This post is about the ten best practices for SEO (search engine optimization) that you can implement right now in your blog or website. SEO is constantly changing, but these best practices will help you in the long run.
You need to know that SEO is always evolving: its study is a discipline that you have to study every day.
But one thing that is now strongly tied to SEO is user experience (UX).
Why? Because all major search engines want to get new users and maintain them in the long run.
To maintain a user you need to provide a good user experience.
For you to help the search engines, you only need to provide good quality content—that is your job.
If you create good quality content the search engines will take your blog or content into consideration in the results page, because you are giving an answer to a query from its users.
But you also have to take into consideration that your web page or blog has to be fast. It has to load quickly because people don’t like to wait to get the information they want.
As you can see, it is all about user experience right now.
But I am going to show you the best practices for SEO that are going to both help you and complement the user experience you have to give.
I want to tell you something first: all search engines have an algorithm (or “spiders”) that will “see” your content for indexing, archiving, and in case your content is the answer to a query, for showing it to the user.
If you want to know more about search engine optimization you can read this post:
Another thing that you need to have in mind is that you have to “teach” this algorithm what your niche is. This can take time, but it is important for a faster indexing of your content.
With that in mind, let’s see the best practices for SEO.
Your keyword has to appear early on in your content
This is one of the most important practices for SEO, because, as I told you before, the “spiders” or the algorithm will “read” your content. For that reason, your keywords have to be early on in your content.
For example, the keyword for this post is: best practices for SEO.
For that reason the keyword is in the title and in the first paragraph of this post.
This is a way to tell the “spiders”: this is my keyword and the topic for my post, please index it.
And it is also well known that search engines put more weight on terms that appear at the top of a web page.
One of the best practices for SEO is to align your content with search intent. Let me explain this in detail.
Think about this. When a user makes a search on any search engine, that user tends to ask a question, for example:
- What is the weather like today?
- How do I repair my iPhone?
Or, it’s a very detailed description of what the user wants:
Best Italian restaurant
Best practices for SEO
iPhone 13 review.
As you can see, users are making more detailed searches. It is very rare that a user uses a generic keyword to make a search.
And also, don’t forget this: More and more searches are made by voice.
What does this mean for best practices for SEO?
It means that you have to keep in mind while writing that your content is an answer for a search made by a user.
Remember the user experience?
Your content is also part of the whole user experience because it has to be the answer the user is looking for.
For this reason, you have to write in a certain way so that your content aligns with the search intent.
For example, the keyword of this post is: Best practices for SEO.
Good, so the main subtitle (Heading 2) also has the keyword, but I wrote it to be more aligned with a search intent: Best practices for SEO that you need to know.
Then the other subtitles (Heading 3) will complement heading 2, and in the “eyes” of the search engines it will look like this:
Best practices for SEO:
- Heading 3
- Heading 3
- Heading 3
As you can see, I am giving the answer for a search in a totally organized way.
That is what search engines want.
I don’t know why this is, but I see this mistake often; bloggers and companies don’t usually include their keywords in the URL.
This is basic SEO. The keyword always has to be in the URL. You have to help the search engine classify your content in an optimized way.
For example, the url of this post is: raulthetechnologysavvy.com/best-practices-for-seo
As you can see, I am only using the keyword in the URL; I am not including the whole title of the post.
Please don’t forget to include keywords in your URL; it will help with your SEO.
Publish long content
Search engines love long content. A study from Semrush says that long-form articles (posts with 3000+ words) get 3x more traffic, 4x more shares, and 3.5x more backlinks than articles of average length (901–1200 words).
That is why my posts tend to have 2500 words per post. They are long articles that take time to write.
How to write long articles?
What I do is write 500 words per day. That way, it isn’t stressful to write long articles.
500 words per day is fun to write, it is easy to write, and you can be 100% focused on those 500 words.
This is a good practice that you have to use for your SEO.
Generally, when you write a new post you always mention a previous post within the article. When you do that, you create a link to that post.
The search engines love this action.
Also, you can create internal links by linking old posts to new ones. This is a common practice to give authority to new posts.
But you have to do this wisely, and only link them when it’s necessary.
Remember that you must help the search engines index your posts in the right way.
But the search engines hate it when you do too much internal linking to take advantage of SEO.
Be careful about the internal linking, and only do it when necessary.
My recommendation for this is to use an anchor text that helps the search engines know where you are linking to.
