SEO GUIDES

7 SEO Guides to Ranking High in Search Engines

Page Ranking High Attitude

Ranking high, better visibility and profitable return of investment are the primary objectives of SEO pursuits online. Conversely, these incentivized goodies have become a mammoth task and quite a challenging one for some to achieve simply because a wrong approach was taken in the first place.

The right approach, the appropriate SEO tactics, your expertise and understanding, and a little bit of patience may be one of the ideal etiquettes as a webmaster or SEO expert to maintain or imbue with in making the SEO exploit a success without building the castle in the air.

The 7 SEO Guides

Without further ado, I have prepared simple but self-explanatory 7 SEO guides you may need to follow to get even with your ranking and visibility goals in the search engine results page.

1. Fix On-Page Technical Issues

Fixing on-page element issues includes the Implementation of canonical tag correctly on a page, fixing incorrect response status codes, upgrading page speed, and repairing any web content related flaws.

Canonical Tag rel ="canonical"

For those of you starting SEO for the first time, Canonical tag is a header element that specifies which page should be considered as a priority over another whenever two pages appear to have duplicate content with different URLs. It signals the search engines that a particular URL takes precedence and should be crawled.

canonical tag

Let’s assume you have these URL structures

URL 1 - https://mydomain.com/buyme.html --- Not preferred 
URL 2 - https://mydomain.com/buynow.html --- Preferred

and both have the same content on their page (2 version of the same page).  So now you want to set your priority rule by picking the most important page that has the most visits or assets without conflict.

Guides

  1. Go to the document page of that same file, and find the header element that looks like so:
  2. In the href attribute space, enter your preferred URL in the blank space as provided below and enter your preferred url in place of URL PREFERENCE.

<link rel="canonical" href="URL PREFERENCE" />

What you have applied now is the canonical rule indicating that you have merged two pages into 1 and the priority is now set for URL 2, for instance to establish a better ranking in the search engine. 

Caution!

It should be correctly implemented within the tag of the page and point to the main page version that you want to rank in search engines

Fixing Response Codes

Every visited web page would respond with a good or bad status code. Good when the access to the page is confirmed successful and bad whenever there is any form of inaccessibility to the server. Error codes such as 400, 404, 500 errors are rendered. Simply because the server was unable to handle the requests. Read htaccess guides to learn how to hack error pages.

Guides

  1. Optimize those pages with navigational options or use permanent 301 redirects to let the page points to a working URL
  2. In the event of having an error response other than 404, a comprehensive article on how to fix status codes can be traced back in the SEO rules of thumb.

Upgrade Page Speed

Upgrade page speed related problems to make your site faster, follow the simple guidelines outline below to expedite the your web page loading speed.

Guides

Compress and reduce the size of CSS, JavaScript, and HTML files.

  1. Use CSS minifier to reduce the code sludge
  2. Use Javascript compress to minify the code
  3. Use HTML minifier to compress the Hypertext codes

How about image compression, browser cache. Don’t forget! to perform some image size reduction and leverage the cache.

Web Content Related Issues

This is an on-page related issues that may include duplication of contents, excessive usage of title and description meta contents count, and omission of alternative attribute in media.

Guides

  1. Walk-through your web pages and check for any possible duplication of contents, too long or too short titles, description or no title or description at all.
  2. Check your meta tags in the header section – use this tool to validate your meta tags
  3. Check if your image attribute is not empty.missing alt in image

2. Contextualize Your Keywords

The first thing to do when considering the relevant keywords is to carry out some brainstorming, gather creative thoughts as to what benefits the keyword of choice would bring to your business and how many prospective clients use the term to find you, then acquire the right tools to work in your advantage. I have written an extensive article on keywords mastermind where I articulated the effective planning of keyword and best practices. 

Brainstorm and Research Keywords

Keywords are those terms you use to catalog and index your website, which means a collection of these unique words would be the foundation for your site visibility if applied appropriately.

  1. Collect your foundation keywords including any possible suggestions based on your service or product you offer.
  2. Pay attention to the synonyms of the queries which already generating traffic to your website, use Google console for this.
  3. Create your own niche vocabulary and dictionary list for future use and apply in tandem within your web documents

Acquire Keyword Tools

Find the right keyword tools that perform these tasks – keyword suggestion, keyword generation or keyword research tools to harness the optimization of your target terms.

Guides for Tools

  1. Keyword generation tools (soovle)
  2. Keyword planner tool
  3. Keyword suggestion tools (Google keyword tool)

4. Structure Data Markup

A structured data markup is an on-page readable format markup that enables search engine understands or interprets the on-page information found on the web document and return the best possible result relevant to readers.

Guides

  1. Optimize your microdata, put some of your rich answers (FAQs is the best example) into a schema markup.
  2. Put your questions into tags and your answer can be a step-by-step list or bullets Enhance your rich snippets with review markup.
  3. Do this by adding review mark up using schema.org or you can use some of the automated tools like free Structured Data Markup Helper.

Hint: Local structured data helps search engines render valuable information like business name, address, phone number, prices, reviews, business hours, directions and map (geo-location), offers, events and even menus and display it to searchers in the search results interface.

5. Images

You can never rule out the importance and impact of media file in search engine optimization policy. Issues like broken image link, empty alt attribute which search engine reads can hamper the smooth run of SEO campaign.

Guides

  1. Check if any of the image links are broken (inaccessible) and fix it.
  2. Check for any Empty alt texts in the Image and apply the relevant term (keyword).

Why it Matters

  1. Although the SEO factor for broken image link may not count, however, broken images are a critical factor for user experience and may lead to visitors bouncing away from the site without completing their goals.
  2. Missing images may be an impediment to bot or crawler restricting them from indexing and crawling the affected pages.
  3. Search engines can’t read images, they only understand the image when description of the image is added to the alt attribute
alt ="Keyword rich description of image here" 

6. Localization Issues

What to Watch Out for:

  1. Language versions
  2. Page with hreflang elements
  3. Incorrect language codes
  4. Invalid URLs
  5. Missing return links
  6. Conflicting hreflang elements
  7. Non-canonical pages with hreflang elements
  8. Missing -x- default values
  9. Incomplete hreflang values
  10. Pages without hreflang elements

7. Redirect

 Pay a keen attention to the following:

  1. Issues of www and non-www versions of a domain
  2. Issues with HTTP/HTTPs site versions
  3. Pages with 302, 301 redirect
  4. Pages with long direct chains

…when dealing with redirect.

Read more about URL Redirect in my SEO rules of thumb article.

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