With more than 200 different ranking factors to keep in mind when implementing SEO, sometimes even the most basic ranking factors can get overlooked. I’ve done it in the past and I’m sure you have too.
The great thing about SEO is that nothing is set in stone, you can always go back and edit mistakes to further optimize your website. Our friends at Singlegrain talk about a few of these tips in their article, Effective SEO Links That Work In 2017.
Hands up then, how many of these factors have you overlooked when implementing SEO for your website?
1. Incorrect use of image tags
Correctly formatting your image tags only takes a few seconds and plays an important role when users are searching for images on Google. If you’ve taken photos from a camera the image will usually be titled something like DSCM234932.jpg or picture-1.jpg if you’ve done a screen grab.
Google doesn’t like these image tags because it’s unable to correctly index images for users, so disregards them all together.
Place appropriate titles on your images, ideally inline with the page’s keyword.
2. Internal links
Link to as many pages on your website as possible when applicable. Pages that contain a lot of internal links allows web crawlers to better index you website and the internal anchor links will improve your SEO.
Is there any surprise Wikipedia ranks on the first page for thousands of key terms, they use internal links all the time:
Keep in mind that a single webpage should contain no more than 100 links in total.
3. Link out to other sites
Business owners don’t like linking to external sites because they fear that they’ll lose traffic. However, external links to resources and quality content your readers may value does benefit your own page rankings.
When linking to external sources, only link to high-quality sites that you’d like to be associated with and which have a high domain authority and page authority.
4. Updating content
Did you know that Google looks at the freshness of content?
Google web crawlers search your site and save the last time a page was updated, placing a higher emphasize on fresh content.
Think about it this way, if you were travelling to Tokyo Japan, and saw a blog titled: 7 best sushi restaurants in Japan in 2006, would you click on it in 2016?
Most likely not, Google knows this too.
Revisit older pages and if there’s been changes to the industry since your last post, then update the content to reflect that. A website sitemap indicates the last time a piece of content was updated which is relayed back to Google:
5. Website speed
A website that takes longer than 4 seconds to load can see as much as 25% of traffic exit.
Load times do impact your SEO efforts, to learn the speed of your site and how you can improve it, run a test on Google PageSpeed Insights were you’ll be given recommendations to increase the performance of your pages:
Using Google Search Console (GSC) you can find the click-through rate stats of individual pages within Google search.
To locate them, login to GSC and head to Search Traffic > Search Analytics and tick the CTR checkbox:
Here you’ll be shown all your website’s pages and CTR they receive on Google. Look for pages with low CTR and re-write their page title and meta description to elicit more clicks.
These extra clicks will drive more traffic to your site and may even bump your pages above competitors
7. Image to text ratio
Did you know that articles which use 1 image for per every 100 words receive the most shares:
I guess a picture really does speak a thousand words!
Images are great for keeping a user’s attention span, making content more aesthetically pleasing to view and increasing social shares!
8. Public Whois
Whois is a free online database that provides information on website owners. For a small fee you can conceal your name and address from the listings. To Google, website owners who do not conceal their data are considered more legitimate and trustworthy as they have nothing to hide.
You can check whether your Whois profile is public or private by searching for it here.
9. Having contact information on every page
10. Server location
Are you hosting your site on a server in Asia because the costs were cheaper?
If so, you may be damaging your site’s search rankings if your customer base is in another location like the United States. To rectify this you can simply change your host service to someone in your business’s country.
You can also set your International targeting options in GSC to prioritize for a specific country as sometimes Google won’t know whether your business is location dependant or not.
To do this login to GSC, head to Search Traffic > International Targeting and you’ll have the option to optimize your site for certain countries:
Unlike keyword density, heading tags and meta descriptions the factors I’ve listed above are typically overlooked by the average in-house marketer. I’ll admit that from time-to-time I’ll forget about them on my own sites too!
How many of these 10 easily overlooked ranking factors have you not implemented?