GOOGLE BEST SEO PRACTICES

Matthew Carter
Hello friends, my name is Matthew Carter. I’m a professional link builder for a large SEO agency in New York City.

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Both of these things help Google understand your images, which can help your pages rank for long-tail keywords in web search—and in Google Images.

People aren’t looking for a protein shake recipe; they’re looking to buy some powder. This is why most of the top 10 results are ecommerce category pages, not blog posts.

Best practices are a good starting point, but they’re not always enough to rank. There are other important ranking factors to keep in mind and other ways to improve SEO.

Here’s an example:

Google understands this, which is why all of the top results are blog posts—not pages selling protein powder.

8. Write a compelling title tag and meta description.

How do you rank for more queries? Make your content more thorough.

If there’s a lock icon before the URL, then you’re good.

Just take a look at the number of referring domains to the pages ranking for “best credit card”:

So, while search volume is a good way to filter for keyword ideas, always make sure to check estimated traffic to the pages that rank to get a better idea of true search traffic potential.

Shows how many different websites are linking to this piece of content. As a general rule, the more websites link to you, the higher you rank in Google.

Turn off intersections one and two to refine results further.

The good news is that switching to HTTPS is a one-time job. Once installed, every page on your site should be secure—including those you publish in the future.

Ranking for this keyword in the short-to-medium term would be impossible for 99% of people.

If the suggestions aren’t that relevant, use the Include filter to narrow things down. For example, let’s filter our list to include only keywords with the word “best.”

4. Match search intent.

Competitive keywords are often dominated by large brands with insane backlink profiles and deep pockets.

To do that, run a search in Google for site:yourdomain.com [page topic]

You should aim to build backlinks from authoritative and relevant pages and websites.

Optimizing file names is simple. Just describe your image in words, and separate those words with hyphens.

In this case, that might be something like “best credit cards for lounge access”:

Don’t overlook the importance of Google Images. It’s sent us over 5,500 clicks in the past three months:

12. Get more backlinks.

The former has a higher monthly search volume, but the top-ranking result only gets an estimated 65 monthly US organic visits…

Here are three ways to find subtopics:

If other prominent websites on the subject link to the page, that’s a good sign that the information is of high quality.

Read more about what makes a good backlink here, or watch this video:

But while search volume is a reasonable indicator of traffic potential for this keyword, it can be misleading.

Your title tag and description are effectively your sales pitch.

While the search volume and organic traffic potential are much lower than for a competitive keyword like “best credit cards,” there are fewer big brands to compete with, and you won’t need as many backlinks to rank.

Add structured data markup . Structured data are code you can add to your sites to better explain your content to search engines. Use this data to send better signals to search engines and improve the appearance of your search results – as structured data or schemas can add additional information to search engine results.

Use canonical tags on duplicate content . If you need to publish content that is already published on another webpage (whether it is on your site or another website), use a canonical tag that tells search bots to ignore the duplicate content. This tag points the crawler to the original copy. It doesn’t add SEO value to your site, but it helps you avoid duplicate content penalties.

Make sure all of your NAP entries are consistent . NAP stands for name, address, and phone. NAPs for businesses are often included in business directories. Make sure all of your business’ NAP references are accurate as one of the best practices for SEO as it relates to local search.

Write high-quality, high-value content . Don’t just write to reach a word count. If you want your content to rank, use these content writing tips to create high-quality evergreen content that is well-written and extremely useful and valuable. Search engines want to provide the best results, so build the top resource for your topic if you want to rank.

Assign secondary keywords to each page on your website . Search crawlers use the content around your keywords to help understand the page. You can give them extra context about your page by using secondary keywords. Secondary keywords are terms closely related to your primary keyword.

Technical SEO.

Utilize organized and natural site architecture . Sites with good page hierarchy and structure are more visible in search engine results because the search engine crawler can find more pages. Set up your site so that it is well-structured and well-linked.

Make sure you never miss an opportunity to improve your SEO by using Alexa’s SEO Audit Tool. The tool runs a report on the entire SEO status of your site, pointing out errors and providing directions for improving elements that will boost your search visibility.

Point all domains to the same host . Many sites allow users to visit them through different hostnames (e.g., both http://domain.com and http://www.domain.com). It is one of the best practices for SEO to make sure that both of these points to the other.

Assign one primary keyword per page on your website . When you find the keywords you want to target, assign each term to one page – and only one page – on your website. Once you decide which primary keywords go with which pages, optimize those pages for the terms using on-page SEO factors described later in this post.

