If you’re looking to invest in content marketing, one area you want to pay serious attention to is your website SEO. SEO best practices help you stay visible to prospects, making it possible to achieve your online marketing goals. The harsh truth is that if your website is not ranking on Google’s top 10 results for your keywords, or at least appearing on the first page of search engine result pages, then you know you’ve got some serious work to do.
Why Use SEO Best Practices?
If you’re not showing up on the first page of search results, the reality is that you are not visible to people who are searching for what you are offering. In practice, not many people go beyond the first pages of search results. In fact, 75% of people don’t go past page 1 of Google Search results when searching for something online. This means that the other pages are non-existent to them. The good news is that there are many things you can do to appear on the first page of Google search results.
But if you do not execute the strategies correctly, you may still find ranking on page 1 of Google difficult. By following SEO best practices, you will be able to lay the groundwork for an effective SEO campaign. Remember that the results don’t show immediately; consistency is a key part of the process. This article will go over 7 SEO best practices that can help you get your page on page 1 of Google results for the right keywords.
1. Make Sure Your Content is Aligned with Search Intent
An SEO best practice you don’t want to downplay is aligning your content with search intents or user intents. Whether you are selling a product, giving advice on the best products, or just sharing information with users, you need to ensure that the user intent matches the content on your page. This goes beyond simply stuffing keywords into your articles or web pages.
Google makes sure to list only pages that have met this requirement, so if the bulk of your content contains relevant information, you would be missing the point. To rank your pages on page 1 of Google in 2021, you must understand and apply the concept of search intent.
2. Write a Compelling Title Tag and Meta Description For Each Content
Title tags are short, clickable headlines that appear in search results. They are critical for SEO and help users decide if the content is the correct answer to what they’re searching for. According to Google, Titles tags give users a quick insight into the content of a result and why it’s relevant to their query. Google usually displays the first 50-60 characters of a title tag, meaning that if your title tag is under 60 characters, the full title will show.
Meta tags, on the other hand, are short descriptive texts that tell the user what the article or content is about. They do not have any direct impact on SEO, but if well crafted, they can help to boost click-through rates. In either case, make sure to include your target keywords, keep them relevant to search intent, and avoid keyword stuffing.
3. Use Internal Linking Extensively
An SEO best practice you need to keep in mind is the use of internal links. Here, you link to high-ranking web pages or blog articles on your website. That way, you establish an information hierarchy for your website while helping Google get an in-depth understanding of the content on your web pages.
Using internal links is like linking to external sources, only that this time, you are linking to pages and articles on your website. Ensure that they are equally aligned to the current content and not off-point. Over time, you’ll realize how important this is. If well-executed, 2 or 3 of your web pages might rank on page 1 of Google search results or other search engines.
4. Optimize Your Images (Image SEO)
The images you attach to your blog posts are essential for SEO. You probably spend a lot of time searching for the right image for each post, but do you spend time optimizing the images? The secret here is that an optimized image can contribute to your site’s overall SEO. For instance, your page load speed depends on the image format used for that particular page. The most commonly used options are JPEG and PNG. While PNG is usually the best option for images that contain text or line drawings, JPEG images are best for photographs.
Again, you need to use alt text to describe the images you are using. This helps Google understand what the image is about, and it further improves your SEO. It is often best to use alt text that is completely relevant to the content. Google advises that the alt text should be useful, informative and must use keywords in the proper context — that is, in line with the content on the page. Finally, ensure that the images are not too large so they don't affect the page load speed.
5. Improve Your Website User Experience
To rank on page 1 of Google search results, you need to ensure that visitors have a good experience starting from the load speed of the web page to the layout and color of the page. For ease of comprehension, it is important to use a white background. In addition to this, the content has to be arranged neatly to keep the reader or visitor longer.
Avoid intrusive pop-ups that could mar the user experience of visitors to your site. Google now penalizes websites with intrusive popup ads. You want to make the content appealing to readers, and if possible, use white spaces between paragraphs as well as on the left and right sides of the pages. This helps to increase compression by 20%.
6. Build Backlinks from Authoritative Sources
When you use backlinks on your web pages, they help improve your ranking on search engine result pages. Backlinks are a critical factor in Google's search algorithm and ranking system. Google still considers sites with more backlinks as more beneficial than sites with less or none at all. This means that the more backlinks your site has, the higher your chances of ranking high on search results pages.
Note that backlinks are better gotten from authoritative sites that rank high on Google pages, so you should focus on those. Note that backlinks from low-ranking sites can actually derail your SEO. The SEO best practice, in this case, is to acquire as many relevant backlinks as necessary for your pages. Note that links must be from sites with relevant content.
7. Encourage Other Trustworthy Sites to Link to You
While you focus on building backlinks and using internal links to improve your SEO, another important kind of link in content marketing is an inbound link. Inbound links are, to a large extent, essential in improving your website’s search engine rankings.
But achieving this takes time and effort. You cannot be at the forefront of content marketing campaigns in your niche without investing plenty of time and money into creating quality posts. Your content marketing efforts are successful when you consistently create high-quality, engaging content that solves the needs of your target audience and drives other bloggers and websites to link to you.
Want to Learn More?
Improving your online marketing strategy involves inculcating SEO best practices into your content marketing strategy. And the most effective way to achieve this is by staying consistent in dishing out great content and learning new improvements and strategies that deliver better results. We know that sometimes, it can be overwhelming to small businesses looking to improve their SEO. The truth is that it goes beyond using keywords. There’s a lot more to it.
If you have more questions or need help getting started or improving your website SEO, feel free to reach out to us. At Mission HR, we look forward to using our insights and expert guidance to improve your SEO metrics. We use our digital marketing expertise to help businesses successfully implement the best growth strategies for their businesses.
Also, as leading partners in the PEO, HR, payroll, and benefits outsourcing marketplace, we provide result-oriented services for small and medium-sized organizations and government contractors, serving as a trusted partner in integrated human resource compliance, risk management, employee benefits, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and payroll processing.