SEO is hard. But it doesn’t have to be. If you don’t have time for well-defined strategies or schedules, it’s crucial to at least follow a series of SEO best practices.
Therefore, let’s see the checklist you need to go through to make sure you’re securing high-pitched Google grades.
Is SEO Still Relevant in 2020?
Just in case you’re wondering, yes. SEO is still relevant in 2020. If you want to drive huge amounts of traffic to your website long term, with high return on investment, then SEO is the way to go.
Just think about last-place term you searched for something on the internet. What did “youre using”? Risks are it was Google.
In a style, things are getting more and more complicated, but that’s a good thing.
Well, because when things get more and more complicated, beings simplify them.
And by that, I mean they’re giving up.
They give up all the’ tricks’ and’ secret methods’ and they return to the basics.
As SEO comes more and more advanced and Google harder to trick, people start abandoning BlackHat SEO techniques.
I see more and more genuine SEO agencies. I envision more and more people talking about real long-term policies. I verify a lot more quality websites.
What Are the Best SEO Practices
In order to simplify the SEO process and get good results in terms of rankings, follow this list of SEO best practices 😛 TAGEND
1. Optimize for Search Intent
Search intent is the large-scale thing in 2020 and forward.
When a user searches for something, Google has to return relevant outcomes to parallel their probe intent.
Otherwise, their experience will be a bad one.
I’ll give a simple example. If you have an affiliate shoes remember website and try to optimize for” buy shoes online” you’ll probably have a hard time ranking for it.
The reason behind it is that people researching that utterance are looking to shop for shoes, which means they want to see offers and eCommerce websites.
So, if customers start seeking eCommerce websites, Google will figure that out and exhibition the proper results.
Instead, a better option would be to target something like” best shoes for operating”, or other keywords where people look for informational material rather than a store.
You can clearly see the difference in search intent for this keyword, with more informational material showing.
There were also some ads and a featured snippet, but I removed them to show merely the vanilla organic search engine results.
Based on the keywords “youre using”, the search engine might read your query as having different intents behind it 😛 TAGEND
informational( if you search for “sunglasses polarized meaning” ); navigational( if you search for the identify of a particular brand of sunglasses ); transactional( if you search for “cheap sunglasses” or “buy sunglasses” );
And if you’re wondering which exploration meaning is the most popular, you need to know that more than 80% of the total search intents are informational, 20% being almost equally split between navigational and transactional.
So, before you start writing content, repute very well what you’re optimizing it for. You can check out a previous commodities of ours on how to optimize for each type of search intent.
2. Perform In-Depth Keyword Research
Keyword research is always the most important step when it comes to SEO.
It’s vital to know what your useds sought for, otherwise you’re chasing mad geese.
It’s also very useful to know what your contestants are doing, so make sure you experiment that as well.
You can use the Content Optimizer& Keyword Tool to find related keywords.
Then you can use the Ranking Analysis tab to see what types of sheets grade well for each keyword you want to target.
This way, you’ll better understand user intent and can properly build your material around this information.
3. Target One Main Topic& Keyword
I don’t want you to understand this the wrong way. You don’t have to target a single keyword.
However, it is important to target one main topic. Again, it all comes down to user intent.
If you think two keyword words are very similar, but you’re not sure of the intent, do a Google search.
Does Google show same search results for both keywords? Or are they different?
For example,” travel tips indonesia” and” circulating to indonesia” might seem very similar, but the intent is very different.
In the first one people want to see traveling ends from favourite blogs while in the second one they want to know if it’s OK to travel there, so. gov official sites make for really relevant
It might not be the best example but I hope that members can get the point.
When you do keyword investigate, ever exam out what type of results grade for each particular keyword.
If the search results are similar, you can try to combine the keywords. This channel, you’ll get more traffic.
However, if the intent is different and the results are different, don’t try to catch two rabbits with one shot.
You’ll end up with none.
4. Use Your Focus Keyword in Titles and Descriptions
Title Tags and Meta Descriptions are a really important for SEO.
For formerly, Google actively looks for the keyword inside your Title Tags to figure out if your content is relevant or not for their special investigation queries.
Second, these designations feign CTR, which wants more clinks to your website.
The secret is to make it catchy. You can make it catchy simply by adding the keyword in the title.
