SEO is a mixed bag of factors – both old and new, unchanging and ever-evolving – that determine how your website ranks on various Google SERPs (search engine results pages). And if you have always found it hard to keep track of them all, we are here to help. Know what you must do to get noticed online and achieve high website traffic conversion with our quick and easy periodic table of SEO success factors.
The Main Element Groups
Our SEO periodic table 2019 can be categorized into Six major elemental groups that majorly impact your search rankings. Let us look at each one of them in some detail:
Content is indeed king when it comes to building an enviable online presence. However, this is easier said than done as Google has a long checklist of qualifiers against which it evaluates a site’s or page’s content. Make sure that you keep the following pointers in mind when authoring new articles for your site:
- Quality – Grammatically correct, wholesome content sans any spelling and punctuation mistakes must be your number 1 priority.
- Research – Do your homework before you start writing. Getting your facts right will ensure you spare yourself the embarrassment of making any retractions or corrections later on as well as show your readers you know what you are writing about.
- Keywords –Use the Google Keyword Planner to conduct extensive research on keywords that are relevant to your domain. This way, you can tailor-make your SEO campaign and be confident of its success.
- Freshness – Content figures high up on our SEO periodic table for a reason. Your site content should be current and informative – this is the only way it will be of value to users. Set up Google Alerts on topics that matter; read up to know more about the latest trends in your domain.
- Multimedia – The more unique and appealing your content is to users, the more revisits you will score. Make images, video, and audio your weapons of choice to reach out to your target audience. However, you must remember to use the alt attribute to add text alternatives to such non-text content.
- Answers – Users or site visitors are always looking for answers or solutions to their various queries or questions. Frequent online customer forums, competitor blogs, etc. to find out what your target audience wants to know and write about it.
- Depth – Shallow content is a strict no-no as neither Google nor its users will be fooled by the lack of effort. In-depth, useful content should be your go-to for placing high up on the search engine’s SERPs.
Your site architecture is a dead giveaway to Google about its internal state of affairs and quality/health. This is the reason why it deserves a mention on our SEO periodic table. The following listicle will come in handy the next time you perform a site audit:
- Crawl – Search engines must be able to easily crawl your website if they are to index its pages and determine their search rankings. You can ensure this with a detailed and frequently-updated sitemap. It is also advisable that you block any unwanted pages by indicating that they must not be crawled in your robots.txt file.
- Mobile – Almost everyone owns a smartphone – hence, it is important that you make your site more mobile-friendly. Make sure that your desktop and mobile site versions match. You can use the Google PageSpeed Insights tool to check your site performance on mobile devices.
- Duplicate – Google sees duplicate site content as a huge red flag, and this is why we have included it in our SEO table. Use canonical URLs and redirects wherever there are multiple page versions.
- Speed – Nobody likes to be kept waiting while visiting a site. Invest in a server with little uptime to ensure your pages load quickly on both desktop and mobile devices.
- HTTPS – Migrate from http to secure https hosting to show users that you are trustworthy.
- URLs – If you can, use important keywords in your URLs without it seeming forced or unnatural. This can also help when you are interlinking your pages – it will serve as a clear indicator to both bots and humans as to what a page is all about.
Hyper Text Markup Language (HTML) is another important SEO periodic table factor as it is the very foundation on which your site is built and offers crucial ranking clues to Google. The following hygiene list is indispensable for any webmaster or programmer:
- Titles – Integrating important keywords into your page titles is the first step to SEO success.
- Descriptions – Make it your prerogative to create crisp, to-the-point page descriptions that tell users and Google what your page is about. Again, include important keywords in them without sounding spammy or superficial.
- Structure – You can signal to Google what a page contains by using appropriate schema tags like recipes, book reviews, restaurants, software applications, etc. This will help you show up in featured snippets and turn your content into enhanced listings.
- Headings – H1, H2 and H3 tags are a must-do on any site owner or web publisher’s list of SEO tasks. Make sure to include keywords in them if possible.
- AMP – The use of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) helps cut down on the page loading time and bounce rate while increasing the adjustment to different browsers or mobile-friendliness.
Site visitors must feel safe while there, in addition to being able to spend their time usefully and efficiently. Hence, we consider making a good impression both on Google and its users as another important SEO periodic table element. Make note of the following pointers to build trust online:
- Authority – Domain authority is calculated based on numerous factors, including the number and quality of backlinks to your site, the popularity of your content on social media, etc. Create shareable, authentic content that will help you leave a sizeable online footprint. Additionally, engage in blogger outreach programs, natural link building exercises, frequent content publishing, etc.
- Engagement – If your users are not engaged, your content will fail. Innovate and experiment with newer topics, content delivery methods, tonality, etc. to keep them hooked always.
- Reputation – Every content piece that you create will add to your reputation so put ample thought into it. Furthermore, sites that function the same way they did for years will help paint a picture of familiarity and consistency.
