relevant sites that might link to your site. One example could be review sites, the legitimate ones.
Tip: Be creative and think hard which relevant (not spammy) sites will link to you
#4 Domain Name
I left this tip for second last, because although it’s really important, it’s not the most important thing at all. For example, if your brand is xyz, and you decide to make your domain xyz-chairs.com, you could be diminishing your brand. The domain name is traditionally one of the more important things in ranking, but most certainly not the most important.
Tip: Choose a great domain name that you will be willing to live with for years. Focus on your brand more than anything else.
#5 Check your stats
You are not going to magically create something, leave it there, and never have to work on it again. The key to knowing your search is looking at your search statistics. It’s the same as a bank account, one has to know what’s going on. And you can only know what’s going on by going to look at the search statistics. Luckily there is a tool for this and it’s called Google Search Console. Love it or hate it, GSC is where you can go and see what’s happening with your search. In general the tool is quite simple, compared to say Google Analytics, so give it a whirl.
Tip: Use Google Search Console on a regular basis and try to understand what’s going on.
To close we generally recommend you just focus on content. There are no magic tricks to get high rankings, because then it would have been too easy.
Creating great content can be a lot of work and practice. It’s something that can only improve with time and experience. The only shortcut here would be to find someone that writes excellent content for your website.
Leave us a reply if you have other great foundation tips for SEO.