Did you know that the top three Google search results combine for more than half of all clicks?
The stakes for search engine optimization have never been higher. More eyes on your website means more organic traffic. Since Google pretty much controls the search results, sticking to SEO best practices is what keeps your website from fading into the background.
If you’re aiming for a prime spot in the search rankings, consider this guide your roadmap for getting SEO compliant.
Table of Contents
- What Is SEO Compliance?
- How to Make Your Website SEO Compliant
- Step 1: Determine Your Target Keywords
- Step 2: Optimize Your Page for Target Keywords
- Step 3: Write High-Quality Content
- Step 4: Build Credible Links
- Step 5: Make Your Content ADA-Compliant
- Step 6: Optimize Website Speed
- Step 7: Monitor Your Website’s Performance
- Wrapping Up
SEO compliance simply means playing by the rules set by search engines, especially Google. This way, your web pages are more likely to appear in search results when users look for relevant information.
In Google’s all-seeing eyes, it’s the code of conduct for all websites. You must follow recommendations for content quality, relevance, accessibility, and user experience.
Search engines use complex algorithms and ranking factors to sift through their enormous database and spit out results for your search queries. Long story short, you want your website to be a breeze for search engine crawlers to understand and index.
Google lays down the law on SEO compliance. It decides whether your content gets the green light or the red flag. If you want to stay on the right side of the search engine giant, follow this rulebook to becoming SEO compliant:
First, choose a short-tail keyword with a substantial search volume. Typically, everyone targets these same keywords that are one to two words long.
But how do you stand out in this crowded space? Simple—expand your short-tail keyword into a selection of long-tail keywords consisting of four or more words. With less competition, you have a better shot at ranking.
Consider these examples:
- Short-tail keyword: sun hats
- Long-tail keyword: sun hats for women
Don’t underestimate those extra words. Sure, short-tail keywords may reel in more clicks, but those long-tail keywords may offer high-quality traffic. Why? Because some users have a more specific search intent, you’re offering them exactly what they’re looking for.
You can use Ahrefs to analyze keyword difficulty. High scores mean more challenging keywords, while lower scores suggest less competition. Aim for a good mix of these keywords.
Semrush also offers a plethora of SEO tools for your keyword research, including the following:
- Keyword Magic Tool: Generate suggestions for short-tail and long-tail keywords.
- Organic Research Tool: Show keywords your competitors are ranking for.
- Keyword Manager: Organize your keywords so you can align them with your content plan.
- Position Tracking Tool: Monitor search rankings across different locations and devices.
- Organic Traffic Insights: Analyze your website’s organic search performance by pulling stats from Google Analytics and Google Search Console.
Imagine your website as a book. On-page optimization is all about making that book easy to read, understand, and find in a massive library.
Now, let’s help your website’s search engine rankings with these elements:
1. Title Tag
A well-written title tag provides readers and search engines a preview of your page’s content. Title tags appear as clickable texts on search engine results pages (SERP) and captions on browser tabs.
They help search engine robots understand your content and connect it with relevant search queries.
- Aim for a unique title tag that describes your page.
- Include your primary keyword naturally within the title tag.
- Keep your title tag between 50–60 characters long to ensure it displays properly on SERPs.
2. Meta Descriptions
While not a direct ranking factor, an effective meta description attracts clicks. And more clicks equal higher user engagement.
Users scanning through SERPs are more likely to choose your page if the description answers their needs. Here’s how to nail your meta description:
- Create a unique, high-quality description of what your page is all about.
- Incorporate your primary keywords naturally into the description.
- Keep your meta description concise, around 150–160 characters, so that it fits well within the search results.
- Encourage users to engage with your content with a call-to-action prompt, such as “learn more,” “discover,” or “shop now.”
Headings guide readers through an article or blog post, providing a clear indication of each section’s content. They aid users who prefer scanning pages before diving in and those who rely on screen readers for consuming content.
Below are tips on how to structure your headings:
- Use H1 for the title and only once for each page.
- Break down the article into different sections using H2 to H6 subheadings.
