Do It Yourself SEO – On-Page SEO in 5 Steps


kentucky search engine optimization

This roadmap will guide you through specific stages of website optimization and promotion. Some tools mentioned are only available in our DIY SEO package.

1. Basic SEO Milestones

1.1 Purchase a domain name which contains your keywords.
As you’ve no-doubt deduced by now, choosing the right Domain Name can be critically important! Not only does Google currently give some preference (although less since its recent Exact Match Domain (EMD) update) to keyword-rich domains (domains that include top keywords), so do people when they’re choosing which link in the search results to click.

Unfortunately, most keyword-rich domains are no longer available so you will have to do your best. Our best advice is to get a domain with a dot com extension (not one of those new extensions) and choose something that has one hyphen or no hyphen at all, which has at least one important keyword and makes sense to someone searching for your services.

Note: If you target a local audience, it is recommended that you purchase a country-specific domain. The major search engines check top-level domain (TLD) names to determine where a Web site is located. If your site has a country code top-level domain name, that is, a domain name that ends in a country code like “.ca” for Canada, “.uk” for the United Kingdom, “.fr” for France, etc. – then your site will be included in the country-specific search results. In most cases, the local TLD will outrank a .com name when it comes to local search results.

1.2. Move your site to HTTPS if you use the personal data of users online.
Google has officially announced that HTTPS is now a ranking signal. HTTPS ensures you can safely send personal data online (like credit card information, login details and so on) without the risk of it leaking to a third party. For protecting transferred data, HTTPS uses SSL technology. So, to enable HTTPS for your website, you will need to get an SSL Certificate (usually on a paid basis) and install it on your server.

You will need HTTPS if your site is taking transactions. HTTPS has been a standard for a long time for any e-commerce store. If your site needs data for logins, comments or email subscriptions, it is a good idea to use HTTPS to build user trust.

Moving from HTTP to HTTPS will not noticeably improve your rankings at the moment but it is clearly on Google’s radar. There is no penalty involved with running an HTTP site. However, most sites nowadays use the personal data of visitors (comments section, for example) and it is better to have this data encrypted.

1.3. Create Google and Bing Webmaster Tools accounts.
Major search engines provide site owners with tools that show stats on the traffic coming into their site and even what visitors are doing once they get there. With the help of Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) and Bing Webmaster Tools you can:

  • Submit and check sitemaps;
  • Generate and check robots.txt files;
  • See a list of internal and external pages that link to the site;
  • See what keyword searches led to the site being listed in the search results, and the click through rates of such listings;
  • View stats about how search engines index the site, and if they found any errors while doing it;
  • Set a preferred domain, which determines how the site URL is displayed in the search results.

To begin, you’ll need to log into Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) and add your site. First, sign in using your Google email address, add your site into the interface and then verify you own the site. This is where it can get a little tricky. Google lets you choose one of several options to prove that you own the site: by uploading an HTML file to your server, by adding a meta tag to your site’s home page, by linking to your Google Analytics account or by adding a DNS record to your domain’s configuration. Here is a quick 5min video directly from Google explaining this process to beginner’s: Verifying ownership of your site in Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools).

For Bing Webmaster Tools login with your Windows Live ID to add your sites and begin seeing stats. Bing lets you verify your ownership by placing an XML file on your Web server or by adding a meta tag containing the authentication code to the head section of your default Web page.

1.4. Use Google Tag Manager to manage all of your site tracking activities in one place.
Google Tag Manager lets you create and update tags for your website and mobile apps without asking your webmaster to update a website code. Google AdWords, Google Analytics, Marin Click Tracking, remarketing tags and more – all of this can be added and edited at any time via GTM interface.

Getting started is easy: create an account, add your website, add one snippet of code (a container) to all your site pages that need to be tracked, then start managing tags. Tags are snippets of code on your site that collect data, target your ad campaigns, track ads, and perform other functions. Templates are built in for Google tags and for some other vendors; it is also possible to implement custom HTML or JavaScript tags.

Although GTM fact sheet optimistically states that shifting to GTM “can take less than an hour or might require more time”, in fact, it might take much more time, but it’s worth it. Instead of having separate tracking codes that slow down your page you have just one single GTM container and have full control over it.

