SEO Best Practices Guide

SEO Best Practices Guide
Article by DesignRush DesignRush
Last Updated: May 13, 2023

Effective SEO practices can improve your website's visibility and increase organic traffic. With proper optimization, you could gain potential customers and revenue, while without a solid SEO strategy, your website will hardly live up to its full potential. It won't appear in the top results when people search for relevant keywords and will drive less traffic and conversions.

This article will discuss the ten SEO best practices you should implement to improve your website's search engine ranking. These practices include keyword research, on-page optimization, link building and content creation. Each plays a vital role in improving your website's SEO and overall online presence.

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What are SEO Best Practices?

SEO best practices are strategies used to optimize websites for search engines and users in order to increase visibility, traffic and engagement and improve user experience.

Some of the most common SEO practices include keyword research, interlinking, backlinking, optimizing website loading speed, making it responsive on all devices and monitoring results.

Let's discuss valuable practices that will optimize your website for better visibility and traffic!

1. Find the Right Keywords for Your Niche

Keyword research has always been an essential SEO technique. It helps identify the words and phrases people use to search for information, products or services related to your business. Knowing which keywords to target can optimize your website's content and improve your chances of ranking higher in SERPs.

To conduct keyword research, you can follow these simple steps:

  • Brainstorm a list of potential keywords that come to your mind when you want to describe your business, products or services. Your potential customers may think of those words too.
  • Use keyword research tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush or Ahrefs to find related keywords and their search volume.
  • Using the same tools, analyze the competition to discover which keywords they rank.

If you're new in the industry, you should choose long-tail keywords over short-tail because they are easier to rank for and bring more qualified leads. Choose the most relevant keywords and incorporate them into your website's content.

Keyword research can help you create a more effective SEO strategy and improve your website's visibility and traffic from search engines.

2. Mention the Primary Keyword Early in The Article

Mentioning the target keyword early in the content is a good on-page optimization practice that can help improve the relevance and visibility of the page for the given keyword.

Here's why:

When search engine crawlers go through a page, they try to understand the topic and relevance of the content based on various signals, including the text on the page. By placing the target keyword near the beginning of the content, you are signaling to search engines the topic on the page, which can help it rank higher in search results for that keyword.

Moreover, placing the target keyword early in the content can also help improve user experience and engagement. When users search for a particular keyword, they are more likely to click on a result that includes the keyword in the title or early in the content, as it confirms that the page is relevant to their search query.

Try to include the target keyword in the page title, meta description and first paragraph of the content, but avoid over-optimizing or stuffing the keyword unnaturally, as this can harm the user experience and the page's ranking potential.

3. Publish High-quality Content

Publishing valuable and high-quality content is considered one of the SEO best practices, with a great reason. Good content can help improve your website's authority, engagement and relevance; important factors that search engines consider when ranking pages.

When you publish original and insightful content that provides value to your audience, you establish your brand as an expert in your industry. Positioning as a leader can help build trust and credibility with your audience, which brings higher engagement, backlinks and social shares. Also, if users find your content useful, they are more likely to spend time on your website, explore other pages and return for more content in the future.

Although we believe in 2023, everyone knows this, let's state it again: copying someone else's content is not a good SEO practice because it can harm your website's authority, engagement and relevance. Search engines may penalize your website for duplicate content, resulting in lower rankings, reduced visibility and users losing trust in your brand.

Therefore, always creating original, valuable, high-quality content relevant to your target audience and aligned with your brand values is essential.

4. Interlink Your Content

Interlinking improves website navigation, UX and search engine visibility.

When you interlink pages within your website, you create a logical and intuitive structure that allows users to navigate between pages and find relevant information easily. This way you improve the overall UX and reduce bounce rates typically caused by user frustration.

Interlinking pages with relevant anchor text helps users discover related content that they may be interested in, which can increase their engagement and time on site.

Interlinks with appropriate and descriptive anchor text also help search engines understand the context and relevance of each page within your website, which can increase the chances of ranking higher on SERPs.

Here are some best practices for interlinking in 2023 to remember:

  • Use relevant and descriptive anchor text that accurately describes the linked page's content.
  • Refrain from exaggerating the number of interlinks.
  • Don't interlink to irrelevant pages because you will harm the user experience. Users will feel betrayed if your link misleads them.
  • Regularly review and update interlinks to align with your content strategy and user needs.

5. Build Valuable Backlinks

A good backlinking strategy is one of the most important SEO aspects because it improves a website's authority, trustworthiness and visibility in SERPs.

