Schema.org is a code protocol developed jointly by the world’s top search engines. It’s created to make it easier for companies to structure the data they present on their websites After choosing a domain name, optimizing the URLs for your pages is the next SEO step. SEO for your page URLs is important because keywords in the URL are a ranking factor and short and descriptive URLs can help with link building and user interaction. Like your visitors, search engines read a URL to get a clue for the contents of the page. Most SEO consultants have said goodbye to spammy, shady optimization techniques because Google actively penalized you for it since 2011. Make an account with both Google and Bing, and access each Webmaster Tools (Google recently renamed Google Webmasters and it’s now Search Console) area to ensure your website has proper indexing. Beyond indexing, they help you evaluate your internal links, diagnose or fix problems, as well as your website’s backlinks and which keywords are sending you traffic.

Spiders and bots, oh my!

Link building isn’t dead. Not by a long shot. If you are putting content on your own site, try to keep things fairly uniform. This can help you start building your own following and establish your own voice. Of course, that shouldn’t stop you from doing something that has more of a “shock factor.” Something a little more controversial can draw in big crowds, which translates to a lot of clicks and comments. Creating Local resources offers a plethora of link building opportunities. It is also an easy option for those businesses that don’t have a strong local presence or haven’t interacted much locally. Creating these resources is relatively easy but extreme care should be taken that only well-researched content goes into them. I have seen my share of websites where the owner told me that conversion was low or that nobody filled out their contact form. But the owner had no idea how many people got to his/her website. No idea what the main landing pages or exit pages were.

Make sure your site is optimized for mobile

When people conduct research, they want up-to-date, accurate information. That’s why it’s important to keep content updated. Recency is becoming an increasingly important ranking factor in Google’s search algorithm and for good reason—your audiences don’t want to waste time reading dated content. Make the content flow easily to keep people intrigued and reading. The searches that people make online are related to certain words or phrases. Because you want your webpage to be the answer or solution to their search query, your page needs to be built with this phrase or word in mind. Using your focus keyword in the headline can also be a good idea, but don’t try too hard to include it. Use power words and avoid redundancy to create a clear and appealing result. Aim for a headline of 55-60 characters, as this is what Google will display on the SERP.

Look for scraped content on your competitors' site

SEO has tremendously grown over the past few years and search engines are getting smarter and smarter. Staying on top of the current updates and changes is thus crucial in deepening your knowledge of how to take advantage of it. Today, semantic search has evolved even more, and search engines are better than ever at understanding query context and the relationships between words. Google’s emphasis on links is the most significant area of overlap between its organic and local ranking algorithms. We asked an SEO Specialist, Gaz Hall, for his thoughts on the matter: "Google defines duplicate content as large blocks of text used across multiple pages, or even other websites, that are exactly the same or very similar. Simply put, you don’t want to use large blocks of the same text on more than one page of your website."

Draft content for each target keyword

A site’s age has an influence on that site’s ranking. A site that has been around for a long time can be seen as more reputable. Plus, it gives Google a background in determining a site’s trustworthiness. Basically, site age lets Google know your site is legit. To rank, you need authority. To have authority, you need links. To get links, you must be visible with people who create content. Therefore to rank, you need relationships. As you gather intel on your website’s audience, the competition and commonly used keywords, it’s up to you to make informed decisions to determine which SEO strategies make sense for your business. Staying relevant is crucial to ensuring your website visitors are happy with what they find on your site — but don’t let staying relevant keep you from taking keyword risks and trying something the competition isn’t doing. Using SEO best practices should be a part of your foundation when it comes to creating content, not only on your website, but with your social media posts as well.