Studies show that users like to see the keyword inside the title or description. That’s also why Google articulates they keywords in bold verse all the time.
Don’t forget about the meta description. Try to add keywords there as well, and too a CTA or something to convince the users to click on your result.
Discounts, free ship and similar things is functioning properly for eCommerce websites.
Mastering title creation for SEO is probably one of the most valuable knowledge an SEO professional can have.
Sure, when it comes to really big sites, you will use decorations and develop names dynamically.
However, when you’re looking to maximize decisions, you’ll have to manually adjust each and every title.
It’s also a good intuition to keep the title catchy, especially for social media. Sometimes, it’s hard to also include the keyword AND make it catchy.
So here’s where Open Graph comes in handy. It allows you to have a title for Google, and another one for social media.
On WordPress, you can use plugins such as Yoast SEO to set up different names for social media.
5. Write Optimized Content for Your Consumer& Google
Do it in that order. First your consumers, then Google.
Writing well optimized material is one of the most important SEO best rehearses.
The truth is that you still have to fix things a little more obvious for Google, sometimes.
For example, the best headline you’re thinking about might just not include that extremely searched for keyword…
You’ll have to make a compromise and try to add the keyword in those leaders, if you want to see better results.
Many times, when people write things just for the sake of SEO, the content feels … robotic.
Makes sense, doesn’t it? Since it was written for robots.
When I talk about the cognitiveSEO Content Optimization Tool, I always mention how you should actually use the keywords it provides.
Many beings exactly try to add them in wherever they can.
However, try to think of them as subtopics or important key component you should talk about.
For example, I have a section about internal links, and multiple divisions about technological SEO in this article.
This way, I can ensure those keywords are certainly occur in the essay. I’ve just exerted two of them right now!
But sure, sometimes it meets sense to simply replace” Google, Yahoo and Bing” with” Search Engines “.
6. Use Short and Human Friendly URLs
Don’t forget the URLs!
Warning: Don’t reform URLs that have already been indexed by Google without doing a proper 301 redirect. This can heavily feign your rankings.
It’s always very good meaning to get the URL right from the beginning and stick with it.
URL length isn’t a ranking factor, but there is a correlation between shorter URLs and higher rankings.
Now that doesn’t mean short-change URLs start higher rankings. Maybe better optimized sheets precisely have tidier URLs.
The point is that a URL should properly describe what the content is about.
This way, there will be more likelihoods that beings click them. Actually, it increases CTR by up to 45%.
Keywords inside the URL too help Google figure out what the content is about.
7. Make Sure Your Website Is Mobile Friendly
In this day and senility, almost all browses the web on the phone. More than 50% of trafficking in human beings on most websites come from mobile searches.
If your website isn’t properly optimized for portable utilization, you might lose a lot of traffic.
Google expends mobile first indexing, which represents it will first look at the mobile version of your website and rank it according to that.
To test if your website is portable affectionate you can use this tool.
If your place isn’t mobile friendly, make sure you follow these steps to make it mobile friendly.
You can also take a look at these best practises from Google.
8. Optimize Your Site’s Loading Speed
Loading speed is very important. Some studies show that you can lose 7% transition proportion for every extra second your place takes up to load.
That can be damaging!
However, the focus shouldn’t be on fixing issues or checking missiles to be submitted by tools, but rapidity itself. In seconds.
Another thing that affects your site velocity is the server. Make sure you have a good server.
The more traffic you drive to your website, the very best the server should be to handle it properly.
9. Improve Your Site’s User Experience
Now this is a general gratuity, which kind of combines everything, but it’s not limited to only these tips.
Many things even off for a good consumer ordeal, from fast loading fast to high quality content.
However, things differ from case to case.
The best route of improvement of the subscribers’ know is to ask them about it.
Survey your consumers with Qualaroo and SurveyMonkey and use tools such as Hotjar to monitor their activity on the website.
You’ll figure out UX topics pretty quick, for example if a mobile button is too small or users can’t seem to figure out what they have to do next in a funnel.
In addition to this, made to ensure that your website has close to 100% uptime. Areas that was down often do poorly in SERPs. An uptime monitor is absolutely critical.
