Often, clients come to me because they’ve spent the last few months to years not optimizing their blog and though they update their blog with fresh content consistently, they’re not seeing the traffic, let alone leads expected. That said, here are 7 SEO best practices you should execute that can yield positive results overtime:
Moz explains that the title element of a web page is meant to be an accurate and concise description of a page’s content. This element is critical to both user experience and search engine optimization. It creates value in three specific areas: relevancy, browsing, and in the search engine results pages.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to do ensure that there is a title tag on every blog post that includes your targeted keyword and also ensure that it’s limited to 50-60 characters.
Having a compelling meta-description will help drive clicks, i.e. traffic to your site. Know that meta-descriptions are not crucial to search engine rankings, but since they play an extremely important role to gaining clicks, make sure you stay within 155-160 characters. Doing so, will show your full meta-description for each blog post allowing people to quickly understand what a page is about. Also make sure you include your targeted keyword too.
Per SEJ, while keyword prominence is still an important ranking factor, whether it is within the H1 or simply highlighted at the top of the page, there is another level to the effect of the H1 tag on organic search performance. A page’s ability to effectively engage users is another way Google organizes its search results.
The significance of the H1 to this engagement metric is that it is often the first page element a user sees upon landing on a page. Therefore it is imperative that this headline assures the user they are in the right place and have found what they are looking for.
Alt-tags for Images
Launch Digital Marketing explains that images are more difficult than text for search engines to understand. As search engines crawl web content, alt tags help them comprehend the images and related web pages. If you include alt tags that follow best practice, you will increase the chance of search engines returning your images in search queries.
404 Error Pages
Having error pages live and indexed on the web, let alone as a destination that visitors fall on isn’t ideal; this interrupts a good experience. 404 error pages don’t negatively impact your search engine rankings in the shorter term, but in the longer term may impact visitor experience, which increases bounce rates and in turn, will negatively impact rankings.
As such, it’s important to employ a 301 redirect or even some humorous content to then redirect visitors to a more informational page that they were perhaps looking for in the first place.
When it comes to properly structuring your URLs, here are a few tips:
- Use hyphens to separate words when necessary for readability. They should not use underscores, spaces, or any other characters to separate words. Overuse of hyphens in URLs can be seen as spammy, so it’s best to use caution and limit hyphen use in URLs when possible.
- Never be longer than 2,048 characters; otherwise Internet Explorer won’t be able to load the page.
- Avoid the use of parameters, if possible. If parameters need to be used, they should be limited to two or less.
As Social Media Examiner writes:
“It’s not enough to have a popular website with good content anymore. If you want better search engine results for your business, it’s time to look at how social media influences those results. It used to be that SEO revolved around two things: using the right keywords, and the number of authoritative sites that linked back to your content via inbound links. Then social media came along and changed everything. Search engines have begun to incorporate social signals (Facebook likes, retweets, +1s and so on) to inform their search results.”
Knowing this means that you have to ensure your blog is social friendly, which will also help visitors re-share your content to proliterate your credibility and presence.
Lastly, here are a few stats from Website Magazine around SEO that should be taken seriously for any marketer, especially business owner to invest in SEO.
- Almost half of companies that implement inbound marketing efforts see a 25 percent greater ROI than companies that do not. –CRM Daily
- Leads generated through SEO close at around 14.6 percent while leads from other channels close at an average of 1.7 percent. –HubSpot
- Seventy-ninety percent of clicks on Google Search results go to organic results (with some companies reporting as high as 94 percent of clicks going to organic results). –Nielsen
- The #1 organic result gets nearly twice as many clicks as the #2 result. –Chitika/ Search Engine Land
- U.S based inbound marketers that spend more than $25K per year save about 13 percent on the cost per lead with inbound marketing when compared to outbound. –State of Inbound Report