These 20 SEO tips to position in Google are not a definitive guide to search engine positioning. However, in this list I want to condense most of the best practices recommended by specialists in the sector.
All the tips that you can read here I apply them in my blog, and in the projects in which I work. I can assure you that until now the satisfactory results I have obtained confirm the value of each item in the list.
The recommendations that you will find below correspond to the different areas of expertise that an SEO must master. However, I have prioritized all suggestions that relate directly to the user experience, and more specifically to the creation of content.
If you are just entering the world of SEO, these recommendations can help you step in with a firm step. Preventing you from making mistakes that can take you away from the first places in Google. But before going through the list, let’s take a look at the current context.
NOTE: This article shares the same content with a talk I offered at the WordPress meetup in Montevideo. If you prefer to see the talk, before reading the text, nothing happens, I understand. That’s why I leave you link to 20 SEO tips to position yourself in Google.
Brief history of SEO
The history of SEO is directly related to the emergence of search engines. At present Google is the most used search engine in the world, but there were others before this one. Google earned the place it has today when it reinvented the way it crawled, indexed and organized the different websites.
In most of the existing search engines before Google, it was necessary to request indexing manually. When Larry Page and Sergei Brin created the first bot that was able to “find” websites following the links, they revolutionized the way search engines worked. In addition, they create a hierarchical classification system based on PageRank, an algorithm used to this day, although it has been extremely refined over time.
The complexity of the positioning work has been increasing to the same extent that Google (and other search engines) have improved their tracking and indexing techniques. While the engineers behind the search engine are focused on serving the best results to their users, SEO is responsible for “positioning” at all costs.
Positioning means that the different pages of a website are in the top positions for relevant searches. This is achieved by applying a broad spectrum of techniques that require both technical and social skills.
There are no magic formulas in SEO
As much as supposed Internet gurus strive to sell you “infallible methods and techniques of SEO”, the reality is that there are no magic formulas to position in search engines. SEO is learned by doing and experimenting with SEO.
It is possible, that yes, to affirm that the positioning in search engines depends to a large extent on the actions that are carried out inside, and outside the web site. The experts call it SEO onpage and offpage respectively.
SEO tips to position yourself.
Tip # 01: Hire the best possible Hosting.
I start with this recommendation because it is one of the factors that people tend to overlook. However, the quality of hosting is one of the most important factors when positioning your website in Google or any other search engine. Hiring a good hosting service for your website will ensure that it is always available.
Hosting providers have many different plans for their users. Depending on the magnitude of the web project you need to develop, you must choose between economy or independence. With the cheapest plans you can hire a space on a server, which you will share with “neighboring” websites. If you need to have a hosting just for you, you probably have to pay more, but I assure you better results.
When your hosting company has problems, and is not able to maintain the website online, Google notices and removes your pages from first positions. The engineers behind the search engine work constantly to offer users the best possible results. A website that you can not access, because it is “fallen” does not enter what can be considered, a good result.
Tip # 02: Take care of the information architecture of the website.
The information architecture refers to the way we organize all the content on the website. As with most things in the digital world, there is no recipe for creating the perfect architecture, but it depends on the particularities of each project.
In some cases, it is preferable to create websites with a very horizontal structure, with many categories. For example, in the news portals, where a wide range of topics must be covered. On the other hand, on niche websites, it is preferable to hang the articles directly from the home page.
If you are not yet on the Internet, it is preferable that you design an information architecture aligned with the objectives of the project. If you have an online website, then you can evaluate the opportunities for improvement in the way you have organized your website. In any case, the mission is to make it easy for users, and search engines, to find the contents of the site.
Tip # 03: Make your visitors feel safe.
One of the positioning factors that has been gaining relevance for some time is the existence of a security certificate (SSL or TSL) on the web. Security certificates are an indicator of trust for visitors to the site, and in some cases it is mandatory to have one. For example, in electronic stores.
Certificates are so important that recently browsers have changed their policy towards them. Formerly they notified you when a website had a security certificate. However, now when you do NOT have an SSL or TSL, it alerts you to the website where you are browsing “Not safe”.
Of course, Google is giving priority in SERPs to sites that are considered safe. The leaders of the most used search engine in the world announced since 2014 that HTTPS is a positioning factor highly valued by the search engine algorithm.
Tip # 04: Website adaptable to different screens.
You may have heard that most of the internet browsing is currently done from mobile devices. In Uruguay, for example, as early as 2015 it was detected that 3 out of 4 four Internet users surf the phone. This statistic is consistent with what is happening around the world.