Here’s an example from my own posts:
If you want to know more about Facebook you can read this post: 8 Strategies for Facebook Marketing.
As you can see, I am using the title of the post as an anchor text.
In that way the search engines will know where I am linking to.
Meta descriptions are very important because they’re like a summary of the whole post, and they are what the search engines are going to show on the results page.
What do I do with meta descriptions? My first paragraph is my meta description. In that way I make a summary for my reader of my whole post in the first paragraph, and that is a good user experience. Here’s how to do it:
- Write compelling meta descriptions (a summary of your post)
- 150 to 160 characters is the recommended length (like a tweet)
- Avoid duplicate meta descriptions (never repeat a meta description)
Ok, you probably think that your content is easy to read, but for your audience it might be complicated to follow.
If you are an expert in your field, you are used to using keywords related to your field that everybody else wouldn’t know, and those keywords may make your content difficult to read.
You have to write for an audience that is interested in your topic, but consider that they might not be experts in your field.
But how can you do it? How can you make complicated topics seem simple?
My recommendation is that you write a difficult topic like a story.
For example, in the first paragraph you could present the topic of the post and show your audience which words you are going to use.
Then you can slowly reveal the more complicated aspects of your topic.
It can be difficult to do at first, but the more you write the easier it will be for you.
After you finish writing your post, you can show it to a friend that doesn’t work in your field to see if that friend can understand it.
My recommendation for you is that you keep writing to find your voice and to write better posts.
Ok, you may be thinking, why is this one of the best practices for SEO? Or, are you sure? This tactic could take away traffic from my website.
Let’s see; you need to remember that linking to another website with good authority and good content is good for your blog or website.
The reason is that the internet is made up of connections; one computer is connected to another one, and web pages are also connected.
If in your post you link to another website or blog with relevant anchor text, the search engines will take your website or blog into consideration, because you did the work of looking out for relevant information that helps your reader.
That is why you need to do research before you write a new post.
This will also help with your link building, because if your link sends traffic to another website or blog, the owner of that website or blog might link to you in return. It’s a win-win for you.
Sometimes you can be so focused on the text of your post that you forget that the images are very important for SEO.
Images are important for SEO, so important that Google has a whole section dedicated to images in the search results.
What I do, to help my blog, is I name the images this way:
The technology savvy / the keyword / description of the photo
For example, take this photo of a previous post:
The tag for that photo was:
The technology savvy make money blogging pinterest pin
My goal is to tell the search engines that the image was made by me, the keyword is there, and the image is meant to be used on Pinterest.
Trust me. That little trick helps with SEO.
Choose a day of the week to post on your blog and stick to it.
In that way, the search engines will know what day they have to crawl your site looking for new content.
My recommendation is to be consistent. If you want to be a successful blogger this is the secret: write original content and post regularly.
I know that you also have to be on social media promoting your posts, but remember that the only way to truly monetize your efforts is through your blog.
Search engines love original content. Please do not plagiarize content from other bloggers. It is very important to not plagiarize content.
If you do this, you could be penalized for it.
To write original content, you have to investigate and do research.
It is very important that you do this, take notes, and then write your original content.
It also helps you organize your ideas before you start writing. I am telling you this because sometimes you will have your keywords, but not have any idea of how to write your post.
The blank sheet is scary, very scary, but your job is to write.
I tried not to mention Google because I don’t want to focus on one search engine, but my recommendation is that you use Google Search Console as a means to improve your website or blog.
Using Google Search Console is one of the best practices for SEO because this tool tells you when you have to fix something on your website or blog.
Also, it helps you track your backlinks, because someone might send you spam backlinks, and that can hurt your SEO.
And that leads to another best practice for SEO.
Not all links that point to your site are good ones. Some come for spam sites. For that reason, you have to constantly check your backlinks.
Google has a tool to disavow backlinks, but if you aren’t an SEO expert, you should hire an expert to do it, because this is a tricky thing.
My recommendation is that you check your backlinks every 3 to 4 months.
Like I told you before, search engine optimization is constantly changing, because Google, for example, wants to provide the best user experience.
For that reason they are always changing their algorithm. That is a good thing. It’s good for all of us, but we have to update how we approach SEO.
These best practices for SEO will help you to always stay in the game and avoid being penalized by the search engines.
But above all, write original content. If you keep writing original content that answers questions from your readers, the search engines will take your blog or web page as a valuable resource of information.