Site optimization is a never-ending work in progress, since we know that the competition context and the scenario (i.e., search engines) are dynamic and change frequently. It is very important therefore to try to always be up to date and to put in place the most suitable techniques to achieve success among SERPs: it is not necessary (nor perhaps possible) to excel in all over 200 ranking factors on Google, because some variables have a lot more weight than others and we can initially focus our efforts only on these essential elements of the SEO.

The growing weight of mobile

It was in March 2018 that Google’s mobile-first index officially started, but, as Chuck Price recalls in his article on Search Engine Journal, smarter marketers had already begun to adopt a mobile-first approach long before the official launch.

“It’s time to move beyond the desktop-only and embrace mobile devices,” said Danny Sullivan, and over time there have been several advances in this field, which will culminate in the final switch to the scanning system, scheduled for March 2021.

Basic optimization for a mobile-friendly site

Thanks to this constant attention, we understand that there are some basic areas and interventions that we need to take care of to have a mobile-friendly site, optimized to browse from mobile devices:

  • Make the site suitable and adaptable to any type of device – desktop, mobile or tablet.
  • Always resize images when using a responsive design, especially for mobile users.
  • Use short meta titles, easier to read on mobile devices.
  • Avoid popups that cover content and prevent visitors from glimpsing what content is about.
  • Often, on mobile devices, less is more: in a mobile-first world, long-form content does not necessarily equal more traffic and better rankings.
  • Do not use mobile phones as an excuse for cloaking: users and search engines must see the same content.

Areas of intervention for technical SEO

Technical SEO can initially appear as an intimidating and complicated area, but thanks to the use of SEO tools the procedures of control and management of problems becomes much more fluid and also make a complete SEO audit or a scan with a spider becomes simple.

The key is knowing how to interpret the data provided and what to do with it, and you can start by checking the following aspects:

  • Make sure the site is mobile-friendly.
  • Check for status code errors and correct them.
  • Check the txt file for errors, optimizing if necessary.
  • Check the indexing of the site through Google Search Console, examining and resolving any problems detected.
  • Correct title tags and duplicate meta descriptions.
  • Check the content of the website, analyzing traffic statistics in Google Analytics – and the Content Overview of our suite – and considering the possibility of improving or eliminating content with insufficient performance.
  • Fixes broken links, broken links that are enemies of user experience and potentially of the ranking.
  • Send the XML Sitemap to Google via Google Search Console.

The impact of Core Web Vitals

We have often talked about Core Web Vitals, the Google initiative designed to quantify the essential metrics for a healthy website, with the ultimate goal of offering the best possible user experience. Starting in 2021, the “Page Experience” signal will be incorporated into the main algorithm of Google and will become a ranking factor – although not the most important factor, as explained by Mountain View – and initially will examine “the loading experience, interactivity and visual stability of the page content and their combination”, chosen as the foundation of the 2020 Core Web Vitals.

Each of these metrics focuses on a unique aspect of the user experience and is also measurable and quantifiable for an objective determination of the result. We also know which are the main tools to measure Core Web Vitals:

  • PageSpeed ​​Insights, which measures the performance of mobile and desktop devices and provides tips for improvement.
  • Lighthouse, an open source tool that helps developers improve the quality of web pages, with various features and SEO checks.
  • Search Console, which now includes a specific report, shows the performance of URLs grouped by status, type of metric and group of URLs.

Content must match the intent of users

Writing quality content, optimizing it and getting valid backlinks is now just the beginning to place a keyword: machine learning and deep learning continue to evolve and take on more and more weight in Google’s core algorithm.

The ultimate goal of the search engine is to understand the context of the search and provide results based on the search intent, the reason why the person launches the query at first glance. This situation makes the search and selection of advanced keyword more important than ever.

To begin with, you need to recognize that there are some keywords and queries for which it will be impossible to classify: the contextual relevance of a keyword must be in line with a search query. Therefore, before you spend time and resources trying to classify a sentence, you need to examine the SERPs, ranked sites and current content: unless your own website and landing page “are similar to what already is in the ranking, it is likely that you will not be able to fit in,” says Price.

Taking advantage of content marketing

It is not easy to emerge and bring out your work, because there is a background noise that disrupts users and often distracts them: it is estimated that by this year will be produced 44 zettabyte of data every day, equal to 8,48 trillion songs or 1,440 years of HD video every day.

The challenge of overcoming confusion will become exponentially more difficult as time goes by, and so it is important to take care of content marketing strategy wisely. Among the various aspects to be evaluated are:

  • Creating a combination of useful, informative and interesting content.
  • Promoting articles on social media.
  • Monopolizing trending topics related to their content or promoted on social media.
  • Remembering that images and videos generally convert better than just text.
  • Updating outdated and low traffic content.

The opportunities of Schema

Schema.org markups are useful to enable the displaying of rich snippets, the advanced features that appear in Google search results.

Today all major search engines – not only Big G, but also Yahoo, Bing and Yandex – support the use of microdata and structured data, which can provide more context to a web page and improve the search experience, even if officially they have no influence on the ranking.

The applications of this vocabulary are really wide, and among the most common uses of markings that activate rich results are recipes, products, articles, reviews, events, FAQ, Q&A, organizations, people and Local Businesses. Implementing schema markups is actually quite simple and there are also specific plugins that allow you to do this.

Providing a good level of UX

The user experience or UX is a set of components focused on the acquisition of information about users, their needs, their values, their abilities and their limits, and also takes into account the company’s objectives and objectives.

UX’s best practices focus on improving the quality of service provided to people who interact with the site, and according to experts the factors that influence the experience are:

  • Utility: content must be unique and meet a need.
  • Usability: the website must be easy to use and navigate.
  • Attractiveness: the design elements and the brand should spark emotion and appreciation.
  • Findability: integrate the design and navigation elements to allow users to easily find what they need.
  • Accessibility: content must be accessible to all, including the 10% of the population with disabilities.
  • Credibility: the site must be reliable so that users can give credit to the information and services offered.
  • Value: the site must provide value to the user, in terms of experience, and to the company in terms of positive ROI.

The importance of off-page SEO

Competition in SERP is ruthless and you can not rely on the onpage work alone: the links were one of the main ranking factors (to many, THE main) for quite some time and still have a relevant weight to conquer the highest positions.

Of course, Google has become more adept at identifying and devaluing links containing spam, and so it is crucial that the link building strategy focuses on quality rather than on the amount of references. In addition, one technique that can give good results – even just as an improvement of SEO online reputation – is to find and claim mentions to the site without links, to try to turn them into real natural backlinks.

 

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