If you run an online storage on scaffolds like Shopify or BigCommerce, there are some really good apps that can help you capture a backup of your accumulations so that anytime something goes wrong, you can quickly recover the site so that there is no downtime. Here’s a cool guide on how to start an online place in 2020.
10. Organize Your Site Hierarchy& Navigation
Structure is one of those SEO best practices that are frequently neglected. It’s really good to get things right from the start.
That’s why you need an SEO before you start creating a website.
While user experience is the driving ingredient, there’s more to structure than that.
The way your piloting sounds frequently dictates the sound magnitude to your pages.
And Google kindness pages that are not very far down, the same way useds do.
If massive digging is required to pull important pages out from your locate, then they’ll most probably not get observed or be ignored.
Structure your website accordingly to favor important pages.
11. Use the Secure HTTPs Protocol
This tip is short and to the point. Connections should be secure.
Google spares websites with ensure contacts, extremely when sensitive data is referred through them.
So, if you have a contact form, a login sheet, a payment system, it is desirable to run through HTTPS.
Warning: Moving from HTTP to HTTPS can negatively affect standings if done anything wrong. Make sure to follow this HTTP to HTTPS migration guide.
12. Optimize Images for SEO
One of the most serious problem with personas is related to their size, specially the saucer size.
Images are BIG and they take up a long time to load. They stimulate your site slow.
Make sure you follow these rules 😛 TAGEND
Compress the idols with a implement like Smush for WordPress or ShortPixel Display them at the claim size and not just scale them down with CSS Load likeness that are outside the user’s view later on, with LazyLoad
However, idol optimization doesn’t end here. Make sure you also included a related Title Title and Alt Tags to your images.
Images are a great way of computing keywords that can’t be used properly in sentences.
However, don’t really spam the likenes alt verse in there. Try to briefly describe what’s in the portrait exploiting those keywords.
If you need HD images on your site, you’ll need a really good server or a 3rd party persona hosting/ CDN.
13. Use Video in Your Content
Not too many people do this.
You can add video to support your content, or you are eligible to even fully repurpose content and then interlink it.
For example, if you have a pretty good article, turn it into a video. Same highway around.
Then, embed the video into the content and too relate back to the post from your video’s description.
However, don’t merely copy paste a piece of content from one stage to another, as you are able to not get the results you want.
Each social media platform requires a different approach. What works on Facebook might not work on Instagram or LinkedIn.
Let me tick this SEO best practise off the schedule by sharing this video with you 😛 TAGEND
14. Perform Regular Site Audits
Auditing your website is very useful for distinguishing small issues that can become massive ones.
Over time, small changes start to sneak in and sometimes, things might escalate.
But auditing a site takes time. That’s why a implement such as CognitiveSEO is so useful!
It does the number of jobs for you and constantly advises you of issues that arise so that you can spot and fix them before things get too bad.
15. Use Internal Links With Relevant Anchor Texts
Site structure can be constantly consolidated by apply internal links.
We know Google penalizes backlinks with exact match anchor texts if done too much, but we don’t know of any sanction for internal links.
Both Google representatives John Mueller and Gary Illyes have confirmed this.
Don’t troop it, though. One daylight, there might be a penalty, who knows.
The key is to shape them related for the subscribers as well.
Also keep in mind that boilerplate content internal associations from parts such as the header, footer or sidebars are less valuable than contextual associates from the body.
Whenever you’re publishing brand-new material, bearing in mind when you can reference age-old material in relevant cases and link to it.
Your focus is to highlight those sheets that you consider to be most important.
If your most important money page has a low-toned number of internal tie-ups compared to other sheets, Google might not understand its importance.
16. Link to External Pages With Relevant Anchor Text as Well
Recently I’ve had a consulting session with a patient that professed me that an SEO’ expert’ informed her not to link to external pages because she loses Page Rank.
If you’re a real SEO expert, you’re probably laughing with me right now.
While there’s an ounce of truth that eventually you’ll lose Page Rank when attaching out too much, there are signs that connecting to other relevant websites could help increase your rankings.
If you have something relevant and useful to share with the world and your gathering, tie-up away.
It will help you build relationships and the praises will return.
17. Actively Acquire Links to Your Website
Luke 6:38. Give and you shall be given.
If you don’t link to others, why would you expect them to link to you?
However, you’ll also have to work for those backlinks.