1.5 Optimize the TITLEs of your pages for the targeted keywords.
Title Tags – The most important location to place your page’s chosen keywords is within the HTML <title> tag. These are the keywords that literally tell the search engines what your page is about. For users, the title tag is the text that shows up in a browser window header when users open your page and the Title is used in the line that serves as the main descriptor which is bolded as a link on the search results pages. They can also see this text in their Bookmarks/Favorites menu after they save your page to bookmarks.

Therefore, this is where you should always place the most important keywords you’re optimizing a page for. You should also avoid wasting valuable space with words like your company name, unless your business is so well known that people use your company name as their primary keyword while searching for what you sell (like eBay, for example).
In the code of the page, the title tag looks like the following: <TITLE>Your keyword-optimized title</TITLE>

Google typically displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag, or as many characters as will fit into a 512-pixel display.

Important things to know: If you keep your titles under 55 characters, you can expect at least 95% of your titles to display properly. Be sure it’s the first tag in the <HEAD> area and remember that each page needs its own unique title tag.

Use the Joker Web Hosting Landing Page SEO report to check for the presence of keywords in the titles of your pages.

1.6. Remove duplicate Title tags.
Since the Title tags are the most important parts of a web page for both the user experience and search engine optimization, it is highly necessary to avoid duplicate Title tags across your website. The Google Panda update fights against low quality content across the Web and the first thing they consider is whether a site has duplicate Title tags on many of its web pages. It’s a sign of sloppy coding at best and spamming at worst.

Investigate your website for duplicate Title tags and rewrite them to make them unique and descriptive. Pay special attention to your landing pages – pages that are most likely to attract searchers in the SERPs and convert them into clients.

1.7. Create a unique and relevant META Description tag for each optimized page.
The META Description tag is a summary of your page’s content. This tag was primarily meant for the search engines to let them know what the page was about and used to play a serious role in your rankings. Today, the META Description won’t effect rankings but it’s still used as the description of your page within the search results. It’s also the text that comes up automatically when the URL is shared socially.

In the code of the page, the META Description tag looks like the following:
<META name=”description” content=”Page description” />

Each of your pages needs it’s own unique META Description tag. The tag needs to be between 150-160 characters, should read naturally and include keywords relevant to the page. Do NOT stuff or repeat your keyword in this tag because the search engines consider that a tactic of spammers.

Use the Joker Web Hosting Landing Page SEO report to check for the presence of keywords in the META Description tags of your pages.

1.8. Remove duplicate Description tags.

One of the metrics search engines use to rank is the website’s quality. After Google made the Panda update a part of its regular algorithm, unique content has become vitally important for high rankings.

Each page of your site should have a unique Description tag as search engines may use it as a snippet on a SERP.

Investigate your website for duplicate Description tags and rewrite the duplicate ones to describe what any specific page is about. When writing descriptions for your landing pages, think about them as equivalent to ad copy. The Description tags should draw readers to a website from the SERP.

1.9. Optimize the headings of your pages for the targeted keywords.

When creating web pages, people use Header tags (<H1>, <H2>, <H3>, etc. tags) to label headlines. Search engines still consider the contents of these tags as important (especially the first-level heading tag – <H1>), however their importance is still much lower than the TITLE tag.

Include your most important keywords and key phrases within the first-level heading:
<H1>Your first-level heading with keywords</H1>

Use only one <H1> tag on any page. In most cases, the top-level heading will be the same as the TITLE.

Also use <H2> and <H3> tags on a page in order to structure information in a proper way; be sure to enrich them with keywords, too.

Use our Landing Page SEO report to check for the presence of keywords in the headers of your pages.

1.10. Optimize the BODY area of your website's pages.

BODY text is the text that you can see on a web page. That is why your site’s content needs to be optimized in such a way that it can suit both search engines and your readers.

You should carefully optimize pages that are meant to attract targeted visitors and serve as landing pages. It is recommended that you optimize each page for NO more than 3 keywords (1 major keyword and 2 complementary ones). Each specific page should be optimized for its own individual set of keywords.

