Search engine optimization, while a very technical practice, is a marketing function—and it needs to be treated like one. Since Google only wants to deliver the best possible results to its users, it will push sites with strong engagement up in the search engine results pages (SERPs). All too often, when we’re brought in for SEO work on a redesign, it’s often late in the process, such as when the site is being coded or even totally complete. “Hey, we should probably have the SEO guy take a look at this before we launch,” but by then, it’s too late. Paid link-building is considered black hat SEO and is likely to incur a penalty.

Be Informed and updated!

One of the most common misconceptions is that blogging on your own site is going to help your SEO. User experience is important to search engines and one way they determine this is based on how easy it is to get around the site or the navigation. Use 3-4 internal links on each page, but make sure they are incorporated naturally within the body of the text. Don’t put lots of links in the footer or at the end of your content. Google will penalize you for this. Build your site with a logical link structure. Every page should be reachable from at least one static text link. How do you educate people so they do value it?

Create Search Engine & User-Friendly Pages

One common SEO issue that can be tackled is duplicate content. This is when there is more than one way to reach the same content on your site. More and more, search engines have begun to incorporate social context into their search results. To prepare for voice search, you need to take a good look at your current content. Ask yourself, does it answer any question a user might have? If not, change it. Good formatting can instantly improve your page’s readability. This, in turn, can improve your engagement rate.

Link Out To Diverse Sources

Google will follow your links, the post and pages that have the most internal links will be most likely to rank high in the search engines. Anchor text has been a huge talking point within SEO for many years now. Review sites should also be considered in link building campaigns. These are the sites where your customers write about their experience with your products/services. According to Gaz Hall, a UK SEO Consultant : "One of the primary triggers in their algorithm is domain authority, which Google calculates based on a myriad of factors; in fact, the RankBrain system that Google uses employs more than 200 ranking signals."

How are you supposed to audit your site?

Your job is to scope out sites that might be responsive to a message from you, to look at the type of content they publish and then to write a post that’s along the same lines. You then contact the site owner by email and show them your content, asking if they would like to publish it. The Google algorithm incorporates hundreds, if not thousands, of signals when determining where pages rank for a search. Knowing which factors carry the most weight and optimizing accordingly can be the difference between success and failure. The only way unethical SEO techniques are ever going to be eradicated is when Google themselves get clever enough to work out how to tweak their algorithm to ensure these tactics no longer work. Don’t get me wrong. Google have come a long way during the past few years in stamping out unethical SEO spam but they are far from ensuring none of it works. Links and content are certainly at the top of your SEO strategy. However, Google identified CTR and user experience as major ranking factors. Increasing one will certainly increase the other as well.