SEO Best Practices: 8 Tips to Improve Google Ranking
SEO best practices are a set of unique techniques that are used to increase your search result and Google ranking.
Reading time: 9 min
What are SEO Best Practices?
SEO Best Practices are special techniques designed in order to improve a website’s traffic and overall ranking to appear in the top 10 search results. The most common SEO best practices include basic on-page optimization, keyword research, and link building. You can also refer to these advanced SEO techniques once you are through with these basic SEO best practices.
Here are the 8 Best SEO Practices You Should Use in 2021:
In the previous blog post, I’ve already mentioned everything related to keyword search. So here we are with title tags. Title tags are, in fact, the most important on-page SEO factors. The prime work of title tags is to tell the search engines what the page is all about. They also tell search engines whether or not your website is relevant for your keyword or keyphrase. You must know that title tags must be unique for every page. In Google or other search engines, in fact, a search engine is going to highlight your keyword phrases. Suppose a user has searched for those terms. And this is what increases the visibility and click-through rates.
Here are the Google best SEO practices for title tags:
- It would help if you always remembered that your title tags should be written as a primary keyword- secondary keyword | brand name.
- And you should always use a dash ‘-‘ in between your keyword phrases and a pipe at the end just before your brand name. You can see how it is written in the previous point.
- And do not ever use title tags as soon as I entered the digital marketing world. Earlier I thought that you could use duplicate title tags. But soon after, I realized duplication of anything is dangerous, be it title tags or any other thing.
- Don’t make title tags too long or too short. You should keep it off 55 characters only.
2. Meta Description
After title tags, the other thing that should be considered in SEO and its best practices is the meta description. Meta descriptions may not be too important in search engine rankings. But are extremely important in getting users to click and reach your website. Users generally only click on those websites whose title tags and meta descriptions they find easy to understand. Keywords should also be included in the meta description wisely but not forcefully. They must not appear like they do not belong or fit in there but are still added. Meta descriptions should use compelling content, so much so that they would make the user want to click on them.
And just like title tags Google or other search engines will highlight the keywords that the user searched for, which will increase the likelihood of the audience clicking on your website. Isn’t it exciting?
Here are the best practices for meta description:
- First and foremost, you need to write compelling meta descriptions. Your meta description content should be so accurate and relevant so that it will force the user to click on your website. When I did not know a meta description, I used to write descriptions of 160 words. Yeah!! I was such a fool. Only then my boss told me that descriptions should never be of more than 160 characters. And from then I started creating meta descriptions of 160 words or less. I suggest you never write descriptions of more than 160 characteristics. It should not be too short as well. 150-160 characters is the actual recommended length for meta description.
- As I’ve already told you, copying or duplication of anything is wrong. So be it meta description or title tags or any other thing. Well, I know you won’t write duplicate articles. It would help if you always tried to avoid duplicate meta descriptions.
- In descriptions, it is generally said that you should avoid using quotes or non-alpha characters. Why? Actually, Google removes them or cuts them down from meta description.
You can check the character length in the Letter Count tool.
3. Meta Keywords
Meta keywords were prevalent in earlier days. But now they have lost their necessity and importance. For Google, the keywords tag doesn’t matter anymore. They do not hold weight anymore. So you can easily skip them.
PS: We don’t recommend the above statement.
Meta Keywords holds utmost importance in search engine optimization. You just cannot skip them. Meta keywords are the target keywords which you use in your content. Meta keywords are written in the meta tag inside the HTML code to tell the search engine what the content is about so that it can meet the user’s query.
Here are the best SEO practices for internal keywords:
- Optimize your content for only 5 meta keywords with high volume and low difficulty.
- Meta keyword should be in meta title, meta description, first 10% of the content, URL, and in H2 & H3 tags.
- The meta keywords should be 100% relevant to the content and should not be used forcefully. Use meta keywords in different parts of the content and most importantly avoid irrelevant keywords and keyword stuffing.
- Go for Long tail keywords and LSI keywords. because going for short tail can take a lot of time for your website to ranking. Also, users are smart they know typing just a word cannot give them exactly what they are looking for. So, they search for a keyword phrase.
You can use Semrush, Ahrefs, Google Keyword Planner, etc for finding the right meta keywords for your content.
