In the world of SEO we know that pinpointing exactly what Google wants to rank first can be a headache. No matter how many blogs you read or forums you participate in, you can never seem to find the right answer. For this reason, coming up with a foolproof strategy can be difficult. Things are constantly changing and every week you read about how you should be changing something different. These constant changes can confuse you as to what are SEO’s best practices. This blog will focus on the top 7 SEO best practices essentials you should be doing, regardless of all the white noise out there.
1. Optimizing Image Alt Text
Image alt text is being overlooked due to AI’s popularity, but artificial intelligence is too new to completely replace the primary function of alt text. Google can still make good use of the descriptions you add to your images so don’t give up on adding them!
2. Prioritizing Authority of Content
No matter what changes in SEO, content will always be king. Content is the meat of SEO and everyone knows that, but what we don’t know is what kind of content to focus on creating. A good principle to center your content is around E-A-T (Expertise, Authority, Trustworthiness) No matter what changes happen, you should always aim for these 3 key elements in your content. Your content should be easy to read, have reliable and credible sources, provide clear points, and provide new insights to the topic at hand.
3. Creating Longer Content
Google’s John Mueller has said that word count is not a factor in ranking, but we have all seen the top results with never ending long form content. The important thing to keep in mind when it comes to word count is not to focus on the amount of words that you are typing, but that those words bring quality information. Sometimes that shows up in the form of long content, other times it shows up the form of short content. The key is to say something that matters and not just write for the sake of writing. Don’t stop creating long content because chances are you’ll discuss more topics you can rank for but make sure that you don’t drag on and lose your focus.
4. Considering AMP
As SEO specialists, we have to pay attention to where consumers are spending their time the most. With the rise of app technology, many are spending more time on their phone. People are constantly on the go and don’t have time to get to a desktop or open a laptop. Convenience is key which is what mobile provides. AMP might not be seen as a must right now, but this is your chance to get ahead of the curve. Soon most of our search will be done through our phones and AMP definitely helps a website when it comes to being mobile friendly. You don’t want to be left behind trying to catch up.
5. Targeting LSI Keywords, but not for ranking
LSI or latent semantic keywords are not directly correlated to ranking but do play a major part in determining the rank of your content. You should invest time in determining how to place those keywords in your content so that you don’t fall in the trap that is keyword stuffing. This will help your content improve in quality and prevent you from facing keyword stuffing penalties. This will also help Google understand what and who you are trying to target with your content.
6. Keywords in the domain name are marginal for ranking
As you type more and more keywords into Google search results you will notice that your results don’t always contain your keyword verbatim. An SEO strategy that most were using was to include the keyword in the URL of a domain. You have to be careful when doing this as it can only be beneficial when it comes to some queries. Depending on what the user intent is, this strategy might not work. Also it must be noted that Google has caught onto this as using the keyword as the domain name has become very popular.
An SSL certificate is always a good idea, especially when dealing with e-commerce websites. While it’s not a ranking factor for Google, it’s a big deal for the users of your website! Seeing the red “Not Secure” label on the website makes users click off immediately, more so if they have to add personal information to obtain something.
The ultimate goal of SEO is to rank at the top of the search results and while that might be true, it’s also important to build a good online presence that goes beyond ranking on Google. You want your users to click on your website and stay there for the quality you provide. The most important thing after getting people to your website is keeping people on your website. Now that you understand what are SEO’s best practices, you will be able to set your goals and see results.