Try to have a moderate keyword density so that it can help the search engine to determine that your page is related and relevant to the keyword you are targeting.

Note: do not stuff your keywords unnaturally, because it may turn on Google’s filter for over-optimization.

1.11. Create search engine friendly URLs, File Names, Subdomains, etc.

Being sure that you create file names and therefore URLs that search engines like is very important and surprisingly easy when you know the basics.

In general, URL structure for SEO optimization follows a general rule that:

The more generic your keyword – the earlier you want it in your URL structure.

For instance, if you are trying to rank for a very competitive and extremely generic term like ‘music’ that returns more than a billion search results at Google, you definitely need to place that keyword in the domain. With such a generic keyword only placement within the domain name will have heavy enough benefits at this point to make a significant ranking difference.

However, if you want to score for a less competitive keyword like a specific cell phone model, using your keyword (the model number of the phone) as a subdirectory or file name will typically work quite well. Again – don’t over do keywords in your URL. A good rule of thumb is this:

If the URL looks like spam, it probably will be treated as spam.

The search engines caught on a long time ago to the www.viagra-pills-casino.com/ style domain names and file structures. Today you want to use domain and file names that are common sense to the human visitors of your site. Always bear in mind that people do look at the file names within the search results. And seeing the keywords highlighted in the URL does increase click-through-rates.

Again, be sure your keywords are in the URL in a way that looks natural and only once. You don’t want to have them in there more than that or it looks spammy.

1.12. Carefully optimize the anchor text of your internal links for your targeted keywords.

The text used when one page links to another is called the anchor text. This is an extremely important concept to grasp because Google and the other search engines look for keywords located within the anchor text to understand what the site and, specifically a page, is about.

In the code of the page, the anchor text looks like the following:

<a href=”http://www.example.com/keyword-phrase.html” target=”_blank”> Visible anchor text with keywords</a>

In fact, this specific keyword strategy is one of the primary tactics for ranking at the top of the search results. However, be warned – because of heavy manipulation by marketers, Google regards high percentages of exact match keyword anchor texts to be spam unless the text is your company name or the name of your website. Natural anchor text links for a given domain tend to be mostly a mix of the domain name, company name, brand names and specific URLs. When a site has a large percentage of inbound links containing an exact match keyword phrase that isn’t your company or site name, it can trigger a penalty. Yes, you want keyword anchor text links, but the same one should not be more than 25% of your inbound links as a general rule of thumb.

For example, if your company name is Good Times Realty and your offices are in San Diego, if a high percentage of your inbound links say “San Diego Realtors,” then that may very likely cause you problems with Google. If the majority are “Good Times Realty” and goodtimesrealty.com, that would be a more natural link profile.

1.13. Evaluate the quality of your incoming links.
Garnering links still remains a critical method of search engine marketing. With the Google Penguin 2.0 algorithm update, you should pay more attention to the quality of your backlink profile. Conduct an analysis of your backlinks in order to keep your site safe from search engine penalties. Links from bad neighborhoods, sitewide links or a bunch of links with the same exact anchor text may harm your rankings. Investigate who links to you and, if you feel you’ve been penalized, disavow toxic links with the help of the Backlink Quality Check tool.
1.14. Optimize image ALT tags and the Titles of your images for your targeted keywords.
Tag – Use it wisely and you can quickly turn Images into Assets. Engines can’t index your image based only on what the image looks like – you need to tell them what the image is with text. The only indexable keyword aspect of images is the text of the page the image is on but most importantly the text you put in the tag.

Use of the alt tag also is very effective in helping your images rank well in Search Engines Image Search, so it should NOT be ignored.

Bear in mind that you shouldn’t expect a big ranking boost from this tactic – in fact you may get none at all. Including image alt text is a optimization technique that even Bing suggests you use for better ranking.

Two more reasons for using the alt tag are:

  1. When you make an image a link, the alt text functions as anchor text and can therefore influence the ranking for the target page similar to how text based anchor text works. Typically text links are regarded as better for this purpose, but if you have to use an image for your link, be sure to include the similar keywords optimized text in the alt text.
  2. The latest HTML specs require that images have an Alt tag, failure to include this information will cause validation errors.