4. Content with Targeted Keywords
You must know that your content is the key to the treasure of the audience for your website. It’s the content that will either make the audience stay on your website. Or will compel them to leave your website. So now, you must know that how important content is! Therefore, the relevancy and uniqueness of your content is the necessity of your website. And remember, if you have multiple pages with the same content on your website. Then your website can also actually suffer from the risk of getting penalized. If you want to save yourself from this, then you need to keep your content unique.
Here are the search engine optimization best practices for unique content:
- Always try to create contents which are very relevant for that particular keyword phrase. Irrelevant content will make you suffer.
- You should always use the keyword phrase 4 times at least. But don’t try to add them at the places where they do not fit in. Or don’t abuse them.
- Google’s best SEO practices for unique content also includes adding internal links to a particular page of the website. You can add links from other website pages, which will point back to this particular page.
- Last but most important, always try to create unique and different content for every medium. Be it a blog post, guest blogs, press releases, or any other. Whenever you need to send some press releases to some clients or companies. Do not just copy-paste your content from somewhere else, thinking of all is mine. No, try to create another unique piece of content to attract them, actually. If search engines will see that you have duplicate contents, they may charge you with penalization.
5. Header Tags & Keywords Phrases
You might have heard of these terms. Actually, header tags are also known as H1 tags. And it is compulsory to include header tags on a page where you wish to drive traffic. You can also use a secondary header that is the H2 tags as well.
Here are the best SEO practices for header tags:
- And just like in title tags and meta descriptions. It would be best if you also used your keyword phrase at least once in your H1 tag.
- H1 tags should always be used on pages (SEO pages) where you wish to drive traffic so that they will help you get some organic traffic for that particular page of your website. Doesn’t it sound necessary?
- And don’t forget to use H2 tags if your pages have multiple sections.
6. Internal Page Linking with Anchor Text
As mentioned earlier, internal linking is the process of adding links to a page that points to another page of the same website. It is essential because it helps to strengthen those keywords for your pages. And it thus tells the search engine that your page is relevant for that keyword phrase.
Here are the best practices for internal linking:
- Whenever you think of linking one page to another of your website through internal linking, you should try to use good keywords in the actual link. And should do it repeatedly.
- Do not use irrelevant links for the sake of interlinking. It shouldn’t be like that you are giving the link of “What is a blog” to the anchor text “What is SEO?”.
- Add a good number of links to a web page, this helps Google to know that this is your most essential content.
- Some pages have higher authority than others. So, link all your pages that are relevant to each other in order to pass some authority.
7. Make Content Easy to Read
This may not be the greatest factor in search engine rankings. But this surely will allow users to find the contents that they are seeking. You can use bolding or bullet points to set apart or create spaces between words in the text. And this will also tell the SERPs what is important on the page. It would be best if you didn’t go wild and should behave like a human. Or else you’ll end up cluttering up your page and aggravating the user.
Here are the best SEO practices:
- Try to create paragraphs of your contents of not more than three sentences. Extremely long sentences or paragraphs would help users lose attention.
- You can also use bullet points and bolding to break up large blocks of content. The audience generally tends to scan content looking for keywords.
- But don’t overuse them. I mean, don’t use bullets or bold repeatedly.
8. Fast Loading Pages
People these days are restless. They are not gonna wait for 30 seconds for the web page to load. That’s the reason you need to increase the loading speed of your webpage. Page speed is one of the ranking factors for desktops in the past decade. Moreover, slow loading pages can increase the bounce rate of the website by up to 90%.
Here is how to do that:
- Use optimize images. Image sizes have the maximum contribution in increasing the page load time. So, the images should be compressed and should be in KB. But do not compromise with quality.
- Optimize your code. Remove comments, unnecessary spacing, unused code, etc. to compress the code.
- Reduce redirections. This spoils user experiences and page speed too. It takes additional time in waiting for the HTTP redirection request.
You can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights to check the loading speed of your webpage on Desktop and Mobile. It’s easy to use one of the best SEO tools. Just copy-paste the URL and enter. It will give you a score between 0-100 and suggestions on how to increase webpage speed.
These best SEO practices if performed well can take your website ranking to next level. Hope you got what you were looking for. Do check out my previous article of Best SEO Tips for your Website in 2021.
If I have missed anything or any point, you can tell me. I would be more than grateful to listen.
Originally published Feb 8, 2021, & updated on Feb 8, 2021