SEO is important because it is what decides the visibility of your webpage. No matter how well-built a site you might have, if you don’t optimise the key elements of SEO, you won’t rank well.
Though there are hundreds of elements of SEO, focusing on all of them might not be feasible. Instead, we suggest you focus on some of the most important elements of SEO and as your website’s rankings improve, you can focus on other important SEO elements.
Before we learn about the key elements of SEO, let’s understand what Seo is and how it works.
Basics of Seo
SEO is called Search Engine Optimization. It is optimising your website for the search engine so that it understands what your website is about, which industry you are in, and what your content is about.
The optimization is done through two methods: off-page SEO optimization and on-page SEO optimization.
As the term suggests, it is optimizing everything that is on your page. The key elements of SEO here are your website pages, title tags, headings, internal links, alt texts, keywords, meta tags, meta description.
As the term suggests, it is optimizing everything that’s off your page. The key elements of SEO here are your website speed, canonical urls, social signals, brand mentions, link building, XML sitemaps, and reviews.
Now that you know what Seo is and some basics of SEO, let’s now learn about the 5 key elements of SEO.
5 Key Elements of SEO: Off-page and On-page SEO Optimization
- Title Tags, Meta Description, Alt Texts
- Page URL, Internal Links and Backlinks
- Crawling and Indexing, Sitemap
- Social Signals
1. Title Tags, Meta Description, Meta Tags
HTML Title Tag:
The title tag in HTML provides the title to the webpage.
For example, the HTML title tag of this article is:
<h1 class = “entry-title”> 7 Key Elements of SEO: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO Optimization. </h1>
Therefore you see the title as “7 Key Elements of SEO: On-page SEO and Off-page SEO Optimization”
How to write a good title for your blog?
- Keep the title length within 50 to 60 characters
- Include power words like amazing, solid, best, free, top
- Include your primary keyword within your title tag
- Be more specific. For example, a title that says “5 Ways to lose fat in 20 days” is better than just “How to lose fat?”
- Don’t keep your titles super short like just 3 to 4 words.
Your Meta Description is one of the most important elements of SEO.
Here’s an example of where it is seen in Google:
Meta description is super important because it tells the search engine and the viewers what the article is about.
How to write a good meta description for better SEO?
- Include your primary Keyword
- Do not stuff keywords. Remember the viewers are going to read it too
- Provide a brief of what the article is about.
- Keep it limited to 155 to 160 characters
- Provide some sort of value. If your article is about 10 free seo tools, then try to give away the names of the first 5 in the meta description.
Another key element of SEO is Alt texts. Alt texts are read aloud to users with learning disabilities and they’re important for SEO as well. Alt texts also appear when an image fails to load.
How to write a perfect alt text?
- Describe the image as specifically and naturally as you can. Example, an alt text that says “An illustration of a green colour wooden house on a dark street” is better than an alt text that say, “Image of a house and street” or worse, “image of house” “image of street”
- Don’t stuff keywords.
- Keep it short. Ideally within 125 characters.
2. Page URL, Internal Links and Backlinks
Moving onto other key elements of SEO, we are going to discuss page url, internal linking and backlinks. All these elements are super important from an SEO point of view.
Your page url is seen here on Google
How do you structure a good page URL?
- Don’t use too many hyphens or special characters. It comes off as spam.
- Include your primary keyword in your page url.
- Use hyphens to break words
- If needed, use canonical tags
Linking your content internally helps improve the authority and visibility of your content. It’s probably the most simplest element of SEO.
How you build internal links is by linking one piece of your content to another piece of content that ideally covers a similar topic.
Tips to build good internal links?
- Limit the number of internal links to 3 or 4 maximum per 2000 words article
- Keep the internal links as natural as possible
- Try to include your keyword within your anchor text wherever it feels natural. Do not overdo it.
Backlinks are another key element of SEO. The more Backlinks you’ve, the more it tells Google that “Hey, this website seems awesome. Everybody is linking to it.”
There are several advantages to this. Backlinks can drive a ton of traffic to your blog, they can pass on the link juice if it’s a do-follow link resulting in higher rankings. Backlinks can also help you improve your domain authority.
