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New SEO Trends and Google’s Major Changes in 2018

With 2018 already starting off in a mad rush it seems like the SEO days are on the go and there is nothing that you can hold on to. However, there are various upcoming changes that will soon be put up by Google and related SEO trends that will hold the key to your buoyant spirit for SEO. In order to hold on to horses for the current year, you need to buckle up on your foresight and check for the things that the industry is gearing up for.

Given here are a few important areas that you need to keep track of, in order to shift your position according to the imminent changes that are to take up this year:

Get yourself ready for fake news algorithm updates

It was way back in 2010 (seems like somewhere down the pages of history) when Google used to get a lot of bad blood from web users and most of the times was hogged by media organizations for its frustrating clutter created by unstructured ‘content farms’ which kept increasing each day. Search results for Google were in a mess as there was no veritable check for spam and low-quality content.

Just a year later, in 2011 Google released its Panda update which worked well in targeting low quality and spam content. It seemed like Google had found a way out to tackle negative press.

People and organizations across the globe have been busying themselves up with talks on fake content promotion by Google in the recent times. This makes it necessary to refer to instances from the past when Google had taken important measures to negate all forms of fake content, spamming, etc. Media has been persistent in belittling Google’s search trends in the last 1 and a half years.

The problem has been extensive. The growing dissent is quite evident when industry experts speak out on the matter openly. According to Danny Sullivan, a California-based technologist, journalist and a popular entrepreneur, the very recent trend of fake search results on Google is “Google’s biggest-ever search quality crisis.”Google’s image is under the scanner and it remains largely bruised and battered. There has been a motivated approach to deal with the problem and Google has worked quite hard in achieving an unquestionable win.

Some of the areas combated by Google:

  • Google has taken action in adjusting its algorithm.
  • ‘Fact Check’ tags have been added to the search results. This will be important in curbing false/fake historical news from spreading widely.
  • Fake news ads publishers have been banned by Google.
  • Recent tests to include ways for users to report ‘offensive autocomplete ‘
  • Algorithm adjustments to devalue “non-authoritative information” like Holocaust denial websites.

Google has always tried to control trustworthiness in its search results. In 2015 Google’s researchers had launched Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT), an evaluation system that checked the quality of web pages based on their factual accuracy. This was an innovation as facts were given importance over the number of inbound links.

Knowledge-Based Trust system could have been an ultimate quality setting yardstick. Websites that involve in publishing fake news on a regular basis could be handled well with this method. However, this system could also go wrong considering the fact that widely circulated wrong facts could come into the picture.

It is hard to ascertain whether KBT has already been implemented or not. It is harder to know whether this system can combat fake news. But it is surely a thing to consider that Google believes in authentic search results and wants to uphold truthfulness in its ranking factor.

Voice Search and Assisted Prompts to Grow Together

Most mobile queries (one in every five) comes with voice search options. These numbers will keep growing with Google Home to become more popular. With the rise of voice-enabled services there would be an invariable rise in featured snippets.

A recent study carried out by Stone Temple Consulting has confirmed the phenomenal rise of featured snippets and how their presence is found in roughly 30 percent of the overall 1.4 million queries tested by them.

With a possible rise of this trend, there would be a strong rivalry created between featured snippets and top organic listing.

As a business owner, you will surely want to have one of these to get noticed. There are various other studies that you can carry out giving you a rough overview of featured snippets and current trends.

Artificial Intelligence will determine various aspects of search

RankBrain was established two years back. It is a powerful AI system introduced by Google to enable machine-learning that helps in processing veritable search results. Ever since it was introduced 15 percent of search queries have been handled by RankBrain.

However, it needs to be stated that Google’s interest in AI extends way beyond RankBrain. There are various confidential projects that are undertaken in Google’s laboratories (as suggested by some media outlets) which comprise extensive researches on AI, Blockchain, and various other technology fields.

Google has reportedly developed Cloud Vision API which recognizes an enormous number of objects. Google’s numerous machine-learning capacities are now being sold as its own product.

Google has allegedly built an AI that is superior to humans. Building a superior human was part of a project carried out by Google Brain that comprised of a specialized team specifically working to create and discover AI supremacy for Google.

However, AI also has its own problems. There are times when AI identifies a problem but due to certain limitations (set by handlers), it remains unable to come up with good solutions.

There are problems like AI’s confusion in differentiating between correlation and causation. There are strange correlations and connections drawn by AI systems that are usually considered ‘superstitious’ because of the unrelated items involved in their process.

Developers work on solely programming for the machine-learning algorithm which makes them unable to understand how the final algorithm works. It is impossible for anyone to understand the final outcome of most of these algorithms as they form different shapes and structures by joining with each other. This results in difficult prediction as it becomes hard to understand and gauge how it will behave. The way of operation for machine learning algorithms is completely different from traditional programs.

