4 upvotes 0 discussions

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:

  1. Consider what users will want — and what you'll need to make it happen
  2. Shape up your site structure so it's easy to peruse
  3. Focus on a single, relevant niche instead of trying to master multiple
  4. 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

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

Chris Countey

Chris Countey, Technical SEO Manager at Publicis Health Media

More and more, users are browsing and searching the web on smaller screens. Use analytics to determine the type of users browsing your website and optimize for them.

read more from Chris

Dennis Seymour

Dennis Seymour, Co-Founder at LeapFroggr Inc

You need a fast website, which means that spending a little bit extra for a better server goes a long way in the long run.

read more from Dennis

Isaac Bullen

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

Gabriella Sannino

Gabriella Sannino, International SEO Consultant at Level343

If you "might" build a blog at some time, don't wait to have the capabilities coded later. Create your website with the optimization, schema and social already built in.

read more from Gabriella

Shape up your site structure so it's easy to peruse

Marcus Miller

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

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre, Author at Kaiserthesage

Site structure and IA are very important. They help search crawlers to easily crawl and index your site's key pages — and in turn be easily found by users.

read more from Jason

Samuel Lavoie

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

Dennis Goedegebuure

Dennis Goedegebuure, Vice President for Growth & SEO at Fanatics Inc

Site structure is of the essence. Point internal links to your most important pages, and set up site navigation according to the site hierarchy.

read more from Dennis

Eric Enge

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

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

Brandon Safford

Brandon Safford, Founder & Principal at Small Business Analytics of Texas

Your domain should act as the most relevant branding keyword to the business, as it will most likely be the strongest search result.

read more from Brandon

Laurent Bourrelly

Laurent Bourrelly, Content Creator & Keynote Speaker at LaurentBourrelly.com

The era of keywords for SEO is long gone. Now you need to think about topics, concepts, ideas. A keyword alone doesn't do much.

read more from Laurent

Rafi Chowdhury

Rafi Chowdhury, Founder at Chowdhury’s Digital

Start identifying low competition, long-tail keywords that are relevant. Then, start creating content around those topics — Your content should be by far the best piece of content on the web about that topic. If not, make it better.

read more from Rafi

Sam Harries

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

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

Janice Wald

Janice Wald, Blogger at Mostly Blogging

Link out to other websites. Search engines will rank you higher, because it shows you are a credible site that cares about providing readers with quality information.

read more from Janice

Sean Si

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