Text Content: The text you add to your pages needs to be high quality and relevant. This means it must be clear and technically correct in terms of spelling and grammar. The text needs to convey meaning that is valuable. Longer pages, with more text, tend to be valued more highly than shorter pages.
Keywords: The text on your pages also needs to contain certain keywords that you have identified as being popular search phrases in search engines. Numerous tools exist to help with this. Use keywords in page titles, headings and page addresses (URLs) too, but don’t overdo it!
Regular Updates: The more fresh you keep the content of your pages, the more valuable search engines tend to consider them.
Images & Audio/Video: Adding multimedia content to your pages will help to differentiate them and increase their value.
Web-server Configuration: Ensure that your pages load quickly (less than 2 seconds is great) and is served using an encryption certificate (the page address will begin with https: instead of http:).
Mobile Friendly: Test your site on small screen devices to ensure they display correctly and load quickly.
Remove old and duplicate content: Make sure the pages on your site are focused, fresh and relevant.
Metadata: Add descriptions, titles and OpenGraph information to your pages to help them perform better on social sites and to motivate sharing. (Add this information to the ‘HEAD’ area of your pages or in the relevant input area in your site’s admin system).
Schema & Micro data: Various forms of specific metadata exist to define the structure of your site in ways that search engines understand. Adding these tags to your pages can give your site a nice boost.
Internal Links: Connect together the internal pages of your site in intelligent ways, so that search engines can gain extra insight as to the purpose of each page. The ‘anchor’ text you us in the links needs to be relevant to the page’s content.
Backlinks: This is one of the most important aspects of SEO. All sites on the web are given a ‘Domain Authority’ score by search engines and when a site links to another site, the ‘DA’ of the originating site is taken into consideration when calculating the ranking of the page that is being linked to. You need to acquire as many high quality links as possible to get the best results in search engines.
Negative Links: Some sites might links to your pages that have received ‘black marks’ from the search engines and they can actually harm your rankings. In these cases you need to identify the problem sites and manually inform the search engine operators that you wish to ‘disavow’ the links, so that they will no longer cause your site to be devalued.
Social Media: The number of shares and likes your pages receive on social media is often taken into consideration too, though not to a huge extent. The more the better!
Don’t cheat! There are many sneaky tactics that people have used over the years to try to artificially boost their rankings. Generally, this is a bad idea and your site may be penalised as as result, so don’t do it!
Duplication: Do not repeat content or page titles on multiple different pages.
Titles: Keep your page titles below around 55 – 60 characters.
Meta Descriptions: Make sure your meta descriptions for each page are clear and meaningful since these hugely influence the rate at which your page will receive clicks and this in turn alters your search rankings. Roughly 150 characters is a good length for meta description text.
Relevance: Make sure your content is highly relevant to your target keywords for each page.
Headings: Make good use of H1 and H2 header tags on each page. Your H1 heading should contain your main keyword at least once, but probably not more than once.
ALT Image Text: Ensure the images on your site contain ALT tag text since this helps your images to rank in image searches. This text is also needed to improve accessibility for the visually impaired who are using screen reading technology too.
Image Filenames: Make sure your site’s images have meaningful filenames.
Readability: Pay attention to the readability of your page – ensure that you break up long sections of text into smaller paragraphs and use other grammatical elements to help the text to flow.
Competition: Use SEO software to identify sites that your competitors have scored links from.
Backlink building: Develop a strategy for acquiring links from valuable sites with high Domain Authorities – without violating Google’s policies. You can use Email outreach to contact the site’s operators or find other solutions.
Content Exchange: Produce great content and exchange it with other sites – this will often result in a link being added to your site.
Real human interaction: Ask relevant people you know to link to your site from suitable places. For example, if you are a professional you could speak with other professionals and industry bodies. If you provide a service and have clients you could ask them to help you out with backlinks too.
Social media: Don’t forget to add links to relevant pages to the descriptions of your videos and posts on social media – plus to the relevant areas of your profile pages too. Although social sites tend to add a ‘nofollow’ tag to links on their pages (which usually means they don’t provide you any SEO boost value), Google has announced that they are now paying more attention to links marked in this way.
Webmaster tools: Connect your site to Google’s Search Console and Bing’s Webmaster tools to ensure that you get tips direct from them regarding changes they detect that you need to make. You may need to fix errors they identify and this is one of the best ways to keep up with any new policies they introduce.