SEO is an ever-changing beast. Once you think you know exactly what Google is looking for, an algorithm update throws a wrench in your strategy.
While there will always be algorithm updates and improvements, some proven SEO tactics will always be in practice. By implementing these tactics on your site, you improve your odds of rankings while also future-proofing your website against Google’s inevitable changes.
If you’re new to SEO or you’re looking to make quick, impactful changes, focusing your efforts on on-page SEO tactics is a great place to start.
1. Use Keywords in Headers
When you place keywords in headers, you signal to search engines and users that your content satisfies the target intent behind those search terms. Just as a table of contents provides context to users, keywords placed in headers can do the same for
Consider the user experience and Google recommendations before deciding where to place your target keywords or other variations. Keyword stuffing should be avoided at all costs.
Tips for using keywords in headers:
- Select the target keyword of your post to include in the headers.
- Plug the keyword into a keyword research tool to find other variations of it.
2. Eliminate Spammy Backlinks
Backlinks used to be the SEO treasure of Google. It’s true that backlinks are still a major ranking factor for Google, but the quality of those backlinks is now more important than ever before.
In 2021, Google rolled out another algorithm update that targeted and devalued bad backlinks. While no sites were individually penalised in the process, it stopped counting a lot of backlinks that many sites had grown accustomed to which affected rankings.
There are still many sites out there that never get any organic traffic from Google, 91 percent of all pages in fact. This is because more than 50 percent of those pages don’t have a single backlink.
Tips to eliminate spammy backlinks:
- Run an audit to see what backlinks your website is currently receiving.
- Before you disavow an undesirable backlink, try reaching out to the website and ask them to remove it.
2. Use Keywords in Alt Text for Images
Alt text, or alternative text, is a short description of an image. It remains an important Google ranking factor
Alt text has three main uses:
- Accessibility: Alt text is read out loud with the use of a screen reader to users who are visually impaired.
- Context: When an image cannot load onto the page, the alt text appears as an alternative to provide context to users.
- Search engine optimization: Search engine crawlers use alt text to help them index an image properly. Google confirmed in 2021 that alt text is “still important for SEO.”
As the internet becomes more accessible, so does Google’s algorithm. This means that accessible websites will be prioritised over their non-accessible counterparts. After all, the more accessible a site the more potential for traffic.
Tips for using keywords in alt text:
- Think about the image first and write a description to match it.
- Make sure your description gives a natural description of the image. Don’t be too complex.
- Think of ways to incorporate your target or secondary keywords in the alt image text. For example, highlighting that an image is a screenshot of the process your content explained.