In essence, using the alt tag can sometimes help, and will never hurt your ranking and web design efforts. Therefore, you should use the alt tag whenever doing so holds any chance of making an image keyword-meaningful and thereby stacking the advantages in your favor.

Be sure to use our Landing Page SEO report to check how well you optimized image ALTs and image titles for your targeted keywords.

2. Site Structure Optimization

2.1. Choose the preferred domain (WWW vs. Non-WWW).
Search engines index www and non-www URLs as different domains. This means that links to http://www.example.com and http://example.com are counted separately.

You can fix this by choosing which format you prefer (also called the canonical one) and redirecting the other one to it. You will need to use a server-side 301 redirect to redirect all your other domains to the preferred one. This is considered an advanced strategy and if done wrong can do real damage to your site.

Tip: If you doubt what domain should become your preferred, run our Backlink Checker and choose the one with the most backlinks.

Note: Be sure that all links on your site (including the Sitemap) point to the correct URLs. No links or Sitemap listings should point to a URL that redirects!

2.2. Avoid duplicate content issues.
Duplicate content is substantive blocks of content within or across domains that either completely match each other or are very similar. Search Engines will index the ONE version of the content they feel is the original and most authoritative and will disregard the others. Some malicious reasons for duplicate content are when someone illegally copies someone else’s content and hurts the victim’s ranking.

However, most of the time it’s due to technical, non-malicious reasons why duplicate content exists on the Web:

  • Country-specific content stored on one domain;
  • Inconsistent internal linking (you link to the same page with http://www.example.com/page/ and http://www.example.com/page, and http://www.example.com/page/index.htm);
  • Ecommerce sites have products shown or linked via multiple distinct URLs (session IDs, URL parameters used for tracking and sorting);
  • Archived Web pages that are created by your content management system (CMS system);
  • Printer-only versions of Web pages;
  • Comment pagination (when each comment has its own page if you click on it and everything in the comment section is followed by spiders);
  • Forums that generate both regular and stripped-down mobile-targeted pages.

To ensure that visitors see the content you want them to, do the following:

  1. Use top-level domains whenever possible to handle country-specific content to help search engines to serve the most appropriate version of a document. For example, http://www.example.es that contains Spain-oriented content is much better than http://www.example.com/es or http://es.example.com.
  2. Keep your internal linking consistent. For example, don’t link to http://www.example.com/page/ and http://www.example.com/page and http://www.example.com/page/index.htm. These can be seen as all different pages by a search engines spider.
  3. Research how your content management system displays the content of your site. Blogs, forums and related systems often show the same content in multiple formats. For example, a blog entry may appear on the home page of a blog, in an archive page and in a page of other entries with the same label or tag.
  4. If you’ve restructured your site, use 301 redirects (“Permanent Redirect”) in your .htaccess file to smartly redirect users and search engines’ bots. (In Apache, you can do this with an .htaccess file; in IIS, you can do this through the administrative console.)
  5. Avoid using similar content on different pages. If you have many pages that are similar, consider expanding each page or consolidating the pages into one.
  6. Use the rel=”canonical” link element inside the less important pages that have similar content to an important one (the canonical one). You can specify a canonical page to search engines by adding a element with the attribute rel=”canonical” to thesection of the non-canonical version of the page. Adding this link and attribute lets you identify sets of identical content and suggest to Google what page of all those with identical content is important. For example, if your important page URL is http://example.com/page1.html, add into thesection of all non-canonical versions of the page.

Note: If you find that another site is duplicating your content by scraping, you may file a DMCA request to Google, Yahoo, and Bing to claim ownership of the content and request removal of the other site from search engines’ index.

2.3. Use the rel=canonical link to specify the preferred page to index.
In the world of content management and online shopping systems, it’s common for the same content to be accessed through multiple URLs. To avoid being hit by a Google Panda algorithm update, be sure to use a rel=canonical link element to specify the preferred page to index.

Add a link element with the attribute rel=”canonical” to the head section of the pages:

The https://blog.example.com/canonical_url will be the preferred URL for search engines to use to access the content, so that the search results will be more likely to show users that URL structure.