- Organize your content with a clear structure.
- Include relevant keywords in the subheadings.
Follow these guidelines to create compelling, SEO-compliant content:
- Match your content with user intent. Anticipate what information users seek when entering specific search queries.
- Provide comprehensive information on the topic. In-depth content tends to perform well in search results.
- Answer common questions related to the subject matter.
- Use variations of the main keywords and sprinkle them naturally throughout the article. However, avoid keyword stuffing, as it can hurt your content readability and search ranking.
- Write content in clear, concise, and conversational language. Use short paragraphs, lists, and bullet points for easy readability.
- Enhance your content with images, infographics, videos, and other multimedia elements.
- Search engines favor fresh and relevant content. Keep your content up-to-date to reflect industry trends and changes.
- Internal linking helps Google index the pages of your website. Use keyword-rich anchor texts for your internal links.
Here’s how to obtain high-quality backlinks from reputable sources to enhance your SEO:
- Write informative, link-worthy content.
- Identify broken links on other websites, preferably those related to your content. Reach out to the site owner and propose your content as a replacement.
- Regularly audit your backlink profile. Keep an eye on the quality and relevance of the sites linking to you.
- Clean up the bad links (spammy, artificial, or low-quality) to your site by getting them removed from the other site.
- Write guest posts for reputable websites within your niche.
Ahrefs provides tons of free tools to help you establish your authority. Here are some of them:
- Website Authority Checker: Determine a website’s domain rating on a scale of 1–100.
- Backlink Checker: Get a complete breakdown of your backlink profile.
- Broken Link Checker: Scan your site’s inbound and outbound links for broken links.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protects people with disabilities from discrimination in public places. Now, the law extends compliance to online spaces, including websites and mobile apps.
ADA-compliant content directly aids indexation. Search engines rely on text to index and rank content, and they cannot “see” content without associated text. In other words, bots or web crawlers need additional context for non-text content.
So, how do you make an accessible website for all kinds of users, especially for those with cognitive, hearing, and visual impairments?
Here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- Add features to let visitors customize your site based on their needs. For instance, reduce distractions for people with ADHD or provide larger text for the visually impaired.
- Add text descriptions to non-text elements for screen readers. Include alt tags or attribute descriptions for image files and text transcripts for videos.
- Keep menus consistent and write descriptive titles for headings.
- Use keyboard shortcuts or on-screen keyboards for those with motor impairments.
For more specific design standards, visit the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Page speed affects user experience and search engine rankings, and this is where Google’s Lighthouse tool can come in handy. Here’s how to run a Lighthouse audit:
- Open Google Chrome and navigate to the page you want to analyze.
- Right-click on the page, select “Inspect,” and then go to the “Lighthouse” tab.
- Tick the checkboxes for the audits you want to run.
- Click the “Analyze page load” button.
- Wait for your Lighthouse analysis.
- Follow the suggestions to improve your loading time.
- After making changes, re-run Lighthouse to track improvements.
Here are some recommendations you may find helpful:
- Compress and resize images to reduce file sizes using photo editing apps.
- Take advantage of browser caching to store downloaded content for returning visitors.
- Load images and other non-essential elements only when they come into the user’s viewport.
- Remove unnecessary characters like commas, spaces, and comments from your source code
You can analyze how your website is performing on search engine results using tools like Google Search Console or Bing Webmaster Tool. Follow these tips on how to use these monitoring services:
- Schedule regular audits of your website’s performance.
- Identify high-performing keywords that are driving organic traffic to your site.
- Monitor click-through rates (CTR) for your pages. Low CTR might mean that your meta descriptions or title tags need optimization.
- Promptly address any errors or warnings reported by these tools. This could include issues with crawlability, mobile-friendliness, or other technical aspects.
Don’t sleep on the chance to turn your website into an authority in the digital landscape. Use this guide to become SEO compliant and improve your online visibility.
But keep in mind that building a website that plays well with SEO is an ongoing effort. With search engine algorithms changing often, boosting your rankings might take a little time.
Published on: 2024-01-10
Updated on: 2024-01-27