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7 SEO Best Practices You Should be Doing Regardless of What Google Says

In 2020, the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) based approach will become increasingly important in the field of digital marketing. If you are already following SEO best practices, your website must be already in a better position than others.

SEO helps small business owners create a vast, robust and good search engine ranking. This, in turn, helps bring more qualified customers to their sites and eventually increase conversation rates. People make sure that their websites are rank higher in search engines by this process. The techniques can vary as per industry. The main idea should be to follow the basic white hat tactics regularly.

SEO specialists seem to speculate a lot about SEO techniques, however, Google is famous for keeping its search ranking algorithm a secret. Also, they update their algorithms all the time. When a new update is released, search enthusiasts are quick to make assumptions. They try their best to tweak their SEO strategies to please the all-powerful Google programmers.

From time to time, experts behind the scenes at Google drop huge hints about the indications of an update- “prioritize this, disregard that”. Your article is bound to perform well if it fulfills the criteria for Google’s SEO check. Regardless of what the Google team does, there are a few guidelines that you must follow. Those suggestions are given below.

CREATING LONGER CONTENT

The most important thing about creating content is that it is packed with facts and genuine information about the concerned topic. Moreover, it signifies user intent. According to the recent content research case study by Backlink- “Long content gets an average of 77.2% more links than short articles. Therefore, long-form contents appear to be ideal for backlink acquisition”.

Keep in mind, articles with quality content pieces and large many word counts have a greater tendency to target more applicable queries and get to the root of search intent.

However, according to John Muller, “Some pages have many words that say nothing, word count is not indicative of quality ” Similarly, Google will not necessarily rank your content based on word count alone. Short-form content has the same ranking potential as the long-form.

The more detailed your article is the higher its chance of earning quality backlinks. Longer content attracts more audiences as it provides them greater value. Evergreen type of long-form content provides long-term SEO values and its advantages far outweigh that of shorter content.

When you write long-form content, you are invariably using a lot of LSI keywords and phrases. The inclusion of keywords helps Rank-Brain to easily interpret what your content topic is about and the specifics of the same. This, in turn, ensures that your content ranks better on the search result for targeted keywords.

Long-form articles make available all information related to a specific topic in one place. When you create a long piece of content, you can keep your visitors engaged for a longer time.

Viewers will keep coming back to your article as it provides them insightful information on a given topic. All this happens without having to toggle between SERPs or look for similar resources. This even helps in reducing the bounce rate. All these factors suggest that you are often better off creating longer content.

OPTIMIZING IMAGE ALT TEXT

Adding images to your article encourages people to read them, and well-chosen images can also back up your messages and get you a good ranking in image search results. But you should always remember to give your images alt attributes because alt text strengthens the message of your article with search engine spiders and improves the accessibility of your website.  Overall, Image Alt text has proved to be a valuable component in SEO over the years.

Over the past few years, there have been rumors about Google using machine learning to fulfill the primary function of image alt text. There were speculations that the firm uses the technique to understand what an image is and what it’s all about-which was the primary function of image Alt text. But this doesn’t mean that including alt text is a waste of time, of course not.

Applying an alt attribute on an image helps Google understand what an image is about to serve it in image results. Additionally, alt text is important to provide contextual relevance about the page where the image resides. When you use an optimized alt attribute with a target keyword, it gives your page a boost because the alt text is a helpful relevance signal for search engines.

Keep in mind that machine learning is a relatively new concept. While image alt text might be entirely obsolete in the next five to ten years, optimizing your images the ‘old fashioned way’ is a good idea to play it safe.

Image Source: https://medium.com/

PRIORITIZE AUTHORITY OF CONTENT

Prioritization helps everyone to plan. It is a good way to ensure that you meet the deadlines and minimize your stress. SEO is a new marketing practice that poses unique challenges and provides added scrutiny. Often, the only resource you have as an in-house SEO is yourself.

SEO is one of the most effective and simple tools to employ, in order to make your article reach maximum viewership. You may not have a full team to rely on, so prioritizing when and how will be done becomes paramount. Following the August 2018 Medic Core update, it is clear that organizations in ‘Your Money Your Life’ industries needed to be prioritizing the E-A-T (Energy, Authority, and Trustworthiness) of their content. However, in this recent March update, it seemed like a lot of the details surrounding this concept were redacted.

Plain and simple, you should always be working to create authoritative content, always! This comes out to the basics of creating insightful and reliable content.

Make it easy for the average user to consume, refer credible information to support your claims, provide clear takeaways, and maintain the overall genuinity of content. All these guidelines will make your article stand out from the pack. These common strategies of creating authoritative content have been true since the beginning of the internet.

TARGETING LSI KEYWORDS, BUT NOT FOR RANKING

LSI keywords are words and phrases with a high degree of correlation to your target topic. Google’s algorithm uses them to help determine the content quality and relevance to the search team.  In the early days of SEO, Google and other search engines would figure out a page’s topic-based completely on the keywords they found on the page.

*For marketers, LSI keywords can bridge the gap between the way you are creating content now and the way you need to do so in the future. 

Latent Semantic Indexing keywords do not directly impact your search rankings. However, taking your time to meticulously choose LSI keywords can help in covering necessary information related to the keywords and phrases you originally targeted. 

So, instead of trying to use the same keywords and phrases repeatedly throughout your content, incorporating LSI keywords critical for helping Google bots understand your message and its relevance to user intent. The motive is to incorporate them naturally and conversationally. If used properly, LSI keywords can help website visitors find the answers they need.

They give you a way to talk about the required changes in your article to conform it to your SEO best practices. This makes sense because people are searching for any given topic in various ways, and a page with more LSI keywords not only gives Google more context and information but will match the search terms of more users.

CONSIDERING AMP

The main benefit of AMP is speed. If your website loads slowly for users on a 3G mobile connection, at the moment, then you will notice an instant improvement in the loading speed with the implementation of AMP. It is important because it helps web pages load faster which potentially improves usability and convinces visitors to stay longer on your site engaging with your content. Hence, it reduces the bounce rate and improves mobile ranking.

One of Google’s big updates was the mobile-first index rollout.  Since then, it has been rumored that AMP impacts ranking in some form or another. AMP pages are worth it! Nearly a million domains adopted AMP within the past year. SEO is moving away from desktop computers and onto the small screen. The longer you avoid implementing AMP, the further behind you will slide. 

HTTPS

HTTPS is a secure web protocol commonly used by e-commerce websites to provide secure transactions for its users.  An application transfer protocol presents how information is displayed to a user and does not discriminate how information is transferred from one source to another.

Websites began switching to the HTTPS client to conduct secure transactions and authorizations with its users.

When you land on a website, Google very clearly indicates whether it’s secure or not. The blaring red symbol can cause people to leave your site immediately. Opting for a secure connection safeguards the information of both you and your visitors. Therefore, make sure your site is secure by implementing HTTPS, no matter how it affects Google rankings.

These were some of the best guidelines to follow if you want to use SEO to increase the viewership of your articles, regardless of what Google reckons.

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Meet Patel
About the author

Meet is an Entrepreneur & Start-up Enthusiast since 2016. He has been into digital marketing industry since 2015, exploring & learning all the different aspects of it ever since. He co-founded Digi Elephant in 2017 and today consults multiple small & large businesses with their online branding & marketing strategy.

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