SEO best practices — 17 tips to seriously improve SEO

SEO Best Practices

When it comes to SEO, it’s all about following a correct strategy. SEO is the most cost-effective way to bring new visitors to your website. But, there is no secret method to rank number one in Google. Nevertheless, you can achieve great results and dramatically improve your website’s organic rankings by applying the best SEO practices.

In this article, you’ll find 17 resources and tips that will help you boost your website to a whole new level.

Tip 1: Write only high-quality content

In order to write the best article about a specific subject, do your research and check what articles are already ranking high in Google, for your keywords. You have to find posts that have proven to be successful on social media and also at attracting backlinks.

Have a look at the top 10 results and make improvements to the content that already exists. For example, if you are trying to write an article about small dog breeds, you can do a detailed post titled ‘Everything you need to know about small dog breeds’. Make your article a few times better than everything that’s already on the web, and you’ll have high chances to rank on the first page in Google.

Tip 2. Keywords research

Another method to find what people are searching for is to type in Google your main keywords, and check the suggestions based on the most popular searches.

Lastly, if you scroll at the bottom of the Google’s page, you can see some more search related queries.

Focus on keywords that have higher search volume but don’t neglect long tail keywords. If optimized right, you can get more traffic from keywords with less search volume.

Keep in mind that you must write for your readers, and not for Google’s spiders. Don’t do keyword stuffing.

Tip 3. Use unique titles and meta descriptions

Tip 4. Highlight your data with Google Webmaster Tools

Go to Google Webmaster Tools and click on ‘Search Appearance’ and then on ‘Data Highlighter’.

Click on ‘Start Highlighting’. You will be asked to choose what type of data you want to highlight. If you have a simple content blog, choose articles. If not, choose what is the most appropriate category for your website.

Once on the highlighter page, simply click and drag your mouse over your website’s title and choose ‘title’. Do the same for your ratings, author, date published, image and so on. Google will ask you to repeat the process a few times until they will understand the patterns your website is following. Once finished, click ‘done’ and that’s all. When Google will crawl your site again, they will better recognize your data structure.

Tip 5. Use a sitemap

If you are using a custom CMS, you can use a XML sitemap generator to build a sitemap and then upload it to your website.

After creating your sitemap, you will have to head over to Google Webmaster tools and from the right side menu, click on Crawl-Sitemaps. Here you can submit your sitemap to Google.

Tip 6. Avoid having 404 errors on your website

At the bottom of the settings page, you can see a list of all the pages that gave a 404 error to your users.

Not using Wordpress? Then you can use the Google Chrome extension called Check My Links. Install the extension and use it when you want to look for broken links on your website.

Tip 7. Promote your website through guest blogging

To automate the guest blogging research process, you can use social media, Twitter to be more exact. I recommend you to use Topsy, which can send email alerts when keywords you want to track, are posted on Twitter. For example, to get email alerts when someone on Twitter mentions a keyword like ‘seo guest blog’, click on the Settings icon and then on ‘Get email alerts’.

Filter the results and only write guest articles for websites that are worthy. Don’t waste time doing it on low-quality sites and don’t do it just for the sake of getting a link. Try to provide value to the readers, and you’ll get much more in return.

Tip 8. Use what works best for your competitors

Think about this for a second. If you could get the about 50% of the websites that are linking to your competitors, to link to your website, that would mean you can easily outrank them, right? Of course, by having all the top links of all your main competitors, you could easily get an advantage ahead of them. Sounds easy, but how do you do that.

By spying them, obviously. You have to be up to date with all the backlinks they are building or earning, and try to replicate them. For this, you can use one of my favorite SEO tools, which is called Monitor Backlinks. After connecting your account with Google Analytics and adding your competitors, you get a list with all the websites that are linking to them. The feature I find the most useful is that it automatically compares your links with your competitor’s, and highlights with green the ones you have in common. Take this screenshot, for example:

I already have three out of the eight best links of my competitor, meaning I only have to focus on finding a way to get a link from the other websites.

What’s even greater is that Monitor Backlinks sends you email reports with all the links earned by your competitors. All this makes the job a whole lot easier.

Tip 9. Keep track of your backlinks

To easily keep a record of your links, you can again use Monitor Backlinks. It allows you to add tags to your website’s links, get email alerts when your website earns a new link or when one of your old ones are being removed.

Tip 10. Speed up your website

To find suggestions to speed up your website, you can use Google PageSpeed Insights tool or Pingdom Tool.

Optimizing your images is one of the first things to do if you want to speed up your website. Never use pictures at a higher resolution than the one you need to display on your posts.

The slower your website is, the more complicated it will be for Google’s bots to crawl your pages.

Tip 11. Use smart URL’s for your posts

Tip 12. Remove duplicate content from your website

Tip 13. Consistently add fresh content

Tip 14. Build a strong internal linking system

Tip 15. Optimize your images

Tip 16. Don’t build backlinks just to your homepage

Tip 17. Don’t do advertorial or paid links for SEO

Conclusion

These are the best SEO practices that can help you increase your organic traffic. Keep in mind that SEO never gives results overnight. If done right, in the long run, you will get a lot of benefits.

I often write about online marketing, SEO, entrepreneurship, startups and SaaS

I often write about online marketing, SEO, entrepreneurship, startups and SaaS