Best SEO Practices that still Matter
Times, when just having a website was enough, have gone forever. These days such a vast variety of businesses are present in the online platform that it makes a great competition. According to the Internet Live Stats, on average, more than 40.000 search queries are requested on Google every second.
People search for services or products online and if your business website doesn’t appear in the search results they tend to go to your customers. So, what should you do to overdo the competitors and reach your potential customers? The answer is clear - SEO!
What is SEO?
SEO is one of the buzzwords in the digital world. The term stands for Search Engine Optimization.
Moz defines SEO as “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results”. This means that in order to appear on the Google search results, businesses should optimize their websites so that the search engine value their content and show the site to potential customers.
And how to optimize the website? Below I’m going to introduce how to use SEO to get the best of it. First of all, let me explain that there are two types of SEO - Onsite and Offsite. We’ll together discover the benefits and importance of each type as well as consider all the essential tools and techniques one should use.
The On-site SEO is also called as On-page SEO. It refers to the process when elements are optimized inside the website. Usually, the initial optimization is implemented by the web development company, however, they may also omit it. So, business owners should consider this factor as nobody cares about a website that doesn’t reach potential customers. Let’s refer to some elements that are critical in On-page optimization.
There is a common belief that content is the king. Some people think this is an SEO myth. I should disagree. The valuable and original content is always a need. Every day millions of people search on engines (Google, Yandex, Bing, Yahoo!, etc.). They look for unique content that will meet their demands. So, original content is a must in SEO.
Once you have original and trustworthy content you should optimize it to search engines. Here our lovely keywords come to support on providing the best SEO practices. Keywords are the words or expressions that searchers tap on search engines. While creating your content, you should use possible keywords that may be searched for.
There are many tools that help to find relevant keywords such as Google’s Keyword Planner, Nail Patel’s Ubersuggest, Ahref’s Keyword Explorer, and many more. All of these 3 keyword rank checkers provide trustworthy statistics, yet, Ahrefs is a paid tool, while Keyword Planner and Ubersuggest are free.
In order to find out appropriate keywords, one just needs to tap a possible keyword idea and the tools provide a list of related keywords. To choose the best ones you need to consider the relatedness. Take keywords that are logical and may be searched for by your potential customers.
I recommend choosing keywords that have a high search volume and low difficulty. It means that many people search for them but there are still fewer results so that your page has a great chance to be ranked. Keep in mind that you should consider the keyword statistics for your target location as the results differ depending on what country you want to target.
Website metadata refers to meta tags such as title tag, description tag, URL tag.
The title tag is the so-called H1. It is the title of the page that is a must for every page. The title tag should not be more than 90 characters.
The Description tag is the several lines that appear on Google search results. This is a short text that evokes the searchers’ interest and prompts them to click. This tag should not be less than 90 and more than 180 characters. The average number is 140 characters. If you miss the description tag which is also known as meta description, search engines take different parts of your page related to the searched keywords. If you overdo the number then your text is cut down.
People don’t like to wait for web pages to load. According to the Backlinko’s analysis of 5.2 million pages, the average desktop Time to First Byte (TTFB) speed is 1.286 seconds on desktop and 2.594 seconds on mobile. If your website takes a long time to load then the visitors tend to leave your website.
Visuals also play a great role in the process of website optimization. Currently, people do not have time to read passages of text content. Instead, they prefer visuals, such as images and videos that deliver messages immediately and in a more imaginative way.
It is great to include attractive visuals. However, you should also take into consideration that visuals require more storage and may decrease your website speed. There are some tools that compress visuals so that the quality is kept as good as possible yet the size is cut down. These tools include TinyPNG, Optimizilla, Compress JPEG, etc.
While dealing with the optimization of visuals you should also consider image tags. These are the Alt tag and Title tag. In such a way, you call images so that searchers may reach your platform through the visuals.
Links are considered to be another critical factor in SEO ranking. Search engines consider the presence of links in the content. You may include both internal and outgoing links. Internal links take from one page of a website to another page of the same website. The outgoing link takes from a page of a website to a page of another website.
Links help the engines to realize the connection between platforms. In such a way, the search engine bots understand what platforms your page is related to.
#7 Schema Markup
According to Nail Patel, Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that is put on the website to help the search engines return more informative results for users.
If the website includes this schema markup, it shows rich snippets in the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), and it has a bigger chance to appear on the top results.
Off-site SEO is also known as off-page SEO. It refers to all the optimization process that takes place outside of the website. As a rule, people come to the off-page SEO when the on-page SEO is on its best of possible. Let’s consider the critical factors of off-site optimization as well.
#1 Link Building
Link building refers to the process of generating links on other sites that take to your own. It may be in a natural way as for example the above-mentioned link taking to Nail Patel. I saw the trustworthy content they produce and link back to the source so that you as a reader may follow the link and learn more about their research.
However, links may also be generated by you as a website owner. You may ask different sources to link back to your site. This is one of the SEO trends that are never out of date. Having many online platforms linking to your website, your search engine ranking may increase as engine bots considered your page to be a trustworthy one because many other pages refer to it.
#2 Social Media Marketing
SMM (Social Media Marketing) is always next to SEO. There are multiple social media platforms where you may share your website URLs and engage potential customers. These links that take from social media platforms to your web page increase the direct social traffic to your website and have a good influence on your page rank.
#3 Guest Blogging
Currently, there is an accepted SEO trend which may also be considered as a means of link building. This is guest blogging. Guest blogging is the process when you write an article for a second platform. They publish your article and in return, insert a link back to your website. So, you become a guest blogger and earn a backlink.
#4 Anchored Keyword Links
Anchored keyword links are more powerful than simple URLs. Anchored link is when a word or expression is clickable. When this anchored text is a keyword of the page it takes, its power increases. For example, I take an anchored text link “Native Apps vs Cross-platform Apps”. This expression “Native Apps vs Cross-platform Apps” is one of the keywords for the article it takes to.
#5 Unlinked Brand Mentions
We have already discussed several linked brand mentions. However, unlinked brand mentions also work. These are online mentions of your brand or anything that is directly related to your brand which don’t link back to your site.
These unlinked brand mentions are like a half way of earning backlinks. If your brand evokes interest, the users will find your online platform.
#6 Influencer Marketing
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing when famous people and celebrities advertise brands on their social media profiles, TV, radio, etc. While working with influencers, you may generate more natural backlinks to your web page.
The fans of these influencers trust them and follow their recommendations. So, if an influencer introduces your brand and provides link sources to your page, their fans follow the advice and check the links to reach your brand.
As we have already discussed all the critical aspects of search engine optimization, you may already go on and do your best to increase your site rank. Firstly, I recommend checking your SEO site audit and identify all the errors if any is. Keep in mind that it is better to optimize on-site at first then pass on the off-site SEO.
Keep in mind that SEO may take a lot of time and energy, however, if it is constantly implemented in the right way your platform appears on the search results and you reach your potential customers.
Remember that nobody cares about a website that isn’t displayed on search engines.
Take care of your website SEO!