15 ways to improve Search Engine Optimization in 2018

We all want our website to rank on search engines. Whether on Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, any one of them. This could be the greatest source of Traffic especially having tons of people find your website from search results.

Even if you are not getting anyone visit your website from any of the above listed, you should at least find your pages when you search your url on Google.

If this is not happeningthen there is a serious SEO issue to resolve. Here are 15 ways to improve your website visibility on any search Engine which will cover;
Optimize SEO Meta
Setting up Google Search Console
Submitting XML Sitemaps
Using Social Media for SEO
Link Building

Create Good content

Provided every other condition is satisfied, search users will find your website when your content matches with their search phrase. It is like searching for “Digital Marketing” and then an article on hubspot pops up or searching for “SEO” and an article written by Neil Patel shows up in Search result.

Good content is the first step toward improving SEO. Ideally, articles should exceed at least 300 words and should contain the focus keyword in the title, link, meta and in the content body.

Optimize SEO

For someone using WordPress, SEO plugins can help a lot in handling issues relating to Search Engine.

One great plugin to recommend is Yoast, it a free and premium package that helps you handle issues relating to optimization, with lots of features that tells you how best you can adjust your content to suite search engines and improve visibility.

After installation and activation, the plugin shows up at the bottom of draft posts allowing you preview and edit snippet with an analysis that tells you if you are doing it right or wrong.

Now, you can edit your SEO Title, Slug, meta description and add focus keyword. The way you edit it is how it appears on Search Engines

Here is how to go about it in the right way;

SEO Title
The SEO title must not exceed maximum length. You can use a title different/shorter than your post title.
Your focus keyword must appear on the title to enable search engines understand what your post is all about.

Including numbers in the SEO title is a good practice and has an effect on users clicking your site.
Example is “43 ways to drive traffic to your site in 2017”
Search users find it easier to click on titles with intriguing numbers.

The Slug is the permalink of your post. Example is yoursite.com/YourSlugGoesHere.
Make sure your Focus keyword appears on the slug, especially at the beginning.
Slug should not exceed maximum length.

Meta description
The meta is a short description that hints Search users what your post is all about.
It should not exceed maximum length
It is important to include focus keyword as part of the meta description.
Write descriptions in a way that search users are attracted to click to your website

Best Practices;
Avoid keyword stuffing :
Keyword Stuffing is a means of deliberately manipulating search results by continuous repetition of words/phrases in a post. This could could lead to Search Engine penalty and the removal of the website from results.
Keyword concentration in the post should not also exceed 2.5%.

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Add images
Images constitute to SEO in that people can find your website from image results. Example is on Google, where there is a separate menu for images that match a given search phrase.
It is important to include caption, alternate text and description containing focus keyword while adding an image to a post.

Setup search console account.

Consoles are analytics tools used to monitor the performance of a website in search results. It can also be used to determine internal/external links, errors and index status. It can be a very useful tool in submitting of sitemaps.

The Most common include;
Google Search Console
Bing Webmaster tools

Google Search Console
Due to the popularity of Google which is used by more than 65% of global Internet users. It is important you create Google Search console to monitor your site presence.

Here is a quick Guide;
Simply Visit Google search Console Page and sign in with your Gmail account
Click on Add a Property, Add your website Url with http/https
You will be required to verify your website by Domain name provider

Preferably, you can choose an alternate method of HTML file upload, HTML tag, Google Analytics or Google Tag manager.
Preferably, choose the HTML tag method where you will be required to paste a code at the header of your website.

Don’t worry, you don’t need to edit your website PHP code to do this, simply install and activate “Insert Headers and Footers plugin”
Paste the code at the header of the plugin setting and save.
Save the setting at the console page by clicking on verify. You will be notified if you have successfully verified your website

Submit XML Sitemap

After creating of search console account, it is important to submit XML sitemaps. This will help search engines better understand the structure and arrangement of your website. According to Google, Sitemaps helps in the proper crawling of a site.

To submit this, you may choose to ignore the complicated method outlined by sitemap generators if you have Yoast SEO plugin already installed on your website.

Click on XML sitemap below the Yoast Menu.

If you cant find the menu, Simply open Yoast Setting, click on Features and enable advanced settings pages. This will automatically enable XML sitemaps menu.

Visit the setting and copy the sitemap format sitemap_index.xml to be pasted in the Google Search console.

Social Media for SEO.

Many search engines are now looking at social media signals to determine what ranks on search results.
Google does that.

Despite the fact that social media do not give dofollow backlinks. Yet, it contribute 5.2% of Google ranking factor according to survey conducted by SEOMoz.
Google is using this to look out for freshness, relevancy and consistency in blog incoming traffic.

Here are few tips to improve these social media signals for SEO;

Schedule Post
Sharing your old relevant post is a good way foster relevancy on search engine. You can do this with social media sharing tools like Twuffer or even Buffer

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Here is a quick start with buffer;
Sign up to Buffer.com with Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin or email account
Start a free trial by scheduling post on any social media account of your choice.

Automate your social media sharing
After creating your content, it will be a very tedious manually sharing these post to every social media account one by one. Instead, you can automate the process with free tools available.

Example is  with Jetpack, a WordPress plugin that allows you to do a wide range of tasks including posting automatically to connected social media account. Go to the plugin setting to connect this.

Another important tool is IFTTT, it helps you automatically share your post to Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Medium, Pinterest, Instagram and many other social media account.
Get started by signing up, and create your first recipe.

Optimize social media accounts for search engines
Search Engines also look at social media profiles. It will be good adding your blog address to your profile with a well crafted description that matches your website title.

Link building

Without backlinks, your website may find it difficult to rank on Google.
Thats the summary of what Google Pagerank is all about, an algorithm built to determine relevancy by calculating the strength and quality of links pointing to a particular site.

All links are not created equal, some links are more equal than others. low quality backlinks can even destroy your site.

It is important to avoid creating unnatural links from sites promising quick backlinks for few dollars which may harm your website in the long run.

Here is a safe way to build links to your site;

Join Forums and create topics.
There are thousands of forums out their where you can write on topics and link back to your site. Example is Quora where you can provide meaningful answer to questions and also include your link to support your answer. Best practices are involved in most cases and may require you don’t spam the forum by randomly posting links inappropriately.

Are you looking for forums to join? Here is how to find forums from Google search;
For someones doing digital marketing. Search “Digital Marketing Forums“. Make use of the refined results in determining the kind of community you should join.

Comment on similar blogs
Occasionally, you can visit similar blog and drop a comment with your link below. Even if it gets held for moderation, the admin is likely going to approve it if they find it useful. The rule of getting your comment approved and getting good backlink from other website is ensuring it isn’t intended for Spam.

Guest blogging
You can be a guest blogger on big websites where you publish your content and have them link back to your site. This is not only good for SEO but also enhances Traffic and a good way to build audience from these websites.

Improving SEO requires tactical efforts which will benefit websites in the long run, It starts with writing good content, optimizing the content for SEO, enhancing social media shares and engagement down to the link building strategy implored.

Content is king, SEO is a reward for good content.

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