1. Produce High-Quality Content
Now, it’s pretty much wise to say that your content needs to be well-written, be informative, and useful to your audience. The reason why keyword stuffing is dead is that Google has gotten a lot better at determining the user’s actual intent, instead of just trying to find keyword matches. This actually makes your job as a content creator a lot easier, because you can focus more on writing for your readers, instead of search engines.
2. Website Speed
One of the factors that are getting more relevant by the day is the speed of your website. Needless to say, having a quick website provides a lot more pleasant user experience for your readers/customers. But, Google also takes it into account when ranking your website inside the search engine results. Mobile devices have finally taken over, which makes this element essential. And this brings us to the next point…
3. Compatibility across Multiple Devices
Your website or blog needs to load and look equally well on any screen, be it that of a desktop, laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Although there are different ways in which you can achieve this, Google prefers you to use responsive design, because that’s what it prioritizes when it comes to search engine queries. Your content needs to be useful, but it also has to look good when viewed on a screen. Anything else is unacceptable.
4. Internal Links
While external links are good for driving more traffic your way and for establishing your website as an authority in the niche, internal links are just as important. They direct the readers to other areas of your website which they might find interesting, which can significantly reduce your bounce rate. Also, by cleverly using anchor text, you can become a bigger authority in Google’s eyes, so to speak. Finally, by inserting internal links where they are needed, you are making it easier for Google’s crawlers to index your website.
5. Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Search engines look at title tags in order to determine what your website is about, which means you must place your target keywords there. In case you are not familiar with title tags, it is the highlighted text that appears inside the search engine results. Keep them under 55-65 characters. Your meta description appears below the title tags in the results. While it may not have a massive influence on your ranking, it does tell the user what your article is about. Keep it under 156 characters, because that’s how many will be displayed.
6. Having Timeless Content
While you can make use of passing fads or ride the wave of current news to improve your website’s visibility, that sort of content quickly becomes irrelevant, and you may experience huge drops in traffic and authority. Instead of that, focus on producing content which is timeless and in-depth, and which will help your readers. In the long run, it is a much more useful approach.
7. Allow for Comments
Comments boost your audience’s engagement, and on top of that, they will appreciate the fact that you’ve allowed them to voice their own opinion, or to provide useful feedback. Furthermore, user-generated content is usually full of relevant keywords and phrases, which help with your ranking. Just make sure to filter out all the spam and irrelevant comments.
8. Make Use of Social Media
Regardless of who your target audience is, you can rest assured that you can find and reach out to them through social media. By interacting with them through relevant channels (be it Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or anything else), you will come off as a lot more than some faceless corporate entity. Interaction also boosts engagement, and all of these social signals will not be ignored by Google.
9. Avoid Plagiarism
Copying someone else’s content, or even your own can result in a penalty by Google. Once two identical pieces were found, Google will only index one. Of course, quoting other authors is still allowed, but with proper attribution.
10. Never Use unseen Text
There are other SEO practices which can boost your website’s ranking, but which rely on methods which are less than honest. For example, using white text on a white background which contains keywords, or hiding links inside commas, full stops. It does work, but sooner or later, it will be figured out, and your website will be banned or penalized.
If you are serious about running your website, you need to pay attention to SEO practices. It helps connect your content to the right audience, which benefits everybody.