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SEO

10 Best SEO Practices That You Must Follow

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: 

  1. 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?
  1. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. 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.

  1.  Conventional or convection oven; which one is best? 
  1. What is the cost of conventional and convection ovens? 
  2. Why does a conventional oven not hold heat?
  3. 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.

Title tag: 

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. 

Meta description: 

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.  

 Title tag:

Meta Description:

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 insightsPingdomPerformance 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.

Bottom Line: 

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.  

"Google
SEO, WordPress

Google AMP: All you need to know

At the end of the day, what matters to the websites is the traffic. The more the traffic, the more successful is a website’s marketing strategy. But what drives the traffic is a multidimensional matter. Search engine optimization is the most popular strategy for increasing online presence and driving more traffic. To put it another way, it is a process of driving traffic from search engines like Google listings. However, it is essential to handle SEO optimally due to constantly changing algorithms and search engine rules.

A few years back, Google launched a mobile-friendliness update. It declared page loading speed one of the mobile search engine ranking factors. Therefore, today, SEO is focused on Google’s accelerated mobile pages (AMP). Thus, speed is one of the essential elements of an optimized website as the website’s loading speed affects SERPs. But what exactly is AMP, and how does it affect a website’s traffic?

What is a Google AMP?

Google AMP (Accelerated mobile pages) is an open-source initiative offered by Google that allows you to create web pages with fast loading time on a mobile browser. It is a prerequisite for capturing mobile traffic by providing a better mobile user experience. Technically, it helps the publishers create mobile-optimized content that takes less loading time. Google mentioned that it wants rich content like videos, high-quality images, graphics, and animation to load immediately. As an open-source, it is backed by LinkedIn, Word press, Twitter, Bing, and many more; however, Google is the key contributor. It is why it is called a Google AMP. The primary goal of the Google AMP is to enhance a better user experience on mobile and help drive more traffic. The inclusion of AMP in Google listing was in response to Facebook’s then instant articles and Apple News. Those formats were oriented to create mobile-friendly pages that load quickly.

How does it work?

The essence of AMP is caching. AMP pages use limited HTML and JavaScript and make the content host on Google AMP cache. So, when users type something in the Google Search and find your website, Google will direct them to the cached version of your website or the webpage. Accelerated mobile pages are the stripped HTML copies of an existing website. AMP pages strip down the original website to improve the load time. In this way, they will get access to the website or webpage without spending lots of time on buffering. It is how Facebook’s instant articles work. The only difference is that anyone can access your website or webpage without signing up for your page. In your AMP mobile Page, you cannot add additional features and widgets as you are restricted to use limited HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. Moreover, you can only use Google Analytics for your AMP mobile pages.

When users click on AMP content, it is displayed in either of two ways:

1.    Google AMP viewer: 

When the source of the content publisher domains is displayed at the top, the URL remains a Google Domain.

2.    Signed Exchange:

It allows the browser to treat the webpage as it belongs to your domain. Out of Signed AMP content and Regular AMP HTML, Google will prefer linking it to the signed content for browsers that support it.

Why is AMP important for SEO?

AMP can be beneficial for your SEO; however, it is not necessary. AMP is not a Google ranking factor; it can help improve the factors that play a part in Google Algorithm. To put it simply, when a webpage has fast loading times, it will definitely get more mobile traffic. Today, people are more likely to access web pages on their phones. When they click on your webpage, the fast loading time will hook them, and with slow loading time, you will lose them. It further leads to an increased conversion rate. In this way, AMP is beneficial for SEO. But it would be best if you remembered that improving the mobile experience is not paramount to SEO. Moreover, AMP pages are oriented to be simple for the readers. If you are using third-party tools to generate traffic, you must check if the AMP page functions and captures information like the regular pages.

Benefits of Google AMP:

The many advantages of Google AMP are:

1.    Fast Loading times:

They say content is the king, but the users will only know about it when they access your website. The pace and frequency of consuming online content are readily increasing day by day. Therefore, the publishers are focusing on creating readable content. But with that, it is essential to make it easier for the reader to access the content. It is where Google AMP comes into play. AMP helps significantly decrease the loading times and makes it easy for the users to access it quickly as they click the website. People browsing the internet jump from one site to another, so you have a significantly short time to be presentable. It takes a few seconds to press the back button for the user when a website takes more loading time. So, an AMP webpage has fast loading times which is essential for increasing the user time on site and conversion rate and decreasing bounce rates.

