People search high and low. One in six people use Google. 2.3 million Google searches are made every minute, meaning there are more than 3.5 billion in a single day.
Tapping into these searches is like tapping into a goldmine. If you can improve your Google ranking, you will rake in sales in no time. The way to do that is through SEO practices.
Nearly all businesses are familiar with search engine optimization. They know about keywords and improving their website speed.
But what they don’t know is SEO best practices. What brings users into a website and what search crawlers value changes year from year. For you to remain competitive, you must know the SEO best practices in 2021.
What are they? Here is your guide.
Understand Search Intentions
Most people know about SEO when it comes to keywords. They know that they have to put in keywords so web crawlers rank their content higher. They perform some keyword research, then toss a few terms here and there onto their website.
That is an okay start. What will make your SEO practices better is if you understand the intentions behind those searches.
There are four reasons why people use search engines. The first is for information. People are looking to know something in particular.
When someone searches, “weather forecast today,” they are looking for facts. They want to know how much sunshine there will be and what the temperature will be. A good website will provide this information succinctly without wasting time or space.
The second is for navigation. People want a specific service.
If they type in, “Amazon,” they want Amazon to appear at the top of the screen. Amazon should appear there, and other pages should provide details on how to use Amazon.
The third is for commercial purposes. People are considering buying a product and they need more information on it.
Someone who types in, “best gaming computers,” is looking for comparisons and contrasts. They want an article that talks about several different computers and determines the best one.
The fourth is for transactions. Users now want to buy a specific product. For “buy gaming computer,” they want a website that offers choices for computers.
Write Title Tags and Descriptions
Once you understand these intentions, you can produce better content. Don’t jump into blog posts just yet.
Title tags and descriptions are two of the most underrated components of any website. These are the first things that users look at. A compelling title tag with a clear description will lead to clicks.
Your title tags should be clear. “Gaming Computer Guide” is too non-specific and obscure. “Your Definitive Guide to Gaming Computers” or “The Best Gaming Computers for 2021” is far better.
Do not write a long title. Google only displays the first 60 characters, and a cut-off title looks bad to the eye.
Your descriptions should be similar. Capture the user’s attention with action words that match their intent. Language like, “Find your ideal gaming computer here,” speaks directly to them.
The description should be an accurate and concise summary of the entire article. Do not include false claims or clickbait.
Both your title tag and description should contain a keyword. Make sure the keyword is a natural fit within your material. If it sticks out like a sore thumb, web crawlers will reduce your ranking.
Do not stuff too many keywords into your tag or description. Try to include one in your tag and two in your description. But if you can’t fit that second one in the description, don’t try to.
Every page should have good tags and descriptions, not just your blog posts. Your home page should provide details on your business, touching on your expertise.
Use Good Images
Images are a crucial component of user experience. Many people are visual learners, so they need images to understand a subject matter. Other people need visuals to draw them into a text, especially if it is a long one.
There are several factors that determine the quality of an image. The first is the file format.
The two most common formats are JPEG and PNG, and most people use JPEG without thinking about it. JPEG provides better colours and resolution for photographs, but PNG provides better images with text and line drawings. Select the format that works best.
The second is the size of the file itself. You should always compress your images. The bigger the file, the longer it takes the page to load.
There are a few free tools that let you compress your images. After you compress them, check them. If they seem blurry or diluted, do not use them on your website.
The third is alt text. This is the text written within a website’s code that describes the appearance of the image. Most users do not see it, but web crawlers can pick it up.
Alt text provides another opportunity to insert a keyword. Adopt a similar approach to your description. Be concise and accurate, and include a keyword where it naturally fits in a sentence.
The fourth is placement. You can include your image in several places, though nearly everyone puts their image up top. This is perfect for an image that serves as an introduction, drawing your reader in.
You can include an image in the body, especially if it illustrates something in the text. The image should be relevant to your text. Do not throw one in just to throw one in.
Speed up Your Website
Website speed is essential. 53 per cent of Internet users abandon a website if it takes three seconds to load.
In addition to compressing your image, you need to adjust other functions that slow your site down. Running ads on your page can take a while to load. Avoid running them if you can.
Videos can be a useful tool, especially for how-to articles. But they take some time to load. You can house videos on their own page, or you can provide links to them on social media.