How do you build good backlinks?
- If you’re guest posting, only guest post at sites similar to your business.
- Check the domain authority, spam score of the website you’re guest posting on. You can use the tool, Keywords Everywhere for doing this.
- Try to get more do-follow links as they’re more beneficial in improving your website’s rankings
- Find websites that are backlinking to your competitor’s website and then send them an email convincing why they should link to yours
- Find out broken or invalid links to replace it with yours
3. Optimising Keywords
This important element of SEO can either make or break your content strategy. Keywords are essentially common search terms used by the searchers.
Keywords can be short-tail keywords or long-tail keywords. For example, “Book” is a short-tail keyword whereas “Buy inspirational books” is a long-tail keyword idea. Both are important, as ranking for a short-tail keyword can give you traffic while ranking for a long-tail keyword can give you more conversions.
Tips for Keyword Optimization:
- Combine both short and long tail keyword within your blog
- Try to target a maximum of 3 keywords per website page
- Try to include your primary keyword within the first 100 words of your article
- Also include keywords with buyer intent
- Include your primary keyword within your title tag and H1 tag
- Within your blog post, make sure you also include related keywords to your primary keyword
- Make use of Google’s “People also ask” snippet
- Keywords Everywhere and Ubersuggest are cost-effective and great tools for keyword research.
4. Crawling, Sitemap, Indexing
Crawling, indexing and submitting a sitemap is probably the most important element of SEO as it makes sure your site is found by the search engine or
When a search engine crawls your website, it fetches all your web pages and the other pages which you’ve linked to. Many SEO professionals tend to overlook this step because it doesn’t directly affect your rankings. But we believe that crawling is the first step of being found on the web.
So, how do you crawl your website? Here are a few tips.
- Make sure your website navigation bar links to your primary pages
- Check your crawl status every 1 or 2 months within Google Search Console.
- If you want to check if your site is crawled and indexed, go on Google and type in “site: domain.com.”
- Make sure your webpage looks and function the same in mobile device and desktop
- Submit your sitemap
- Minimise your load time or heavy on-page UI elements
- Follow a good structure within your interlinking scheme
If you follow these best SEO practices, search engines will have an easy time crawling your website.
Sitemaps are what tells the search engine what pages you’ve on your website, which are the important ones, which ones are updated, which are the related pages. Basically, it’s a blueprint of your website.
It’s one of those important elements of SEO that you’ve to get it right. When you submit a sitemap to Google, it crawls and indexes your web pages which is extremely important.
Here are a few sitemap tips:
- Submit an XML sitemap
- Update your sitemap only when you make some substantial changes
- Prioritise your primary pages and keep them limited
- Try to avoid using canonical urls in your sitemap
- Try to use the “noindex,follow” tag instead of “robots.txt” within your sitemap
- Keep your sitemap size small
You can use tools like Google XML Sitemaps to generate a sitemap.
5. Social Signals
Google drives social signals from the collective engagement metrics your brand or webpage receives. For example, likes, shares, views.
These social signals are what differentiates an ordinary web page from a branded one. This is where the metric “brand query” comes in.
It’s one of the most important elements of SEO that can significantly improve the rankings of your website.
How to improve your brand social signals?
- Create easily shareable content like infographics, industry reports
- Engage with your audience on social media
- Post consistently
- Add plugins that make sharing your content easy for viewers
- Include widgets in between your blog post telling a quick, unique idea and providing the readers the option to make a tweet or retweet.
- Lastly, the basic of all, make sure you post content that’s worth sharing
If you want to increase the visibility of your brand, read this short article explaining 3 tactics you can use to increase brand awareness.
There are many important elements of SEO and we know sometimes, it gets a little overwhelming when you try to focus on all the elements at once. Just focus on the above key SEO elements, your website rankings will drastically improve.
No more can you rank a blog post by just stuffing some keywords. Google is taking a multi channel approach and so should your brand. Focus on building a brand and authority within your space because that’s what Google loves.
Need help with your brand marketing? Find out how we can help you improve your digital marketing efforts.