Having a large number of sites linking to yours tells Google that you are reputable. Link-building is one of the most important factors on the periodic table for SEO and here is how you can go about it the right way:
- Value – Having many sites link to you is a good start, but you must make sure that you only allow those from popular, high-authority sites.
- Anchors – Links are a way for sites to recommend or vouch for other sites they like. This SEO periodic table element requires webmasters to earn links from quality sites that use the same or similar keywords.
- Backlinks – The more high-quality external links pointing to your site, the better your chances of ranking highly.
While SEO is all about getting Google to place you high up on its SERPs, the end goal is to have more users visit your site and keep coming back for evermore. The list below will help you figure this critical SEO periodic table factor out:
- Country – Tailor-make your content based on the country from which your user(s) is.
- Locality – This is an extension of the previous point – put in efforts to include local search keywords in your content.
- User experience – Put yourself in the shoes of your user and ensure that their stay on your site is a smooth and fruitful one. Help them find what they are looking for with ease – good internal linking and navigation practices are a must to ensure this.
- Intent – Most users are not very communicative – their search intent may be different from their actual search query. Factor this in while authoring content and include LSI (Latent Semantic Indexing) keywords and synonyms into longer articles.
So far, we discussed what you must do in order to climb the ladder of SEO success. However, there are a few things you must avoid in order to maintain steady search rankings and keep growing. The following list will get you up to speed on this crucial part of the SEO periodic table:
- Cloaking involves showing search engines pages that are different from the ones you display to human visitors and is frowned upon by Google as it is a sneaky way of gaining in organic search.
- Purchasing backlinks from questionable sites and spamming blogs with comments, etc. are all to be kept clear of.
- Intrusive interstitials and content that is full of annoying ads will impress nobody.
- Do not resort to keyword stuffing in your on-page content in a bid to rank better. This can come off as tacky and result in low-quality content that nobody would want to read.
- Hiding keywords or links by placing them behind images or using the same color as the background will not get you into Google’s good books.
- Stolen or plagiarized content is another sure-fire way of getting flagged by Google.
Emerging Fields in Online Marketing
While good-old textual content is informative, engaging and great for search rankings, there are a few other newer fields of content that are quickly gaining popularity with the users of today. Here are a few handy pointers to get to know this part of the SEO periodic table:
1. Voice Search
Did you know that almost 41% adults and 55% teens prefer and engage in voice search every day? If you are tailor-making your content to suit this search niche, keep in mind the below list of dos and don’ts:
- Include to-the-point answers to commonly-asked questions in your content.
- A voice-search FAQ section is a must-have on your site.
- Write content that sounds natural and has conversational, easy language.
- Aim for the featured snippets position on Google organic search.
- Include long-tail keywords in longer articles.
- Author content that can be understood even by a 15-year old.
- Make sure your site loads quickly.
- Optimize for searches that include keywords with the words ‘near me’.
2. Video Search
Videos are fast-emerging as the go-to entertainment and education option of millions of people around the globe. The free video-sharing site, YouTube, has over a billion users (more than a third of the internet population) and around 100 hours of video is uploaded onto it every single minute! Below are a few quick ways to get your video search act together:
- Include a descriptive video transcript.
- Videos with interesting thumbnail images have a higher chance of being played by users.
- The titles, descriptions and tags of your videos are as important as any other SEO aspect.
- Ensure that you place your video on a page that is relevant to it – it will not look good if it seems out of place or does not go with the overall subject of the page.
- Google usually indexes just one video for every page so place the video that you want ranked at the beginning of the page.
- Use the schema VideoObject.
3. Image Search
Images are powerful visual aids that help capture the attention of users. Make sure to keep the following list of tips in mind the next time you upload image-rich content on your site:
- Relevancy is key – the image you choose for a page must go with the overall theme and topic of the content on it.
- Pay attention to your image alt tags as they help Google index your pages and images better.
- Aim to have your images hosted on your domain instead of other domains like an image-hosting directory.
- Image file names that are keyword-rich will give search engines a fair idea of what your images and pages are all about.
- Relevant anchor texts are a must while linking to your images.
- Draw up an image sitemap.
- Use relevant schema markup for your images.
- Consider using lazy loading and browser caching for your image pages.
- Use a robust content delivery network (CDN) for maximum efficiency.
4. Local Search
If you are a small or medium sized business and operate in a specific geo-location, you must be discoverable to local users. Here are a few tricks that can get your local SEO journey kickstarted:
- Google looks into user reviews on various credible online forums/sites to gauge if a business is trustworthy or genuine.
- Make sure your business is featured in local business directories/listings online.
- Optimize your Google My Business listing and give out consistent NAP (name, address, phone) information.
- Quality local links are a vote of confidence that Google just cannot ignore – earn as many of them as possible.
Every SEO professional, whether seasoned or amateur, can benefit from our SEO periodic table as it serves as a quick glance at today’s search marketing trends. While good SEO takes time, the afore-mentioned factors will help you draw up an efficient checklist for yourself or your team of webmasters and SEO professionals.
What do you think of our SEO periodic table? Tell us in your comments.
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