Look at the JS and CSS files in your computer code. Compress those files, just as you would compress your images. This will speed your loading time up.
Keep your header, navigation bar, and footer small. Many companies incorporate images or long links into these places. This will slow your speed down.
If nothing seems to be working, there are a few advanced ways to increase your website speed. You can adopt virtual private servers, in which you share your server with other users. But you have your own portion of it, keeping other users from slowing you down.
You should look at measures to enhance your website design. Making content more responsive and readable is always a good idea. Visit each page to make sure it functions and looks good.
Links give web crawlers more material to comb through and consider for search rankings. They also give users more information to base a decision on, increasing a company’s credibility.
For every 500 words, try to include one internal link within your company’s website and one external link. Do not link to anyone who offers a service similar to yours. Government and news websites tend to provide good material.
Avoid linking to the home pages of a website. Go to an article that describes something relevant.
As with keywords, you want links that seem natural. If you are stuffing links into your articles, web crawlers will devalue your content.
Write good anchor text that you can drop a link into. It should indicate what material the link provides while encouraging the user to click on it. Keep your anchors within five words.
One effective way to link to an internal page is through a call-to-action. This serves as the conclusion of your article, motivating the user to do something. You can include your contact page or your list of products.
The sites you link to reflect back on you. If those sites don’t load quickly, the user will assume your links have the same speed. Pick good-quality sites.
If possible, try to get other sites to link to you. You can write guest posts for them. You write an informative blog post, then you include a link to your website.
Write Worthwhile Content
Creating worthwhile content takes time. You will need to put in a lot of effort, especially as you adjust your website to SEO techniques.
Put some research. Go on your competitors’ websites and see what they do. Write down what you think works best, then write down what you can do differently.
Everything you write should be substantial and valuable. Do not write a post to advertise a product or a service.
Remember the intent of users. They want clear information that will improve their lives somehow, even if it is just to know what the weather will be like. Adjust your content to fulfil that intent.
Start out with articles that are 500 words in length. This gives you enough time to cover the basics of your field. Draft them over a couple of times, and have someone else in your company read them.
There is a common format for a good SEO article. It starts with a 100-word introduction, in which you include your keyword. It works like an inverted pyramid, starting broad and then moving into more nuance.
The body of your article describes relevant details. Try to have at least two sections. Your first section can give background material, then your second can talk about why that material is relevant.
Your conclusions should be 100 words. Like your introduction, you should include your keyword. You should also include a call-to-action.
Provide short headers for each section, including your conclusion. Include your keyword into one of them.
Don’t stress over your writing too much. As long as you avoid common marketing mistakes, you should do fine.
Once you get underway with your blog, you can branch out a little. Start writing longer articles.
The longer your articles, the more space you will have to provide details. 1,000-word articles can serve as great how-to guides. 1,500 and 2,000-word articles can serve as think pieces, laying out how an industry functions.
Top-ten lists are very digestible. Write a top-ten list of industry titans, or give ten reasons why a service or business matters.
If you are in an industry that changes rapidly, you can write a news update article. Talk about the news, and offer your own perspective. If there is a piece of legislation that affects you, give the pros and cons for it.
Explore your voice. Feel free to use the first person when it is appropriate. Tell jokes, use idioms, and write juicy descriptions.
You are not limited to blog posts. You can write an eBook, which will give you the most space to provide clear details. Talk about the history of your industry, discuss some current problems, then give solutions.
If you get bored with writing, you can experiment with videos. Start a YouTube channel for your company.
Adopt a similar logic to written posts. You want to create informative videos that encourage users to check your company out.
You do not have to use fancy technology, like advanced cameras. You can use your laptop camera and built-in microphone, provided that your information is relevant. Plan out what you want to say and record multiple takes until you have it right.
While you are producing content, you should be viewing content. Keep up with what your competition is doing and adjust your material accordingly.
The Best SEO Practices for 2021
SEO practices are always evolving. Right now, it is important to understand search intent. You should match your website to what users want, including in your title tags and meta descriptions.
You should use a high-quality image on every page. But make sure each page loads and looks good.
Sew in external and internal links into informative and nuanced blog posts. Once you get a feel for SEO writing, start experimenting with other formats.
Turn to expert marketers and web designers. EB Pearls is Sydney’s leading digital service agency. Book a consultation today.