Google will surely keep continuing with its AI inclusions into their search algorithms. This will make it impossible for us to expect desired search results and more difficult to understand them as they will start behaving in less predictable ways in the days to come.

There might be completely shocking search results shown by Google in case of normal generic search terms used by users. There will surely be negative reflections. Everything about this will surely not be good but we must be prepared for all kinds of things in the days to come.

We can only hope that Artificial Intelligence does not get in the way of long-term SEO strategies. Optimizing for AI will hopefully be an essential optimization process as it will be similar to human brains, but only superior. A machine-learning algorithm aims at making predictions similar to those of humans.

Guest Posts To Take a Possible Hit

Just a few months back Google sent out warnings to webmasters asking them to stop promoting and marketing articles for large-scale link-building processes.

Google’s latest guidelines do not include article marketing and it will result in a penalty. The SEO community is well aware of Google’s knowledge of link building professionals using content as part of their SEO tactics. With this announcement by Google, it can be stated that an algorithm update targeting manipulative guest posts is just around the corner.

So what is manipulative guest posting?

Google’s guidelines must be referred to, in order to get an answer to the above question. “Does it help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”

These questions will let you improve your overall understanding of guest posting. Brand awareness must be promoted by guest posts. That is the main aim. Guest posting must not send referral traffic to targeted websites.

The ultimate aim for any SEO professional is to up the process of ranking and ensure improved SERP. There are numerous professionals who simply tweak the SEO processes to attain their desired goals but lose out in the long run. Various marketers pursue unsustainable guest posting practices that are illegitimate. EzineArticles and many others have been known to promote this trend.

‘Linkless’ Mentions

Bing has already started tracking unlinked brand mentions, providing them with rank signals. As per industry experts, Google is probably doing this as well. AI becoming an integral part of rankings it is not unreasonable to expect “linkless” mentions becoming an important thing in search rankings.

The game of brand mentions is not very different from the tactics used to earn links. However, people who mention brands are much higher in number than people who link to them. This will be a great boost for smaller brands that do not fall into the category of earning press.

Web-based conversations and communications with users (one to one and on a large scale) will let you earn importance on the internet over a span of time. This is vital to growing your branding efforts and overall presence.

Penalties and Crackdowns might be Necessary

Mobile Interstitial penalty introduced in 2017 was an important signal sent out by Google on its choice to battle against intrusive mobile ads. Websites severely hit took part in aggressive advertising blocking users from taking action. It has been clearly noted by Google that deceptive advertising placement and other promotional issues hindered use of the interface. UI being hindered impacted the overall goal of the world wide web – ‘Clear View and Information Sharing’.

Big brands are able to get away with interstitial ads. But Google may decide to crack down on these companies in the near future. The crucial factor that drives the trust of big brands (trusted by millions of customers) is the advert sector. Everything in the near future will depend on Google’s reward for branding vs. intrusive advertising.

The yardsticks set by Google will be helpful in maintaining transparent and clean ways of promotion.

Mobile-first Indexing

Google had announced three years back that mobile searches had gone way past desktop searches. Last year BrightEdge came up with its survey that stated how 57 percent of traffic among its clients were directed from mobile devices.

Google has acknowledged this massive shift in user behavior that has been caused by mobile-first indexing. “Google will create and rank its search listings based on the mobile version of the content, even for listings that are shown to desktop users.” Google’s representatives have stated that mobile-first index can be expected to be launched in 2018.

2018 is being anticipated to be the year of search signals taken from mobile devices that impact all other related searches. Websites failing to include mobile devices in their search indexing processes will soon bear the brunt and become obsolete.

Be Prepared to Face Paradigm Shifts in 2018

 

Ever since it started off with its web journey in the 1990s, Google has come up with numerous shifts in its trends and processes. With the inclusion of AI, the political atmosphere, technological efforts, and warnings against manipulative guest posts and distracting advertisements Google has sent out a strong signal to anyone and everyone plying for business in the search engine world that change is already here and it is here to stay. The focus must be given on long-term SEO strategies that keep everyone abreast in the competitive market for years to come.

Why Your SEO Is Not Boosting The Sales

The amplifying importance of SEO has increased the stress among the small businesses to get high ROI by investing on it in all respects. If you spend a huge amount of money for your SEO every month it is obvious that you will await for the most profitable outcomes. Are you failing to get the best results in SEO even after spending vast amounts? Is your SEO failing to boost the sales again and again? Then there are certain critical issues which are to be resolved by you immediately to remarkably augment the business straight off.

Here are the main reasons due to which your SEO may failing to boost sales:

1. Beginners are conducting your campaign

SEO is a very tricky business! So you should take a plunge in the pool by holding hands of SEO experts as beginners can take you nowhere in such an over the top competitive environment. By bringing on board a leading SEO agency or professionals you can win over a top notch search engine rank. They can carry out an impeccable keyword analysis which gradually will pull in maximum traffic. They hold expertise to conduct SEO campaign in such a manner which automatically perk up sales. So if your campaign is handled by beginners presently, then ask them to take rest and pass over the responsibility to highly experienced ones to obtain significantly better results.

