10 Best Practices for SEO

Written by: Jason Bayless | January 27, 2017
Search engine optimization is arguably the most important element in achieving online success. And with the industry rapidly growing, millions of people have developed a desire to learn how to properly utilize this valuable marketing tool to either enhance marketable skills or to improve their company’s online presence. However, learning how to use SEO correctly is not a small matter.

SEO is a complicated subject in itself, but when you add incorrect information into the equation, it can become a nightmare to try and master. Another downfall is that identifying accurate information from inaccurate information can be difficult to discern. Nevertheless, there are basic founding principles involved with SEO and are actually easy to understand. Additionally, using these principles as your foundation during your learning of SEO makes learning and using advanced concepts less of a challenge.

In this post, we are going to cover 10 SEO best practices that you should adhere to if you want to truly make your SEO efforts effective. With that said, let’s get going.

1. URL Readability = Our first entry may seem like a no-brainer, but people are still creating funky URLs that make it difficult, if not impossible, to be read by a living person. Even though you may be making it easier for a human to read, it also makes it better for search engines.

2. Use Correct Keywords = Keywords serve as a lighthouse for the millions of people floating around on the internet looking for specific information. When people type a topic or subject in a search engine, they are basically asking that search engine to help point them in the right direction. These keywords are what the search engines are looking for. That is why using the correct keywords for your site is critical.

3. Image Optimization = While search engines are pretty smart, especially popular ones such as Google, they cannot understand image content unless you take the time to explain it to them. While correctly optimizing your images will not help your content ranking, it will improve where your image appears when a user conducts an image search.

4. Take Advantage of Internal Linking = Internal linking will often be overlooked for our desire to acquire external links. However, internal linking is not only something that we can control completely, it still has plenty to offer regarding SEO benefits. Internal linking helps to establish your site’s hierarchy, spread authority through your site, helps visitors navigate your site, and helps to bring more of your content into public view.

5. Make It Speedy = Since 2010, Google has used the speed of a website as a factor in where it will be ranked. They included site loading speed as a variable because they wanted to ensure they provided their users with the best results, which means not giving them a website that takes forever to load. How long is forever in website loading speed? Anything over two seconds. Ensuring your website loads quickly will help to prevent losing visitors and improving your rankings.

6. Utilize The 404 Page = How quickly do you leave a website once you see the 404 page? Just nearly everyone else, probably pretty quickly. Make your 404 page useful or entertaining in some way. This will help to ensure your visitors don’t leave before entering your doorway.

7. Use A Subfolder = This best practice is still debated among many in the industry. However, results have shown that using a subfolder for your content instead of a subdomain yielded better results.

8. Don’t be a Copycat = Search engines love original and unique content. They love it because they want to ensure their users receive the best results possible and not 27 copies of the same thing. In other words, be unique, create your own content, and think outside of the box.

9. Leave a Trail = Breadcrumbs are helpful in pointing readers in the right direction for a particular page. They also help search engines, and users, navigate your web page. When used correctly within articles and blogs, breadcrumbs can help to encourage visitors to check out more of your website’s content.

10. Change is Constant = As with all industries, and life in general, change is inevitable. With that said, guidelines regarding SEO and Google also change. This means you have to stay up-to-date with current trends and guidelines to ensure you do not have any issues later on.