Many SEO professionals, marketing experts, and even founders fail to understand that the essence of SEO is the same.
In other words, whether you are running an E-commerce store, a blog, or a B2B brand site, the foundations, strategies, and best practices of SEO remain the same.
Given how SEO is a constantly evolving field of expertise, most so-called articles and resources on Search Engine Optimisation are filled with irrelevant or outdated information.
Even when you pick up a resource on SEO best practices, what you come across are a few tips and tricks and nothing more.
If you are someone that wants to understand what SEO is all about and how you can set the best foundations for your search performance, this resource is going to help you.
In this article, we are going to cover 10 SEO Best Practices that everyone should be following. This article will try to focus on issues and elements that matter most for search engines and their algorithms.
Understanding Search Engine Optimization: A Simplistic Definition
The benefits of SEO are pretty obvious. You get free passive website traffic for your brand every single month.
In its simplistic definition, SEO refers to a set of optimizations that help drive website traffic. Driving website traffic takes place through organic sources.
To understand SEO, you need to understand what search engines are all about. Think about large libraries. They store millions of books, journals, and other resources.
Search engines work in the same way. Instead of books, they end up storing billions of web pages. Every time you type a query on the search bar, algorithms try to fetch for you the most relevant answers and resources for your query.
While many people claim to know exactly how search engines work, the truth is that they are lying. No one knows (not even Mr. Pichai) in complete detail about how search engines and their algorithms work.
Yet, there have been some clues that help us with a brief idea about the workings of search engines-
- To provide the best results or answers, search engines and their algorithms look at the ‘words’ that are being used in the query.
- They then proceed to arrange the same according to the relevance, importance, and authority of the web page that contains the word/query.
- Algorithms place a lot of importance on the expertise of the source that carries the answer to the query. It might be traffic, metrics, upvotes, or other recommendations.
- The algorithm tries to show the most relevant answer based on geographical location, setting, and the context in which the query has been made.
List of 10 SEO Best Practices That Everyone Should Be Following
Create content for human beings and not just search engines
When it comes to creating content, the industry is plagued by the Chicken and Egg dilemma. In other words, the doubt pertains to whether content should be written for search engines, or for human beings.
Given the SEO tools and software we use, we tend to prioritize search volumes, keywords, and other aspects. That is all fine and good.
However, you should not forget that what analytics shows us is what real human beings are doing, typing, and interacting. This is why make sure that whenever you are creating content, you are doing it for human beings.
Page loading speeds should be a top priority for SEO-
You need to understand that there are billions of web pages on search engines. If your website or web pages load slowly, the algorithms of search engines read them as providing unsatisfactory experiences for internet users.
Page loading speed has been a top-ranking factor for Google ever since 2010. Many factors affect a site’s loading speed.
It can be the server, the type of content you have, the size of the images and videos, as well as the programming language in which your website has been created. Make sure that you optimize loading speed.
HTTPS helps in strengthening security and boost credibility-
Even when cybersecurity was not as much of a threat as it is now, search engines would continue to prioritize HTTPS over HTTP. The year was 2014 when HTTPS became a Google Ranking Factor.
If you have a lock before your domain URL, you are good. This means that your website is safe with encryption.
Not only is this a positive signal to search engines, but it also shows everyone visiting your site that they should not be worried about security. Switching to HTTPS is easy, simple, and securitizes every page on your website.
Create topics and resources on areas that have significant search volume-
You might have come across the term ‘keyword research’ in many SEO-related articles. The truth about keyword research is that it is kind of a blueprint that helps you create content on topics, areas, and issues that people are already searching for.
In other words, if you are creating content on topics that have high search volumes, you stand the chance of capturing all those people that are looking for answers to that very topic.
This will help you with website traffic. However, you should always look for the estimated traffic to get a clearer idea in this regard.
Check for search intent whenever you are doing your SEO research-
In the last few years, one area of SEO that has slowly become very prominent has been ‘search intent’. What is this search intent and why you should take it seriously?
Search intent refers to the point in the customer journey a web user is at. In other words, are they are the learning and education stage, or have they passed that and are now at the buying/considering stage?
This is where SEO content creation becomes important. If someone is looking at how to make coffee? You should not be showing them coffee machines! Your search intent should always align.
Wheelhouse topics should be targeted to gain search volume and traffic-
While SEO is supposed to be a free game, democratic and all, the fact remains that some brands have insane resources when it comes to ranking, backlinks, and more. This is why it is impossible to dethrone authority players.
A better approach would be to target wheelhouse topics and gain search volumes and traffic from there. This will help you target customers at a more advanced stage of their journey.
While the volume would be lower, you will be able to see more conversions with wheelhouse topics. Some of the best SEOs use this approach.
Meta titles, tags, descriptions, URL structures, and more-
Whenever you are creating content, you need to get it found by search engines in the best possible fashion. Three ways of doing that are by working on your page’s meta title, description, tags, and URL structure.
This is how the bots and algorithms of search engines find what your page is all about and fix relevancy. Make sure that what your content is about gets featured in all the sections that we have mentioned in the opening sentences.
If you are writing attractive titles, you will end up winning favors with web users that are looking for that information.
Great long-format informative content wins the SEO game-
The internet is filled with information. If you want to outrank someone, you need to create content that is more comprehensive, informative, and educational in nature.
Long-format content that is SEO-friendly and covers all the touchpoints has a better chance of ranking than a short or flimsy piece of content. You need to be thorough with your content creation process.
This will not only allow you to rank better but will also help actual readers that are looking for a detailed take on any given topic. Investing in the content will be your best decision ever.
Pursue link building to climb higher on the search rankings-
Backlinks continue to be one of Google’s top three ranking factors. Think of backlinks as positive recommendations for your web pages and website.
The more backlinks you have, the higher is your authority in the eyes of search engines. Guest posting continues to be the top-notch strategy when it comes to building backlinks.
Try to create long-format guest posting articles and place them on niche sites for best results. In no time you are going to see a significant improvement in your rankings, metrics, and website traffic.
Stay put doing SEO for the best long-term results-
The last best practice does not concern any strategy per se. It has more to do with the time you should be investing in running the nine strategies/best practices that we have mentioned in the article.
SEO is a long-term game that is not going to give you results in a few weeks. You need to consistently put up with your efforts for at least three to six months to see the needle move.
This time period is also dependent on the level of competition you have in your industry niche. Once you are set up in the right manner, you will start seeing the beauty of SEO for a long time.
The Final Takeaway
At the very outset of the article, we mentioned that this is not a resource on SEO tips or tricks. Best practices should be thought of more on the lines of SEO foundations that impart consistency and should be carried out regardless of the fact whether you are running a blog, E-commerce store, brand site, or any other website. In this resource, we have tried to help readers with ten SEO best practices that can help them improve performance. If you have any more questions, you would like us to address, please let us know in the comments section below.