Feels like your website is invisible on Google? Improve your SEO practices in 2021 to help your website rank higher. Keep reading below to learn more about the best practices that will improve your SEO strategy.
SEO is a key part of any marketing strategy. It is the best way actually to get visitors to your website and sell. But, to attract as many potential customers to your website as possible, you need to use SEO the right way.
But, you may be wondering, “what is the right way to do SEO?” Well, this is a tough one. Although Google constantly gives some tips on making your website Google-friendly to ensure it’s going to rank higher, things are actually a little more complex to make your website get on the first results page truly. And, you should want to get your website’s pages on the first page because data shows that 75% of Internet users don’t go past the first page of search results when conducting a search using Google.
Now, Google offers the following tips for a Google-friendly website: high-quality content, backlinks, an accessible website, and avoiding filling your content with lists of keywords. Well, these are all really helpful and must-dos for your website to rank. But, these practices aren’t enough for your web pages to get on Google’s searches first pages.
Here are the SEO best practices you should follow this year to help your website rank and be more easily found by Internet users.
Ensure that your content answers the right questions
Have you ever heard of “search intent”? If not, it is time to find out more about this concept.
Search intent is basically the purpose of every search made by Internet users. Now, why should you care about this concept? Because this is what Google takes into consideration to determine if your content is worth ranking or not.
More precisely, if your content serves the purpose of the search query, meaning that it answers the user’s question, you will be thrilled when you use a page rank checker and see that your website pages rank high.
The most common types of search intent (purposes behind users’ searches) include informational, navigational, commercial, and transactional. So, when you create content for your website, make sure you keep in mind these common search intents.
Write engaging title tags and meta descriptions
The other two key things in your SEO strategy are the title tag and the meta description you use for your website pages.
Let’s start with the importance of title tags and how they should be to make your pages more SEO-friendly.
The title tags are basically the clickable headlines that users see in the search results when they do a search. According to Google’s advice, these title tags need to be high-quality in the sense that they offer the user a quick idea of what your page content is about.
Besides that, you need to make sure that your title tags are short, no longer than 50-60 characters, to make sure that the whole title is displayed correctly on the search results page. Other critical practices for good title tags are to include your main keywords in them, keep it descriptive and catchy, and avoid stuffing it with multiple keywords.
As for the meta description for your pages, while they might not directly influence how you rank in searches, they do affect your click-through rates. If the meta description is catchy and makes the users feel like they will find what they are looking for on your website, they’re going to click on your link.
Add optimized images
Yes, even the images you add to your content can impact your ranking. That’s because images are a vital factor that contributes to a great UX for those Internet users that land on your website.
Now, beautiful images are not enough when it comes to SEO. They must also be optimized in order for them to help your pages rank. What does it mean for an image to be optimized? It must:
- Be in JPEG or PNG format
- Be compressed so that they don’t affect your web pages load time (you can use various tools like ImageOptim or ShortPixel to compress your images)
- Must have alt texts to make it easier for Google to understand your image
Ensure that your pages load fast
Did you ever click on a web page that took “forever” to load? If you did, you likely think that it was really frustrating, right? Well, that’s exactly what your visitors will think about your website if it takes too long until it loads.
Frustrated visitors lead to rankings that drop. So, that’s why ensuring that your pages load really fast matters so much. Image compression is a good practice to reduce the time your pages take to load. Other strategies are to delete all unnecessary plugins, decrease the server response time, and reduce the number of redirects.
Use internal links
Internal links are a great strategy to help boost your rankings. All you have to do is to include internal links of the pages from your website that already rank rally well to the pages that need to be helped with a bit of boost.
Provide top-quality UX
Google’s top priority is to provide users with the best experiences when they surf the web using the search engine giant. For this reason, Google pays a lot of attention to the experience your web pages offer to users. In other words, your website’s UX is a key element that matters for helping your pages rank.
For this reason, you need to ensure that your visitors get great experiences when surfing on your website. Everything from subheadings to a visually-appealing content, lack of intrusive popup ads, and a lot of white space are essential to provide users with top-quality UX.
Add your keyword in the page’s URL
Including your page’s primary keyword in the URL is the best way to tell both users and Google what the destination page is about.
For example, if your web page is about cake recipes, make sure the keywords “cake” and “recipes” are part of the page’s URL.
Keep page URLs short!
Create long-format content
While few people believe it matters, the length of the content can help you rank better. Several studies have shown that long-format content, approximately 3000 words) ranks better than content that has an average length of 900-1200 words.