In the not so distant past, many SEO strategies included tactics like keyword stuffing in every single element of the page (title, meta description, heading elements, image alt tag, top menu, sidebar, and footer). But now we have a different situation, the rules have changed.
There is a large number of different SEO strategies and tactics which you can use to improve your site, but here we will suggest 5 basic tactics that anyone can implement on their own site.
THE HUMMINGBIRD ALGORITHM HAS CHANGED SEARCH FOREVER
With the Hummingbird algorithm (including RankBrain), Google has shown that they can understand the content of the page, its thematic, uniqueness and writing quality and with that classic keyword over usage is finished.
Mechanical entering of keywords with the goal of deception of Google algorithm is not good tactic anymore. Google now appreciates when the content is natural and which is directed to user’s needs and intent.
So here is what you can do:
DON’T KEYWORD STUFF YOUR CONTENT
There is nothing worse than reading content that is stuff full of keywords which are strategically positioned within the page. This type of content could be deem as spam and it can influence on increasing bounce rate.
So keyword density is not important anymore and it will not provide a better positioning for your content in the search results.
Educate about a new concept which is important for writing content like TF-IDF (term frequency-inverse document frequency). Generally, TD-IDF means that you should engage different phases in the content, and some of them should appear more often than rest.
We strongly recommend reading an article from Cyrus Shepard at Moz, which has described this concept of keyword targeting in details.
How to optimise your content both for search engines and users:
- Find a specific topic that you want to target.
- Do a detailed research on targeted area (research on user’s needs for that type of content).
- Write content that is unique and adds value for users
- At least 500 words in content length
- Organise content in short paragraphs of few sentences or make a list.
- Every part of the content should have its titles which will tell what is content about.
- Enhance content with inner links to related content (remember, the goal is to keep visitors on the site as much as it is possible).
- Ensure that titles and meta description tags are well written, so visitors understand what the page is about
- Every page on your site should be easy to share
- Make sure your site is mobile friendly
DON’T IGNORE YOUR META DESCRIPTION
The description tag is often being ignored. Some site owners don’t use it at all while some others use plugins or tools to automatically fill in the description, which isn’t great.
Why is meta description so important?
The answer is simple – meta description affects CTR (click through rate).
Make sure to describe the content of the page and use Call-to-Actions to make users click and see read your content, trying to use all 160 characters which are available.
We suggest to do this for all important pages on the site and to do the same for social networks using Open Graph and Twitter cards tags.
META KEYWORDS, DONT USE THEM
Meta tag for keywords in past was one of the factors for ranking, but because of its improper use, Google has removed it from a list of factors for ranking and declared it as a potential signal of spamming. Because this tag doesn’t have an influence on ranking and may be interpreted as spam, we suggest stopping using it.
USE STRUCTURED DATA
Surely you’ve noticed sites in search results which have additional information and types of the content (price, review, address, etc.). That information is showing because HTML code of the page contains certain markups which crawlers can read and show in search results. The statistic shows that results which have additional information in SERP have 25% increased CTR compared to classic results.
We suggest doing research on types of microdata which you can use on your site. Markup logos, addresses, images, phone numbers, business name, business type, prices, reviews and everything else that could be of use for your visitors.
A priceless resource which will make easier to choose and implement microformats on your site is on this link.
RECOVER LOST LINK JUICE BY RECLAIMING 404s
This has happened to most of us at one point or another: We start optimising a website’s URL structure or permalink slugs to be more user- and SEO-friendly, and we end up forgetting about an old URL that dozens of websites were already linking to. Since your old page no longer exists, Google will likely drop it from the index, and you will lose all traffic and authority that your old URL has acquired since it has been published.
Making this mistake can be as easy as modifying your WordPress permalink’s incorrectly and forgetting to check if your old URLs are being 301 redirected to your newly modified slugs, or perhaps you changed the filenames or paths within your website.
Thankfully, with the help of a select few technologies, we can start to track down the links that are turning up 404 errors, 301 redirect them to their new permanent home and reclaim the traffic and link juice.
EARN LINKS INSTEAD OF LINK BUILDING
Inbound links are still an important factor which has a great influence on site ranking in search engines, but methods of gaining links are significantly changed compared to the earlier period. Instead of focusing on mechanical link building, we suggest attracting links and shares from relevant sites by creating quality content. This is a much better way for gaining links than classic link building and it will provide more visits and your brand exposure.
These tactics are only basics, but if you apply them we are sure that you will have much better results for ranking your site. The story doesn’t end here, this is just the beginning. Only constant small changes on a site can bring improvements and in the long-term good results.