2. Brand building is not done properly

Brand building plays a major role in increasing your sales. So if you do not see any growth in your sales for a substantial span of time then there is pretty chance that brand building is not effectively. You need to adapt those techniques in online marketing which enhances the prestige of your brand online and attract uncountable number of buyers. Once your brand is visible on the topmost range of Google results it wins over the trust of target customers. Brand building can also be done productively by being highly active on social media. The more likes and shares you get for your content on social media, the more profits your brand can earn in the market.

3. Sufficient brand link building is not done

Link building is one of the prominent parts of brand building. For establishing brand authority online you need to do enough authorized link building. When you optimize excessively for niche related keywords you end up in building bizarre links which do not authorize your brand. Amazon which has grown to be one of the biggest brands over the years has got a commendable homepage backlink profile : Amazon.com – 30% , Amazon – 28%, www.amazon.com – 16%, https://www.amazon.com/ – 12% , Niche-relevant keywords – 6% and Others – 8%. From the mentioned facts and figures you can deduce that approximately 58% of Amazon’s homepage links consist of branded anchors of 86% including the blank URLs. So always go for having a branded anchor text for all the homepage links or atleast of 80% of them.

4. Ineffective lead scoring

We all know that whenever customers need to know about a certain brand they will search about it. Thus search engines have got the power to catch hold of innumerable customers by displaying those content which can match up their demands. So if you have got an excellent lead scoring system you can expect a huge increase in ROI. As per research it has been found that an efficient lead scoring system can enhance lead generation ROI by 77%. By analyzing the search terms and links which the users apply while discovering your website you can hope for a prominent increase in sales.

Make sure the above mentioned situations do not arise from now onwards as they can affect your sales poorly. It is a fact that SEO may cost you big but if you invest on the right things at the right time then you are ought to experience massive growth in sales in the shortest time. So spend tactfully on SEO if you yearn for attaining utmost ROI in your business in a flash.

The Last Technical SEO Checklist You Will Ever Need

It is hard to keep track of the numerous Google updates , SEO tricks and techniques but still it will be ever important to keep up and about with Google’s algorithms and crack down the maze of indexing details. 2017 was a year full of bashing done by Google as it hit hard several companies that played with ad-based content (full of adverts). Google also transformed the way its search results worked in order to give the SEO planners a hard time. Every year Google and several other search engines come up with new ways and regulations to up the game of SEO rankings and SERPs. Due to mobility being the rule of the game, Google shifted from its age-old website indexing procedure and introduced mobile indexing as part of its processes.
It must have been really hard to tend to your technical SEO techniques and actions as too much ducking and moving around with Google algorithm updates had been an important part of 2017. With limited time left to double-check the overall health of your website and conduct an SEO audit you might be in need of a checklist to follow in 2018.

So here we give you a comprehensive technical SEO checklist for 2018. By following this checklist you will be able to wade through all the technical SEO fundamentals and put into place all the right actions required by your website.

1. Install all essential tools
Every SEO tool that you install must be done in order to improve your existing situations. The tools must have the power to search and fix all problems that lie with your website.
Here are some of the most absolute essentials you require:

– Google Analytics: This is the most effective tool that lets you analyse, assess and track website traffic along with various other assorted information about your visitor base.

– Google Search Console: This tool measures overall site performance and visible errors. If your target audience base is from the US then you might consider signing up for Bing Webmaster Tools.

– Yoast SEO plugin (for WordPress): Yoast produces effective results as it lets you optimize everything starting from sitemap, content, keywords, metadata and various other fields(applicable for WordPress websites only).

– SEO auditing tool: With the change of times, SEO marketers have earned a special name – ‘Smarketers’ which roughly means search engine marketing professionals. Seoptimer, WebSite Auditor, Woorank, Semrush, Moz, SEO Site Checkup and Screaming Frog are some of the most popular and efficient website information extractors and SEO Audit tools (these tools make life easy by letting you achieve important insights into your websites and gain a strong foothold for future fixes).

Include these tools as they are the most standard and important ones that improve your technical SEO.

If you already have gained from Google’s free tools then you need to play your own SEO game by setting up new ways and processes. Tools recommended here will let you dig deeper into your analytics. With numerous options available in these tools there will be options that you will find suitable for your.

Immediate needs and budget are the two important factors that need to be considered by you before choosing all the tools and software support systems. Check your links’ health, find and fix all existing broken links before journeying upon new link-building opportunities.

Important Fixes and Steps To Ensure Healthy Website

Errors like 404/500 error pages, W3C validation errors, faulty redirects and other non-functional website links and options must be deleted and worked upon.

Dig as deep as you can in your keyword analysis quest. Optimize all of your keywords for all levels of rankings that include local and geo-specific options.