2.    Enhanced Mobile Search Engine Rankings:

Mobile-friendly web pages and websites get higher rankings in the organic mobile search results. AMP mobile pages are more valuable according to the search engine than regular pages. It means that when someone types something relevant to your website in the Google search on the mobile, Google will show your AMP website or webpage in the top positions. 

3.    Additional visibility in Google search results:

AMP pages get a prominent display on the Google Search engine results page on mobile. These pages are shown with a lightning bolt icon that outstands them among other regular pages without such designations. Mobile users are more likely to proceed with such pages as they know they take less loading time.

4.    Flexible Ad support:

Looking at a webpage on mobile is very difficult as it is jumbled with distractions like header image, navigational menu, sidebar, and popups. These distractions significantly reduce the conversion rate necessary for the monetized websites and blogs. Such websites and blogs are primarily created to make money. But an AMP page has the solution to that. AMP removes the distractions on mobile browser pages as it uses limited HTML. The reduction in distractions means that you will easily make money from the website. However, it is essential to make sure that you deliver ads immediately and grab users’ attention. In this way, AMP allows for more flexible Ad support that enables a smooth flow of the ads helping you generate money.

5.    Analytics:

For any website, it is essential to keep an eye on the analytics to know about the leads and use the information to increase the conversion rate. Therefore, along with capturing the traffic, it is necessary to find where they are coming from, how much time they spend on the website, their navigating behaviors, etc. AMP offers you analytical tools that you can use to find the necessary information for tracking. 

Downsides of Google AMP:

1.    AMP cascading style sheets:

It is a restrictive framework that supports restricted  HTML, and JavaScript is out of the question. There are restrictions on CSS as well. It should be in line and size bound. The limit of the inline sheet is 75kB which has expanded from previously 50kB.

2.    Brand Identity:

AMP also overshadows a particular brand identity. When the users land on your AMP webpage, the URL of the actual website hides as Google caches it. The URL of the website is hidden under the info button at the top of the AMP page. It confuses and creates ambiguity for those who know the importance of URLs.

3.    Double legwork:

As said earlier, AMP itself is not a Google ranking factor; you will still have to optimize it like the regular website. It means that your task doubles, as you have to optimize the regular webpage and AMP page.

4.    Limited Ad features: 

The ad features on the AMP are also limited. AMP does not support disruptive Ads, like expandables or direct-sold ads. It can support few kinds of ads, like display ads and quick video ads.

5.    Engagement:

The AMP offers a swipe-up feature, which decreases the engagement rate. People do not engage with such content because they can read the same content from other publishers without swiping. As a result, this feature sometimes turns to be a downside to an AMP page.

Types of Google AMP:

You can use Google AMP to create four main kinds of accelerated mobile pages.

6.    Websites:

The Google AMP website is like a regular website that is created with limited HTML and CSS. However, from its appearance, it looks exactly like a regular website. The only way to differentiate an AMP website from a regular website is the lightning icon on Google’s search engine. The icon shows that the website has a fast loading time.  

7.    Ads:

When it comes to advertising, speed matters the most. The slow and sluggish ads are a source of distraction that is not suitable for websites.

Google AMP ads are the solution to monetize web pages. They load five times faster than regular ads. For example, if a regular ad takes 5 seconds to load, the Google AMP ad takes one second.

8.    Stories:

Like Instagram and Facebook stories, Google stories give instant visual narratives. Many news briefings use Google stories to highlight the hot stories. The users who do not want to skim the headlines and top stories quickly go through the short stories. Today, more people consume content through stories.

9.    Emails:

Email marketing is one of the most powerful marketing techniques. But there are a few emails with emails that are static and can only be fruitful if clicked by the recipients. If untouched, that they outdated easily. Google AMP emails, however, can sort out this problem. AMP emails are dynamic emails that display interactive and engaging content within the email, compelling the recipient to click the referral link.

Do you need an AMP?

While there are many benefits of AMP for a wide range of websites and web pages, it is essential to realize if it is worth it for your website. It is highly recommended to use an AMP website if most of your traffic comes from mobile devices. Also, it is highly advisable to use AMP pages to lower bounce rates. However, if most of the influx is from other sources like personal computers and laptops, you do not necessarily need to use AMP webpages.    

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