seo best practices checklist

5 SEO Best Practices To Increase Traffic

In the current hyperconnected world and very competitive business environment, it’s essential for a business to implement SEO best practices to enhance their website’s search engine rankings. As it stands, 95% of all web traffic Google receives comes from its front pages while other pages receive 5% or even less.

SEO is beneficial for generating new sales and leads but isn’t always affordable. Of course, you could hire someone to create forum links or create comment spam for $20 or so, but that’s nothing more than the ultimate digital marketing suicide. Search engines usually opt for quality over quantity, so keep off any too-good-to-be-true offers for your peace of mind.

On the other hand, hiring seasoned SEO experts can leave holes in your business’s pockets. So, what’s a website or business owner to do?

Cover the optimizations below, then explore this beginers guide to 24 Proven SEO Growth Strategies and check out reviews of SEO agencies that could help take things further (be sure to do careful research before signing any agency).

1. Publish High Quality, Long-Form Content

If your blog posts, articles, and other pages aren’t past the 500-word mark, you’re putting your business and website at a disadvantage.

A study conducted in 2012 involving 20,000 keywords found that the average length of the top results is 2000 words. The top spot is that the average number of words is approximately 20% higher, at 2,416 words. That’s a far cry from the short and generic articles one usually sees in websites with dubious quality.

people working at a desk
Image via rawpixel on Unsplash

For your website to rank in the search engines and get the traffic it so rightfully deserves, you have to create in-depth, engaging, and informative content that offers sound answers to readers’ most pressing questions. But then again, you shouldn’t compromise quality over word count.

2. SEO best practices for technical architecture

External factors often take the lead when people talk about SEO. Although links, social interactions, and other outside signals are vital for rankings, one cannot downplay the role played by “on-page” SEO – your sites technical architecture.

Technical SEO is the process of optimizing the mechanical aspects of your pages (meta tags, keywords, URLs, etc) to help reach the top in the SERPs and earn more traffic. If that sounds like rocket science, fear not. “On-page” SEO isn’t complicated, and you can cover your bases with these simple tips.

Title: The title tag should summarise what the page is about and include at least one keyword.

  • Title Tags should not be too long: Search engines only display the first 60 or so characters of a web page title tag because longer titles will be cut off.
  • Title tags should not be too short: Give the reader a reason to click on the title. If it’s too short, it won’t give enough information to lure the reader to check the page out.
  • Don’t waste space: Including your domain name is a waste of space since you’re working with a limited number of characters and you have to include the necessary information and relevant keyword for that particular page.

Description: A page’s description is important in its own right. The description can create a considerable difference in the click-through rate, by showing the page is relevant and optimized. High CTR signals that the page is worth it, which boosts SEO.

User-Friendly URLs: Ensure that your URLs are brief and easy to read. Also, include your primary keyword, so readers have a clear picture of what the page is about before they click.

Keyword Frequency: Google outgrew the simple keyword stuffing phase long time ago, but incorporating the keywords you wish to rank for in the texts of your site still has its intrinsic value. Use them in titles and subheadings, add long-tail keywords and synonyms.

3. Let SEO Juice Flow Across Pages via Internal Linking

What’s internal linking?

It refers to any links from one page in a domain to another page in the same domain. Simply put, it’s a critical SEO strategy that you should implement. By using internal linking, website owners can attract the attention of visitors and Google to a particular page, bringing a plethora of SEO benefits.

One of the benefits is that internal linking gives visitors a variety of reading options and more reasons to stick around. This cuts down your site’s bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who navigate away from a site or blog after checking out a page).

Additionally, linking to other pages within your website can assist Google index pages more efficiently and enhance your site’s ranking for particular keywords.

4. Please the Eyes Of Google With A Responsive Design

Today, more Google searches are conducted on tablets, smartphones, and other mobile gadgets than on desktop computers. Now, Google always prioritizes user experience, and it shouldn’t be a surprise that it now uses responsiveness as a ranking factor in its algorithm.

dual monitors displaying landing page builder
Image via Lee Campbell on Unsplash

Responsive web designs use CSS style sheets and proportion-based grids to accommodate a site’s content and layout depending on the device, and adjustable images. This ensures a smooth reading and browsing experience for both desktop and mobile users – just what Google loves!

5. Improve Your Page Speed

As mentioned earlier, Google loves websites that offer a smooth reading and browsing experience and also have fast loading speeds. In 2010, the search engine corporation introduced site speed as a new ranking signal. and it makes a whole lot of sense especially looking at it from a searcher’s perspective.

That said, be on the lookout for more opportunities to increase your site’s speed whenever you do a full site auditing. If, for instance, you have a thing for posts and pages, be sure to compress them. And if you’re using WordPress, put an effort to get rid of plugins and add-ons that are useless and add a quality caching plugin.

Get On The Path To Safer SEO Best Practices

Sure, proper SEO is not cheap, but it shouldn’t leave your business high in debt. The five optimization tactics discussed above are SEO basics that will hardly cost you any money, and there’s no excuse as to why you shouldn’t implement them today.

Of course, getting the coveted top spot on Google takes more than fast and responsive website design, properly written title tags, descriptions, and long-form content. But it’s worth your while to focus on the basics first and then consider more advanced strategies to gain exposure. Ladder actually shared what they learned from SEO audit they performed on themselves – it’s a great walkthrough you can use for your own site.

Laying out the foundations of a quality website experience is never a waste.

*BONUS: 72 Stats To Understand SEO in 2018 😉

72 stats to understand seo in 2018
infographic via seotribunal