SEO Best Practices
So, you’ve just started learning SEO and are looking into some quick tips that will give you an edge over your competitors? Learning SEO can be quite time-consuming process, mastering it will probably take years. But, even without that much experience under your belt, you can follow these SEO best practices and guarantee yourself instant improvement in rankings.
Mastering SEO will give your website increased performance and will help you a great deal in your marketing efforts. While there are plenty of tips and tricks that seasoned SEO masters use to push their website’s content higher in the rankings, first you have to master the basics.
So, without further ado here are SEO best practices you must follow if you want to achieve success.
- Write unique content
Put yourself in a typical internet user shoes. When looking for information you want to be served with the best possible and unique content, not to read the same piece of content over and over again.
Don’t think that you can get away with duplicate content, though. Don’t even try it. Search engines have come a long way since their inception. They will easily compare the content with the rest on the internet and if they find that the content has been plagiarized, you can expect heavy penalties.
The advice for unique content should be followed when writing your own content as well. You don’t want to have 10 articles that write about the same thing.
- Make sure that your content is fresh
Have you noticed that most of the content on the first page of search results are not older than one year? Well, that is no accident. Google and other search engines love fresh content. That is how they ensure that the content they serve is fresh and relevant. As you are well aware the world is changing on a scale so rapid that something written a couple of months ago may not be even true today. That is especially true when it comes to entertainment, science, certain industries, etc.
Even if you have written the most comprehensive blog article possible, make sure to freshen it up a bit. Add some new headings, clean up your outbound and inbound URLs. Most of the time you don’t have to write another article from the start, just update it a bit.
- Improve your site’s speed
Speed matters. A lot. If someone clicks on your website and it doesn’t load after a maximum of 2 seconds you can bet that they will click away and find some other page that will satisfy their interest. So, how can you improve your site’s speed? Ther are a couple of solutions, but the most important ones are:
- Keep the code of your website as small as possible
- Minify your files
- Lower the size of your images
- Do quality keyword research
Keywords are the tracks on which search engines roam. If you want to rank for a certain query you better make sure that you include relevant keywords in your content. But, before anything else you should do your homework. You should know what are people searching for, meaning what is the questions that they want to be answered. Try and deduce the intent behind every search query since search engines have become powerful enough to serve content that is most relevant to the user’s intent, even if it is not peppered in with keywords you may find relevant.
- Include LSI keywords
LSI is short for latent semantic indexing and in a nutshell LSI keywords are keywords that are not included in the search query but are related to the query in some way. Like mentioned before Google and other search engines prefer user intent when serving webpages over pure keyword-heavy content, so if you want to improve your page’s rankings you should include keywords that are semantically similar.
For example, let’s say you want to rank for:
- SEO agency
You should also include keywords that are relevant like:
- SEO marketing agency
- SEO marketing expert
- SEO marketing services, etc…
- Include title tags in your content
The title tag is a short description of your page content and can be up to 70 characters long. While it is not necessary it is extremely recommended that every page has its own title tag, if not for anything else than to help users understand what the heck is the page about. If you want to improve your rankings make sure to include the most important keywords in the title as well. Including title tag will not only help you with rankings but also with CTR(click-through rates) since more people will be willing to click on a page since they understand what kind of content they can expect.
- Include meta description
A meta description is an optional description that can be up to 255 long and while Google can fill it up for you, it is recommended that you take the time and include it yourself. That description will be shown under the title of your page and will give users some additional information about the page and the content that is published. Also, that is your additional chance to capture interest and increase CTR.
- Make your content shareable
One of the factors that search enginesuse when deciding on the relevancy of your content is the number of social signals. That means how many people have liked and shared your content. If you didn’t already you should include options such as share on facebook, twitter, etc.
That way you can increase the visibility of your content and increase engagement. That gives search engines signals that your content is relevant and that people like it. You will be rewarded for your efforts.
- Make sure that every image has an alt attribute filed in
As you are aware, alt attribute is an optional attribute for every image and is used for people with visual impairments who use scree readers os that they can understand what the image represents. Since the ponts is to make your content avialble oas many people as possible you hsould take the time and effort and give a brief description of every image or vieo that your upload on your page. That way you are not excluding anyone from consuming your content and you provide users with addiotional information if they suffer internet connection issues.
- Make your URLs user friendly
Let’s say that the URL in question is www.mypage/2432242id=2342 . Not only will this kind of URL lower the number of users willing to click on it, but it also doesn’t tell search engines anything about the content it links to. It’s much better to include the keywords in the URL or make sure that it is easy to deduce what’s on it. For example www.mypage/seo-best-practices.
- Internal link your content
If you want to help search engines better categorize your content and make a tree that best represents your site’s structure, as well as give hints on the relevancy of certain pages, you should definitely include links to other pieces of your content on every page on your site.
Not only will search engines love you, but also users as well.
- Build quality backlinks
Keywords and backlinks are probably two things almost anyone knows that are important when ranking on search engines. BUT, while backlinks (links on another website that point to your site) are important, it’s equally important that the links you gather are from a reliable, trustworthy and authoritative source.
- Include outbound links
Outbound links are links on your page that point to other webpages. They are strong signals that the content in questions is researched and documented. When you include links to other webpages you signal search engines that your content can be recognized as trustworthy and authoritative. Make sure to link to other trustworthy and authoritative sites first.
If you want to make sure that your website ranks higher you have to make sure that it is easily accessible and crawlable by search engines as well as humans. You should follow the basic guidelines outlined here which will help you avoid the usual pitfalls of beginner marketers and web developers.
You should always strive to make it as wady as possible for people and machines alike to understand your content and make it as easy as possible to get to it.
If you fail to achieve that it’s like building a restaurant in the middle of a desert. Even if you serve the best food in the world, no one will know about it.
But, you don’t have to worry about that outcome, armed with these tips you are on a sure track to SEO mastery.