10 Tips for SEO best practice
According to HubSpot, 75% of searchers never go past the first page of search results. So here is the hard truth, if your website isn’t ranking in Google’s top 10 results for your keywords, you might as well be invisible. So we’ve come up with a set of SEO tips designed to help improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Common search engine optimisation best practices include on-site optimisation, researching keywords, and building backlinks. With that, here are our 10 most important SEO best practices that you need to know.
1. Add your main keyword early on in your content
It’s no secret that you want to use your keywords at least a handful of times on a website page. However, you may not know that the location of your keyword also makes a big difference. More specifically, you need to mention your main keyword at least once in the first paragraph of your website page. You might be thinking why is this so important? Well, Google puts more weight on terms that appear at the top of a webpage.
2. Optimise titles for SEO
When it comes to your on-page website SEO, the title tag is key. We suggest you front-load your main keyword. This simply means that you start your title tag with your target keyword, because Google puts more emphasis on words and phrases that show up early in your title tag.
It is also important to only use one keyword per title, don’t stuff your title with a bunch. Instead, you should use one main keyword in your title, and if your page is high-quality you’ll naturally rank for that keyword.
Write compelling, shareable titles that make users want to click through to your page to discover more. Why? When lots of users click on your result in their Google browser, you can find yourself with higher rankings for that key term.
3. Meta descriptions for SEO
Google uses the meta description on your page as a snippet when users search for keywords that are relevant to your page. This snippet copy is what will determine whether you get clicks no matter how highly you rank in the search results.
Google displays a max of 160 characters of meta description on desktops. Over time we’ve noticed that descriptions around 160-170 characters rank best, especially on mobile devices. So it doesn’t matter if the descriptions are a few characters too long, just make sure the most important part of the sentence appears within the displayed part.
Include your CTA and other highly convertible words at the beginning of the sentence, this will entice the user to click through to your site. This practice helps to deliver more accurate search results, engage the reader, resulting in higher rankings.
Most importantly, avoid duplicate copy at all costs. Basically, if you publish a page on your website, the content on that page needs to be 100% unique, including the meta description. If you’re an ecommerce site owner with thousands of products, writing unique content for each page can be tricky… but it’s worth it.
4. Optimise your site's loading speed
People want to be able to find answers to their questions as fast as possible, which is why we highly recommend making your site load as quickly as possible, especially on mobile devices. Your first step should be to benchmark your website's current load speed. That way you know where you’re at before you make any changes.
5. Track your results with the Google Search Console
You’re flying blind with your SEO if you don’t have the Google Search Console setup. The Search Console is a live dashboard that allows you to know how your site is performing in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). You can see the exact keywords that users search to find your content, which pages from your website Google has indexed, and your website's mobility usability.
6. Image optimisation for SEO
Properly optimised images aren’t just for ranking in Google images, but can also help your website pages rank higher too. All you need to do is keep these two image SEO best practices in mind. Name your images with descriptive file names to help Google understand the image content. Secondly, use image alt text so Google can understand your image. Just like your filename, write descriptive alt text including your main keyword, to let search engines know what your image is all about.
7. Internal linking
Internal linking is one the easiest SEO best practices. It’s as simple as adding a link from one page on your website to another. To get the most out of your internal links use keyword-rich anchor text, Google uses your anchor text as a clue to what a page is all about. Secondly, send authority to pages that need it, subsequently boosting its Google rankings. Try not to overthink this step, we tend to link old pages to new pages, as old pages tend to have much higher authority.
8. Publish thumb-stopping content
You probably already know the importance of high quality content. But it’s true: publishing original and helpful content will help you rank higher in Google. There’s no getting around the fact that creating content that stands out in 2021 takes a ton of work. However, if you’re willing to put the time, effort and resources into publishing amazing stuff, then you have a real shot of ranking in Google for your target keywords.
9. Build backlinks to your website
You might be thinking- are backlinks still an important Google ranking signal? Yes more so than ever; a recent study by SEMrush found that backlinks were correlated with higher Google rankings. Basically backlinks are ‘votes’ from other websites, each vote tells search engines this content is valuable, credible and useful. So the more of these ‘votes’ your website has, the higher your site will rank in Google.
If you want people to link to your website, you need something on your site worth linking to. A linkable asset could be a blog post, a video, a quiz, software, basically anything that people will want to link to. You can achieve this by creating a ‘hook’. A hook is an angle, a data point, or something controversial that will encourage people to naturally link to you. Alternatively, you can build backlinks by reaching out to other site owners, editors, or like-minded companies and ask them to link to your page.
10. User experience at the heart of your designs
Did you know that Improving your website’s user experience (UX) can directly help your SEO score. Google knows when users start ‘pogo sticking’ after landing on your website from search results. If enough users bounce from your site back to the search engine results, this tells Google that your results didn’t give the searcher the answers they were looking for, which can cause your search engine ranking to dip. UX is something that every site owner should pay a lot of attention to anyway. It just so happens that great UX works hand in hand with SEO.
Our approach to SEO is centered around longevity and sustainable growth, and we use these strategies throughout all of our SEO projects. Using these SEO best practices you will absolutely generate more traffic, improve your brand and fall in love with content marketing. Contact CCMEDIA for more information about what SEO services we offer.