120+ Google SEO New Tips for Blogging in 2019
This blog explains the 120+ Best Google SEO Tips and tricks used in Blogging in 2019. Today you cannot get away with spamming the search engines— Google and the others have become adept at knowing which sites are adhering to their guidelines.
Studies suggest that search engines consider more than 250 factors when ranking sites. Although the exact attributes that result in better rankings are not specified (they are a business secret), the fundamentals have shifted toward an enhanced user experience (UX) and providing meaningful content.
“Content is king” is an adage you may have heard a million times, but the scenario has changed: “Relevant content is king” is the new mantra and is an apt motivator toward a streamlined UX. You should focus on user intent and user satisfaction rather than design sites for the search engines.
SEO is an amalgam of relevance and best practices designed to help users find information related to their queries. This blog-Section looks at on-page, on-site, and off-page SEO factors that form the crux of SEO.
On-page optimization is related to factors controlled by you or your code that have an effect on your site’s rankings in search results. To create an optimal experience, you need to focus on the following page-optimization factors:
Meta keywords and meta descriptions
Outbound and internal link
Title Tag Optimization
The best practice, according to SEO experts, is to use a phrase containing relevant words (say, 8–11 words) with at most 55–65 characters. This makes sense because extremely long phrases will not work well on mobile devices where space is a constraint. Titles must be precise and concise and can use a mix of uppercase and lowercase characters.
Avoid commonly used titles or duplicate content, because search engines display a preference for unique titles. Google Search prefers function over form, so it is a best practice to use a simple, unique title rather than a sensational, irrelevant title.
You should understand and consider user intent rather than looking at titles from a search engine point of view.
Meta Keywords and Meta Descriptions
Recently, Google confirmed that it doesn’t consider meta keywords and descriptions as ranking factors. Nevertheless, meta keywords and meta descriptions are cached, so it would not be a best practice to ignore them.
Although they are not consequential in determining search engine results, meta descriptions can be an excellent way of advertising; they may or may not be displayed in the search results. It is a good practice to limit the meta description to 300–320 characters.
It provides a preview of the content or information on that page and should contain the gist of the entire page. If the description is apt, informative, and meets the needs of the user, it may work like free advertising: the user may be compelled to click that site link to view the content.
The meta description must be unique for each page on a website, like a page title. Avoid stuffing the description with keywords, and remove all special characters. Using multiple meta keywords can have a negative influence on search engines.
The meta robots attribute is increasingly being used by web designers. It tells crawlers whether the page should be displayed in SERPs (index/noindex) or whether you should depend on the links on the page (follow/nofollow).
Heading Tags (h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, and h6)
Heading tags are an important on-page factor. The (heading 1) tag is crucial and must be relevant to the topic discussed on the web page. It educates readers about the topic on that page.
Instead of filling a page with clutter, it is a good practice to stick to a single topic; the heading 1 tag is imperative because it indicates the page’s topic. Use relevant words in the heading to help users and also spiders understand the page’s content. Google adheres to text semantics and emphasizes its use for better results.
Avoid skipping heading levels on a web page. h1 should be followed by h2, which in turn may have an h3, and so on. You may have multiple h2 tags or subsequent tags if needed.
Your web page must display a systematic pattern or consistency. If the formatting or styling of the headings is not to your liking, you can use CSS styling to alter it.
Include keywords, but do not repeat them in the heading. Keywords used at the beginning of a heading yield better results. Avoid spamming or using irrelevant words in headings, because doing so may have a negative effect.
Using meaningful and pertinent content in the body section of the site is vital. Relevant content is king. The content should not be irrelevant or stuffed with keywords—the search engines may penalize you for it. However, you can use keywords or close variations of them twice or three times on a page in a logical way.
The content should be informative and engage the user, encouraging them to return to check out the site regularly. It is a good practice to update the content (such as technology topics) at least every six months because Google has a penchant for updated or fresh content. (News channel sites update their content on a daily basis.
