SEO best practices for content and website optimization for higher search engine rankings have gained much attention. That is because every marketer wants to rank his web pages on Google search. Because of the constant Google algorithm update, some web owners are not sure about the best SEO techniques to apply.
Therefore, are you struggling to define the best SEO practices that will increase your Google search ranking? How good is your search engine ranking? Do you want to improve your SEO strategy?
If so, this post is for you.
Understandably, if you ask some marketers and website owners, you will find out that there are many more SEO issues they’re trying to solve. SEO experts are not left out. As the search algorithm continues to change, content marketers and search engine optimization experts must keep adapting to the latest trends to stay on top of their game.
What You Will Learn from This Article
- What Is SEO?
- How Does SEO Work?
- How to Perform SEO Website Audit.
- The best SEO Tools Every Content Marketer Should Be Using.
- Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid.
- SEO Myths You Should Stop Believing
- SEO Best Practices That’ll Improve Your Search Engine Ranking
So, let us dive in.
What Is SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a marketing tactic focused on growing your visibility in organic (non-paid) search engine results to drive traffic to your site. Backlinko also described SEO as:
“Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of driving targeted website traffic to your website from search engines.” — Brian Dean.
According to his descriptions above, the main objective of SEO is to boost your search engine rankings and drive organic traffic to your blog or website. That is why SEO is so important for your business. However, there are some creative juices — SEO best practices you must apply to help you improve content visibility and your chances of ranking high on SERPs.
But first, let us discuss how search engine optimization work.
How Does SEO Work?
For SEO to work for you, your blog or website should be search engine-friendly, meaning that your site is fast, responsive to mobile, has well-researched and high-quality content that users will find helpful. In this way, Google bot will crawl and index your pages faster.
It will help in improving your search engine rankings. For example, Google uses a search algorithm to analyze websites and blog content. Then the search engine crawler will offer a performance score according to its analysis of your site.
What SEO does in this regard is that it send signals to Google bot and other search engines that tell them your blog is excellent for indexing.
How to Perform Website Audit for SEO?
In section two above, you learn the importance of conducting a website audit. It helps you find areas of your site with SEO issues that need to be corrected to improve SEO and Google search ranking.
With that said, the easiest way to audit your site is to use any of the best SEO site audit tools to do your site audit with ease.
In this case, you can use the SE Ranking Website Audit.
This tool is incredibly amazing both for auditing your website to find website errors and for helping you prepare a list of undertakings for bloggers, SEO professionals, web-developers, etc. In other words, SE Ranking software can help marketers avoid website technical SEO issues.
The software will analyze your entire blog based on more than 70 measurable factors and categorize all errors in one SEO audit report sheet.
The best part is that it also has a suggestions section you can refer to for optimal results. When you finish auditing your site, you can save your report as a PDF file or send it as an email to your email inbox.
Best SEO Tools Every Content Marketer Should Be Using
It is good to know that there are more than enough free and premium SEO tools that can get you started. Every content marketer must use any of these tools to upgrade his or her organic search campaign. Some of the best tools recommended by experts are, but not limited to:
- SEO Site Checkup
- Google keyword planner
Some of these tools are free to use while others are premium. But they all have one thing in common:
They will scan your blog/website and show you areas where you have to optimize properly to improve SEO and increase your rankings on Google. Therefore, use a tool that works best for you.
Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid.
SEO has rules that must be maintained to stay safe from hurting your content marketing strategy. So, to remain on the white list of Google and boost your Google ranking, avoid making the common SEO mistakes that are hurting your business.
Google cares less about whether you’re a newbie in SEO or not. If you break any rules, there are consequences. What are the common SEO mistakes that can ruin your SEO strategy and put you on Google’s blacklist?
Here is some mistake to avoid:
The importance of using keywords in your content and website can never be over-emphasized. But that does NOT mean keyword stuffing. Keyword stuffing is no longer relevant in today’s’ digital marketing setting.
This process worked back in the days as a faster way to increase search ranking. However, it’s all different now as the Google search algorithm continues to change. Stuff keywords in the hopes of improving your SEO strategy will only result in a Google penalty.
