How to Do SEO in 2019
With it being the hot topic on everyone’s lips it’s vital you give this topic attention too: SEO.
Just another acronym you need to memorize? No. This is not trivial—it’s vital. Working SEO into your marketing campaigns, monthly schedules and guidelines for all online content could be the making of your business in the new digital world.
That ranks this article among the most important information for your business in 2019. So, read this, bookmark it, follow the guidelines and then enjoy the results.
Background on SEO and Search Engines
First up it helps to understand what you’re up against. Grasping the background to SEO (Search Engine Optimization) provides perspective but also motivation to keep going. Discovering the importance will make it easier to prioritize this.
Does Google simply compile random lists of websites whenever someone prompts a search? Definitely not. That list is the end result of a meticulous search for the best sites.
Finding the best ones is important because that determines Google’s reputation. Why use a search engine if you never really get what you’re looking for?
To ensure they become and stay the best search engine around, Google devised highly advanced algorithms. These have the ability to filter large amounts of data to find that site that will give you the best answer.
When is a site good or even the best? For Google it relates to a variety of features:
- Does it contain the keywords consumers type in?
- Are there links to and from other pages, as this shows its authority?
- How long do people stay on a page? This confirms its value to consumers.
Yes, algorithms can consider all of this and more and now it’s your job to outsmart them.
Where Does SEO Fit in?
As SEO suggests you can optimize your chances of getting to the top of the list. It requires an audit of your website so it aligns with what Google wants, and how it measures your worth.
It’s important to note that algorithms change regularly and Google’s measurement systems get altered. That means the tactics you find useful today may not help you perform well next week.
Google does this in order to minimize website owners manipulating the system. Algorithms can even identify fraudulent or spammy sites and shut them down, all because of a focus of keeping the internet valuable for browsers.
As technology improves they’re also able to enhance their processes, making it more effective. Bottomline: You need to improve your SEO process consistently.
Now let’s guide you through various steps in your optimization process.
Types of SEO
Firstly, know that this doesn’t have to be a difficult process. Of course, you’ll get the best results by hiring the pros, but even on your own you can already boost your ranking substantially.
Below we’ll show you some of the adjustments you can make. Your tasks are mostly grouped in two categories:
- On Page SEO
- Off Page SEO
On Page SEO
This is an aspect you have a lot of control over since you determine what your website contains. The goal: Show Google you have what it (and its clients, therefore online browsers) wants.
All About Keywords
This is probably the most widely known and used an SEO tactic. Based on the theories of how Google determines ranking (see above), your content must contain the keywords browsers use. This is how you signal to search engines’ crawlers that you’re relevant to that search.
But it’s a long way from the bottom of the list to the top. What do the top 10 get right?
Firstly, understand the difference between keywords and long tail keywords. The latter is a few relevant words put together which you can use in your content. A keyword is simply a single word often used in your industry.
But why use this method?
Here’s the logic: If you’re trying to rank high for a specific keyword that’s popular in your niche you have to fight a hard battle to be ranked first for that keyword.
So why not aim to rank high for a lesser known, but also popular, set of words?
When users do type in that set of words, your website will be closer to the top. You’ll be seen by more consumers, getting more visitors so you’re increasing your influence. With more visitors other features Google finds important (visitor rate etc.) can improve, so your overall rating rises.
Pretty soon you can be at the top of the list no matter which keywords someone types in.
Keywords for SEO in Practice
A practical example is best to show you how to go about changing On Page SEO with the correct keyword usage.
Firstly, know that there are many apps (some of them available free of charge) that can help you with SEO practices. Finding the ideal keywords to use in your content, requires a range of tasks:
- Even without technology at your disposal, you can think of keywords (longtail ones too) that you know your audience uses a lot. You know your niche, so trust your gut and write down a list. There are many ways to refer to certain topics, so just make sure you use words from the right dialect.
- To enhance this list, use a few online keyword tools that will provide you with additional options if you type in your suggestions.
- Keep going until you have around 1500 keywords.
- Determine the maximum difficulty your keywords should be, by using the SEMRush to find your website’s backlink rating.
- An application such as Keyword Planner shows the difficulty of your keywords. Use the ones that align with your site’s backlink rating. You can delete those in a category higher than your appropriate difficulty level.
Remember, you want to make it easy on yourself to rank, which is why you’re using keywords with a lower difficulty rating.
It’s also smart to research what you’re up against. Google the long tail keywords you chose and see what it brings up. You can see whether they’re incredibly difficult to beat, such as a Wikipedia page. This could prompt you to leave out one on your list and rather focus on the others.
Do this research with the help of extensions such as SEOQuake. You’ll view information such as:
- Domain Age
- Website Traffic
Now you know what you have to beat to make it to the top.