Note: Use absolute paths rather than relative paths with the rel=”canonical” link element. Specify no more than one rel=canonical link for a page. When more than one is specified, all rel=canonicals will be ignored.

2.4. Optimize the internal linking structure of your site.
Optimization of your site’s linking structure helps you spread PageRank, aka link juice, to the pages that need it. The valuable pages that you optimize should receive as many incoming links as possible and have a small amount of outgoing links to high authority pages.

For this purpose, remove the links to the less important pages on your site and place more links to the pages that you want to optimize. This will direct link juice to your important pages and help to push them up in the rankings.

Note: Sitewide links (links from a site’s navigation menu or a footer on every page, for example) are less valuable than links placed in the text and surrounded with thematically relevant words. Sitewide links to other sites could potentially get you penalized.

2.5. Use SEO-friendly 301 redirects when you change your website's structure.
You should use a SEO-friendly server-side 301 Moved Permanently redirect if you change your website’s URL structure and a web page you remove has a suitable alternative page on your web site.

301 redirects are particularly useful if:

  • You moved your site to a new domain, and you want to make the transition as seamless as possible.
  • You’re merging two websites and want to make sure that links to outdated URLs are redirected to the correct pages.

A 301 Moved Permanently redirect means that a requested resource has been moved permanently to a new URL and any future references to this resource should use one of the returned URLs. Google recommends using a 301 redirect to change the URL of a page as it is shown in search engine results.

To implement a 301 redirect for websites that are hosted on servers running Apache, you’ll need access to your server’s .htaccess file. (If you’re not sure about your access or your server software, check with your webhoster.) For more information, consult the Apache .htaccess Tutorial and the Apache URL Rewriting Guide. If your site is hosted on a server running other software, check with your hosting service for more details.

2.6. Each page needs to have a moderate number of links pointing to external sites.
Providing your site visitors with a link to a good related resource on an authoritative site brings value to your visitors. However, this is a case of less is more. Placing too many external outgoing links from one page can have a negative impact on its rankings.

Google clearly recommends using less than 100 outgoing links on a page – to avoid site crawlability issues and improve user experience.

Inspect your pages for the number of external outgoing links. Reorganize worthy links and remove the ones that do not bring real value to your visitors.

2.7. Rewrite dynamic URLs to make them search-engine-friendly.
If you use dynamically generated pages on your site, it is important to keep your pages’ URLs as simple as possible – so that search engines can easily crawl and index them. URLs should also be friendly to read, share and list in SERPs.

For example, the following URL is not search engine friendly:

http://www.example.com/viewproduct.php?category=7465&product=1234&color=black&sid=864676987

Instead, you could use a more search engine friendly URL:

http://www.example.com/shirts/dc-north-pointe/black/

The second URL does not contain any parameters and session IDs so it is easy to crawl and index for the SEs. It is also easy to remember for web surfers. Besides, in case the site structure allows for removing the /black/ part of the URL in the address bar, a happy user will easily find oneself one level higher, without using any navigation.

To make your URLs search engine and user friendly, consider doing the following:

  • Hide any query strings in your URLs.
  • Avoid the use of session IDs in URLs. Consider using cookies instead.
  • Use words in URLs and a simple directory structure (it is preferable that the directory names have relation to the content in them).
  • Allow for the possibility that a part of the URL will be removed.

To proceed with these steps, you can work with your .htaccess file to rewrite your dynamic URLs, or use any other method of URL rewriting. For more info on Google recommendations as per SE-friendly URLs, please refer to Search Console Help > URL Structure.

2.8. Inspect your site for broken links and missing anchors.
To make your site user-friendly and search-engine-friendly, make sure your site is free from problems like broken links and missing anchors. Use the Technical Audit tool to do a regular site quality check. See if any problems are detected on your site and correct things where necessary. Note: Pay attention to the best practices for making web pages fast identified by Yahoo!
2.9. Optimize your site's speed. The faster the better!
Your site speed needs to be a priority because slow sites decrease visitor satisfaction, conversion rates and also has a direct impact on your rankings in Google. Use Google PageSpeed Insights to measure your Website speed score. Implement the advice Google gives you to improve your Website load speed.

Then, to take it to the next level here are 5 quick tips proven to increase your page load speeds.

