Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a way to ensure that a website appears numerous times or is ranked high in the results of a search engine.
To achieve SEO, several factors need to be taken into consideration. These factors can be divided into two categories, On-The-Page SEO and Off-The-Page SEO. It is directly up to the publishers of a website to manage On-The-Page SEO, while Off-The-Page SEO is not controlled by website publishers.
For On-The-Page SEO, these elements are crucial:
- Content Quality - The website must have real quality content that cannot be found anywhere else. The information presented should be unique, helpful, enjoyable, etc.
- Crawl - Search engines specialize in speed-reading or fast “crawling” through an index of websites. However, some traits of websites can cause issues and make these websites excluded from the index. Using Flash or Java may hide links or words on a website. Also, a search engine will only crawl through a specific number of pages or for a specific amount of time allotted for each website. In terms of improving the efficiency of crawling, some sites may use robots.txt, include internal link structures, or ask search engines to ignore certain URL parameters. Additionally, using sitemaps such as XML and HTML may facilitate the process of crawling.
- Titles - HTML titles are very, very important to SEO. Search engines commonly use HTML titles to determine the subject and material of the website. Titles should be different for different pages or articles. Moreover, titles should be descriptive and composed of a few words.
- Research - Research keywords that people typically search for and create content that includes those keywords. In fact, all of the language used in the website should appeal to the target audience, those that search for the content on the website.
For Off-The-Page SEO, these factors are key:
- Authority - The website should be a well-respected authority on the material that it presents. Links, social references from expert sources, sentiment, reviews, and engagement metrics can all affect site authority negatively or positively. The objective should be for the website to be a leader in its subject matter.
- Link Quality - The quality of links must be valuable in order to improve SEO. The links should point to websites that provide quality content. Links to large, esteemed sites will most likely be considered of greater quality than links to small sites or blogs. Also, to a search engine, relevant links to the material presented on the website will count for more.
- Country - Make sure that the content published relates to a targeted or particular country. Various words can be defined in different ways in different places. For instance, the term “biscuit” may mean a buttery, flaky bread or a cookie. In addition, some words can have connotations or sentiments associated with them in other countries. Be mindful.
- Locality - Search engines will go beyond the national level and refine results based on locality. The website should include content related to the geographical area if the publisher would like to be included in town/city/county-specific results.
- History - Search history regularly affects SEO. In this case, publishers cannot directly influence this aspect. Yet, publishers can make their website approachable and likable with a good first impression, making visitors likely to visit again. Furthermore, brand loyalty impact SEO as well. Searchers may click on websites related to a respected brand name they trust before other websites, regardless of placement on search engine results.
Multiple aspects can actually decrease SEO and harm the chances of viewers visiting the website:
- Paid Links - Several search engines forbid the buying/selling of links and ban websites that do so for significant amounts of time. To be included in the search engine’s results, follow the search engine’s regulations. Paid links do not go unnoticed.
- Spam - Everyone hates spam, even the search engines. The unrelated links included on the website will not bring credibility, quality, SEO, or visitors. Actually, search engines may penalize the publishers of websites with spam, especially due to recent updates. Just don’t include spam.
- Cloaking - Cloaking is when search engines are shown a completely different site than what visitors see. Search engines hate this practice. Publishers that do cloak their websites are harshly penalized/banned for attempting to directly manipulate search results.
Hopefully, by avoiding the detrimental aspects and implementing methods related to the On-The-Page and Off-The-Page sections, a publisher can notably improve a website’s SEO.