In the modern information age, SEO is one of the powerful marketing tools. Most businesses know about it and are using it exuberantly for profitability and growth. In this article, we will discuss the top 10 SEO practices that businesses must follow to gain credibility as well as capital. But before that, for those who don’t know, let’s briefly define what SEO is.
What is SEO?
SEO is the acronym for Search engine optimization. It is the practice of increasing the website’s visibility by improving its rank in search engine results. In simple words, it is the way of increasing traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
10 Best SEO practices:
1. Content must be according to the search intent:
Search intent is the most important thing to keep in mind while creating the content for the web pages. But what exactly is the search intent?
As the name implies, search intent is the people’s intention behind searching a particular keyword or phrase. Precisely, it is WHY people are searching for XYZ. It is whether the searchers intend to gain information, make a purchase, or find a location, etc.
The importance of search intent is enormous as the most popular search engine, Google, says that it wants to provide the users with the most relevant results for the query. When the users do not get the required results in the search engine, they don’t click the appearing links. They rather search with modified queries. Do you know why? Because the results do not align with their intentions. So it is essential for the search engines to show the most relevant and accurate results to their queries.
It means that you have to augment your content on account of the search intent. When creating content for queries, it is essential to keep the search intent in mind because the search engine will only rank you higher if you cater to the users’ search intent.
There are four types of search intents:
- Informational: The search intent to gain information. The queries usually begin with 5 Ws and 1 H( What, When, Where, Who, Why, and How). For example, What is the metadata?
- Navigational: The search intent of the users to find something. The queries include nouns or titles of the brand, products, and services—for example, Cardiff high school.
- Transactional: It is when the searcher intends to purchase a service or product. The queries have modifiers like price, cost, order, buy, or contain the names of places—for example, price of the electric car.
- The commercial investigation is when the users intend to compare two different brands, products, or services. The words in the query include best, top, review, and comparison—for example, best SEO practices.
Let’s evaluate a few search queries and categorize them in the search intent categories.
- Conventional or convection oven; which one is best?
- What is the cost of conventional and convection ovens?
- Why does a conventional oven not hold heat?
- City Hospital distance
2. Write a relevant and captivating title tag and meta description:
The title tag and meta description are two essential meta tags that you must focus on to make your website compelling. According to the guidelines of Google,
“Titles are critical to giving users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it is relevant to their query.”
In other words, it says that the users and search engines can speed-read the details of the destination through its title and meta description.
It is an HTML code tag that gives the webpage a title. This title tag appears in the browser title bar or in the search engine results pages. It is essential to optimize the title tags by including keywords as they play a significant role in SEO.
The meta description is a meta tag that helps webmasters briefly evaluate a web page’s content and quality.
Given that the metatags are essential components of SEO- making them compelling and optimizing for keywords is essential.
3. Optimize your images:
The images are another essential component that can contribute to the elevation or demotion of the website’s rank in search engine result pages. High-quality images are the key to increase the customer experience. The optimized images can increase the traffic to your site. Therefore, it is
essential to optimize the images just like other content. High-quality images appeal to users more than blurry, low-quality images.
The things to keep in mind for optimizing the images are:
- Select the best format:
The slow speed of a site can result in many frustrated prospects. And the image formats can massively contribute to slow down the speed of the website. Therefore, the image needs to be optimized to improve the overall performance of the website.
Many things, including the format, must be chosen with high carefulness that does not retard the website’s speed. The most commonly used formats of images are JPEG and PNG. JPEGs are suitable most of the time as they do not have large sizes compared to PNG. But, remember, it is not a rule of thumb, and you should use PNG when the image quality of a JPEG is low. It is preferable to use PNG format for images with text, as they look blurry in JPEG format.
- Compress the image:
It takes longer for the website to load large-sized images. Therefore, it is essential to compress them to reduce the high loading time of the image. You can compress the image size using different tools, which are mostly free.
- Add Alt text:
Adding alt text to the image improves web accessibility and helps the browser understand the image. Also, the text must be optimized for keywords that increase relevance in the web crawlers’ view. But it is equally essential to avoid overstuffing with keywords as it gives a negative impression.
