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16 Website SEO Musts for a Higher Search Ranking
Search Engine Optimization

16 Website SEO Musts for a Higher Search Ranking

March 22, 2024

Search engines aim to create the best user experience possible, offering the most relevant, helpful information based on the user's search terms. If they didn't, users would no longer count on them for information.

This is great news: the more relevant, informative as well as helpful user experience you create, the better the odds that search engines will offer your pages. By practicing good search engine optimization (SEO) habits, you can continuously work to boost your search engine results page (SERPs) rank. Here are some top SEO practices for SERP success.

On page (your website) SEO practices:

1. Relevant keywords: Using a keyword tool can help identify which words will help draw in the most visitors based on popular search terms. Choose the most applicable, popular keywords for your company and try to rank for various keywords on your web page.

2. Short, catchy and original title tags: Title tags explain what your site is all about while attracting the user's interest enough to (hopefully) click through to your pages. Limit the title tag description to 55 characters so it will display well on SERPs. Have title tags descriptive yet brief to help crawlers and users determine the relevancy of your page.

3. Keywords at the beginning of page title tags: Google puts more weight on the start of the title tag, so try to keep the keywords at the beginning.

4. Keyword focused meta descriptions: The meta description shows up under the title tag on SERPs and gives users a possibility to get more information concerning your business before clicking into your site. Aim for a meta-description length of 150-160 characters.

5. Proper sitemap: Be sure your website's structure is up-to-date and simple to navigate. The better the site structure, the easier search engine crawlers can locate and index pages. Try for a three-click rule-- customers should find what they need on your website in three clicks.

6. Properly structured, SEO-friendly URLs: URLs help crawlers to determine page topic and relevancy. Developing short URLs with your keyword in it, using "-" instead of "_" between words as well as static words (instead of numbers) will help users and crawlers read URLs quicker and easier. Also, try to use subdirectory root domains as opposed to sub-domains.

7. Link internally with anchor text: Linking internally to your other web pages adds keyword-rich internal links to every page. Internal linking helps search engines crawl and index your website, provides visitors with more reading options and also boosts ranking for some of your keywords.

8. Outbound links: Referencing and linking to credible (authoritative) sources shows you are a helpful internet information steward that is willing to share pagerank. Online, helpful sharing is caring.

9. Website's loading speed: Search engines do not like slow pages as they understand that users will not wait long for a website to load. Strive for lickity-split load times.

10. Really helpful content: Create relevant content on your pages that is easy to read, unique, helpful, fresh and grammatically flawless. Your content should be so helpful and relevant that your target audience will want to stay on your page and also others will want to link to it.

Off page SEO practices:

1. Search engine submission: It can take a while for search engines to discover and crawl your website. You can help to speed up the process by submitting your website to prominent search engines.

2. Local directory submission: Submitting your business listing information to leading or niche directories creates more places where users can discover you and crawlers can verify your business information. Make certain to provide NAP (name, address, phone number). And, if possible, website and category. A high amount of searches are by keyword as opposed to company name, so aim to use category information wherever possible.

3. Social media marketing: Be present on all relevant social networks and manage your online reputation. Strive to get likes, shares and links by being 80% helpful and 20% promotional.

4. Video marketing: Help consumers find out about your business by sharing your relevant and helpful videos on sites such as Youtube, Vimeo, etc 

5. Backlink outreach: Gain backlinks by performing content PR to obtain others to read your pages and potentially link to you. The more quality backlinks your website has, the more authority it has, and the more search engines will deem the page as relevant as well as helpful.

6. Forums and communities: Answering questions in forums and communities can help to build your reputation as an industry expert. This can provide a possible opportunity to include your website or blog link if it pertains to the answer.

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