Include links on each page of your website . Online audiences use links to navigate around a website. Include links on each of your pages, so users aren’t met with a dead end that requires them to use the back button or leave your site.

Add your website to relevant business directories . Work to build your online presence by creating profiles for your business on relevant digital directories. Choose general business directories (like Yelp, Yellow Pages, Angie’s List, etc.) as well as listing sites that are relevant to your industry. Always include a link back to your website in your profile.

Don’t publish shallow content . There is no magic word count for the exact amount of copy you should write for SEO content. But as far as best practices for SEO go, you should always aim to write at least 300 words. However, your content will be more likely to rank if it thoroughly fleshes out and explains a topic Click & Tweet! , which often can’t be done with just 300 words. So write as much as you need to cover your subject fully.

Set up a Google business page . Best practices for SEO as they relate to local searches include creating a Google My Business page. This practice is especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses as it shows a rich result on local Google SERPs.

When adding internal links, use the page’s target keyword as the anchor text . To make internal links on your site more useful to search crawlers, link using the page’s target keyword as the anchor text.

Search engine optimization isn’t one single task or strategy you implement to boost your website to the top of search engine rankings. An effective optimization plan combines a variety of best practices for SEO that come together to help websites gain authority in SERPs. Click & Tweet!

On-Site Content.

Use the primary keyword throughout the text . As you write your content, naturally use the primary keyword throughout the content. Avoid keyword stuffing by keeping your keyword density to about 2%. This is one of the most essential best practices for SEO.

If you want to increase your website’s rankings, help more people find your brand through search, and grow your digital authority, you should use as many best practices for SEO as possible. Here’s a comprehensive list of the strategies you should focus on.

Use natural language in your copy. Along with technical factors and keyword optimization, the structure and quality of your copy is still a major ranking factor. Readability impacts a page’s ability to show up in search, especially voice search. So use natural, well-written language to provide a better experience for readers and to improve semantic SEO.

Use the primary keyword in the meta title . Meta titles are headlines that appear with results on a search page. Include the primary keyword in this title as it helps crawlers understand the page, but more importantly because it helps searchers find relevant results on SERPs. Keep your title to 65 characters or less so the full headline is visible in results. Also, include the primary term as close to the front of the title as possible to help catch extra attention.

Add an SSL certificate to your site An SSL certificate adds a layer of security to your site. It changes your site URL from “http” to “https.” If your site doesn’t have an SSL certificate, search browsers will alert users that your site could be unsafe, and it can have a negative impact on your search rankings. Click & Tweet!

Don’t publish duplicate meta title tags and descriptions . Just as you don’t want to publish the same copy on pages, you don’t want to publish duplicate SEO meta descriptions. Write unique meta titles and descriptions for each page on your site. Also, keep the description to under 320 characters and don’t use special characters to ensure that your entire description will show up properly on SERPs.

For more on-page SEO recommendations, read this post: On-Page SEO Checklist: Optimize Every Page on Your Site. You’ll also get a free SEO checklist so you can feel confident your content follows best practices every time you publish.

Local SEO.

Use the primary keyword in an image alt tag . When you include media on a page, show that the image is related to the topic by including the primary keyword in the image alt tag. This sends information to search crawlers about the page and also describes the image if the graphic doesn’t load.

Create a Bing Webmasters account and submit your sitemap . Bing is also a popular search tool for users, so also set up a Bing Webmaster account and submit a sitemap to their directory.

Use the secondary keywords at least once on the page . Once you find related keywords, use each term once on the page to send extra context signals to search crawlers.

Fix broken links on your site . Links that don’t work, are broken, or generate an error instead of going to the expected page, file, or image have a negative impact on SEO. Ensure that all of the inbound and outbound links on your site work.

Then, make sure each page on your site is properly optimized for its target keyword. Use Alexa’s On-Page SEO Checker to audit each page on your site. Enter the site URL and target keyword to get a report on how to improve the page to match best practices for SEO.

Consider using AMP pages . To make your site even more mobile-friendly, use AMP pages that make blog posts easier to read and quicker to load on handheld devices.

But don’t include too many links . On the flip side, too many links can be confusing to users and make your site difficult to navigate and crawl. So best practices for SEO include keeping the number of pages with more than 100 links to a minimum and avoiding pages with more than 1,000 links.

Properly use robots.txt . A robots.txt file tells search engines whether they can access and crawl parts of your site. There are situations where you want to use this file. You may want to hide unimportant or sensitive pages on your site. But you also need to ensure that this file isn’t blocking pages on your site that you want crawlers to access.

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