Digital marketers are always talking about the most important factors for SEO. The truth is, there are many factors that go into improving your rankings, though there are a few that can help you more than others. In order to make your site the best it can be, there are many things you’ll need to attend to. Your site needs to fulfill an hierarchy of needs; if the lower needs on the ladder aren’t met, the ones higher up can’t be fixed. Let’s take a look at some of the requirements that need to be filled first before you can attend to the ones higher up.
The foundation of SEO lies in crawlability. This is a URL’s ability to be discovered by search engines. If your site isn’t crawlable, it can’t appear in search results, which means all your other SEO efforts will be useless. A technical SEO audit will reveal which of your pages can’t be indexed and why. Once these errors are corrected, you’re on the board, and you can move on with your SEO strategy.
Just above crawlability is indexability. Even after a URL has been crawled, there are properties that can prevent it from being indexed and displayed on a search engine results page. Some things that can prevent indexing of your pages include duplicate content, canonical declarations, redirections, and alternate versions of a page such as printable versions. To make sure your page can be indexed, ensure that these pages are correctly set up and that they apply to the correct pages.
Rankability comes next, which is where the real components of SEO come in. This concerns optimization as opposed to site-building. Some of the most important factors for SEO lie in this bracket, such as building backlinks, streamlining your content, and providing authority on your site’s topic.
Last in the hierarchy is clickability, where SEO and user behavior meet. Clickability is about how well your audience can use your site for the applications they need. You can boost your site’s clickability with things like headings and tables, product or event information, and site links to key pages on the same site.
While the world of SEO can help your site by leaps and bounds, you’ll want to make sure that the site is up to snuff and can support an SEO strategy before you get started. Sites that are not crawlable, indexable, or accessible will not see much gain from an SEO strategy, so by producing a site that can be used by bots and humans alike is the first step to seeing more traffic.