Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
The basic idea of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is to facilitate different strategies to ensure that your website ranks when a user submits a search query specifically related to your business, product, or content. The goal is to rank on the first page of the Search Engine Results Page, or SERP, because pages that rank in the #1 spot are 10X more likely to receive a click as opposed to lower-ranking pages.
How do you Optimize a Website to Improve Page Rank?
On-page content optimization is the most important part of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s about content (words, video and images) and how they are structured on your website. Search engines, like Google, crawl websites to understand what it’s about, the page’s authority related to that subject, and the amount of information available related to the user's search query. There are many components that search engines use to determine how pages rank for specific keywords and terms, processing millions of pieces of information in fractions of a second.
Some of the key on-page content components search engines crawl include:
- Page title tags
- Page meta descriptions
- Headings or <H1> tags
- Site navigation
- Internal links
- Page URL
- Relevant and unique content
- Site speed and performance
- Site security (SSL)
Continuous Quality Content
Once on-page content in optimized correctly, it doesn’t stop there. It’s equally important to make sure that websites continue to ‘feed’ the web with content and information. Search engines like volume related to specific subjects and use the quantity and quality of content available to establish a website’s ‘authority’ related to a specific topic.
Providing a continuous stream of content not only provides better search engine optimization, it also provides more value to its users. Valuable and informative content will generate more clicks and time spent reading a website or page, which are additional components search engines use to establish page rank.
So, providing your audience with valuable informative content not only improves the user experience but it also high-octane fuel for search engine optimization.
Optimizing a site for off-page SEO relies on improving how search engines and users view a website in terms of authority, popularity, credibility, and relevance. This is determined by the amount of quality links to a website or page from outside sources, also known as ‘backlinks’.
Backlinks are simply one website linking to another. Sites with more backlinks tend to have a higher search rank. Think of backlinks as votes and each vote helps to determine a site’s authority and popularity as compared to others. As there are many websites out there targeting the same keyword terms, such as ‘mortgage rates’, search engines will first identify whether a site has on-page content related to this keyword term, and then tally the amount of backlinks or ‘votes’ to help it decide which page to rank first.
However, not all backlinks are created equal. Similar to on-page content, quality is a critically important factor. Google and other search engines will not only count the number of links to your site, but also evaluate the authority and credibility of the referring sites. This helps to ensure that malicious programs and/or BOTs are not simply linking to a site for the sole purpose of improving a page or website’s rank. The referring site should be a trusted source with the purpose of providing valuable content and helping users find the information they are looking for. There are many strategies a website can use to build more backlinks and The Hits Doctor is here to help.
Additional SEO Ranking Factors
The Hits Doctor has over 20 years of experience helping customers with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and proven strategies that improve page rank and drive more clicks.
Schema Markup, also referred to as Structured Data Markup, is a way of organizing information on a website in a standardized table format. So, search engines like Google, Bing, Yandex, and Yahoo! are able to easily understand content published on a website and to provide the best search results possible to the end user. Adding Schema markup improves the way Hits Doctor clients appear on search engine results pages (SERPs).
The time it takes to fully display the content on a specific page and site speed is a major ranking factor for Google. Page speed not only helps search engines crawl content published on a website faster, it also improves the user experience. Optimizing a website to load faster decreases bounce rate, increase time spent on-page while allowing search engines to crawl more content on a website in less time.
A canonical tag or (rel=“canonical”) is a snippet of code that informs the search engine that similar or duplicate content exists under another URL. If content is being syndicated or duplicated out of necessity on other pages or websites, canonical tags will indicate the which page is the original source of content to be crawled and indexed for search results. Not creating canonical tags can cause issues because search engines will think there is duplicate content, which will negatively impact page rank.