As the search ranking algorithms used by Google and the other major search engines have become more sophisticated, the practice of SEO has gotten easier to explain (create great content, earn links) but much more challenging to execute.
The infographic below illustrates SEO best practices—the key “do’s” and “don’ts”–for 2015. Most of this advice will be familiar to anyone who spends much time doing or reading about SEO, but a few points are worth noting.
- • Do make your site accessible by including a site-search box and using breadcrumbs. Neither idea is new, yet many sites still don’t incorporate these two navigation-friendly elements.
- • Don’t overdo links on your home page. It’s tempting, as pages directly linked from the home page tend to rank better in search. But if overdone, this tactic wrecks the design, slows page load time, and consequently harms search rank more than helping.
- • Don’t duplicate content. “If your site differs across various geographic areas, create individualized content for those pages.”
- • Make sure the most important content on each page is near the top, “above the fold.”
- • Though social signals are important to SEO, “don’t spend money on bots that artificially share your content. These are detectable by search engines and can incur penalties thus negatively affecting your rankings.”
- • Don’t overload pages with information to try to game rankings–but do produce some pages with longer, more detailed content. As noted here, “The average content length for a web page that ranks in the top 10 results for any keyword on Google has at least 2,000 words.”
Without further ado, here is the SEO tactics checklist for 2015.