How Important is Keyword Tracking for Organic SEO?
Having your web pages rank high in Google’s organic search listings for important keywords can be incredibly valuable. And while Google is constantly tweaking their search engine algorithm to determine page ranking, here are some fundamental best practices to get you started on improving your Google SEO ranking.
Before we try to understand how important keyword tracking is, let’s make sure we understand what actually makes a content piece rank higher or lower.
- Keyword in the title tag. The title meta tag is one of the strongest relevancy signals for a search engine. The tag itself is meant to give the accurate description of the pages content. Search engines use it to display the main title of a search result.
- Keyword in meta description tag. The importance of the meta description tag is crucial for gaining user clicks from search results pages. Including the keyword in it makes it more relevant to a search engine and a searcher.
- Keyword in H1 tag. H1 tag serves as a description of the pages content. It is good practice to include your keyword in a unique H1 tag.
- Using keywords in the pages copy. Using the keyword in the copy sends a relevancy signal of what the content is about.
- Content length. Users want to be educated and basic info won’t cut it. Google looks for authoritative and informative content to rank first – and typically – the longer your content is, the greater the chance that you can cover more aspects of your topic. Don’t be shy of writing long but highly useful copy then.
- Duplicate content. Not all factors can influence your rankings in a positive way. Having similar content across various pages of your site can hurt your rankings. Avoid duplicating content and write original copy until there is no more original copy left.
- Canonical tag. Sometimes, having two URLs with similar content is unavoidable. One of the ways from preventing this from becoming a duplicate content issue is by using a canonical tag on your site. This tag does one simple thing; it tells Google that one URL is equivalent of another, clearly stating that in spite of two pages having the same content, they are in fact one.
- Image Optimization. Images send the search engine relevancy signals through their alt text, caption, and description.
- Content Updates. Google algorithm prefers freshly updated content. It does not mean that you have to edit your pages all the time; formulate a strategy to update certain types of content once a year.
- Outbound links. Linking to authoritative pages sends trust signals to the search engine. Too many outbound links, however, can significantly diminish the page’s PageRank, hurting its search visibility. Outbound links can affect your rankings but use them in moderation.
- Internal links. Interlinking pages on your site can pass their strength between them.
- Keyword in URL. Including the keyword in the URL slug (that’s the bit that appears after the “.com/“part of the URL) is said to send another relevancy signal to Google.
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