The best practice for using keywords is to relevant keywords for your content and website optimization.
Broken links are links that no longer direct users to the page or pages they intend to go. They’re dead links since they’re not working anymore. Broken links damage your brand reputation in the search engine. Thus, the best way to deal with broken links is to replace them with relevant links or remove them altogether.
No Images In Content
You may be aware that using images is one of the best ways to convey information. People relate more to visuals. According to a study, the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text content.
Also, you can retain 65% of the information you watched on a video after three days, compared to a mere 10℅ of the same information you heard or read. So not using images is a common mistake to avoid. Use more relevant visuals to boost your SEO strategy and improve content visibility.
You’re Not Adding Title Tags
One of the most critical elements of On-page SEO is a title tag. If you’re not adding title tags to your content, you’re destroying your reputation with search engine results. It is an HTML component that indicates the title of a web page on search engine result pages (SERPs).
Google displays title tags on its result pages as a clickable headline. They are vital for increasing usability, SEO, and social media sharing. They are used to communicate the title of your content to both humans and search engine bots. Title tags help Google bot understand the content material.
No Alt Tag/Alt Text
Just as a title tag plays a crucial role in On-page SEO, alt tags in a similar way, help in boosting your search campaign. Alt texts are tenets of accessible website design. It is to describe images to site users who, for some reason, cannot see the visuals.
It means that if you do not include alt text to image, you are making a common SEO mistake.
No Meta Descriptions
Another essential element is your meta description. Are you in the habit of leaving the meta description empty? If Yes, it is a mistake, and you need to stop and reverse it. The meta description helps visitors and search engines understand your content.
So make a habit of adding a descriptive meta description with keywords helps human searchers and machines quickly understand your materials. If you go above the character limit, cut some wordings until you get a green.
Other common mistakes are:
- Not creating relevant backlinks.
- You’re not linking to external sources
- Not optimizing your URLs with keywords.
SEO Myths You Should Stop Believing
Several SEO myths are killing your SEO success. The more you believe these myths, the more you’re harming your Google search ranking.
Some SEO myths to STOP believing are:
Search Engine Drives All Web Traffic
Do you think that? Considering such a tale will hold you back from improving your search ranking. It means putting all your eggs in one basket. There are many traffic sources. Search and diversify your traffic strategy.
You Only Need a Well-Optimized Website to Rank
Yes, a well-optimized website is an essential factor for driving organic traffic, but that is not all you need to drive massive traffic and appear on Google’s page one. There are other factors involve, such as creating backlinks, guest blogging, blog commenting, and other On-page and Off-page SEO activities.
All these factors contribute to driving web traffic. So you need to stop believing that having a well-optimized website is all you need.
High Ranking Websites Convert More Leads
Even though it seems right, it isn’t. Why? Because keywords have different levels of search volume and buyer intent. So, depending on the keywords your site is ranking for, it might hurt conversion and sales.
9 SEO Best Practices That’ll Boost Your Search Engine Ranking.
Although SEO seems complex, it is, in fact, easy to understand and apply. The good news is that there are several strategies for SEO you can use today to improve your Google search rankings dramatically.
The first step for me is this:
SEO Best Practices #1• Audit Your Website to Find SEO Issues.
Website auditing is one of the best SEO practices you can ever make. It is crucial to your search ranking success, which is why you should often conduct an audit on your blog. An SEO audit means examining your site to see areas with SEO problems.
Let’s say you’re not getting enough organic search traffic. So, to improve your odds of driving more traffic, an audit is necessary to help determine the problem and to make adjustments and fix the issues. Therefore, let us look at areas to focus on when conducting a website audit.
Areas to Consider When Analyzing Your Site.
URL — Ensure that your URL is well structured and optimized for search engines. It will help the search engine crawlers understand your content.
Headlines — Make sure your headlines are captivating. Use your keywords to strengthen your headings and your chances of appearing on the Google search results page.
Sub-headings — Subheadings, also known as H2 tags are valuable elements that can help you rank your pages on Google and other search engines if well optimized. For SEO best practices, add your target keyword or its synonyms in the h2, h3, h4 tags.
