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Your goal is to be king of the search engines first page, your writing content like a typist in a 1940’s news service. You’re spreading the word socially and have built up quite a following. Your brand message resonates with your followers and brand persona’s (Great people all of those!). Now you set your sights on the magic of the first-page ranking organically, well in search engines. Yes, it does sometimes seem like a magical carpet ride that you have to take to get there or you can just break the bank and do paid advertising. Ok, perhaps not all available to your new start up yet.

No worries with some time and some great content; a great business; worth following you will get there! Here is what the search engine appreciates, in helping your business get the elusive top spot in organic rankings. Remember they are in the business of providing the most relevant info for the specific searcher at the right time you need to be the most relevant in whatever it is you do.

Here are some of SEO’s Top requirements (There is definitely more but today we’ll go over ten). Ensure you keep an eye out for each and every one of them.

Content:

Well, you don’t say, I know this is probably not worth mentioning as we all know if your content isn’t king then you’re not going to hit the rankings anytime soon. Bear in mind that not only is your content one of the reasons people will visit your site, but it is also an extension of you and thus your business expertise. If you have the expertise share some of it and who knows perhaps you might just win a few friends and gain some valuable business. Be the solution provider that everyone wants to go to, even the search engines.

Meta Descriptions, Keywords, and Tags:

As per our above little discussion, the only way apart from reading your content (which a search engine isn’t necessarily going to do) that a search engine can possibly know how and where to index your site data from is from the tags, descriptions and keyword tags. The Search masters will use these to rate your content and make a nice indexable file of your content. If you don’t tell it exactly what it is and how it’s valuable they will probably not deem it is either. Make sure you use keywords, your meta descriptions are up to date and your using tags and descriptions for everything images, links, headers, and downloads be specific to make it easy for all the search engines!

Page Speed:

Everyone is in a hurry today. Is your website not up to speed? It will get left behind, it is said that you have three to five seconds to be seen and even less on the phone (As long as it takes to get scrolled past) if your site doesn’t load quickly enough it will be closed. Your possible viewers have become serial scrollers and you’re in the game of delivering not only your service but a fast and super responsive site at all times.

Image optimization:

As one does with tags and keywords so does one do with images, PDF’s and downloads. Jokes aside you need to make sure you find a great naming convention for all your files clearly explaining to the search engine exactly what is on the image and the search engine will thank you by scoring you higher as your images are relevant, descriptive and adds value to your story. Don’t use images that are going to kill bandwidth either as that will be used against you in page load time keep it light yet crispy. I will in the future do a little article on what is the best images to use online.

Mobile friendliness:

If your site isn’t mobile friendly, you probably won’t lose everything. But only targeting 30 – 40 % of the entire internet is not good business in my eyes. The world is in people’s pockets and if you’re not mobile friendly you’re not in that same pocket. I know some of the big search kings will actually give you a bad rating for not complying with mobile requirements and in doing so bring down your relevance score pulling you off the first page.

Internal Links:

What a metric this is, think of internal linking as people referring to you as an authority on whatever it is you have on that page, Yes the search engine sees it as your clout, the more people you have referring to your information the higher your clout. Don’t get me wrong here the search engine will also look at the people looking at your link. Like the old adage used to say mix with the wrong crowd and be perceived as them, have the wrong sites link to your site and you’ll be seen in the same light as the people who link to you!

Robots:

This is a slightly more advanced function in search engine optimization. (BUZZ Word) To keep it plain and easy this is what you use to guide the all-powerful search crawler to what content you want them to view and index and what not, how often they need to visit and so forth. Powerful stuff a definite must in your arsenal of website ranking tools worth utilizing.

Sitemap:

The search engine will make its own assumptions about how your site functions and as before if you guide the search engine a little they will be more than happy to look with a keen eye on your content when crawling past your site again.

Page Errors and Redirects:

Always remember the main focus of the search engine to provide relevant content, that’s their business provide viewers with what they need the best most relevant stuff and they’ll keep using your search engine to keep finding the best. If your pages aren’t loading they are failing at their core business and they will take it out on you. Don’t get 404 errors make sure all your pages work if they don’t, make sure they’re redirected with a 301 redirect. The search engine will reward your efforts of ensuring it can always show relevant pages and add yours to their list.

Social engagement:

How do you measure someone’s influence in any topic well first they just checked how many good websites refer to your content well why not also see what your social media presence is like what socially active people are referring to you. That is worth looking into as this will become a big important requirement in the near future. It also has a great ranking of their own websites. The chance is you as a new or small business have a higher chance of driving quality traffic from social media.

We looked at a few actions you can take to ensure that your Search engine optimization is running optimally and you will reap the rewards of a great SEO strategy and plan in place. I know this is a very brief dive into this mysterious and ever evolving aspect of your business but look in from time to time and I will keep driving more information and content concerning this in the future.

Photo Copyright: Denis Ismagilov / 123RF Stock Photo