There are many ways to improve your search engine rankings, from on-page optimization to keyword research, building backlinks, and more. And even though the mighty and mysterious search engine algorithms change often, there are still reliable SEO best practices and methods that have proven to help increase your rankings.
In no particular order, here are 10 SEO best practices to follow:
Make your website secure.
People are getting more savvy and are rightly concerned with the privacy and security of the websites that they visit. Consequently, this is also a crucial ranking factor in the search engines. A secure website will always rank higher than one that isn’t secure.
- Talk with your web host or webmaster about the level of security that is most appropriate for your website. A security certificate allows your content to be delivered by SSL / TLS, which means it is encrypted so someone in the middle who intercepts the traffic can’t read the data.
- Once you have an SSL cert, your website will start with “https://” instead of “http://” and the little lock icon will show up next to the web address in many browsers.
- This is no longer a “nice to have”, it’s essential. And there’s no excuse for not having one, since you can get a free certificate from Let’s Encrypt. (By the way, all FroBro hosting packages include free SSL certificates.)
Optimize your title tag with keywords.
Always include your main keyword in the title tag for your website, and if possible, put it at the start of the title. This tells search engines to give priority to this keyword.
Add your main keyword early in the content.
Including your keyword early on lets the search engines know what your article/page/post is about. And yes you can sprinkle the main keyword throughout the rest of your content too.
- Seeing the term multiple times throughout the content tells the search engines that this term is important, which will help you rank well for this term.
Choose unique descriptions, titles, and body content.
This lets the search engines know that your content is original material and can add additional value on top of other related information that can be found elsewhere on the internet.
Create high quality content. Provide valuable information that answers questions that your readers might have about your topic.
- Your post should be a minimum of 300 words long. If you can answer a question in less than 1,000 words, that’s fine. But it’s important to be thorough with any answer, so don’t be afraid to write a lot more than that when you have something interesting or useful to share.
- The highest-ranking pages typically include longer, more authoritative content.
Optimize your images with keywords.
Give descriptive names to your image files. Using the alt text field is also recommended so that the search engines can understand what relevant images are on your website. Properly optimized images can give a boost to your rankings.
Invest the time to make your website load fast.
It’s important that you make your website load as quickly as possible. Especially for mobile browsing, load time is an important search engine ranking factor.
- Compress your images, remove unneeded plugins & code, and think about using a content delivery network (CDN). If you use a CDN, your website will be able to serve images and other media from servers that are close to your audience, which can significantly cut down the load time (and reduce the load on your server).
- Many web hosts now use CDNs to deliver content for their clients’ websites. Ask your web host or your web person if this is an option for you.
- If your site runs on WordPress, there are many plugins to help you speed up your website. (If you host your site with FroBro, our premium caching & optimization plugins are included and all your images are served from a CDN)
Create internal links.
The key here is to link to your main content pages. That means smaller pages can link to larger, more authoritative pieces. This helps increase the rank of the more important page.
- Try to use the main keyword, or a variation of it, in your internal links to make sure the link juice gets applied to the right keyword or key phrase.
Build quality backlinks to your site.
For some reason, there are people who think that backlinks no longer matter. But backlinks, when done properly, are still quite important. They show the search engines that your content is valuable enough for other sites to point to.
- It will probably be challenging to get quality backlinks when you first start your website, so take it slow at first. After a few months of adding quality content, you’ll be able to step up your efforts.
- Ideally, you want to get links from other important websites in your industry. Links from low quality websites that accept advertising from anyone to any website may actually hurt your search engine rankings.
Don’t neglect the user experience.
If visitors are having trouble navigating your website, or if you have a high bounce rate (which is when people leave your website after just a short time), take some time to rethink the user experience.
- Are your visitors able to find the answers they need? Is your website broken in some way? Try to improve the overall experience for your visitors.
This is a high level overview of search engine positioning, but following these 10 SEO best practices will allow you to earn higher rankings for your keywords. The higher you rank, the more traffic you get, which ultimately leads to more sales and opportunities.
If this seems overwhelming or like you don’t have time to properly follow all of these SEO best practices, you’re not alone! That’s why FroBro Web Technologies offers SEO packages that are customized to your business. If you want an experienced partner to help you achieve your SEO goals, send an email to email@example.com to get started today!