Images — Do you optimize the images you use on your content? Google search for pictures has become prominent in recent times, with 62% of Gen Z demanding more visual search capabilities. Moreover, Google, Amazon, Bing, and Pinterest have established the skills to search for images.
Hence, add alt text to your images to improve SEO. Use relevant visuals that match the content and ensure your image “Alt text” is well optimized with a descriptive alt tag.
Tips for Optimizing Your Photos
- Use a relevant image that matches your text.
- Choose an appropriate file name for your visuals
- Ensure the image dimensions corresponds with the image size.
- Reduce file size for faster loading.
- Add image alt text.
- Include image caption for easier scanning of the page.
Meta Title & Meta description — The meta title is another remarkable component for best SEO practices that can improve ranking. It appears in the search engine results page. Hence, optimize it with your target keyword or its synonyms. Do not leave your meta description and meta title empty; fill out this section correctly.
Internal Linking — Many bloggers fail to link to their new blog posts or new pages on the site. It is a good rule of thumb to create internal links by linking to new blog content and pages from within your website with your target keywords. That way, Google crawlers can easily find and index your page.
SEO Best Practices #2• Perform Keyword Research to Find the Right Keywords
Keyword research is one of the best SEO practices you could ever perform. Since organic search drives targeted traffic, it makes sense to research keywords for your blog content before applying them.
Why do I say so?
Without the right keywords in strategic areas on your content, your content will not appear on search engine result pages. Every search query, be it traditional search or voice search queries, starts with a keyword. Put differently; keywords help to increase your website’s visibility and search engine rankings.
So make a list of keywords for your material. Brainstorm keywords your competitors are using to rank and those your target audience is searching on Google. You can do keyword research with Google, Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, or any other SEO keyword research tools of choice.
SEO Best Practices #3• Use LSI Keywords
After creating a list of keywords for your content marketing strategy, the next step is to use those keywords to optimize your blog posts and other content types to increase your odds of appearing on search engine results.
It is one of the SEO best practices with terrific results. Indeed, your keyword list comprises the seed, LSI, and long-tail keywords. Your seed keyword is your primary target keyword that might be one or two words.
LSI keywords are keywords terms similar in meaning to your target keyword. On the other hand, long-tail keywords are keyword terms that are also relevant to your target keyword. The difference is that long-tail keywords are more descriptive or specific compared to LSI keywords.
Both LSI and long-tail keywords are exceptionally for On-page SEO. They help to improve organic search traffic and your overall SEO strategy.
How to Research Relevant keywords
Researching relevant keywords is not difficult. But many bloggers, content marketers, especially newbies, are having a hard time in this regard. The best way to find relevant keyword phrases is to use some of the best SEO tools in the marketplace.
You will find a list of tools for SEO below this article. However, you can also perform LSI keyword research on Google or use your preferred keyword research tools for SEO. I recommend using LSIGraph. The designers built the software specifically for semantic keywords.
Another way to find relevant keywords is to interview your target market. You can do that by conducting surveys on social media where they’re hanging out.
Responding to comments on your blog is equally significant in identifying keywords for your blog posts. For example, if you type your main keyword into the Google search bar, you’ll see related keywords popping up as possible suggestions. Make a list of them.
SEO Best Practices #4• Make URLs Crawlable
A crawlable URL will help Google spiders to crawl your web pages and understand its content. It makes it easier for Google bots and other search engine web crawlers to crawl your web pages in ways that allow them to put them for indexing on Google quickly.
That way, you boost your SEO best practices and improve your chances of higher ranking on Google.
SEO Best Practices #5• Make Your Blog Mobile-Friendly
It is no secret that the search engine giant, Google, favors mobile-friendly websites over non-mobile friendly sites. The reason almost everyone is using a mobile device to browse the internet. Research shows that searchers perform more than 60℅ of all search queries on mobile devices. That is according to Search Engine Land.
Furthermore, a recent study reveals that over 80% of smartphone users check their device within 15 mins of waking up. And just recently, global mobile internet users overtook desktop users, meaning that more people are accessing the internet via mobile devices.