Search and find for content errors like thin content, duplicate content, canonicalization errors.

Research and regularly check on updates given by your competitors. A persistent spying on all competition will let you attain good measures for yourself and compare backlinks, anchor text, etc.

You can choose to be the best by having an eye on your immediate competitors as there is no guarantee to one’s position and success route map.

2. How to Improve indexing and crawlability of your Website?

Check your index status to find out duplicate URLs, non canonical URLs and links that contain a no-index metatag.

All you need to do is enter site – yourdomain.com into your target search engine – use your favorite SEO crawling software or log in to the Google Search Console and click on Google Index > Click on Index Status to generate your report.

Total number of indexed pages must be the same as the total number of pages you have. However, this is often not the case since blocks, errors and problems mar this process.

If you are manually reviewing your website indexing status, your robots.txt will help you discover some disallowed pages. It is most likely that you will miss many others. There are dedicated tools that will let you find all blocked pages, including those blocked by robots.txt instructions, noindex metatags and X-Robot-Tag headers.

3. Improve your ‘crawl budget’

Websites that are not huge in size and are medium or small can work well if you put aside a crawl budget for your website. Technically speaking crawl budget is “taking crawl rate and crawl demand together.” According to Google the term crawl budget is defined as “the number of URLs Googlebot can and prefers crawling.”

A web master’s job is to call the number of pages in a website that search engine spiders crawl in a given period of time within your “crawl budget.”

You must put in efforts to improve your crawl budget which will reflect on your overall improvement of your technical SEO. If you do not have a huge website then there is nothing you need to worry about.

To view your ‘crawl budget’ log in to Google Search Console and click on Crawl > Crawl Stats. It is not an easy job to find page-by-page breakdown of your crawl statistics so you will require a separate tool to have a detailed overview.

It has been found that there is a strong correlation between a search engine’s spider hits and external links. This suggests that when you expand your link profile your crawl budget will invariably improve.

It takes time to build links organically. In order to improve your crawl budget you must start working to fix your link profile. This means you must start auditing your internal links, fix all broken links and limit using uncrawlable media-rich files.

URL structures must be prompt and to the point. To improve your crawl budget ensure to have structured URLs that include 1-2 focused keywords. A website’s URL must be easily identifiable according to the topic.

4. Clean up your sitemap

When you improve your sitemap navigation you can be ensured of boosting your crawlability. All sitemap errors can be found by clicking on Crawl > Sitemaps in your Google Search Console.

Technical SEO requires tom many hard tasks to be followed. Few things about XML sitemap that need to be followed:

Not too large: Google provides a maximum limit of 10MB (uncompressed) and 50,000 URLs on one sitemap. When you exceed these limits break up your website into multiple sitemaps or create a sitemap index file before submitting it to Google.

Remain Up to date: Soon after adding up content to your site update your XML sitemap and submit it to Google.

Uncluttered: Remove all 400-level pages, redirects, non canonical URLs and blocked pages from your sitemap.

During optimization of your XML sitemap for search engines remember to update your HTML sitemaps as well. By doing this you will improve user experience for your site’s visitors.

5. Optimize metadata

Review your HTML code and improve your meta descriptions and title tags wherever they are required. Few general guidelines you can follow:

Title Tags

Add accurate content on all your pages.
It must be written within 70-71 characters for desktop and 78 characters for mobile.
Insert your brand/company name at the end of your title tags.
Don’t duplicate title tags across multiple pages.
Make it different from your H1 headline.
Lead with your most important keywords and remember never to stuff your title tags with keywords.

Meta Descriptions

It must be kept within 200 characters for desktop and 170-172 characters for mobile.
Meta descriptions must be brief, readable and provide unique description of a page’s topic.

Naturally insert (so that it does not look like it has been done forcefully for SEO purposes. Words must flow naturally in the sentences to bring this natural reflection) 1-2 keywords in line with the title tag keywords.

Headline Tags

Tag your main headline with an H1 tag (use only one H1 tag per page).
Use H2 tags for sub-headers or different topics on the same page.
If you have sub-headers within your sub-headers (lists, source links, etc.) use more number of H3–H6 tags in descending order.

6. Restore broken links and redirects

An overall website audit must be followed by fixing off all error messages, redirects and broken links. These errors and broken links cause damage to your page and also have an impact on your crawl budget. Errors slow down page times and also cause poor UX.

You must never devalue your page. Any level of error and malfunction in your page will cause severe damage to the overall indexing, crawling and optimization processes.

Broken Links

It is quite easy to fix broken internal links. All need to do is to find the offending pages and turn the broken link into a workable one and put them across an existing page. Your website structure must be proper and not a single page should be more than three clicks away from your homepage.

In order to fix broken external links contact the webmaster and ask them to fix or remove your link permanently. If you are unable to achieve that then you may have to set up a 301 redirect to an active page or disavow the dead link (especially if it’s from an unreputable source).

