If you plan to do SEO for your website, or someone else’s website, you should carefully implement/avoid certain elements to make sure you succeed.
SEO is not something you should take easily as a simple mistake can destroy your website’s ranking, traffic, and authority and hurt your organic leads or payments. As more and more companies are implementing SEO for their websites, the competition is getting tougher.
While implementing SEO for a website, you have to think about both search engines and users. Avoiding penalties, getting hit by algorithm updates means you need to ensure you know what you are doing.
Don’t worry. To keep things simple for you, we have made a list of Do’s and Don’ts in SEO. Bookmark this article if necessary.
Read every point, take a note and make sure you follow when you work on your current/next SEO project.
Do: Find & Define Your Target Audience
Before designing your website and implementing SEO, you have to know who your audiences are and their persona. Persona research is the action of finding and defining your customers. They are also called as marketing personas.
They are fictional, generalized traits of your customers. It helps to understand the audience, help you set up the communication properly, and to create the marketing strategy.
To create the buyer personas, check out the various templates and organize the segments of the audience. Few of the essential elements are age, demographics, qualification, pain points, interests, hobbies and more.
By understanding more details, you can grab the idea and have a clear picture of who they are and their search pattern, navigation, etc.
Defining buyer personas must be the first box to check out when you create the website as you need to design the complete website based on your customer personas.
Don’t: Ignore Keyword Research
This is one of the widespread and dangerous mistakes people do. They implement a few keywords they think people use without proper research. Finding and implementing the right keywords is crucial to the success of your website.
Irrelevant keywords will not give any results at all. Choosing a keyword with significantly less search volume will not increase your potential traffic even if it’s ranking on top.
Taking a broad, high competitive keyword at the beginning stage of your website is not recommended as it takes too much time to rank for those keywords and, if it’s too broad, it won’t give a fair amount of leads or payments.
Do: Keyword Research for the Website
We discussed what not to be done in keyword research. Let’s talk about what should we do? Before you start using any tool for keyword research, open an MS Word document, put yourself in the shoes of your potential customer, think about the language they use, pain points they have, search patterns they use and type the list of queries they would be using in Google search.
Create a list of various services and products you have.
When you enter these keywords in keyword research tools such as Google Keyword Planner, you can see the average monthly search volume along with search trends.
If your website is at the beginning stage, it is crucial to choose a keyword with good search volume but not so difficult to rank for.
Have an eye on last 12 months trend to understand how it’s performing.
You can find more keyword ideas from your competitor websites, Google autocompletes suggestions, QA sites like Quora, Community sites like Reddit, forum websites, Google related searches, Google search console, Google Trends, Amazon, Keyword research tools, etc.
You can also find more keywords by talking to your customers, taking surveys, social networks, and user-generated content websites.
Don’t: Stuff your Keywords
Okay, you have potential keywords now, and you want to rank for those. On-page optimization is essential and implementing keywords on the right place is crucial. But you don’t want to overdo this. It would be best if you did not stuff your keywords on the website to avoid Google Penalty. Panda is looking right after you.
It will not just put you in danger in the eyes of Google but also makes your content unpleasant. You may not want ‘hotel management software’ 10 times in a few paragraphs, making your content look very unnatural.
Do: Optimize your Potential Keywords
How to optimize your keywords on your website? The important places where you need to implement your keywords are Title, meta description, content (first paragraph & last paragraph gets more value), Alt tag, Headers and sub headers, Breadcrumbs, link text (internal links with anchor text).
It is not how many times you implement your keyword that will make you a winner. Implementing the right keyword at the right places is important, but keyword stuffing can only harm your website as we already discussed.
Apart from focusing on keywords, concentrate more on content quality, relevancy, adding multimedia elements to your website to increase engagement, etc.
Don’t: Make your Site uncrawlable
Take necessary steps to make sure your site is crawlable by search engines else all of your efforts will go in vain. Your site can go uncrawlable by having an incorrect line in robots.txt, badly configured htaccess file, a mistake in the meta tags, not updating your sitemap regularly to help search engines crawl your website properly, using a navigation menu that bots cant be able to follow, having a website with too much flash, ajax which make it look cool but not good for search engine crawlers.
Check the search console regularly for crawl issues. Make sure you don’t have server errors, server capacity issues, internal linking issues like a broken link, pages too deep that it will take multiple clicks to get there, too many links from a page, multiple redirection chains, slow website, duplicate website content by poor planning, and more.
Do: Make your Website is Mobile Friendly
It is important to find out how easily Google index your mobile website. Go to Google Search Console. Go to Mobile Usability option under Enhancements. The Mobile Usability feature will help you get the types of errors Google find and the list of pages that has the errors.
By clearing the issues, you can make your website more mobile-friendly.
Also, you need to check if you are blocking Google to access JS, CSS and other parts of code.