Google is no stranger to the phenomenon described, so it has long tried to adapt its search results to the preferences of users. On November 4, 2016, two years ago, Google announced that it would begin to experiment with the Mobile-first Indexing.
Finally, in March 2018, it confirmed that, incrementally, in the indexing process, they are moving from considering the desktop version to giving greater weight to the “mobile versions of content”. This means that those sites that adapt to different resolutions have better opportunities to reach the first places in the search engine.
Tip # 05: Do not make users wait.
Surely it happens to you like me, that I do not like to be wasted my time. For that reason when I browse the Internet and arrive at a site that takes a long time to load, I abandon it almost immediately.
You know what? You and I are not the only ones bothered by slow websites that test our patience. There are many studies that show that the loading speed of a website is a determining factor to have a satisfactory user experience. This Google also knows it.
This is where the “Web Performance Optimization” (WPO) becomes important, or in Spanish, the Web Performance Optimization. To ensure that your website goes faster, you must evaluate several important issues, ranging from the quality of the hosting, to the optimization of graphic resources and the implementation of Caché plugins.
There are several tools to measure how fast your website is. Normally the two that I usually use are Page Speed Insights and GTmetrix. These in addition to performing an evaluation of the performance of your website, they provide you with a set of suggestions to improve the errors found.
Tip # 06: Write for others, not for yourself.
One of the most common mistakes of people who start generating content for the Internet, is that they write what they like. If you want to attract users to your website, you should focus more on their needs and less on yours. You must conduct a keyword study to find out what and how users search the Internet.
To make a study of keywords there are many powerful tools on the Internet, however, most of the time enough with a couple of them. Of course, free. I usually use a lot of AnswerThePublic and Ubersuggest, and Google’s recommendations.
You should consider that it is easier to position your content if you target keywords “longtails”, or long tail. For example, it is easier to position a review for “modern night table lamp”, than for “night lamp” only. The advantage of positioning content by longtails keywords is that, although it brings fewer users to the website, it is almost always qualified traffic that converts better.
Tip # 07: Make the content readable for users and search engines.
The readability of the content, both for users and for search engines is of vital importance for web positioning. A text with the correct structure is more attractive to users than a block of text, which takes their breath away when they read.
To provide a good user experience you must take care of the way in which you structure the contents. If you are writing about a topic, identify the subtopics and separate them by adding subtitles between them. Short paragraphs, which do not exceed 3 or 4 lines, are easier to read, because they allow you to rest before continuing reading the next paragraph.
Another recommended practice is to highlight elements within the text, either by placing them in bold, or in italics, for the user to focus their attention on them. It is also possible to change the color of the text, add a background, underline it. Of course, all these styles must be used with purpose, not as a mere make-up.
What is the relevance of all this for SEO? Well, the Google algorithm known as RankBrain is able to semantically interpret a content, and place it in the SERPs according to the users’ search intention. The way in which RankBrain “understands” a text, influences the positioning.
Tip # 08: Add graphic resources only if they are relevant.
One of the tips I often read on lists like this is that you should add images or videos to the articles. The logic behind this recommendation is that they improve the user experience, and, therefore, enhance SEO. This is a true statement, but only in part.
If you are going to add graphic or audiovisual elements, you should make sure that they meet two basic requirements. First, they are correctly optimized so as not to affect the load time of the web, which, as we saw earlier, is a very important positioning factor. Second, do not add these resources just as a fill, make sure they play some important role within the content.
It is not mandatory to add complex infographics, made by graphic design experts. DO NOT. Sometimes a simple .GIF is enough to set the pace, and keep the reader’s attention. Again, there are no infallible formulas that teach you how many, and which, images are the most appropriate. You have to use common sense.
Tip # 09: Success is not copied, it creates original content.
Can you imagine that you are looking for information on a specific topic, any, and all the pages you enter have exactly the same text? It would be a disaster. Precisely because of this is that Google penalizes duplicate content, because its mission is to provide users with quality content, in the plural.
If you are focused on climbing positions to the first places of a SERP, never copy content from others.
At this point, I’ve found people who ask me: Carlos, but on this subject and others wrote, then how do I create original content. Eye, I did not say that you should write about something that nobody has written before, but when you are creating your content do it with your words, print your style.
List of tips on SEO like this should have thousands. Of course, many of these recommendations were not invented by me, I learned them by reading others, and putting them to the test. The “originality” of this article lies in the way I am creating it. Which tips I selected and which ones I did not, the order in which I present them, and of course, in which each letter of this text I wrote it myself.