Here, we are referring to product pages or informative sites, and updating or adding content for a product or topic.) Blogs must be updated on a regular basis. Use interactive media such as images, videos, and audio files on your web pages;
They are intuitive and engage users, and may make the site more popular. Always spell-check and proofread your content, because incorrect grammar or spelling errors can reflect negatively on your site.
In addition to having meaningful content, the number of content matters. You cannot use keywords 3 times in 140 characters—that is keyword stuffing. In-depth, detail-oriented, relevant content helps you space out keywords evenly.
It also helps users to understand the logic of the content, especially if the topic is informative and educates the user significantly.
However, do not use 2,000 words just to fill the page; low-quality content results in bad UX. Remember, less is more, because the quality is more important than quantity—function over form.
Bounce rate reflects the number of users who visit a web page and then leave. It doesn’t matter how much time they spend on the page; it focuses on whether users leave the site after viewing just one page. Low-quality content results in higher bounce rates and will eventually affect the site’s visibility.
Do not copy content from another website or use the boilerplate content. Google search engines have been known to penalize sites that use duplicate content. Focus on user satisfaction and not on fooling the search engines.
At times there are legitimate reasons for duplicate content: for example, an e-commerce site will have the same content on different pages with different URLs due to filters such as size, color, and price.
Some websites have the same content on different web pages with the prefixes HTTP and HTTPS; although the rest of the URLs are the same, the prefixes mean they are treated as separate pages. Sometimes the watered-down mobile version of a website has the same content as the desktop version, resulting in duplication.
Localization may also be a factor: for example, www.google.com may appear as www.google.co.in for India. The content may be the same, but the URLs are different. In such cases, search engines may not allocate as high a ranking, because two different URLs have the same or similar content.
You can resolve these issues by using either a canonical tag or a 301 direct. A 301 redirect is a permanent redirect from one URL to another that helps users reach the new address. It can also be used for “404 Page not found” errors where content has been moved to a different web page.
A canonical tag is an alternative where you apply a rel=canonical attribute to tell search engines the original or preferred content and the URL to be indexed for display in SERPs. For example, suppose these two websites have the same content:
http://example97653.com and http://example234.com/seo12345/56473.
The first URL is the original, getting the maximum number of hits. You want this site address to be indexed. To implement the canonical tag, you go the HTML code for the second URL and, in the <head> element, add the following:
<link rel="canonical" href="http://example97653.com"/>
You use the canonical attribute in the head element of the HTML markup for the URL containing the duplicate content and link it to the original or preferred URL.
Image Optimization and Interactive Media
Earlier SEO was text-based, but this has changed significantly. You should use interactive media such as audio, video, images, and infographics to connect with your users.
Use captions and alternate text for media, and build relevant content around these media. You can use a single key phrase in the alt text if it is relevant to that image.
You can interchange images based on the screen size, with heavy-duty images for desktop sites and lightweight images for mobile sites. Try to limit the image file size to less than 80–90 KB for optimal page-loading time.
Use PNG or JPEG image formats wherever possible, because they are robust and have more visual properties. Using thumbnails and different angles for a product can be very handy, especially on e-commerce sites.
Using videos explaining a product or marketing a certain entity is a good practice. Google owns YouTube, and it can be a game-changing means of branding your product. Infographics are an excellent way to provide information or create timelines with relevant content.
Outbound links point to another domain or site. They are a good feature for informative or niche topics. Sometimes a page includes jargon or topic-specific terms; instead of wasting time explaining supplementary information on the page, you can use URLs or anchor text as outbound links to locations that explain the information in depth.
SEO experts tend to doubt the content found on Wikipedia, but it is actually an excellent source of free, relevant, detail-oriented information. For example, suppose you are explaining web servers, and you use the word server in your content.
Instead of explaining what a server is, you can use the word as anchor text to link to a wiki site that explains the meaning and use of servers. Linking specific terms to wiki sites such as Wikipedia and Webopedia may boost your SEO process. Not only is doing so relevant, but it also lends a certain amount of trust and credibility to your site.