More is that Google mobile-first indexing strategy, which has already been rolled out, will have an impact on SEO. This strategy implies that Google has made a mobile website version its primary indexing site, which is more reason to create a mobile-friendly site.
SEO Best Practices #6: Make Your Site Mobile-Responsive
Although your site is mobile-friendly, it is advisable to make sure isis mobile-responsive. But you may wonder: Is mobile-friendly different from mobile-responsive websites? Yes!
A mobile-responsive website responds according to the user’s need and the device on which he is viewing content. It enhances user experience no matter the device you’re using. You can figure out if your site is mobile-responsive when using a computer the size of your browser window from full screen to the smallest.
Put differently; a mobile-responsive website ensures your site is fully functional across different screen sizes and devices.
Characteristics of a Mobile-Responsive Website
Here are elements of a responsive site:
- Same content across devices
- Improves SEO and search rankings
- Condensed Navigation
- Optimized images
- Relies on mobile operating systems (MOS) to function.
If the text, images, and other content materials adjust or respond to the change in size, your blog is responsive to mobile. However, although a mobile-friendly site works similarly, it does not change according to the user’s device.
SEO Best Practices #7• Make Existing Blog Post Longer
Why should you add more content to your existing posts? Why make your blogposts longer?
Here’s the reason:
A study by Backlinko revealed that the more related content you add to make your post longer, the higher the chances of ranking in SERPs.
But you agree that many content marketers are convenient writing 600 to 800-words blog post. In fact, some cannot go beyond 600-words. Writing a 2,000-word article and above means, you have to do in-depth research to come up with incredible information for your readers.
So, the easiest way to do it is to look for existing posts that are doing well on SERP and add more relevant content to make them longer and republish on your blog. It’s a lot easier than to start writing an in-depth article of 2,000-words and above from scratch.
Long-form content is fantastic because it would consist of several related keyword terms that will improve your search engine optimization strategy. Moreover, your existing blog post already has readers who are engaging with it.
So updating it with more current information will more likely increase its reach and attract more readers. The result, existing signals to the article will push it high at the top of SERP.
*Important* Please note that making your blog post length is not the same as repurposing your old blog posts. Repurposing your post means transforming existing posts into new content formats.
8• Repurpose Old Blog Content
Repurposing your blog content means taking a post from your blog, re-package with more useful information to increase its reach and attract more target audience. You can repurpose your content to video material, Infographics, eBooks, and so forth.
Some benefits include:
- More content output with the same amount of input
- Reach more target market and potential customers
- Drive more organic search engine traffic
- Saves you valuable time
- You have fresh content without stressing
- Have more time for other essential matters
For example, Brian Dean of Backlinko indicated that repurposing his old blog posts increased his organic search traffic by more than 100℅.
Pro tips: Find old blog posts on your site and give them a facelift.
9• Improve Website Usability
SEO best practices are not all about keyword research and content optimization. SEO also involves optimizing your website for the user — those who’re using the Google search engine. This process is essential because search engine algorithms consider website usability as a critical ranking factor.
It will help in improving web user experience, which will result in website visitors staying longer on your site and dramatically increase your Google search rankings.
But the question you want to ask me is:
What is Website Usability?
Put differently; website usability refers to how easy it is for visitors to use your website. The ease at which website users use your site to achieve their objectives is crucial. Many elements can negatively affect your website usability or user experience (UX) and hinder your SEO efforts.
A few of them are:
- Error Prevention
- User Satisfaction
If you can tackle these areas effectively, you will increase UX and search engine rankings.
Wrapping Up SEO Best Practices
Here you have it, a comprehensive post on what you need to know about SEO tactics, including common mistakes to avoid, myths, and tips to improve your Google search ranking. From this article, I believe you have learned the best SEO techniques you must apply if you want to rank high on SERP.
But if you ignore these tips or don’t do them right, your SEO tactics will suffer. Consequently, conduct proper keyword research to find the right keywords and keyword phrases for your blog post. These secrets and SEO content strategies will change the way you approach SEO starting now!
What else would you like to add? We are eager to hear from you!
This article originally appeared on the Moss Media Blog.
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