If you’re looking for ways to elevate your SEO, here are some tips for the modern world:
1. Design for a mobile-first world. Did you know that over 60% of U.S. search traffic is mobile? (That’s according to Statista.) To adapt to this trend, Google switched to mobile-first indexing in 2020. It’s now the mobile version of your website, not the desktop version, that’s indexed.
To optimize for mobile indexing, evaluate your mobile site for things like loading times and navigation. Also make sure the structural elements of your mobile site are identical to those of your desktop site.
2. Use keywords, but don’t “keyword-stuff.” The concept of keyword usage seems like it should be pretty simple, but in reality, just using a keyword isn’t always helpful. Repeating keywords too often will cause Google’s algorithm to penalize you for “keyword stuffing,” so you want to use keywords carefully.
The solution is to only use keywords to the extent that it sounds natural. Where you put keywords matters, too. Keywords in meta information, titles, and subheadings carry more weight than keywords in the body text.
3. Target the answer box. When you type a question into a Google search, you sometimes see a box with a snippet of text answering the question. This is the answer box, and it’s becoming increasingly important.
How do you land in this high-visibility box? Google’s algorithm populates it with text that directly answers a specific question. Write out the question you want to target in your content, and then provide an answer in a way that’s clear, concise, and accurate.
4. Relaunch old content. If you have blog articles or other pieces of content that did well a couple years ago, there’s a chance they could do well again.
Look for relevant content published in the last few years. Add new links, remove old ones, update any outdated information, and hit publish. This gets valuable content in front of new readers and gives it an SEO boost.
5. Prepare for the core web vitals algorithm update. Google recently announced that its algorithm will soon consider factors it calls “core web vitals.” These are user experience factors that measure how easy it is for people to use and interact with your website.
This update will roll out in May 2021, so now is the time to prepare for it. Google offers some developer tools that can help you understand what you need to update.
6. Focus on the user. You can follow every rule in the book, but at the end of the day, if your website doesn’t serve the user, your page won’t rank high. Google’s algorithm is designed to prioritize pages with the best user experience. If you can focus on this first, many aspects of SEO should fall into place as a result.