You can use outbound links to social media sites or blogs to help reach out to a larger audience. Just be sure you do not link to spammy or illegal sites—doing so may negate your SEO efforts, because search engines will penalize your site.
Also do not link to sites that are not relevant to the topic, because two-way linking or link farming can be detrimental.
Whereas on-page SEO is relevant to individual pages, on-site features affect your SEO process on the website as a whole. This section explains the following
Mobile site optimization and responsive websites
Site-loading speed or page-load time
URLs play an important role in SEO, and you need to plan holistically for making your URLs as SEO-friendly as possible. Each URL should be human-readable and not consist of a bunch of special characters or numbers mixed with words. It should be meaningful and should reflect what the site is about.
For example, https://www. searchenginejournal.com is meaningful because it tells readers that the site offers a comprehensive array of topics and guides related to SEO.
Using hyphens (-) instead of underscores is a good practice recommended by Google. SEO experts advocate the use of canonical tags or 301 redirects for duplicate pages or pages with similar content; otherwise, the value of the content may be negated, because as ranking signals may split it across the multiple URLs.
For “404 Page not found” errors, you need to use 301 redirects to guide users to a working URL for that content.
Using a robots.txt file helps inform search engines about pages to be ignored while crawling the site. For example, a Contact Us page or About Us page may be useful if users need to access or buy a product or need help from the customer service department.
However, a normal user may not find the Disclaimers page important and hardly skim such pages. So, it is essential to educate crawlers about which pages need to be indexed for SEO processes. You can also indicate broken links and 404 pages in the robots.txt file.
SEO experts advocate the use of a favicon on the title bar next to the URL because it lends credibility and helps with effective branding. It helps users recognize your site and improves trustworthiness significantly. Although there are no direct benefits from favicons from an SEO perspective, they enhance usability.
Bookmarks in the Google Chrome browser send out signals to the Google search engine that maps bookmarks for sites on the Web. This it is not a major factor, but it certainly helps from a user perspective.
An HTML sitemap is tailored to your website’s users and helps users locate different pages. All categories and products can be listed explicitly. It streamlines the user experience by making users familiar with your website and provides better semantics. UX is a vital aspect of SEO, so it is a good practice to include both XML and HTML sitemaps in your process.
Make sure your XML sitemaps for search engines are exhaustive; on the other hand, HTML sitemaps should be more concise so users can navigate them more easily.
Domain Trust and Local Domains
Your domain can be a key ranking factor because it creates trust and credibility for site users. Studies suggest that domains registered for two years or longer were considered more trustworthy than new domains.
Use the .com domain extension, because it is more common than .org and other extensions. Domain localization—catering to a specific country or city—may prove to be a game changer.
For example, .co.uk caters to the United Kingdom and is more specific to users in that region and those with business links to the UK. Choosing a domain with a good reputation is helpful. If the domain has been assessed some kind of penalty, it can be detrimental to your business due to lack of credibility.
Using keywords in a domain name may be useful; however, given all the keywords that have already been used by websites, you may not be able to have the domain name of your choice.
Your domain name is crucial because it indicates what your site is all about. Opt for a simpler, unique, relevant domain name rather than a sensational name, to help users connect with your site.
You can use an online dictionary to check words related to your service or product. You can also use a combination of two or three words, such as DealOn, ScoutMob, or HomeRun.
You can even think outside of the box and come up with something really creative, such as Reddit, Google, and Yelp, to name a few. Again, focus on your prospective customers and come up with something catchy and easy to spell that they can relate to;
for example, if you search for plumbers or plumbing in Miami, you see http://www.miami-plumbers.com/ in the results. The name conveys that this is a plumbing business and the region (Miami) where they provide plumbing services.
Enter responsive web design: an excellent alternative that uses a single URL for both the mobile and desktop sites. Responsiveness is rated highly by Google. All the features and content of a desktop site are present on the mobile version, meaning there is no compromise on content display; the site is user-friendly and ensures an optimal UX.
The bounce rate will be lower because users can get the same information on mobiles as well as desktops. Because there is only one URL, there is no redirect, resulting in faster page-loading times.