Redirect Chains

Initially fix chains of three or more redirects and complete the process of eliminating redirects permanently. Too many redirects in a row might result in search engine spiders falling short of reaching the end of the chain which might further result in unindexed web pages.

Orphan Pages

Orphan pages might come up during your SEO audit. These are pages are not linked to any other page of your website. Add links to them to ensure that visitors and search engines are able to find your page.

7. Use rich snippets and structured data

Overview content or snippets must be rich/specialized. Schema markup gives users a snapshot of your content before they click on the page. This means they can see thumbnail images, star ratings, and additional product details before clicking on the link.

Rich snippets like this help build consumer trust and often encourage clickthroughs.

Go to Schema.org to learn how to set up structured data for your pages. Use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to review your snippets and make them relevant for putting up.

8. Optimize site speed for mobile

A recent study carried out by Google has come up with the finding that visitors are three times more likely to abandon a page that has 1-5-second load time than bounce from a page with a 1-3-second load time.

Google has always given importance to Site speed as according to the search engine giant speed impacts ranking. It can also be regarded as one of the most important technical SEO elements related to your conversions as well.

Slow load times are common especially in mobile sites. As Google states, “the majority of mobile websites are slow and bloated with too many elements,” and 70% of pages took nearly seven seconds to load their above-the-fold content.

Few tips to improve your site speed and mobile performance:

Run your page through Google’s free tools like PageSpeed Insights, Mobile-Friendly Test and Test My Site. Make the recommended changes.
Optimize your images.
Minimise the size of JavaScript and CSS Files.
Move files such as images, CSS, and Javascript to a CDN (content delivery network).

To improve technical SEO on your page these actions are considerably good. With Google’s latest shift to mobile-first indexing your site ranking will largely depend on your mobile website’s performance.

9. Have an eye on the future (voice search, RankBrain and more)

Technical SEO aspects are important and large in number. You must maintain a daily chart to come up with solid improvements. Following a checklists like this one will surely bring you back in the race if you have fallen behind on your technical SEO routes. However it must always be remembered that nothing prepares you for upcoming trends and shifts. You can persistently brush up on other innovations felt important by you to solve customer pain points. Some of them are:

Voice search: Local businesses are currently being discovered via voice chat big time. With queries like “I want to buy _____” or “What are _____ businesses near me?”, optimized voice search results will help your customers find you.

RankBrain/AI: RankBrain lets Google understand the best applicable result for the user’s query based on historical data. The algorithm is focused on quality for the end-user which means optimizing the user experience is all important if you want to achieve traffic rush and potential buyers to come to your website.

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), mobile apps and progressive Web apps (PWA):

With the phenomenal rise in mobile usage Google has shifted its focus on mobile-first indexing. Developers and Designers are working hard to come up with smart UI and UX implementations to pull the traffic triggers.

Their main intent is to make the mobile-Web superior, efficient and useful.

Recent surveys have come up with results that show how after performing a major site audit 39% of SEOs tackle technical SEO first. Focusing on improvement of technical SEO will give you a future ready roadmap because it gives you a solid base upon which you can keep building everything else.

General SEO must work hand in hand with Technical SEO processes.

You must remember that great content will always rule the game. Based on rich content everything else must shape up. Build citations in prominent directories and create a strong and noticeable social media presence. These little measures will up your brand presence and brand value as a whole. With the rise in your brand valuer will come your brand positioning which will decide on the success route of your business.

You must remember that every aspect of your website works together to establish you as an authority in your niche and you must keep on improving your Web presence.

Why You Need an Agency to Manage SEO of Your Business

You have heard a lot about SEO campaigns and now your business is about to start its own, but are still looking for answers: How Shall you start, How shall you manage, should you outsource to an agency or use any software?

Well, despite several attempts to replace human management with software service, it has been concluded that automated SEO management can never be an option when it comes to monitoring the success of your business campaign and how it is responding. If you truly want to see the name of your business in the organic search results of Bing and Google, do not depend upon a software service.

Your SEO campaign would require real people to monitor your company’s ranking position, do the content management optimization, analyze where you listings are getting appeared on a varied search engine, monitor how many of them are appearing for your relevant keywords on mobile and desktop and identifying methods which are actually working. SEO is a strategy that needs qualified professionals to interpret the results and deliver the ROI that you are expecting.

Agencies are always better at delivering you quality results because they are professionals and always offers you a strategic analysis and execution when it is about closely monitoring your local listings and citations. According to these agencies, listing in various directories is highly important and helps people find your business address, phone number, hours of operation etc. Other than these listing you can also opt for PPC ( Pay Per Click), but in this process as well, you would require an expert who can constantly analyze its performance and manage the cost.

