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4 of the Best SEO Best Practices that Will Help You Improve Your Rankings
By Shane Barker
As Google keeps changing their algorithms, SEO rules and best practices also need to be updated regularly. And as a blogger or digital marketer, you get into a race to improve your SEO practices to increase your website rankings and deliver an improved customer experience.
However, there are no shortcuts to getting higher search engine rankings. You need to apply the right tactics, while keeping in mind the requirements of various search engines and the needs of users.
After all, SEO is driven by user intent. And search engine masters like Google are bent on delivering relevant and useful results for all their users’ search queries.
This is why websites that have the most relevant and valuable information are ranked higher in the search result pages.
A good digital marketer knows the importance of implementing an intelligent SEO strategy to realize their content marketing objectives.
Simply stuffing keywords into your content will not help you get recognized in the ever-competitive SEO business online.
It is therefore important that you follow the best SEO practices to gain increased visibility and higher rankings in search engine results.
Here are some of the best practices that you can follow to improve your website’s rankings in 2018 and beyond:
1. Build a Responsive Website
There has been tremendous growth in the use of mobiles for various Internet activities. People are using mobiles for Google search, online shopping, social networking and other web activities that were typically done via the desktop a few years from now. Google realized that being mobile-friendly can lead to better user experiences and thus updated its algorithm to include mobile friendliness as a ranking factor.
Websites quickly adapted to this change to become a mobile friendly website and improve their rankings. However, building separate websites for desktop and smartphones needs a lot more time and efforts and it becomes a challenge to focus on other mainstream activities like SEO and website maintenance.
This is where a responsive web design technique can help. This will save web developers’ time and efforts along with providing an improved user experience.
Thus, a responsive website design is now one of the best SEO practices that you can follow in 2018 and beyond.
2. Use Structured Data
Search engines use a set of schemas to comprehend the information on any given web page A schema is used to understand the content on a web page in a more structured manner. It’s a technical function as it involves html coding of a page with the aim of making the page more readable to various search engines.
Google has a set of schemas for blogs, article reviews, product descriptions, food recipes, and a lot of different types of content that you can imagine. Google uses schemas for displaying rich snippets in search results. A modern SEO practice demands the use of schemas to allow search engines to gather and display rich snippets in search results and thus improve your ranks.
3. Use AMP
AMP means Accelerated Mobile Pages. Google recommends using AMP as an open standard for publishers to reduce the page loading time on smartphones. This helps standardize your mobile pages and makes it more responsive, increases your website speed and improves readability. Ultimately, it leads to providing an improved user experience, which is very important to rank higher in the eyes of Google.
4. Use SEO Tools
To find out if your SEO techniques are working, you need to analyze a lot of data; such as traffic generated, ranking positions, inbound links, increase in social media following, and various other metrics that factor into your rankings.
It can be easy if you are a small business owner managing your own website. However, if you have to track results for multiple websites, it can be complex and difficult to manage.
The right SEO tools can help. There are many tools that can help you manage and track your SEO efforts. Here are some of the best SEO tools:
SEMrush is a simple to use tool for SEO analysis. After you register, you can enter your website URL and check keyword rankings, keyword research, and page rankings. The tool also offers social media monitoring, PPC management, and much more.
It lets you do your competitive analysis, check your monthly and yearly search volumes, and track referral traffic generated through the number of backlinks you gain.
Although many of their features are available with their free version, you can sign up for a premium account for a more detailed report.
Image via SEMRUSH
Google Analytics is a free tool that gives you valuable insights into the success of your SEO strategy. You just need to enter the URL of your website and Google Analytics will provide real-time information about your site’s SEO performance.
With Google Analytics, you can learn more about your website users, including their demographics, ages, interests, and much more.
It tracks users’ actions on your site, how much time they spend on your website, and your bounce rate. You can even link your account to AdSense and AdWords to gauge the performance of your ads.
Image via neilpatel.com
You can do keyword research manually for free with the Google Keyword Tool and Google Trends. But to organize everything in one place and save time, you can use tools like LongTailPro. It is affordable and easy to use.
Pro Rank Tracker (PRT)
Pro Rank Tracker is an SEO tool that helps you measure your website rankings in many search engines. It even shows you relevant and semantic keywords for your web pages.
Image via proranktracker
Their shared reports feature is very useful for agencies and SEO pros. These reports can be shared by companies with their clients. They are updated every day, and hence provide the most accurate and current information. They even show your keyword performance on mobile and track how well your videos rank in YouTube search results.
As Google continues to update their search algorithm, it becomes mandatory for SEO pros and marketing agencies to incorporate new strategies into their SEO practices to continue getting higher search engine rankings.
So to be ahead in the SEO game in 2018 and after, you need to relentlessly update your SEO strategy to adapt to the latest, most effective techniques.
SEO is a continuous journey. Keep tracking your keyword rankings, keyword search volumes, backlinks, and other important ranking factors with the help of the above SEO tips and tools to make your life easier.
What is your strategy to improve your website’s rankings? Have you tried using any of the SEO tools above? Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
About the Author:
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant that specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.
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