If you’re looking to learn more about SEO best practices, this is the article for you. We will tell you more about SEO and the ten best SEO practices. We’ll also fill you in on local SEO, on-page SEO, and off-page SEO. For all of your SEO needs, contact SEO Design Chicago today for more information.
SEO Best Practices
First of all, let’s define what SEO really even is. SEO is an acronym that stands for search engine optimization. Search engine optimization is the means by which websites increase both the quantity and quality of their website traffic by increasing a website’s ranking in search engines. The goal of SEO is to gain a higher search engine ranking and more organic traffic for a website. SEO can help small businesses or large.
Now that you know what search engine optimization is, let’s get into SEO best practices.
What are SEO Best Practices?
SEO best practices are the ways you can improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Top 10 SEO Best Practices
Content, Content, Content
Even though most people think of SEO as being technical, some say that the content itself is the most important part of SEO. It’s also extremely important to make sure not to duplicate content on your site. That can actually hurt your search engine ranking. If you don’t have good content on your website, as soon as you attract traffic to your website, you’ll lose it. Content is king.
Did you know that a website’s security affects its SEO ranking? Google prioritizes websites that are safe over those that are not. If a website is potentially unsafe, Google even flags it for visitors that find it on the search engine.
The best way to make sure your website is safe is by utilizing a Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure, or HTTPS for short. You can see the HTTPS of a secure website in its URL before the domain name. You should also obtain an SSL certificate, which is a Secure Socket Layer certificate. It creates a secure link between your website and a visitor’s browser.
These are both highly technical steps, but they are necessary for a high ranking on a search engine.
Make It Mobile-Friendly
Search engines also check to make sure websites are mobile-friendly nowadays. Did you know that mobile accounts for more than half of web traffic worldwide? If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, it will not only not appeal to search engines, but it will frustrate visitors, too.
It’s extremely important for any website to have a clean and clear architecture. That means that the website is easy for visitors to navigate and find the information they’re looking for. Search engines also crawl websites to make sure they’re user-friendly before determining their ranking.
Utilize Keyword Data
Keywords are one of the easiest ways to optimize your website for a high ranking on search engines. What are keywords? Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for what they’re looking for on search engines like Google and Bing.
First, use the Google Keyword Planner to find the keywords that are most relevant to your website. Then, use the keywords early and often throughout your site’s content. If you do, you’re sure to attract web traffic that searches for those same keywords.
Make It Quick
It’s increasingly important to make sure that your website loads quickly across various browsers and devices. Did you know that websites that take more than three seconds to load could lose more than half of their potential traffic? Search engines are checking load speed as part of their ranking process these days.
There are several steps you can take to speed up your website’s loading time. Compressing images is one example of a way to quicken your website. However, it will probably take a professional analysis of your website to determine what is slowing it down and how to make it faster.
Optimize Your Tags
While optimizing each page of a website is the best way to rank highly on search engines, that can take a lot of time. Tag optimization is a quicker and easier way to score easy web traffic. To do so, align a web page’s URL with its title tag, meta description, alt tags, and headings.
Use Internal Links
Internal links are one of the easiest ways to optimize your website. Use links on your website to link to other pages on your website. Just make sure to use relevant anchor text and make sure the links make sense. Anchor text helps search engines understand what the link is about and will give you credit for linking.
Audit Your Backlinks
Backlinks are a link from another website to your website. Backlinks are great for your website’s SEO. A backlink tells a search engine that your website is worth linking to from another website. However, if you have spammy or dodgy websites linking to your website, it can actually hurt your SEO ranking. On the other hand, disavowing those links can actually improve your SEO. Perform an audit on all of your backlinks and disavow any that might be bad for your site. Link building is a very important factor when it comes to SEO.
Track Your SEO Results
Now that you’ve done all the hard work of optimizing your site for the highest search engine ranking, it’s time for the moment of truth. Use the Google Search Console to check on how your website is doing on the search engine results pages.
Local SEO Best Practices
Now let’s discuss how you can use Local SEO. Local SEO is particularly handy for any local business with a brick and mortar storefront. It helps potential customers find your storefront. Did you know that nearly half of all searches on Google are local? If you’re a local business and you’re not optimized for local SEO, you could be missing out on a ton of traffic. Here are some best practices for local SEO.
Optimize Your Website
The first step of local SEO is making sure your website is optimized. First, make sure you have a contact page to help people reach you quickly and easily. Your phone number, email and address should be the first things potential customers will see. Also, make sure your phone number is clickable for mobile devices. Adding a map is another great idea to make it easy for people to find you. Then, add some testimonials from customers.
Claim Your Business Profiles
If your local business doesn’t have a profile on Google My Business, go make one right now. Then, add profiles on TripAdvisor, Yelp, and Facebook. Review sites are one of the best ways to help people find your business. Then, make sure to make social media pages on sites like Instagram and Twitter, too.
Create a Local Blog
We all know creating and regularly updating a blog is one of the best ways to grab more organic traffic. For a local business, creating a local blog about your products and your community is a great way to raise your brand’s visibility and also get more traffic (and hopefully, customers.)
Adding links to your website to other local businesses is another way to up your local SEO game. It might sound counterproductive, but it’s not. It’s probably not a good idea to link to your direct competitors, but maybe other businesses in your neighborhood. Start by linking to their website on yours, and perhaps leaving a comment on their blog. Then, ask for some help in return. It may or may not work, but it’s worth a try!
Ask For Reviews
Building up your cache of positive reviews online is one of the best ways to attract customers to your local business. If you’re lacking reviews on Yelp, for example, ask your friends and family to write some positive ones for you. Or, ask for help from your regular customers. Tell them if they had a nice experience, to please help you out by leaving a review online. Not everyone will, but it’s an easy way to build up authentic positive reviews online.
What is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO, or technical SEO, is the practice of optimizing individual web pages of a website in order to rank higher on search engines and attract more organic traffic. Optimizing each page of your website can be a big undertaking, but one that will pay off in big ways. Hiring a full service SEO agency like SEO Design Chicago to optimize your web pages can take the burden off of your hands. It also helps to have professional SEO experts do the optimizing for you.
What is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO, on the other hand, is everything you do away from your website to help it rank higher on search engines. One example of off-page SEO is obtaining links to your website from other websites. Another example of off-page SEO is comments. If you leave a comment on someone else’s website, congratulations! You just helped them with their off-page SEO.