Developing a dedicated landing page and optimizing it is highly important before starting an SEO campaign for your business. Because only a successful landing page can convert your visitors into actual leads and customers. You will need a website that loads quickly, contains information, keyword optimized and neatly designed. SEO is a long term strategy and needs everyday management, marketing, and optimization. Make sure that you are regularly updating your citations and responding to every change in search algorithms.

SEO is just a small part of SEM strategy which also includes social media advertising, youtube advertising, PPC and lot more.

The Ultimate SEO Checklist For 2018

2018 brings with it a brand new world of possibilities for search engine optimization. All forms of business entities will still have to largely depend on the ever-growing power of the search engine traffic. The common question placed by amateurs and the uninitiated is WHY? The answer to this Why is simply because people from mostly all walks of life access the internet and you would never want to let go of a business potential/opportunity from any field! Before hitting the purchase button a buyer will do all the research possible. They largely depend on the search engines to get started. According to surveys, almost 43% of the entire website traffic comes from SERP (the search engine results page) referrals. With too many roadblocks in natural search processes like ad-blocking and ad blindness internet users are becoming more prone to clicking on organic listings rather than on a sponsored advert.

Are you ready to kickstart your SEO processes for 2018? If yes then follow the given SEO Checklist here asses, track and analyze the moving parts to gain control.

Recommended Seo practices must be followed to gain maximum benefit.

It has been found that around 56% of all mobile searches comprise of users looking for information about local businesses including details on business hours, address, location, direction, reviews and contact information. These search patterns most invariably make it critical to strategize the SEO auditing process (according to the search categories and types) and set goals for future improvement in the months ahead.

Every small, medium and local businesses follow certain recommended SEO ways and techniques to stay abreast of the SERP race. An experienced digital marketing agency can take your quest forward and let you improve your optimization measures.

SEO Fundamentals: Putting Together All the Scattered Pieces

Discussed below are some of the most fundamental elements of SEO strategy. These tools are 100% necessary and when applied to your existing set of SEO processes, creates impact. Businesses of any kind can take these methods into account for best results.
Whether you maintain a blog post or never have added Alt image tags in your life, you should still perform the following tasks:

Create Robots.TXT File
A robots.txt file is a document comprising of all the information based codes used by search engines and other internet-based services. Indexing completely depends on a robots.txt file. If your website does not have this file then your site remains unindexed. This means it will be invisible in the searches. Google’s spiders crawl and index all pages to put them up on their SERP (search engine results page). These become a part of the relevant search terms searched by users across the globe.
By going over to Google’s robots.txt overview you can get further instructions as well as use a tester tool.

Create Sitemap.XML File
Search engines refer to sitemaps as the latter act as a reference point for websites. Sitemaps are important in web pages being crawled and page priorities being set. This means you can manipulate this tool to re-index certain pages.
Sitemap files are easy to create with tools like this one. They need to be uploaded to Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools for future indexing purposes.

Utilize Google Search Console and Bing Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console is a tool allowing control on important items such as –

● Indexing of a website, that is how often it is being indexed (crawled) by the search engine.
● Visibility of content.
● Checking on all your critical errors (if any) and addressing them.
● Bing’s Webmaster Tools offer similar functions pertaining to Bing search engine.

Start With Google Analytics
Google Analytics is the most intensive traffic tracker. This tool will allow you to check on demographics, search volumes, top keywords, organic searches and various other data such as time spent by users on each web page. All this data will let you have important insights. You can gain a lot on the ongoing trends and potential; measures you need to take to become successful in the search engine race.
Here you must remember that analyzing Google Analytics in a huge thing. For example, a webpage getting a high click-through rate and equally having a high bounce rate needs to be analyzed properly as the page may be using a misleading title or might be having little or irrelevant information.
Google Analytics is a free tool but understanding its overall actions and implications takes a lot of time. You need to sign up for the service and configure your website according to its guidelines.

To Use CMS WordPress Or ModX Or Not
A CMS (content management system) is a software application, a web-based platform that lets you create, edit, upload, monitor and categorize content on your web pages. A complete website can be created by using CMS plugins and customizable themes. WordPress is a popular CMS because it comes free and most of its customizable options are also free. However, there are numerous CMS platforms available.
Why do you need to use a CMS? The answer to this is that it can dramatically simplify and control most or all of the technical elements that run behind a webpage. These elements are meta description, title tag, style sheets, design elements, the structure of the pages and many more. Yoast is a popular Seo based plugin that lets you predict how effectively you’re using the keywords.
We are not suggesting that you must include CMS in your life but we are stating the fact that its processes make way for an easier life. CMS installs and combined actions make daily web actions much easier than general control panels.

Web Page Speed Must be Fast and You can Check on Google’s Page Insights
It is all about the fast loading time of web pages. User retention largely depends on faster load times. It is an integral part of User Experience (UX is being taken seriously all over the world to ensure better running websites).
The speed of web pages impact SEO. Mobile phone users are impatient and a slow website (with fluctuating speed of web pages) will not make them visit your website again. Google has stated that a website has strong chances to survive in the world wide web only if its web pages load within 2 seconds of clicks and hits.
Google also provides good ranks to websites having good load times. Pagerank from Google is all important in the SEO race. You must regularly review page speeds and related trackers to come with Speed increasing tools.