When other websites link to your website, it can signal to search engines that your website is an authoritative and trustworthy source of information. The website that passes you link juice helps you increase your website's domain authority and improve your rankings.

Users that click on a backlink to your website are referred from the linking website to yours, which increases your website's referral traffic and potentially leads to new leads or customers.

When building backlinks, you could be tempted to make as much as possible, but remember to focus on quality over quantity.

Aim for backlinks from authoritative and relevant websites in your industry or niche, including websites with high domain authority, popular blogs, news sites and social media influencers. Avoid acquiring backlinks from spammy or low-quality websites, as these can harm your website's reputation and potentially result in a penalty from search engines.

Regularly monitor and analyze your backlink profile to identify any potential issues or opportunities for improvement.

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6. Optimize Images

Optimizing images improves website speed, UX and search engine visibility.

Images can significantly impact website loading times, affecting user experience and search engine rankings. Optimizing images can reduce file size without ruining image quality, improve website speed and reduce bounce rates caused by slow loading.

Optimized images that load quickly can improve the overall UX. Satisfied users usually engage more and spend more time on the site, which can send positive signals to search engines that your website is providing a positive user experience.

Descriptive file names and alt text, necessary elements of image optimization, help search engines understand the context and relevance of the image. Entering file names and alt texts can improve search engine visibility and accessibility for users with disabilities.

To optimize images for SEO, follow these practices:

  • Compress images to reduce file size.
  • Use file names and alt text that accurately describe the content and context of the image.
  • Use the appropriate image file format. For example, JPEGs are best for photographs, while PNGs are best for graphics and illustrations.
  • Resize images to the appropriate dimensions.

7. Ensure the Website is Responsive

A responsive website is designed to adapt and correctly display its content on various devices, such as desktops, laptops, tablets and mobile devices.

Responsiveness is essential for SEO because it can improve UX and increase engagement and rankings on SERPs.

Responsive design provides a consistent and easy-to-use interface across all devices, which increases engagement, reduces bounce rates and signals to search engines that your website is providing a positive UX.

Google has moved to mobile-first indexing, which means that the search engine primarily uses the mobile version of a website for indexing and ranking purposes.

Responsive design can also improve website speed, an important ranking factor for search engines. You can optimize website load times and reduce bounce rates by designing a responsive website for different devices.

8. Improve the Website’s Loading Speed

People have less and less time and patience; waiting for your website to load is not something they'll do when there are so many others that are faster. More than 53% of users abandon websites that take more than 3 seconds to load. Therefore, you should aim for a loading time under a given number.

Good loading time is essential for both UX and ranking in SERPs:

Website visitors expect fast-loading websites. Slow loading times can frustrate users and lead to higher bounce rates, negatively impacting UX and engagement.

Loading speed is a ranking factor for search engines. Slow-loading websites fall on rankings, which negatively impacts visibility and traffic.

To improve website loading speed:

  • Optimize images.
  • Minimize HTTP requests.
  • Use a content delivery network (CDN) to distribute content quickly across multiple servers worldwide.
  • Use caching to store frequently accessed data in a temporary storage area.

A good website loading speed should be 2.5 seconds or less. However, loading speed can vary depending on website complexity, design, user device and internet connection. Regularly monitor website loading speed and adjust as necessary to provide the best possible UX and improve search engine rankings.

9. Monitor Results

Monitoring SEO results can help you identify what is working, what needs improvement or how effective your SEO strategies are. If strategies are not producing the desired results, you can adjust to improve your SEO success.

You can analyze your website's SEO performance and visitors using free or affordable tools like Moz, Ahrefs, SEMRush and Google Analytics. These tools will provide you with various information, such as how visitors come to your site, their geographical location and the amount of time they spend on each page.

10. Be Patient!

Don't expect instant results - SEO doesn't produce immediate results; it takes time and patience. Depending on your niche, seeing the full benefits of SEO efforts can take months or even years. Still, once you achieve results, assuming you'll continue performing your SEO strategy, they will be long-lasting.

SEO Best Practices - Final Thoughts

Implementing the best SEO practices can help improve your website's visibility, traffic and engagement. Each of the abovementioned practices is important. Done separately, they will improve some aspects of your website, but together, in synergy, they will enhance your overall online presence. By implementing them, you will achieve long-term SEO success and drive sustainable growth for your website.

Reading about the best SEO tactics can be confusing, but practicing them and measuring the success of your efforts can be much more challenging. If you need help on any part of your SEO journey, don't hesitate to contact some of the best SEO agencies we listed for you.

We’ll find qualified SEO agencies for your project, for free.
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