From page optimization on your website to keyword research, building backlinks, and more, there are a lot of things you can do to get higher search engine rankings.
While the search engine algorithms that determine rankings often change, during these changes, there are still tried and true SEO techniques that are proven to help you rise higher in the rankings.
Here are my top 10 best practices for SEO success.
1 – Ensure your website is secure
Today, most people are concerned with the privacy and safety of the websites they visit. Consequently, in search engines, this is also a crucial ranking factor. A website that is secure will always rank higher than one that is not secure.
- Talk with your web host or web manager about the type of security that is most appropriate for your website. A security certificate will ensure that your content is delivered by SSL (secure socket layer).
- With SSL, your website will start with an “https://” instead of “http://” and the little lock icon will show up next to the web address in many browsers.
2 – Research your keywords
Research keywords and include them in your title and the first paragraph of your content.
Including your keyword towards the top of a page lets the search engines know what your content is about. Additionally, sprinkle the main keyword throughout the rest of your content too.
This will tell the search engines that this term is important, which will help you rank well for this term.
3 – Use unique titles, descriptions, and content
This will allow search engines to understand that your content is original material and can add additional knowledge to the other information about your subject that can already be found on the internet.
4 – Optimize your title tag for SEO
Always include your main keyword in the title tag for your website, and if possible, put it at the start of the title. This will give priority to this keyword.
5 – Ensure that your website loads quickly
It’s important that you make your website load as quickly as possible. Especially with the advent of smartphones, loading time is an important ranking factor in search engines.
- Compress the size of images, remove any unneeded code, and consider 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, thus cutting down on the loading time.
- Many web hosts now use CDNs to deliver content for their client’s websites. Talk with your web host or your web manager about this priority.
- If you have a WordPress site, there are many plugins that help you speed up the loading time for your website.
6 – Optimize all of your images.
You can do this by giving the filenames descriptive names. Using image alt text is also recommended so that the search engines can understand what images are present on your website. Properly optimized images can boost your website speed and ranking.
I love to use tinypng.com to reduce the size of our images drastically (sometimes up to 90%) without any visual differences!
7 – Use internal linking
Linking to your main pages is the key here. So, a larger, authoritative piece may be linked to any smaller pages. This will help to raise the rank of the most significant page.
- Try to use the main keyword, or a variation of it, in your internal links to ensure that the search engines know what the page is about.
8 – Create amazing content
Write high-quality content that answers questions that your readers might have about your topic.
If a question can be answered in less than 1,000 words, that’s fine. It is worth noting, however, that it is essential to be thorough with any response, so you may want to write significantly more than this amount.
Longer, authoritative content includes many of the highest-ranking pages.
9 – Build backlinks to your website
Despite the fact that you may have read online that backlinks are no longer important, please note that backlinks are still very important when done correctly. They demonstrate to the search engines that your content is valuable enough to link to other webmasters.
When you first start your website, you may want to go slow when building backlinks. After a few months, you’ll be able to ramp up your efforts.
With this approach, you want to obtain links in this field from other significant websites. Links from websites of low quality that accept advertising from anyone to any website are likely to hurt your rankings on the search engine.
Instead, find websites with a high Domain Authority (DA) and pursue these sites first. They will have the most impact.
10 – Consider the user’s experience
If you find that visitors are struggling to navigate your website or that you have a high bounce rate, which is when people leave your website after just a short time, take a close look at your user experience.
- Perhaps your visitors aren’t finding the answers that they’re looking for, or maybe your website is broken in some way. See what you can do to improve the overall experience of your visitors.
Following these best practices will allow you to achieve higher search engine rankings. The higher you rank, the more traffic you should be able to achieve, and the more sales you can make, in the end.