Search Engine Optimisation, or 'SEO' as you may know it, is how to get your website and its webpages visible on Google's search results page.
Basically, to make your website appear on Google, the content within your site needs to be helpful and informative. When people find your site and its pages helpful and informative, they will link to these pages, which in turn indicates to Google that your site pages are interesting and authoritative. SEO is the simple activity of ensuring a website can be found in search engines for words and phrases that people search for, relevant to what your site is offering.
If this sounds like a whole bunch of science to you, you aren't wrong. We can break down SEO success factors just like a periodic table of elements, this is exciting because it can really guide us with best practices and potential pitfalls in order to build a framework for a great SEO strategy. So, what does this periodic table of SEO factors actually look like? Well, let's take a look and dissect each and every group and all its elements. Don't get nervous now! You don't need to know any science because it's actually pretty simple if you look at it logically.
Firstly let's break each one down by their colour which is associated with their number:
Each individual element on the table is organised into groups of similar factors and each element has a number that represents it's overall importance to SEO.
Positive elements are of course the numbers with a + in front of it and negative elements have a - in front of it. There are also numbers from 1 to 6 which indicate the importance of the elements. For example, an element with a score of +1 wouldn't have as much of an impact as one with a score of +3. A -3 score indicates the practice can do maximum damage to your SEO, while a -1 could be harmful but isn't generally as dangerous as a -2 or -3.
See? It's not that complicated. Now, with all the intricacies out of the way, let's jump straight into the element groups and what each element actually means. Starting from the top left (Green) all the way to the bottom right (yellow).
Group 01 – Content
In the past, Google's algorithm did not pick up on the details of a website's content and so the websites with shallow, duplicated and low-quality content were not getting penalised. This meant that people who did have in-depth high-quality content were never rewarded for their efforts.
Now in 2019, we can see exactly what kind of content Google now regards as high-quality and in-depth for successful SEO ranking.
Qu – Quality +3
Pages must be well-written and highly valuable.
Rs – Research +3
Investigate keywords people may use to find your content.
Kw – Keywords +2
Build target keywords into your pages.
Fr – Freshness +2
Create timely content; refresh or retire stagnant pages.
Mm – Multimedia +2
Images, video and audio can set your content apart.
An – Answers +2
Create content that can be turned into answers in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page).
Dt – Depth +2
Shallow content fails. Aim for substance.
Group 02 – Architecture
This group is all about how your actual website is built. Note in this group the importance of element Cr (crawl). Basically, if a search engine such as Google cannot crawl and index your pages, you are pretty much non-existent in the search results because if Google can't see your webpages, it cannot possibly give you marks on your work. Here are the elements concerning your website architecture you need to get right.
Cr – Crawl +3
Search engines must easily crawl your pages.
Mo – Mobile +3
Optimise for today's smartphones and tablets. (Your site needs to be able to work on all mobile devices).
Dd – Duplicate +2
Be smart and use canonicals (following the already established standard), redirects.
Sp – Speed +2
Your site should load quickly on any device.
Ps – HTTPS +2
Provide a secure connection for visitors.
Ur – URLs +1
Build keywords into your page addresses.
Group 03 – HTML
These elements of HTML are tags about your content you should use for search engines like Google. This enables search engines to know what your website and its content is all about.
Tt – Titles +3
Build keywords into your titles.
Ds – Descriptions +2
Meta tags should describe what pages are about.
St – Structure +2
Use Schema and more to turn data into enhanced listings.
Hd – Headings +2
Build keywords into your H1-H2 tags, especially H1.
Am – AMP +1
Google's mobile page format is built for speed.
Group 04 – Trust
These are the elements that determine whether your site is considered high-value to search engines such as Google.
Au – Authority +3
Authority is everything. Covet links, shares and other signals.
En – Engagement +2
Visitors should spend time with your pages and not bounce.
Re – Reputation +1
Sites operating the same way for years carry weight.
Group 05 – Links
This group has been around for the longest time. Back in 2000 when Google became a thing, they made one thing clear, links would be a factor is how a website would perform in search. Basically, what this meant was the higher quality and relevant the sites that link to your own are, the better it is for your own SEO.
Va – Value +3
Seek links from trusted quality websites.
Ac – Anchors +2
Seek links from pages that use similar keywords.
Ba – Backlinks +1
The more high-quality links, the better.
Group 06 – User
Did you know, a person viewing your website has contributing factors to your ranking? Well, it's true! You really need to make sure your site speaks to users in the area where your audience resides. Other than that, there's not really much else you can do about it.
Co – Country +2
Consider the country of your searcher.
Lo – Locality +2
Consider the region of your searcher.
Ux – User Experience +2
The experience your site gives a user. Experience matters more every day.
Hs – History +1
Consider how regularly someone has visited your site.
In – Intent +1
Consider why someone is conducting a specific search.
Now that we have gone in detail about the groups and their elements that can strengthen your SEO, let's touch on the toxic group and its elements that can negatively impact your SEO. These elements have been placed in a whole group of its own because employing any one – or all – of them could lead to a penalty or banning of your website, and this exactly the opposite of what you should be trying to achieve.
Cl – Cloaking -3
Do not show the search engines different pages to that of your searchers.
Sc – Schemes -3
Buying links, spamming blogs and all other terrible tactics.
Sf – Stuffing -2
Don't be excessive with packing keywords into your copy.
Hi – Hiding -2
Making keywords invisible is a dirty trick.
Ar – Piracy -1
Hosting stolen content can get you banned.
Iv – Intrusive -1
Ad-heavy content and intrusive interstitials (an advertisement that appears while a chosen website or page is downloading) are a bad idea.
There you have it, the science of SEO, decoded. See, it wasn't that bad, was it? Thanks to Search Engine Land for their continually updated version of how online business's can improve their online presence with the creation of the Periodic Table of SEO Factors. Visit them to find the original 2019 documentation of all that was discussed above, as well as future emerging verticals and their possible elements.
We hope this article brought you a closer understanding of how to make sure your online website ranks well for SEO and, if you are a content writer who posts web content to social media platforms daily, we can help you there too. Loopascoop is a social media management system built to help you schedule all your content in a timely manner. Sign up for free today.