Because Google highly recommends this approach, responsive web design is here to stay. Currently, Google marks websites as mobile-friendly in mobile searches to help its users identify which websites are likely to work best on their device.
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Site- or page-loading speed is an important attribute because Google and other search engines penalize sites that take a long time to load. An optimal page-load time leads to better conversion and improves the scalability of your products.
Pages that take a long time to load may frustrate users and cause negative UX, leading to higher bounce rates. Loss of internet traffic or a bad user experience can damage the site’s reputation.
There are several ways you can improve your page-load speed:
Minimizing HTTP requests
Using an efficient server configuration and good bandwidth
Archiving redundant data in the database, and cleaning out trash and spam
Using fewer plug-ins and third-party utilities
Interchanging data and images, depending on the screen size
Avoiding inline styles, and keeping presentation separate from markup
Using a content delivery network (CDN)
Whereas on-page SEO and on-site SEO factors are based on the elements and content on your web page or site, off-page SEO factors are external and help you rank higher in SERPs. They are not design or code related and are more like promotional concepts.
This section looks at the following.
Localization and local citations
Expand your reach by taking advantage of social media optimization and marketing. Social media is an amazing medium with an ever-increasing scope. You can indulge in networking and increase your connections considerably. Reaching out to the modern target audience is beneficial because users can share and promote your website.
Keep your audience engaged, and share updates with them. For example, Facebook and LinkedIn can be awesome utilities that let you expand your business horizons significantly. Share updates and keep your users in the loop using Twitter.
You can use the capabilities of these social media sites for branding and advertising for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing methods such as television advertising, press releases, and Yellow Pages listings.
Localization and Citations
Local SEO is an important off-page factor because it caters to the user’s region. It is a boon especially for small- and medium-sized enterprises because it helps them connect with users in their vicinity.
Local citations are brand mentions or reviews that educate users about product robustness or attributes. Local SEO utilities such as Yelp and Foursquare are extremely helpful for understanding the pros and cons of your products or services, courtesy of user feedback or input.
Reviews help you establish a connection with users and understand their viewpoint and concerns related to your business. Increasing interaction with your users will help streamline your business in the long run.
Google stresses the importance of web page performance, and its algorithms favor websites with optimal site speed and user experience (UX) design. Optimal Page-loading time counts toward an enhanced UX. Studies suggest that optimal page-load time leads to more conversions, thereby affecting sales significantly.
Page speed depends on several factors ranging from web-hosting facility and website design to the hardware used for that site. In particular, websites that take a lot of time to open on mobile devices are penalized, because they result in a bad UX.
Google has its own tool that you can use, not only for site speed but also for other UX factors. You can access the PageSpeed tool at https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/.
Enter a URL or web page address in the search box, and click Analyze. You will see results for mobile and desktop versions. The results include two sections: Speed and User Experience.
Suggestions are recommendations to further enhance the website for an optimal UX. User satisfaction is a prime factor for any business, and it applies to SEO too. Good site speed leads to backlinks, conversion optimization, and favorable reviews, thereby streamlining the UX.
If you have a website, then you want to know how many people are viewing or buying stuff on that site. You also want to know the geographic location of your users and which content is frequently accessed. Whether your campaigns lead to sales conversions and high traffic can be a deciding factor, especially for an e-commerce site.
Following are some common terms you will come across while viewing analyzing these reports:
Dimensions: An attribute of your site visitors that can have various values. For example, gender, browser, city, and so on.
Metrics: A measure of elements of a dimension. For example, new users, bounce rate, sessions, and so on.
Sessions: Period of user engagement with the website for a specific date range. For example, the time is taken for page view during a certain date range.
This attribute indicates any errors that were found while crawling your web pages: for example, a “404 Page not found” error. Once you fix the errors, you can update Google.
This indicates the number of pages crawled for a certain period. It also indicates the download time and the size of the download.
This attribute is handy for understanding how Google renders a web page. Instead of Fetch, you can use Fetch and Render to enable Google to crawl and display the web pages, akin to a browser rendering the pages.
