Search engine optimization has become the cornerstone of online marketing for every business with an online presence. Every business at some point invests in SEO strategies to get higher up in SERPs and attract organic traffic which leads to increased conversions. However, due to the complicated dynamics of popular search engines like Google and Bing, it’s not very straightforward to rank on top of the search results and get the results you desire. Since consumer expectations have drastically advanced in today’s time and are constantly evolving, search engine guidelines are also experiencing regular, pivotal shifts forcing businesses to quickly adapt to ensure their SEO efforts keep paying off.
Certain best practices must be implemented as per the most up-to-date search engine guidelines to bring out your A game in terms of SEO. Every page on your website must be optimized for relevant keywords and be timely updated with high-quality content for your business to stay in the good books of Google’s search algorithms. In a nutshell, you must optimize everything ranging from written and visual content through to inbound links, outbound links and web design to indicate to Google’s algorithms what you offer and how you offer it along with the unique value that makes your offering stand out from your competitors.
Ranking on Google is all about blending smart technical tactics to impress the algorithms with valuable, user-friendly content that solves the problems of your target audience and fulfills their expectations. In this article, we will discuss 8 SEO best practices to improve your rankings on SERPs. Read till the last to obtain valuable nuggets of information that can help you start your SEO journey if you are a beginner and uncover deeper SEO concepts if you have prior experience in this area.
- Meta tag title optimization – The meta tag title of a web page is the title that describes what it’s all about. Google lends utmost importance to meta tag titles when ranking pages and so, it becomes imperative to optimize the title tags of your website’s various pages. The first step to doing this is to search for the most relevant, highly searched and low-competition keyword for each of your web pages. This keyword must then be naturally included in a concise title that best describes the contents of your page. Make sure the keyword is placed the closest to the beginning of the title. Also, ensure that your title does not exceed 65 characters including spaces. Google only shows title content having anywhere between 500 to 600 pixel-width which is approximately equal to 65 characters. Anything exceeding this is omitted. Create a catchy title to increase your click-through rate which is also a ranking factor.
- URL optimization – The URL of your web pages must also be optimized to make them easily comprehensible for users as well as the algorithms. Be sure to shorten the URL as much as possible and exclude any ambiguous numbers and special characters. Since you can’t add space between words, add a hyphen to separate words for better readability. If the URL is pointing to an article or blog, make sure to include the entire title to aptly explain to the web crawlers what the page consists of. This will help it rank for the keywords and content type you want it to rank for and clear up any confusion for the algorithms.
- Meta description optimization – A meta description is a short snippet that is visible on search results beneath the link to a page, briefly describing its contents. Concise, clear and enticing meta descriptions are known to boost the click-through rates for websites which in turn increases the rankings. Ensure that the meta descriptions for your web pages include relevant keywords, naturally as part of the context. Use words and phrases that can appeal to your prospects to drive clicks and avoid non-alphabetical elements as those are overlooked by the algorithms.
- Alt text and title – Alt title and text must be given to all the images embedded on your website. Unlike us, Google’s algorithms can’t comprehend what an image is about by merely looking at it. They need a description to know the contents of an image which is why adding alt texts to your images is crucial. Alt title is the title of an image and it must contain a primary keyword for SEO benefits. Adding alt text and title will also help in boosting your rankings for image searches.
- Keywords in text – The most extensively proven way to improve your rankings on Google is to incorporate relevant keywords in the text of your website. Make sure to use primary and secondary keywords in headings and the first paragraph of the text to signal relevance to the algorithms. A point to note here is that while using as many keywords as possible can boost your rankings, doing it in an unnatural way that disrupts the flow and meaning of your text can lead to your website getting penalized by Google. Avoid keyword stuffing and evenly distribute keywords as part of your text for the best results.
- Keywords in hyperlinked text – While internal linking can help you generate more views on your various web pages, you won’t be able to improve your rankings if you are hyperlinking generic text instead of using secondary keywords relevant to the page you are linking. Instead of hyperlinking texts like ‘click here’, you should insert a keyword variation related to the article or page you are linking to organically rank for more keywords.
- Mobile-friendliness -Google has taken the mobile-first approach to ranking websites which makes mobile optimization an absolute necessity. Test your website for mobile-friendliness and address areas where your website is faltering in mobile usability. Implement accelerated mobile pages (AMP) and optimize performance-heavy elements of your website to ensure optimal site loading speeds on mobile devices.
- Link building – Link building is a highly potent ranking strategy that has been effective for years now and it’s going to stay like that in the future. By having high-authority websites linking back to yours, you can indicate to Google’s algorithm that you are an expert and trustworthy name in the market. Guest blogging is the best way to gain backlinks from websites with a high DA.
These are the 8 most prominent SEO best practices that are proven to deliver great results in terms of improved rankings. If you have an online business, regardless of the industry or niche you belong to, implementing these practices must be your priority. If you are an SEO agency wanting to deliver awe-inspiring results for your clients but don’t have the expertise and/or resources to do so, white label SEO services is the way to go for you. Many White label digital marketing agencies offer affordable SEO packages suited for SEO agencies like yours who want to scale up for minimum investments.