Responsive Design Must Work Good For Your Website
In the present times when smartphone and mobile devices rule the roost responsive design is the only thing to consider for websites. However, you must remember that checking up on the web traffic from time to time is important to see whether most of your traffic is coming from mobile phones or smart devices.
A website needs to accommodate new age design principles in order to stop Google from penalizing your SERP scores. Google Mobile-Friendly Tools and Consoles can be used to understand the overall pulse.

Check on Broken Links and Unused Codes and Errors
There might often be times when you make numerous changes to your website and web pages. When new changes are made old pages, actions and codes are often left behind which act as broken links. They lead to 404 error pages as they belong in the backend but due to their unavailability in the front end they produce error messages to the users.
Broken links take place when the content links to a page that is later removed or has a changed URL. You must find all the broken links and fix them or delete them.
Xenu’s Link Sleuth is a good tool to find all broken links. You can wade through your HTML and CSS codes for errors. Broken codes are serious damages for a website as they hurt UX which can result in a reduced SERP ranking.

SSL Certificate is Necessary for Shifting to HTTPS platform
In all probabilities, SSL certificates can be requested and installed. There are numerous web hosts who provide these services. However, you can also perform this action all by yourself. Portability from HTML to HTTPs websites has become quite popular.

Use Google Search Console to act on better SEO performances
You can use Google Search Console which will help you analyze website pages and generate reports based on your existing SEO practices. Be specific about:

● Blocked Resources
● Structured Data
● robots.txt Tester
● HTML Improvements
● Crawl Errors
● Manual Actions

By applying and working on the above tools you will be ensured of a better optimization process.

Create Google My Business Page

If you are a business owner and want to create an initial local presence then opening a Google My Business Page for yourself is important. Important information about your business will appear on the searches.
This tool will help you control your appearances on Google Maps if your business is locally listed. Options like ‘Local businesses accept visits to your location’ are available making it necessary for you to implement it.
You might not have people visiting your office but you will surely want to claim your listing so you can consolidate important business information besides monitoring your reviews and other details.

What To Do If You Want To Rank in The SEO Race
All the points discussed so far will ensure your initial traffic base and position your website in the search engine indexes. The bots being able to trace and index all the web pages will put up your website in the search engine results page.
Going beyond the basic actions will bring in better results. If you aim to rank your business for some key search terms, you need to follow better on-page SEO processes. The following checklist will come in handy for you to ensure SEO policies and procedures included in new content and optimization done for existing pages:

Make a List of Priority Keywords
Keyword research is important in setting your SEO superstructure. You need to follow keywords tool to research and understand related terms and meaningful words that go with your line of business and brand value.
By working on these terms you can start setting your priority keywords. With moderate terms, you can start off with your ranking race.
In case of fierce competition, you will have to rely on adding a few descriptions to your priority keyword phrases. For example, if you are having trouble ranking for “blue pencils” you can look for “shiny blue pencils” or “100% natural blue pencils” or “handmade wooden pencils.” Your focus on your immediate locality will help you bring in business and retain your customers. You can also avoid being strong-armed by powerful multinational competitors.

Research On Alternate Priority Keyword Possibilities
Priority keywords act as company descriptions. The let the users have an overview of your key line of actions. Research on your immediate competitors in order to understand and consider alternate angles to your priority keyword setting process.
Do not focus on a low-volume keyword like “haberdashery” as 99.9% of common people are more likely to search on terms like “tailor” or “men’s suit shop”. Even if your business identity is “haberdashery” you might have to consider whether to put it on your keyword priority list on NOT!
You can hire an SEO specialist to take away your researching woes. But if you want to do it all by yourself then Google’s Keyword Planner tool is a very beneficial tool that suggests exactly related and relevant terms and keyword phrases required for a website address.
You must also register and use Adwords as your key planner.

Your Website Navigation Must Reflect Your Keyword Priorities
Having multiple product lineups and several service areas in your business you will require to jot down sub-categories of keyword priorities, which must be used for your overall site’s ranking.
Let us take an example of law offices. “Personal injury lawyer” can be considered as the main category, while terms such as “car accident attorney,” “spinal cord injury attorney” and “slip and fall attorney” will fall under sub-categories.
There is no category that will not be utilized in the optimization process.
Your sub-categories must be present in the most important (as considered by you according to business intent) pages of your website. Visitors’ navigation will be greatly boosted if the above method is maintained well. This will also hold important for the search engines as they will be able to index the keywords (big, medium and small) related to your main brand, whether of big or little importance.