Tip # 10: Make sure your content adds value.
It is already clear that the content you upload to your site must be original. Now, almost more important than that, is that your articles add value to users. You have to make sure that when they leave your website (actually, they have to perceive it from the moment they arrive) they are convinced that they have learned something, that they did not waste their time reading you.
The value of a content does not depend only on its creator, but also on the person who consumes it. An article on the 10 recommendations to save your money is likely to contribute little to a consecrated economist. On the other hand, it can be highly valued by those who try to make ends meet with a narrow salary.
Then, if an apparently simple content can contain value, how is it differentiated between a text that has it, and another that does not. As always, the answer is simpler than what certain gurus want us to believe. The value of a content lies in the satisfaction of the need to which it responds. If your texts help the people who visit your site in any way, it means that you are adding value to them.
Tip # 11: Prioritize quality over quantity.
One of the myths of SEO that I like to tear down, is that the longer the longer, the better. It’s false. The length of the articles depends on the subject on which you are writing. To a very specific question you will respond better with a short text. Your users will thank you for not wasting your time.
It is true that there is a minimum number of characters recommended. Usually all those engaged in SEO agree that articles must have more than 300 words. This number is not an arbitrary convention, it is that Google has begun to respond in the SERPs to very specific searches, for example: the temperature in Montevideo.
Now you understand why the short contents, which answer very specific questions, have no future in the search engines.
When you create content for your website, it tries to cover all the possible edges, in order to provide as much information as possible to the user. If you are doing a review of a product you can explain its characteristics, the advantages and disadvantages, the uses it has, etc. But do not put unnecessary stuffing. Focus on the subject, develop it as much as possible, but not more than necessary.
Tip # 12: Tell a story.
Human beings love stories. That is why it is so popular, and effective, the technique known as storytelling. When your content has the form and structure of a story, it increases the chances that readers will like it. Remember, Google loves happy users.
When I recommend my clients to apply the storytelling technique, they usually think that they should create “stories”. It’s not like that at all. Rather it is about applying the rules of dramaturgy to the contents.
Every good story has an introduction, a knot and an ending. At the end of each of these parts, you can identify turning points. A turning point is an event, or in the case of an article, it is when you decide to focus your text on a specific topic, among all the available options.
Tip # 13: Talk to the search engines in your language.
Use structured data schemas on your website to tell search engines what the content is about. The languages used in the construction of websites are designed to tell browsers what, and how, to show information, but they do not distinguish the value and meaning of it. In contrast, structured data communicate semantic aspects to searchers.
Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing and others, need to know the meaning of the content they are indexing, to serve users the most relevant information according to their searches. As I mentioned before, Google has made great progress in semantic interpretation, since the launch of RankBrain. However, it is possible to help a little more by adding structured data labels to our website.
In Schema.org you can find all the information you need to mark your content. Tags added to web pages help search engines understand, classify and then position content effectively.
Tip # 14: Expand your content beyond the web page.
I tell you something that happens to me often. Tell me if the same thing happens to you. I want to make a simple article about a specific topic, to publish in my blog. When I start writing it, I have so many things to share, that I get long articles. It is not wrong to write long texts, the problem comes when they become extremely long.
The solution is simpler than you imagine. You must focus on what you are writing. All those issues that are important, but do not directly enter into the subject in question, do not develop them, but look for another article that deals with that and links it.
The contents that links can be their own, articles that you have previously made, or from other sites. Do not be afraid to link third-party content, far from affecting your positioning what will do is enhance it. Remember that the Internet is a network, and the essence of the networks lies in the links that are established between the different elements of the same.
Tip # 15: Get others to link your content.
The importance of links, in SEO, lies in PageRank, a Google algorithm that determines the relevance, in numerical form, of a web page according to the number of links that point to it. Over time, the engineers behind the search engine have established other indicators to measure how important each site is, but PageRank remains one of the most important positioning factors.
Before continuing, it is important that you notice something. You must be very careful with the way you get links for your website, because, although creating them is a practice that works very well within SEO, it is discouraged by Google. If you do it wrong you can earn a very large penalty, and lose all the work done on your website.
From the Google point of view you should not build links yourself, but expect others to believe them naturally. A natural link is one that a reader places on another website without you asking, after having consumed your amazing quality content.
In reality, sometimes you can not wait for users to spontaneously decide to place links on other sites. In these cases, you have to force Google rules a little, and take the initiative in building links to your website, or as this practice is called, perform link building.