- Lazy-load the images:
It is one of the techniques todecrease the loading time of the website. According to this technique, the images are only loaded when users need them, which improves the website’s performance.
4. Optimize your page speed:
Web page load time is a webpage performance matrix that shows the time needed for the website to open on the screen. The speed of the website is highly crucial for customer satisfaction. If your website takes too long to load, the prospects will not wait and will immediately close it. As a result, you will lose the prospects before they engage and are converted. You can use different tools online to check the website’s speed, such as Google page speed insights, Pingdom, Performance budget calculator, and many more.
5. Use internal linking:
Using internal linking is another best SEO practice that enables the search engine to understand the page’s content completely. Google follows the links to find content on the website and ranks it in search engine result pages. If used in the right way, they can boost the website rankings. The internal links guide the visitors and Google to the most important pages, which helps them understand the website’s content and structure. It is essential to add internal links of high-ranking pages on low-ranking pages.
6. Focus on getting Authoritative backlinks:
Backlinks, also known as incoming or inbound links, are the links from one website to the webpage of another website. Backlinks are responsible for increasing the value and credibility of a page. The more you have backlinks from different websites, the more your web page becomes credible. Remember, the search engines rank credible pages higher in the SERPs.
But, not all backlinks are beneficial for websites. While some can increase the credibility, others can derail it exponentially. Therefore, it is a matter of high importance to ensure authoritative backlinks. You must focus on getting more authoritative backlinks. You must pay attention to the strategies of increasing backlinks to your website.
7. Improve the User experience:
Around 88% of users do not return to a website after a bad experience. The user experience is a key factor that search engines, like Google, keep in mind to rank in the search engine result pages(SERPs). In other words, the search engines oversee how prospects behave with a certain website. The time they spend, the way they engage, everything is counted by search engines. Therefore, it is essential to make the websites user-friendly. For that, you must:
- Make your website visually appealing:
Your websites need to have an appealing outlook if you want to captivate the users. A creative website layout, yet organized and properly structured, is essential for making it look good to the prospects.
- Make it interactive:
The prospects are most likely to engage with interactive and personalized websites. The interactive content(text, images, and videos) makes a website interactive.
- Avoid interruptions on the website:
The frequent intrusions in the form of pop-ups in the websites cause distractions and compel the users to close the website immediately, which means that the users will not have a good experience.
8. Include Keywords in URL:
Mostly, URL is overlooked as an important aspect of SEO, but paying attention to its strategic features can be beneficial for the website’s traffic. A URL helps the users and search engines know what the website is about. The clearer a website is, the easier it is for the search engine or user to understand the destination. To ensure an SEO friendly website, you must:
- Keep the URL short:
Short URLs are better in comparison to the longer ones as they perform well in search engine result pages(Backlinko)
- Add keywords:
Adding target keywords in the URL increases the chances of ranking better in the search engine result pages for relevant searches.
- Keep them clear:
Keep your URL clear and direct; it should not include any stop words. The stop words include the commonly used words like the, is, are, but, etc., which drive the focus away from the potential words.
9. Publish long-form content:
In content marketing, content is the king. It should be original, relevant, and accurate. But things like word count and structure also matter in SEO.
A report on the traffic based on content marketing suggested that the long articles are ranked higher in Google. The long articles are able to get more traffic and thus more shares. Therefore, you must write long articles for the website, of 3000+ words, rather than small articles of less than 1000 words. The proper structure is also a crucial element to consider for optimization. For example, there should be proper headings, H1, H2, H3, and so on. Also, it should have images, videos, and other graphic elements.
10. Publish unique content consistently:
When it comes to SEO, you can by no means omit the significance of the content. While it is challenging for most marketers to create unique content consistently, doing so is highly beneficial for the website ranking. Unique content increases what is commonly known as the “freshness factor.” The freshness factor is an element of the search algorithm which gives more importance to newer content than the older content. Therefore, it is a requirement to keep producing unique content for content marketing.
SEO is the most popular and useful technique for increasing organic traffic to a website. Using the right SEO practices accurately can help a business achieve sustainable growth and increase the traffic as well as the Return of Investment (ROI) significantly.