Getting a grip on SEO is like wrestling an eel — Frustrating. Confusing. And at times, even a bit shocking.
The algorithms that marketers aim to please can sometimes seem as mysterious as the darkest depths of the sea. To make matters worse, the abundance of SEO advice out there on the web makes navigating SEO really overwhelming.
To drown out the noise and zero in on what matters, we asked some SEO experts, "What are the key steps to building a website that search engines will love?"
In short, your website needs to be checking numerous boxes to get some love. These include:
- Consider what users will want — and what you'll need to make it happen
- Shape up your site structure so it's easy to peruse
- Focus on a single, relevant niche instead of trying to master multiple
- Spread the link love, both within your own site and to others'
Here's what the experts advise, in their own words.
Consider what users will want — and what you'll need to make it happen
Maddy Osman, Author at The Blogsmith
For a search engine to want to recommend a website, it has to be mobile-friendly and load fast. Of course, there are many other pieces that go into ranking, but these two things are at the very top of the list.
read more from Maddy
Isaac Bullen, Asia Pacific Director at 3WhiteHats
Consider a CMS like WordPress, where you can install an SEO plugin like Yoast that will tick a bunch of the technical SEO boxes automatically.
read more from Isaac
Shape up your site structure so it's easy to peruse
Marcus Miller, Head of SEO, PPC & Digital Marketing at Bowler Hat
Your site is a filing cabinet. Your sections are draws in the cabinet. And your pages are individual folders and files in each draw. If you just throw things into a filing cabinet, it is very difficult to find what you need.
read more from Marcus
Samuel Lavoie, Online Marketing & SEO Consultant at SamuelLavoie.com
Help search engines understand the relationship between your pages and sections using relevant links throughout your content. "Related content" and "most popular content" boxes also help.
read more from Samuel
Eric Enge, CEO at Stone Temple
You should have a page on your site for every major user need that relates to your product or service, [but] you don't need, or want, to create a page for every search phrase that users might use.
read more from Eric
Focus on a single, relevant niche instead of trying to master multiple
Robert Weller, Content Strategy Coach at Toushenne
In my opinion, the magic word is "focus." I see a lot of companies publishing content on too many different topics. That makes it difficult for Google to understand where exactly your expertise lies.
read more from Robert
Sam Harries, Freelance SEO Consultant at SamHarries.com
You should be ensuring that you aren't mixing signals or muddying the water and introducing content that'll cannabalise against your best search terms.
read more from Sam
Spread the link love, both within your own site and to others'
Quentin Aisbett, Director & Digital Strategist at OnQ Marketing
I’ve found internal linking to be one of the easiest tactics that does actually drive results. Map out your site, and start to understand where you should be adding internal links — Don’t just do it ad-hoc.
read more from Quentin
Sean Si, CEO & Founder at SEO Hacker
You should never take external factors out of the equation. Building the right links to increase your authority will make Google head over heels for your website.
read more from Sean