Posted by Pamela Swift in Recommendations
You are probably already aware of the importance of having your website on the first page of Google. Yes, this is hard to achieve, especially with all the competitors out there.
But don’t get discouraged! Even if you are a complete beginner, in this ultimate SEO guide you will learn all the crucial steps for high rankings in 2017.
First things first, let us remind you what does SEO actually stand for. Search engine optimization is basically a method you apply to be found better in the search results of Google and other search engines. SEO is not one specific method to optimize your website, but a gathering of different tactics and strategies. Also, high rankings don’t come overnight – you need to be patient and persistent (…and “white hat”!).
…Before we start:
Before you start applying any SEO strategy, make a list of best words and phrases you want to be found by in Google. These are called keywords and they are your most important clue to see is your SEO strategy bringing results.
There are numerous tips and tools on how to choose relevant keywords, but the most important tip is to find a word (actually few of them) relevant to you niche that people are searching for. You can easily check this in the Google’s Keyword planning tool, or similar ones.
Now, let’s get started:
1. Domain name
If you want to be found, the domain name is very important in the search results. To make things more clear, you can try to type “Apple” in the Search bar, and the first result that is going to appear is the Apple’s website.The same goes for keywords like “style”, ‘’6pm’’ and many more.
That only shows how important is to have a keyword in your domain name…if it is available of course.
Page or post titles are also very important. Again, to explain it easier, you can type the sentence “How to make a website” and check out the (organic) search results. Ones that have the mentioned sentence in the beginning of their title will appear first. The earlier in the title you start with the text you want to be found by, the higher the position you will have in the search results.
Many marketers often neglect the images SEO optimization. In 2017, this is something you certainly shouldn’t underestimate!
If you search for “photoshop tricks” and go to “Images” section, the first result that will appear will have that keyword in its URL. So, not “IMG_001”,” Screenshoot_1” or something similar, but the titles relevant to the result you want to be found by in Google.
4. <h1> Title tags </h1>
One thing that you certainly shouldn’t forget when it comes to article formating are H1 and H2 titles.
Check out what happens when you type “What other fonts look like Google’s logo”: the first result that appears has Title “What Font Is The New Google Logo?”. If you open the post and inspect the title, you will see that it is the <h3> tag. So, don’t forget to optimize at least two or three title tags.
5. Meta Descriptions
Always remember that Google works in the favor of the searcher so if you want to be highly ranked you need to provide the best possible answer for him. More than that, you need to show your perfect answer to the reader as soon as he/she see’s the search results. Meta descriptions are there to help you!
Every time you write or edit Meta Description make sure that you check your rankings in incognito mode. Try to adjust your Meta Description (and the above mentioned Page Title) no matter how many times it takes, to stand out from other results.
Having difficulties to stand out? Try to add some special features or a unique call to action in your description.
6. Keywords… again
If you check any SEO guide you will see that mentioning keywords throughout the content is very important. Yes, we agree with that, but do keep in mind that it has to be done VERY naturally. Just remember that even if Google is ranking your content, humans are ones actually reading it! Since the upcoming year is (in SEO terms) all about being natural, there is not much to say than to add your keywords smoothly.
7. Mobile (and user) friendly website
A website that looks good on mobile devices and that can be navigated easily is considered ‘’a must’’ for several years now.
But the thing that many site owners really underestimate is the overall website look. Keep it user friendly, don’t just focus on the search engine! The readers shouldn’t get confused about the website’s niche, images should complement the topics, so just keep it simple.
Then again, with so many good designs out there, you can’t compete with a white background look, right? That’s why you certainly shouldn’t avoid good website builders that already have website templates suitable (and “user friendly”) for every niche.
8. Backlinking (new tactics)
Having backlinks from spammy websites and websites that aren’t relevant to your niche can only harm your SEO. But this is said too many times already, right? In 2017 you will still need backlinks, but it is getting very hard to get quality ones. Here are some useful tactics:
- Use H.A.R.O. to generate high quality backlinks from different, but relevant, sources. One way is to post an interesting topic that will provide really informative answers and strategies. Use the answers for creating unique content that will both bring you readers and backlinks. Another, and even better way is to participate as a contributor. Find relevant topics to your niche and give quality answers that will certainly get published and provide you with a good, natural backlink.
Skyscraper Technique is also very easy to implement and most importantly, a technique that brings great results! Find already published, but link-worthy content, make it better and let the existing linkers know about it. Sounds too easy, right? Well, if you make sure that your content provides better and longer explanations, with more thorough examples, high quality images, etc. then the technique is quite easy.
- Giveaways are a great way to get free links! Create a Freebie/Giveaway section on your website and participate in others. You will be surprised how much traffic you can generate this way.
- Post job listings to ensure that good quality traffic comes to your website. People will spend some time on it when reading about your company before actually applying to the job.
9. Internal linking
In order to make it easier for Google to crawl through your content, and more importantly, to understand it better, don’t forget to create internal links. This will help Google understand that your content is related to the keyword you want to rank for. Link back to your Blog, News or any other section that has relevant topics to the anchor word.
Create a Sitemap page to make it even easier to show where every possible page can be found and how is it categorized.
10. The most important thing!
All these tips can help you rank better, but the most important thing is that you offer value to your visitors! You can optimize what you want, but you need to have a valuable content about a certain subject, some advice, tips, etc. Make sure you have enough readworthy pages on your website, so you can update them often. Creating a Blog section is always a good idea, so make sure you’ve implemented one as well. You can update it weekly (or even daily), share useful tips, strategies, new tactics, etc.
Of course, pages will depend on your website’s niche. Apart from F&Q, About page, Contact and Blog section, you can also add a Guide, News (from the niche), Tutorials etc. Try to be creative and to provide your readers with as much quality content as possible.
Don’t forget to add the Comments Section where you can communicate with your audience. Ask them about their opinion on a topic, but be also open to a critic or an advice.
Make sure the tone of your articles is suitable for your audience. Don’t go to formal if you are writing a travel blog, but keep it professional if you are a running a small business website.
…a quick sum up:
Whether you are a SEO beginner or a pro, in 2017 keep in handy this checklist:
Include your main keyword into the domain name, If it is not available, be creative.Start the title with the sentence you want to be found by:
- Rename image URLs according to the keywords
- Don’t forget H2 and H3 title tags (not only H1)
- Answer the searcher’s question in the Meta description
- Keep the keywords natural
- Design your website according to your niche
- Use new and natural backlinking techniques
- Do your internal linking homework
- Create just valuable content and communicate with your audience
We hope that our article was helpful! Be persistent, patient and results will come.