There is a saying:” God helps those who help themselves .”
So go that additional mile to promote your content after you publish it. Be it via outreach or social media advertising, make sure it gets to the right people.
Try to build relationships and offer value and the links will come.
You can follow these steps to develop an effective link building campaign.
18. Consistently Add Fresh, High Quality Content
While adding more content doesn’t guarantee you higher rankings or more traffic, one thing is for sure: the more content you have, the higher the chances of you getting more traffic.
It’s actually pretty simple: the more content you lend, the more keyword you target. The more keyword you target, the more traffic you get.
However, once you’ve reached that station when you kind of plastered everything, things start to stagnate.
For example, here at cognitiveSEO we’ve been focusing on writing brand-new high quality material for the last year. It’s not easy, but it’s worth it.
If you’re just starting out, targeting lower challenger keywords and writing more essays can be an effective approach until you improve some authority.
If you’re already a big brand, a better solution would be to go after high contender, high search volume articles.
Land one of those big-hearted ones and you’re set.
But make sure to read our next SEO best practice…
19. Update Your Best Performing Content Once in a While
After a while, we’ve reached a point where most of the SEO topics were already covered in our old commodities, one way or another.
Finding new topics has become harder and we’ve noticed we are repeating ourselves in many cases.
So we’ve decided to update old-fashioned material instead of writing new one.
Updating and improving aged content that acted well are genuinely help you with search engine rankings.
One such experiment was on an SEO Copywriting article.
After updating the content and optimizing it better for customer planned( first step in this SEO best traditions roll ), rankings and traffic went up.
You can see in the screenshot below an increase in sounds and impress right after after the optimization was done, in December 2019.
By keeping the content up-to-date, you’re too stopping it relevant.
Don’t just do this for the best content, but too for old-fashioned material that doesn’t seem to satisfy the user intent.
Are you considering two topics into a single essay? Split it in two. Are two or more essays treating the exact same topic but none are grading? Merge them into one.
While JS can tie burnt crawl budget and indexation issues in an eCommerce Faceted Navigation situation, it can also heavily jolt the implementation of its of an internet site if used too much.
A very good example are Slider plugins. Often, revolution slider is simply spend on the homepage, yet the script can be found on every WordPress page.
Sliders are known to negatively bang CTR so maybe it’s a good idea to trench it for good, if you don’t have a solid ground for protection it.
Combining and Minifying JS data can help, but that is generally smashes the code. Deferring it also labours, until it doesn’t( ReCaptcha doesn’t really like that ).
If you do use JS to generate content, make sure it generates the content as HTML in the source of the web page.
21. Use Hreflang for Multi-Language Website
Search answers are getting more and more personalized and geo-targeted.
If you have a multilingual website, properly implementing the hreflang tag can mean business.
There are websites that use the tag but don’t use it the right way.
The problem with this? It are truly do mischief!
Make sure you don’t reach these hreflang mistakes when you implement this on your website.
22. Check Your Schema Markup
Or add it if you don’t have Schema already.
However, don’t scoot on doing this first. While Schema Markup and Structured Data can be useful, other things such as properly optimizing your Titles are more important.
Once you have those things done, you can take a look at Schema Markup as well.
To test your implementation, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
Usually, this works best for eCommerce collects, but can also be used by blogs and informational websites to their advantage.
23. Track Your Results With Google Search Console
The Google Search Console is your best friend.
You can also track things with Google Analytics. However, when it comes to SEO, the Search Console is the proper monitoring tool.
Analytics and Search Console labor differently.
Google Analytics roads the users after they reach your website, while the Search Console moves them from Google’s side, on the search result sheets themselves.
So, for the most accurate makes, it’s best if you use the Search Console.
Not exclusively will it register you how your material is performing in Google, but it will too pinpoint a great deal of SEO publishes your website might have.
How to Check If You’re Following the Best Practices for SEO
The first tip-off would be to make an SEO checklist of the things mentioned above and check them off.
However, the best way is to create a system of your own and stick with it. Be it yourself or your part company.
Develop a strategy, establish rules and follow them all the time. Have a process. That’s the key to success.
What SEO best patterns are you planning to use in 2020 an onward in your policy? Let me know in specific comments section below.
Read more: cognitiveseo.com