2.10. Avoid excessive ads above the fold. This will get you penalized!
First introduced by Google in January 2012 then refreshed and updated in October 2012, this particular algorithm targets Websites with too many ads above the fold.

Google's Matt Cutts officially stated that "Google understands many sites use multiple ads at the top of their site to bring in money, and those are commonly the best performers." However, some sites take up too much space at the top of their site to a degree that it negatively affects the user experience, and those sites are the ones feeling this latest update.

Finally, if you are affected by the Top Heavy update, the solution is a simple one: remove your excessive ads and wait for Google to recrawl the page.

2.11. Use the Schema Markup to attract more visitors.
Schema Markup (also called ‘microdata’) tells search engines what your site is about in a form search engines can easily understand. Besides, the Schema Markup is used to create rich snippets on the SERPs. Rich Snippets are search results with enhancements like pictures, reviews, prices, events, show times, phone numbers, addresses and even recipes. They result in a much higher click thru rate and visitors love them.

Schema.org is the home of all the available snippets that the search engines have agreed, as a group, to support going forward. Add appropriate Schema Markup to improve your pages’ rankings and attract more clicks.

Note: Use the Google Structured Data Markup Helper to generate HTML code with Schema Markup included.

2.12. Use the Open Graph Markup to control how your content appears in a social graph.
The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. It means that if you want to control how your page looks when shared on Facebook, you’d better use the Open Graph meta tags in the part of a page.

Now, other social media sites are also taking advantage of social meta tags. All of the other major platforms, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+, recognize Open Graph tags.

The minimal set of Open Graph tags include:

og:title – The title of your object as it should appear within the graph, e.g., “The Rock”.
og:type – The type of your object, e.g., “video.movie”. Depending on the type you specify, other properties may also be required.
og:image – An image URL which should represent your object within the graph.
og:url – The canonical URL of your object that will be used as its permanent ID in the graph, e.g., “http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0117500/”.

You can find other types of Open Graph tags here.

Note: You can use the Facebook Debugger tool to check your Open Graph markup implementation.

2.13. Frequently update your site's content.
Almost 2 years ago Google announced the Freshness Update that took site content freshness into consideration when ranking pages. Google measures all of your documents for freshness, and then scores each page according to the type of search query. While some queries need fresh content, Google still uses old content for other queries.

There are two types of content updates search engines evaluate: the updates of your existing pages, and new pages added.

In order to show Google and other search engines that your website is kept up-to-date and of high quality, update your content frequently. The easiest way to have new pages added is to start a blog on your domain. A blog will also help you to widen the semantic core of your website and get more visibility. Do not forget to update the content of your most important pages to keep it relevant and up-to-date.

2.14. Optimize your website for mobile devices.
The world is shifting towards mobile and it is vital to have your website optimized for mobile devices if you do not want to lose customers.

Mobile optimization means the proper display of your website’s content on mobile devices with different screen sizes. There are different ways to do this:

  • A redirect to a mobile version of the website. Make sure you redirect your visitors to a corresponding mobile page, when they access your site from a mobile device. To serve visitors the correct version of your website, use redirects based on user agents. (Remember that only a 301 redirect is search engine friendly).
  • Responsive website design. Google prefers mobile solutions that maintain the same URL across platforms, so it is better to make your web pages responsive. Responsive design means that you define a dynamic stylesheet that behaves differently based on a range of screen resolutions. This allows you to resize, move and hide elements to whatever extent.

The responsive design syntax looks like this:
@media (min-width: 1200px) {
.logo img { display:inline-block; }
.logo span { display:none; }
}

Using responsive web design can assist in optimizing your website for both visitors and search engines. First, you will retain a substantial part of the original user experience for whatever device. Second, you will serve one version of your website’s content on one domain only, which is good for SEO and prevents the accumulation of outdated content on a mobile version of your website.

One more thing that is important in the modern world of mobile search is the mobile page speed load. Mobile page speed is both important for your page’s ranking and user experience. Use the ‘Mobile Optimization’ report to be sure your landing page is optimized for mobile devices properly.

