Since the ascent of Google as the world’s #1 search engine, links have been the primary concern of most SEO practitioners. Including your target keyword within your page title positively correlated with higher search rankings. Brands that rank high on search engines have great content, address their target audience’s search intent, and take the time to optimize their sites from a technology standpoint. Search engine results are in a constant state of flux as rankings for individual pages and sites go up and down, outdated content fades and new pages are published. That means you'll probably notice a normal ebb and flow in your site rankings, especially if you're lower down in the results.

Google recommends this as a strategy

Over the past 10 years, search has gotten a whole lot better. If you’ve been in the industry long enough, you remember the days of keyword stung articles and link building. Stop using keywords in your titles. Why? Because if you don’t know how to optimize a Web page without stuffing your title, then you don’t know how to optimize a Web page. Titles and URLs are options, not requirements, in search engine optimization. Learn to understand and fully appreciate the difference between being able to do something and needing to do something. Make it as easy as possible for users to go from general content to the more specific content they want on your site. Add navigation pages when it makes sense and effectively work these into your internal link structure. To keep search engines from ignoring your site, only use original content. Copying and pasting product descriptions from your merchant’s site may save you time, but it will also lower your site’s page ranking. To assure your page rank remains high, take the time to write your own content. If you don’t have time to write, hire a copywriter to create original content for you.

Have a Site Map and Text-only Navigation

Since the advent of Panda and Hummingbird, LSI is becoming increasingly important in SEO as it’s used by Google to determine between ‘keyword stuffed’ articles and genuinely relevant content. Creating content on a consistent basis not only builds links internally (by linking out from your posts), but also gives you the ability to naturally attract links to your content. A blog is essential to many strategies I list below, such as linking out. On page SEO refers to the optimization of a website’s on-page elements. This includes the way a website is structured and coded, as well as its content. As a webmaster, you have complete control over your on-page elements so putting the time into getting them right is important. Long-tail keyword phrases are among the building blocks of an SEO strategy. They are used to optimize copywriting, metadata and link-building strategies.

Link building – the definitive guide

Users will occasionally come to a page that doesn't exist on your site, either by following a broken link or typing in the wrong URL. Having a custom 404 page that kindly guides users back to a working page on your site can greatly improve a user's experience. Your 404 page should probably have a link back to your root page and could also provide links to popular or related content on your site. When approaching other webmasters to link to your site; it's really important to “suggest” suitable text for them to use; i.e link code that will have the most suitable link text for your site. Use internal links with clear and informative anchor text. We asked an SEO Specialist, Gaz Hall, for his thoughts on the matter: "Efficient use of content is necessary to create a positive experience for the visitor. Ideally they find what they are looking for quickly, they extract the information they need, and they take whatever actions they desire without obstruction."

Google cares the most about editorial links

Hopefully your website is laid out in a way that allows users to easily find the content or pages that you want to promote. The sitemap tells search engines about all the pages on your site, even those that might not be easy to find. A sitemap is very helpful if your site is dynamic or if it has pages with images or rich AJAX that can be hard for bots to discover. It is also helpful for new sites with few links, or sites that have numerous pages not well linked. Sitemaps help search engines do a good job of reading your website and finding your site’s content. One of the recommendations I frequently give as an SEO consultant is to optimize your images. A lot of websites have images that are relatively large, which take a lot of time to load. Resizing your images can speed up the loading time. Guest posts can still be valuable from a PR/community-building perspective, but only if we approach those guest blogging opportunities with the right intentions.