Search engine optimization (SEO) is about delivering relevant search results to users based on their online searches. The most relevant pages related to that search query will rank higher on the search engine results page. Digital marketing professionals understand the importance of SEO and the need to implement a proper strategy.

However, only defining what those keywords are isn’t enough to improve your website’s search engine ranking. To increase your website’s visibility across search engines, it’s important to follow these basic SEO guidelines. In fact, we have 21 SEO secrets that are sure to have an impact on your website’s visibility.

Google’s Ranking Algorithm

It’s no secret that Google is constantly changing its algorithm. They don’t always announce when a change is made; therefore it remains a bit of a mystery. This is still the biggest obstacle to SEO success. Moz has a Google Algorithm Change History that will help you research the changes. The Google Webmaster Central tool is also a good reference.

SSL Encryption

An SSL encryption is a small but mighty SEO secrets tool to consider. Google introduced it in 2014, and it has grown in popularity ever since. The SSL encryption — or “HTTPS” — boosts the security of your website.

It’s great for SEO and will keep your visitors’ data safe when they land on your website. Consider activating an SSL encryption if you have an eCommerce website that requires users to enter a username, a password and credit card information to complete a transaction.

Your website visitors might not know your site is encrypted with SSL, but you and the search engines crawling your website will. It doesn’t take long to implement, either. All you have to do is call your hosting provider.

Structured Data

The thing in our SEO secrets list is structured data. It helps Google decide what search results will appear. This is also referred to as Schema. A combination of ratings, images and locations will improve your site’s ranking and increase its chance of appearing above its competitors.

Title Tags

Does each and every page on your website have a title tag? If it does, take a closer look. Title tags should be under 55 characters. The title tag tells Google and other search engines what content is on your website.

The keywords should match the content that’s on the webpage. The better the keyword selection, the higher the chance your website will appear when someone searches for what’s on your site. This is one of the main SEO secrets that you need to know!

Meta Descriptions

Let’s take a look at some basic SEO for website- Meta descriptions. similar to title tags, set an expectation for what information a person will see when they reach your page. It can improve click-through-rates, which will also improve keyword rankings. A meta description should be no longer than 160 characters. The language should be compelling with a call-to-action that will entice visitors to visit your website over a competitor’s.

Use H1 Headings Properly

The H1 tag isn’t just a piece of bold website text that creates a heading. It is the most important of our SEO secrets list. It sets an expectation for the content that follows. H1 headings should be used at the top of web pages to introduce content and should also include a keyword relevant to your website. This is just basic seo for website that you need to have.

Include Canonical Tags

Canonical tags should be used in the header of your coding and is another good tip from our search engine optimization secrets list. This will essentially tell Google that this is the truest version of a respective web page. It makes it harder for a code to be scrapped and eliminates competition from a neighboring website with the same coding. In other words, it helps you avoid having duplicate content on your website.

Name All Images and Alt Tags

You need images not only to improve a user’s experience on your website but also because they have a positive impact on your SEO. It’s not enough to simply have images on a website, though. To help with your Google search ranking, come up with creative file names and alt tags which describe what the image is.

This content will help Google and other search engines identify what the picture is. The more relevant it is to the search query, the more likely your website will show up.

Don’t Forget About a Sitemap

Your website needs to be indexed in order for it to show up in search results. A robots.txt file helps you identify which pages you want to have indexed and crawled by search engines. Without this, there might be pages appearing in search engines that are internal, password protected, or not ready to go live.

A sitemap tells search engines what pages are where, making it easier for your website to appear properly in search engines. The more detailed your sitemap is, the easier it is for crawling and indexing to occur automatically.