You can see the difference between rendering the page with Google and with a browser, helping you boost the SEO processes for your site.
This attribute checks for defects in your robots.txt file.
This facility helps you submit the XML sitemap of your site to Google. It makes it easy for Google bots to dig deep, because it makes web pages more accessible to those bots. Errors related to the submitted sitemap are also reflected in this section.
Creating a Sitemap
Popular Sitemap Generators
Generating a sitemap for a small website is usually not the time to consume. However, this can be a very time-consuming activity for large, complex websites. Performing manual sitemap generation on such websites is not only expensive with respect to time but also prone to errors.
In such situations, sitemap generators come in handy. A sitemap generator is a tool that takes the URL of the website as input. It then scans the website and lists all the pages it contains in XML or HTML format. This section looks at some of the widely used sitemap generators.
MindNode is a visual tool tailored for Apple devices only. You can build sitemaps as well as plan your projects in a visually appealing way using this utility. The only constraint is that you export to XML. However, you can use the PDF, image, or simple text version generated using this app.
WriteMaps is an efficient utility for online sitemap generation. You can create three sitemaps for free using a single account. Its intuitive character helps you create sitemaps as well as customize colors, map page content, and easily format content. The generated sitemaps can be exported in PDF as well as XML formats.
Dyno Mapper is an awesome ecosystem used for creating sitemaps. In addition to building sitemaps, it provides features such as Google Analytics support, website accessibility testing, and keyword tracking that help boost your SEO projects significantly.
It comes with drag-and-drop functionality, it can detect broken links, and it provides cloud support with regular content audit input.
Although Google bots can usually understand URL parameters, if there is any ambiguity, you can explicitly configure parameters using this section so that the Google search engine understands them more efficiently.
For example, suppose a user is on an e-commerce portal and wants to shop for athletic shoes. The user can use filters such as the sole material, leather or synthetic, color, and price of those shoes.
The filters when used lead to represent a different URL to the user; however, strings appended to the URL due to using combinations of filters show different URLs to users for the same or duplicate content. Google has a workaround for this.
Similar URLs are grouped in a cluster, and then Google decides the best URL in that cluster to represent the cluster group. In case of ambiguity, if Google is unable to decide the best URL for that cluster, you can use the URL Parameters facility to specify which URL should be used to represent a group.
Despite knowing that black-hat SEO will result in penalties, some SEO experts resort to underhanded techniques. Link farming, cloaking, keyword stuffing, irrelevant content, and spamming are black-hat techniques that are still in use.
The results may seem positive, but eventually, Google and other search engines realize that they are being duped, resulting in a penalty.
Let’s consider the cloaking black-hat SEO technique. It is akin to spamdexing, where the content presented to the search engine crawlers is different than the content presented to human users.
It is a deceitful way of achieving higher rankings: the content delivered is different depending on IP addresses or HTTP headers. This manipulative technique tries to trick search engines into believing that the content is the same as what users see.
Another black-hat SEO technique is link farming, where sites exchange reciprocal links to boost their rankings by fooling the search engines. It is different from link building, which is an organic way of boosting rankings.
Because search engines such as Google and Bing rank sites based on their popularity and inbound links, some SEO consultants used to implement link farming to get links from hundreds of websites that were not even slightly related to the target site. Some SEO consultants also had link farms that used devious ways of exchanging links with other sites, something like a link-exchange program.
For example, suppose a site is devoted to troubleshooting Windows OS issues. If inbound links come from sites such as Stack Overflow, authority sites, and relevant blogs, then they are legitimate.
However, if such a site receives inbound links from travel and tourism sites offering vacation packages in Miami or from sites offering plumbing solutions in Ibiza, then there is no relevance—the sites have no connection. Therefore, such sites use link farming and are deceitful because they just want to boost their rankings using these underhanded techniques.
Instead of fooling the search engines, it is better to use white-hat SEO techniques that are beneficial in the long run.
Quality link building, using social media appropriately, and engaging users with solid content are some of the white-hat SEO techniques. It may take weeks or even months for the results to show, but white-hat techniques are the norms that SEO experts must follow to gain visibility in SERPs.
