As SEO continues to exist, SEO agencies and individuals will always look for the holy grail: the SEO tactic of all SEO tactics; the golden one that pulls a website up to rank 1 on Google without matching effort. You’ll always hear of new techniques that some promise to be the ‘next big thing’, and it’s definitely a good thing to keep on top of the latest news in the SEO world, sometimes people overlook the simple fundamentals of SEO that Google want you to strive for.

Below is a short list of some of these fundamentals – perhaps the most important and effective ones – that a lot of our clients (when they first came to us) were missing. Not a single one of these will shoot your website to the top of Google, and neither should they. But, balance them out and strengthen your website in all of these areas, and down the line you’ll thank this article.

Boost Page Speed & Load Time

Google wants your website to have the best user experience it can. They want your website to be easily accessible for people and friendly to use. If your website loads slowly, search engines will take longer to crawl your pages, and (as a lot of people believe, including us) Google will take this into consideration with user experience and will penalise your site.

The other downside to having a website that takes longer to load than others is that potential visitors will just end up seeking a different website – perhaps a competitor – if the page takes a while for them to load. Your website must load within seconds, and if it doesn’t, your potential ‘lead’ may seek another option.

There’s a lot of free and easy-to-use tools out there to check your page speed and load time, and most of them will even go as far as to provide solutions and suggestions to improve your situation. If you want it straight from the horse’s mouth, take a look at Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool.

Content for Visitors, not Search Engines

Believe us when we say there are a lot of websites out there that contain a lot of poorly written content, stuffed with targeted keywords that essentially only acts as food for search engines. A lot of times this stuff is just barely readable, sometimes it’s just downright incoherent. Sure, you do need content on your website. You need content for search engines to read, you need it to add bulk to your site, you need it to target keywords – but above all, you need content on your site for your actual readers. It has to tick all of the former boxes mentioned, but you just have to write it for your readers and not for search engines.

There is no magic formula for writing content.

Write Attention-Hooking Content

Ask yourself, what’s the purpose of your blog and content? It’s to attract readers to your brand, right? And what’s the best way to do this, with a few words? Yes, funnily enough, the headline!

Newspaper editors figured this out in the 18th century, perhaps even the 17th – catchy headlines are absolutely necessary to getting people to read your content. When creating blogs and articles, implement a title that will attract clicks.

Ever seen Yahoo’s articles before? They use incredibly interesting headlines to hook people in and get the click. But the articles themselves are relatively poor. The Daily Mail are good at this too.

If you’re targeting a particular keyword in the article, make sure you include it in your headline. On top of this, you want to make sure that your headline does the job of quickly telling the potential visitor what he or she can expect to get out of clicking on that page. You’ll have a lot of articles and blogs surrounding your one that are talking about similar things; make sure yours stands out above them.

Keep Your URL Consistent

When your site is being linked to, make sure you keep the URL consistent in every occurrence. Some variations can include:

Using the canonical URL tag is good, but it is still a good practice to make sure you link consistently as much as possible.

Don’t Stop Building Links

There’s a lot of people out there that will claim that ‘building links is dead’ – on the contrary, however, it is not dead. It still serves as the number one signal search engines use to determine the ranking position of a web page.

Be clear on the facts though; there’s smart, clean link building, then there’s spammy link building. One will help position your website, one will get your site penalised.

There are lots of fantastic link building opportunities to be had, so do your best to focus on these and eliminate any type of quick-fix spammy link building you may have in place. If your website has questionable links going to it, it’s a good idea to get rid of them before any penalty occurs.

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