You can check this with Robots txt file. If you are blocking any essential part of code unintentionally, unblock it. You can make your website more mobile-friendly by having clean navigation, limiting the pop-up, local search optimization, making your content easy to read, etc.
Don’t: Ignore User Experience
Don’t focus too much on search engines and ignore user experience. User experience is an indirect ranking factor. Ignoring factors like page loading time, bounce rate, easy navigation, quality copy, mobile-friendliness, user-friendly URL structure, user-friendly page structure, streamlining your menus can harm your search engine ranking.
Even though these are not direct ranking factors, Google wants to send its users to a website with good user experience and if you don’t have a website with good user experience, you will be the one who loses.
Do’s: Utilize Social Media
Why utilize social media? Well, there is no evidence that social media is a ranking factor, but it has its advantages. The more you use social media to share links, the more opportunities for people to check out your web page or blog, share and give a link to your page.
Also, don’t forget that social media channels are search engines themselves. When people search on those websites, you may want to show up.
Don’t: Create Unnatural Backlinks
Some marketers make the mistake of creating too many unnatural links to their website to get the rankings faster. Creating too many unnatural links can put you in the evil eyes of Google, especially if your website is a new one.
Instead of doing any good, it can seriously damage your efforts. Google can take manual action if it notices you are building unnatural links and can delist your website in search results.
Once you get the manual action taken against your website, then you will worry about removing the unnatural links and effort necessary to make it happen.
Either way, it wont help you the way you expect.
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Do’s: Focus on Increasing dwell Time
Dwell time is the amount of time a user spends on a web page once they clicked a search engine link on SERP before going back to search engine results page.
Dwell time help marketers to realize how their pages are fulfill the need of their visitors. Longer, the better.
How to increase dwell time?
Create quality content
Add videos & images
Increase your website speed
Add relevant internal linking
Work on overall user experience
The actions you take to improve your dwell time will increase your dwell time and the overall user experience.
It is not just for search engine ranking but for better conversions.
Checkout: Career in SEO
Don’ts: Avoid Voice Search
According to Gartner, 32 percent people like to use hands-free technology to complete tasks on the go.
It’s not just on mobile phones. According to statistica, In 2021, there will be 4.2 billion digital voice assistants being used in devices around the world.
People consider voice assistants are a necessity now. It’s no more a luxury.
Voice searches are more conversational and near me type local questions. You need to optimize for voice search if you don’t want your website to miss the space.
How to optimize for voice search?
Focus on conversational keywords
Utilize schema markup
Mobile friendly website
Understand the user intent
Update Google My Business Listing
Optimize your website for local searches
Improve your website speed
Create FAQ page
Do’s: Use Guest Blogging
Guest blogging can help you reach targeted users, driving traffic to your website from relevant websites, promoting yourself as a thought leader in the industry.
Engage with relevant website owners and ask them if they would like to publish your article in exchange for a backlink.
The trick is to find the right way to approach them and the type of content you provide.
No one can say no for a great content piece for free.
Write a customized pitch for every website.
Make sure you follow up with them in regular internals but don’t be annoying. Offer to write on some potential blog topics relevant to the website and never been posted there.
When we do it right, guest blogging is one of the best link building technique there is.
Also Read: Top SEO Interview Questions & Answers
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Don’t s: Avoiding Content Marketing Strategy
Creating content for your website, blog without having a strategy is like blindly shooting arrows, hoping some of them would hit the target.
According to the research from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs, 63% of businesses don’t have documented content strategy.
How to do content marketing?
Define your goals
Do persona research
Analyze the existing content
Brainstorm content ideas
Find out where you want to publish your content
Find the type of content you want to create
Allocate the resources
Create a proper content calendar
Distribute content and analyze the results
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We have explained do’s and don’ts of SEO in this article. Hope you gained some basics of SEO in this article. If you want us to write on any specific topic, please let us know in the comments section.
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What are the types of keywords that are used in content to help it rank better in SEO?
There are mainly three types of keywords- primary, secondary, and additional keywords. Primary keywords are those terms that help you to rank better in a search. They usually have a high search volume and can help you to bring considerable traffic to your website. It should be added to your URL, meta description, title, and throughout the content. Secondary keywords are complimentary keywords that are added along with the primary keywords and are topically related. And, additional keywords are related keywords to the primary keywords, which are spelt differently.
What are backlinks in SEO?
Backlinks are important in SEO to improve website ranking. It is a simple act of linking your website to another. Google uses backlinking as a metric to evaluate whether your website is noteworthy or not. A high quality backlinks, meaning, mention of your website content by linking your website in another high quality website helps to improve site’s ranking position and visibility in search results. Some of the popular ways of adding backlinks include adding links to your social media profile, writing guest blog posts on other websites, using influencers, etc.
What is guest blogging in SEO?
Guest blogging, also known as guest posting, means writing a blog on another website to improve your website’s traffic and domain authority. If done rightly, it helps you to get free backlinks to your website and introduce content to new audiences, which eventually helps to bring traffic to your website.