Important note: You’ll often be encouraged to use synonyms in SEO, but with long tail keywords you need to keep the combinations exact. A synonym could lead to Google not recognizing your page as an appropriate match.
Now you know which keywords will help you rank the quickest, simply incorporate it in your content:
- Web content
- Service pages
- Social media posts
- Product descriptions
Create AMP for Mobile Site
As stated above, Google looks at many aspects of your page. In 2019 the focus has shifted to mobile: If your website doesn’t have a mobile version, there is a possibility of you being penalized. Even worse though is if your mobile site isn’t very responsive.
Best to do is use one of the many quality tools available to create a high-end AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages). This is important to Google because it’s important to consumers: Most of them browse via their mobile devices these days and Google needs to ensure their engagements are all user-friendly
Off Page SEO
Google doesn’t only gauge your value by your content, but also your connections with other sites, known as linking. This is the biggest part of off page SEO, done outside the boundaries of your website. Additional off page SEO actions include social media marketing and bookmarking but to a lesser extent.
We’ll help you grasp the power and procedures of link building.
Link juice refers to the value given to your page, simply by another page referring to you. You can also pass this juice to others by linking to them.
Why does Google use this as a way of rating you? Because in the same way only valuable research papers get referenced when you’re compiling a study paper, it’s logical that you’ll be referenced if you have something valuable to add to someone else’s content, or your information was the foundation of their text.
In a way, the entire internet votes for each other’s value by simply creating links.
While we will help you do this off-page SEO by creating more links and managing them, it’s also important that you have quality links: When a well respected (high ranked) web page links to you, it means you have something as valuable as their content. This immediately boosts your rating. You also have to make sure your links don’t associate you with low-level sites, as Google can penalize you.
How to Determine Your Link Juice
The first step is to determine where you’re at. You know which pages you link to, but the other part isn’t as easy. Google doesn’t simply tell you which pages link to you because they don’t want people manipulating the process.
You can get feedback via Google’s Search Console, but this is often only a sample of your links. For more in-depth lists and to compare a few you can try paid for tools from Ahrefs, Moz & SEMRush.
What Matters in Terms of Links?
When you know which links exist it’s time for optimizing:
- Avoid orphan pages: This refers to pages not linked to any other pages. If you do have one (such as a login page) simply disallow it in your robots.txt file. This signals to Google’s crawlers to ignore it.
- Arrange for ‘Disavow’: Once again you tell Google to ignore a page, often used if SEO has gone wrong and your links are viewed as spam.
- Add ‘nofollow’ to a link’s properties: This prevents giving someone else’s page link juice.
- Install redirects: Old pages you don’t use but don’t want to delete because of their high rating can be redirected.
- Canonical URLs: Use this if you have similar pages you don’t want to be seen as copied content.
All these tactics help Google understand your webpage and its links so you’re not penalized unnecessarily.
Here’s a tip for when you do add new links: Add links to the right anchor text that make it seem relevant.
Yes, every little detail on your page matters so creates content with caution.
Why Do You Need Link Building?
You can see that the more links you have pointing at your page, the better. Apart from drawing more visitors from other pages, the link juice you add each time (of course they must be the RIGHT KIND of links) will improve your Google ratings. Link building is the most important part to act in SEO, many SEO agencies in Singapore are using different link building strategy.
Can you simply wait for others to link to you? It’s best you take action, which is what link building is. But act with caution.
Good and Bad Link Building Explained
There are many ways an SEO process can turn into manipulating the rating system. Methods that are manipulative are frowned upon.
Google’s algorithms can pick up on these and as it’s against their policies you may be banned, penalized or fined.
Link building requires you to initiate links to your pages, instead of waiting for others to do it simply because they believe you’re worth referencing. There are a few ways you can do this without angering search engines.
Types of Link Building
Here’s a list of link building tactics. Some of them are outright bad practice such as purchasing or exchanging links. Others’ value will be based on how you use the tactic:
- Adding it to a business directory or article directories are low level links, but not outright bad.
- Guest posting was a popular method, but because of spammy guest posting and the development of low quality guest posting sites, you need to vet which sites you use for this method.
- Advertisements not labeled as ‘nofollow’ aren’t viewed favorably.
- Commenting in forums work, but don’t overuse commercial based links.
- Natural social sharing is a powerful tool, but requires a smart marketing strategy. Just note that this doesn’t affect ranking as much; Google mostly uses it for indexing.
Does this help you see your website in a new light? Hopefully, you can have more influence this year because you fix mistakes you’re inadvertently making and optimizing your website to impress Google. You can also looking for the best SEO concultant in Singapore to help you the get your website to page 1.
See? It’s easier than you thought.