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9 SEO Best Practices That You Wish You Had Known

“If you want to hide something, put it in pages 2 and beyond of Google Search Engine”. This means people hardly go beyond the first page when they are looking for information, research by HubSpot. Therefore, ranking on Google Search is and should be a priority for any brand.

Marketing has evolved from traditional marketing to digital marketing. Traditional marketing focused on reaching out to the audience, advertising and selling products/services to them. Digital marketing involves allowing users to reach out and seek fulfilment of their needs through your content. This means people do their research on the internet before making any purchase.

It is therefore important for a brand to learn the techniques of increasing its chances of ranking on the top page. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a set of tasks designed to help improve a website’s search engine ranking.

SEO works on continuously improving algorithms to ensure users get a positive experience. Therefore, anything appearing low quality is struck off from the top search results.

Marketers should acquaint themselves with how SEO works, update their tactics and improve their content’s quality to appear on the top list. The following practices help to optimize websites and increase their ranking.

Keywords Identification

This step of the SEO process involves identifying words that define the content. The words are obtained by conducting audience research to understand their needs, interests, communication style and whether you can offer a solution to their problems.

Keywords are among the main things one wants to be identified by. Therefore, in establishing keywords, look out for key indicators such as the average volume of monthly searches, keywords used by the audience when searching and the difficulty of ranking specific words. Use tools such as Ahrefs, Moz, Serpstat and SEMrush to develop keywords.

Specific Title Tag and Meta Tag Description

Title tags and Meta tags are useful for any website page as the first things the user interacts with. Title tags are headlines that appear on the search result and therefore, they carry significant weight for your ranking. They should be specific, unique, and short and have keywords relevant to the web page or content.

A Meta tag is the short text that appears under the URL as a preview in the google search results. This too should be well descriptive and contain the keywords that sell the brand. Optimize both the title and Meta tags to help people click the page and increase the rank of the chosen words.

Optimize URLS

URLs are important for basic SEO practices. As the channel of reaching the information or the website, they should reflect ease and creativity. URLs should be simple and readable by the user. Include the keyword in the URL for it to be catchy and increase your ranking based on the searched words.

Further, it should be concise and easy to understand. Do not puff it up with unnecessary words but rather, keep it short to enhance the user experience. Understand how people conduct their search online and optimize the URL to align to that.

Quality Content

Quality content is an important part of digital marketing. Fresh and quality content always demonstrates credibility and improves ranking. Most SEO practitioners focus more on page appearance and forget this key aspect. It is important not to fall out on content since new content appears more valuable.

More publishing equals more ranking and page indexing by Google which increases traffic to your page. Also, update old content and fix any links that might be broken to improve user experience. Content should be readable and align with the audience’s needs as well as represent the brand’s identity.

Optimize Site Speed

User experience is important for any SEO practice. Slow websites and lengthy loading lead to frustration of the users who end up opting out. Load time and site responsiveness are used to define a website’s search ranking. As such, having a fast loading website is inevitable for higher ranking results.

Check the page speed and improve it by compressing files and images, enabling browser caches, deleting unnecessary plugins and using light themes. Tools such as Google’s PageSpeed Insights and GTMetrix give insights and recommendations of site speed optimization. 

Use Inbound and Outbound Links

The use of links offers more information on the page’s content. This can be inbound and outbound linking. Inbound linking involves the use of links from one webpage domain to the other within the same domain. It allows users to manoeuvre easily on a site, promote their own content, establish the order of information on the site and eventually boost the website’s ranking.

Outbound linking involves using links pointing to other domain websites. It helps show the website’s credibility, have users understand your page and owners of the websites might click on your page leading to more traffic. In both cases, only relevant and quality links bearing valuable content should be used. 

Optimize Images and Visual Elements

Images create more interest to engage with the website and give more information about the site without speaking. Images and the different graphics increase the site’s viewership because of the appealing content.

Incorporate videos in the content page including directly from YouTube since people prefer watching than reading which may improve ranking. Further, provide a description of the file names on the images including the use of Image Alt Text.

Mobile Friendly 

Most people use phones to access the internet therefore, consideration of mobile engagement is important. Google uses mobile engagement to measure traffic flow. Therefore, poor mobile experience equals low ranking and vice versa.

Consider optimizing user-friendly tools like voice search, short sentences, clear fonts for easy readability and navigation on the site. Create a page that will make the user spend more time on it.

 Social Media Buttons

Social media are powerful tools for the site as they help in promoting it. Most people use social media and having this gives you more exposure and traffic on the site. It also allows direct interaction with the audience which builds customer relationships. Let the social media sharing buttons lead them on blog posts, job postings, landing pages etc. to accumulate more traffic.