3. Black-Hat SEO Control

3.1. Remove all signs of Black-Hat from your site if you detect any.
Using Black-Hat techniques like keyword stuffing, hidden text, cloaking, duplicate or stolen content, link schemes, etc. may bring an immediate traffic boost that may last for a short period of time. However, sooner rather than later, these things will get you penalized or even completely banned from the search engines.

Here is a description of the most common of these techniques:

Keyword stuffing is the excessive use of keywords within the important areas of your pages. Remember that you create pages for users first of all, so make your content sound organic. Do not overuse keywords in TITLEs, anchor text and other important areas of your pages, as the SEs may consider this to be spam.

Excessive number of H1 headings was often used to manipulate the search engines results and get higher rankings for the certain keywords. Since then search engines have become more intelligent and they now want a page to have only one H1 heading. Pages with an excessive number of H1 headings are considered spammy and may get a website banned from search results overall.

Using duplicate or stolen content may lead to exclusion of your web pages from an SE index, so we strongly recommend that you avoid this practice. Your content should be fresh and unique, and bring value to the readers. If you are not sure about your copywriting skills, you’d better hire a good copywriter who will do this job for you.

A link scheme is a method of interlinking non-related sites in an attempt to artificially build backlinks and inflate PageRank to the pages that are being promoted. Search engines have already learned to detect most types of link schemes, so we do not recommend using this method of website promotion.

4. Local Search Optimization

4.1. Include the local information you want customers to know on the main pages of your site.
Spotlight your business name, local address and local landline phone number (no cell phone!) in the footer of each page. This will help your business rank better for local and mobile searches.

Tip: If you have multiple locations then you need to create a unique page for each location with unique content and each location’s local contact details.

4.2. Use Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools) to associate a geographic location with your site.
Set up a Google Webmaster account for the site you run, and specify which country you are targeting:

  1. Click on Tools.
  2. Set Geographic Target.
  3. Associate a geographic location with this site.
  4. Select the Country or Region you want to target.

Note: This feature is restricted to those sites with a given country code top-level domain.

4.3. Add Rich Snippet markups for local search.
Rich Snippets are search results with enhancements like pictures, reviews, prices, events, show times, phone numbers, addresses and even recipes. Beyond improving the presentation of your pages in search results, rich snippets also help users find your site when it references a local place.

Use Schema Markup to help Google identify the places mentioned on your site. If your site contains reviews or other information about businesses and organizations, then the structured markup helps precisely correlate your pages with the place mentioned.

All the search engines have agreed to support microdata, as the way to code your rich snippets.
Microdata uses simple attributes in HTML tags (often span or div) to assign brief and descriptive names to items and properties.
You can see all available and supported markups here on Schema.org

Note: Be sure to use the Rich Snippets Testing Tool to check that Google can correctly parse your structured data markup and display it in search results.

5. Competitor Analysis

5.1. Research competitor rankings.
To grow a successful online business you should attract more clients than your competitors do. Competitive analysis gives you the information you need to differentiate yourself from others in your industry. To start a competitive analysis, build a list of the top sites that are in your market.

The main aim of your competitive analysis is to predict where your competitors may outrank you and fine-tune your marketing strategy to avoid this. That is why it is vital to track competitor rankings and understand what keywords and pages need your immediate attention.

5.2. Analyze competitor backlink profiles.
Competitor link profile analysis gives you an idea of how well your website is doing compared to your competitors and shows you how you should improve your backlink profile to outrank your competitors. Pay attention to competitors’ PageRank data
5.3. Track competitor traffic.
Unfortunately it is impossible to find out the exact number of visitors your competitors get, however you can use the numbers that Compete and Alexa provide.

Competitor traffic overviews help to estimate how many prospects your competitors are getting.

5.4. Monitor competitor brand names and social activity.
Competitor brand name monitoring helps you to be informed about every mention they have in the Internet as fast as possible and react on these mentions appropriately.

Social mentions tracking allows you to analyze your competitors’ activities on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter and to set realistic social benchmarks for your brand.

Remember that your competitors are changing and improving all the time. They will be adjusting their approach and updating their campaigns in order to try to improve results. That is why your competitive analysis should be an ongoing process. It’s not something that you can do once and then forget about.