Research and Place Contextual Keywords
Over the years there have been major shifts in Google’s algorithms which has bore both bad as well as good news for business owners. Currently, Google’s search algorithm has transported itself from perfect keyword matches to contextual and semantic search terms. What does that mean? You can hope to earn top ranks for a keyword phrase even if that term remains unused anywhere on the page. The main aim must be to use related words (context has become very important in the past few months) so that Google and other search engines understand the correlation.

Google search must find contextual terms so that it can ultimately place you in their top ranks and give your good page ranks which will again reflect on your popularity and potential business in the long run.
Using primary or sub-category keywords in the search bar and scrolling to the bottom will let you find “Related Searches.” Typing keywords in Google Trends will let you come to terms with popular related queries.
There is numerous keyword searching tools and websites. Some of the most commonly known areas to find contextual keywords are thesaurus, Wikipedia, Social Media Groups (ie LinkedIn, Facebook), and UberSuggest.

Goal setting is Important for Keyword Presence in Main Content and Technical SEO Elements

After setting aside all your primary keywords, secondary keywords (made from sub-category keywords or primary alternates) and contextual tertiary keywords and phrases your aim is to place them well throughout your website content.
Top keyword groups must be used on your website’s homepage or main services page. A single scrolling page needs to have subsections that reflect the topic of each major primary or sub-category keyword where every relevant set of keywords must be included.
With the leftover primary, secondary and tertiary keywords you can work closely with placing them as important site elements. In rough order of priority, these include:

● H1 Main Page Headings/Titles
● Title Tags
● Meta Descriptions
● H2 Subheadings
● Alt image tags
● Image captions
● Anchor text
● Bulleted and ordered list items
● Body copy (your main paragraph text)

Alt image tags have become very important since Google indexes images by commanding its spiders to search and find the alt texts only. It is important to feed the right kind of information into the search engine since images are not held as part of text search.
“Anchor text” is the text used while creating a link. For instance, this text “What Every Google My Business Profile Needs” is considered as the anchor text.

Structured Markups will let You Earn Rich Rewards
Schema markup and other tags must be used as and when felt necessary as it increases the chances of your posts to stand out in search results. Additional features like a thumbnail, reviews, a calorie count or other information will keep adding to the value of your posts.

Regular Content Updates Ups SEO Process
Creating a blog and updating it on a regular basis will let you stay floating in the SEO race. New keywords must be added from time to time even if you have main keywords to count on.
Your prime intent is to allow the search engines to find you. This can be attained by regularly mentioning your primary keywords in the text (content).

How to maintain this keyword run?
Regular updates on blogs do the trick. Blogs add a valuable amount to the indexed content for your site.
People visiting your website actually wants to read this content.

Few tips to ensure you are taking the right approach:
Write on general topics that people talk and read about (relating to your industry)
Topics must have keyword goals but should also tickle public interest. You want to create content that appeals the mass as well as the class. If your users find your content helpful, interesting and even entertaining then you will soon grab the golden spoon.
You can start thinking about industry related news and updates and write in them or start an opinion poll and gauge the mind of your users.

Focus on Local Business
Local business is important for you all the time. This goes for new as well as old players.
Existing in the local market will mean that you need to be in the people’s minds. With the help of your content delivery, you will be involved in the community. This can include actions like referencing people, places or latest events in your local town/city. This will immediately hold the interest points of your users.
Start writing guides for local people which will instantly let your visitors find relevance to your main service expertise.

Write Your Content Similar to a Speech Or One to One Conversation

You must have a conversation with your users and visitor base. Everyone must be able to feel as if they are conversing with an unseen voice of a person somewhere there. The tone and language should be that of a common man’s.
Before publishing your blog entry you must check and revise to see whether it is easy to understand, has logic and is something your chosen audience will enjoy reading (and gain an interesting point to come back again!).

Grammar Will Always Exist

Bad spelling, equally bad expressions and language flow will be a reason for your followers to never return to your blog. Maintain simple yet profound blogs that comfort a reader. Grammar counts and will always be counted.
Google ignores content with bad spelling, poor grammar, and easily understands write-ups that are machine generated or written by a bot, a non-native speaker or an otherwise careless person.
Use natural keywords. DO NOT INJECT KEYWORDS WITH A MAD RUSH! Clickable and enjoyable content is important than populating your entire content field with keywords! Rich content is what matters the most.

Keep Rolling Your Content Tags!

Besides developing new content keep writing on old relevant topics (related issues or keywords). Revisiting old subjects or core subject matters related to your business will keep the ball rolling. You can update on these subjects by getting into bigger and better technical details.
You can also maintain absolute basics with a how-to guide that is easily understandable even by a sixth grader. Mixing up both forms of content will further establish you as a subject matter expert.

Come join hands with one of the leading Professional Digital Marketing Company in The World. Let SEOWIZ Asia help you in your SEO processes.
Any queries on this checklist we will be your go-to resource. Speak to us today
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