Tip # 16: Progressive link building strategy.
If you have already decided to do link building, then the best thing is to plan your actions very well, so that it seems that they are not, at all, planned. Contradictory truth? Yes, but it is the first rule to follow, to be able to bypass the rules of Google.
Your link creation strategy should be very clear to you, but invisible to Google. If you have your website is just one month old, it is not logical that you have thousands of links. Less credible would be that all those links have been created “naturally” in the last week, or that all come from websites with much authority, very well positioned.
The links that you are building must be arriving progressively. One link today, another tomorrow, then two a week later; another, three days later, etc. There is no specific amount of backlinks (this is the name of the links that point to your website).
To know how many links it is advisable to build you must analyze the other sites you want to overcome in the SERP, and keep you as close to the average of backlinks they have. If you have fewer links than the competition will have an advantage over you, if you do much more than them, it is likely that Google will realize what you are doing and penalize you.
Tip # 17: Avoid patterns in creating links.
You may wonder how Google can know if that cute link that you just made from the site a recognized news site is “natural” or paid for it.
The way they have to differentiate natural links from those created to manipulate PageRank is the identification of patterns. Google has advanced a lot in this regard, with the application of artificial intelligence techniques and machine learning are able to know if you are trying to skip your rules. Of course, those systems are not 100% effective, so there is still room for link building.
The important thing is that you avoid the reproduction of patterns. As I said before, avoid the creation of links with a stable frequency. But there is another element related to links, which is very important, and in which you must avoid the patterns, the anchors (anchors in Spanish). That is, the word, phrase or even image from which one of the pages of your site is linked.
When you are creating, or buying, links make sure there is diversity in the anchors. Sometimes you can link using the title of the article, or the main keyword you want to position, or a related keyword. It is also valid to link using the address of the page, many people do it naturally and Google knows it. The important thing is that there is diversity of anchors.
Tip # 18: Socialize the content.
Social networks and email marketing are not direct factors of search engine positioning. That is, you can share the URL of your website in all the Facebook groups you want, and that’s not why you’re going to improve your position in Google. However, social traffic in some way if it contributes contributes to positioning.
So … What does this recommendation look like on a list of SEO tips? Simple, when you socialize your content in the different social medias, you create community, and your brand powers. It is much easier for those who already know you to search for you on Google, since they consumed your content found in a social network.
Currently when people consume content that impresses them, or they like it a lot, they tend to share it on their social networks. It is likely that they are more likely to do so if you also ask nicely, and add a button like these here.
Tip # 19: Take advantage of Google My Business.
We have come a long way to here. Do not abandon We are almost finished, and this recommendation is especially important for those who manage websites of organizations or companies. You must have, yes or yes, a Google My Business tab.
Google My Business is a Google tool that allows you to create a business listing. Additionally you can indicate the physical location of the business, or choose a region when it is a service that is provided at the client’s location, and not in a particular site. You can create publications, share images of your products or services.
One of the main advantages for SEO is that, when linking the company file, with your website, Google can show your site in the first positions for geolocated searches. For example, for a keyword such as “cheap restaurants near Tres Cruces” the search engine shows a map with the locations of the establishments that are within walking distance of the reference point.
Tip # 20: Periodically evaluate your progress.
All the recommendations up to here are useless if you do not follow this last tip. You have to register and evaluate each possible (or rather relevant) metric of your website. There are many tools that allow you to track your project properly, but the most important ones, which can never be missing, are Search Console, and Google Analytics.
Search Console is a tool that allows you to know the performance that your website is having in the search engine. It provides a lot of valuable information, but the most relevant is for how many keywords you are positioning, and where in the SERP you are for each one.
Analytics on the other hand, gives you all the necessary information about traffic to and on your website. Where visitors arrive from, what they do when they are on the site, how long they take on each page, etc. It is impossible to make decisions regarding the SEO of your website with your back to these metrics, and as many as Analytics gives you for free.
Of course, these two tools are not enough. Google itself provides more options for website owners, such as Google Tag Manager, or Google Data Studio. In the same way you can find on the Internet other amazing and essential tools to work on the positioning of your website.
We finally reached the end …
It has been a long article, the longest I have written so far. I’ll be honest, when I started writing these 20 SEO tips to position in Google I did not imagine that I would write so much.
When I made the last reading before publishing it, I thought about going back and pruning the content, but I did not do it because I believe that each word adds value. If you agree with me in this last, and you reward me with 5 stars right here below, I will feel very grateful.