Small- and medium-sized businesses do not have a huge budget for advertising their products and services. Therefore, they need to ensure that they do not try the same approaches as large-scale enterprises that have a panel of SEO experts, funding, and expensive advertising methods.
You should also avoid using metadata and content similar to that of large-scale enterprises because doing so will hinder your SEO process.
Using keywords prevalent in the web pages of enterprise-grade organizations is detrimental because small enterprises do not have the budget, web presence, and reach for mass-scale advertising to outperform large adversaries.
You can use Google My Business and other Google tools (as well as third-party enhancements) to gain visibility. You can also use keywords that have less competition and target a niche market. You may see your website gain prominence on SERPs using such low-competition keywords.
Ignoring UX for Your Website
Your site may have lots of jazzy features, but if your users cannot navigate easily or find it difficult to access content, then the result may be a shabby UX.
For example, the Add To Cart button on an e-commerce website must be easily accessible to users. UX is a crucial factor for search engines because they like sites that are popular and have a high degree of usability.
Missing XML and HTML Sitemaps
XML and HTML sitemaps are designed for search engines and users, respectively. Your site may have the latest updates and game-changing features.
But if the search engines are unable to crawl and map your site, that is detrimental to your SEO workflow. You must submit XML and HTML sitemaps to the search engines, so your deep web pages can be crawled more easily.
Slow Page-Load Time
There can be other factors, too, that may result in high page-load times: using server-centric dynamic scripts, non-optimal web hosting, and lack of required bandwidth. These factors negatively affect your SEO processes and are major hindrances resulting in lower rankings.
For example, SEO experts recommend 2 to 3 seconds as the optimal loading time for product pages on e-commerce sites after analyzing statistics from research and analytics.
Moreover, surveys and studies related to site speed infer that users tend to abandon a site that isn’t loaded within 3 to 4 seconds. This also represents a shabby user experience, resulting in lower conversions and sales.
Using Flash on Your Site
In the early days of the web, Flash was an awesome resource that helped site build intuitive modules and impressive page elements. However, with the advent of HTML5, this cutting-edge utility has taken a backseat.
Moreover, as the mobile and tablet market has become a dominant force, the use of Flash is considered redundant, because Flash was tailored for desktop users.
Flash is more prone to malicious malware hacking, from a security point of view. Its non-scalable features mean you cannot minimize or expand it or set a viewport for it.
Everything you can do in Flash can be done more quickly and easily in HTML5. You can also use the latest web design frameworks to build interactive sites, thereby relegating Flash to the sidelines.
Google and other search engines cannot read Flash, although recently, Google claims it can index the text in Flash files. Considering the pitfalls associated with Flash, you should use HTML5 to design and develop interactive sites with enhanced animation and special effects.
Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is a Google project aimed at the mobile web. Akin to the concept of Facebook’s Instant Articles and Apple’s Apple News, AMP pages will change the way people perceive the mobile web.
AMP pages are web-based, meaning they are rendered in a browser. They are independent documents that are sourced from your web server. Optionally, you can store AMP documents in a CDN cache to render them more quickly.
AMP pages are made up of the following modules:
AMP HTML documents can be stored on your server, and you can use your own CDN; but you can also take advantage of the benefits of using Google’s CDN, which streamlines the SEO processes built around these pages.
When you search a page on Google, you see the results on desktop browsers. However, on the mobile platform, there is a high probability that Google will direct you to AMP pages rather than regular pages because AMP load instantaneously and the Runtime streamlines the utilization of available resources.
Unlike Facebook’s Instant Articles or Apple’s Apple News, AMP pages (although backed by Google) are portal-agnostic and open-source. They are supposed to be built-in with ads and analytics support.
AMP is accessible from any portal: Google Search, Pinterest, or anywhere online. In summary, AMP pages are a lucrative alternative to heavy-duty websites; they display information quickly and render content effectively without the bulk or clutter.
You can find out more at https://www.ampproject.org/