What is Search Engine Optimization? 

SEO is the process of improving the content and design of your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs).

The point of SEO is to improve your website's ranking in search engines such as Google. 

Increasing your website's rankings can lead to higher traffic and wider brand recognition

But before you go on and start optimizing your site, it's important to remember what SEO isn't. 

Search engine optimization doesn't guarantee top placement for a specific query -SEO is not directly proportional to how popular your site will be - but it does increase your chances of being found online.

There are some mistakes that you want to avoid if you're considering SEO for your website. For example:

1. Poor Internal Linking Structure 

2. Overlooking Technical Errors

3. Posting Plagiarised/Duplicate Content

4. Not Using Alt Tags on Images

What do you need to do? 

Fortunately, there are many ways to optimize our site without inadvertently making mistakes.

Here are some SEO Best Practices to follow

1. Create Content Based on Searcher’s Intent

Searcher’s intent is of four types: Informational, Navigational, Commercial, and Transactional. These intents define where the searcher is on your marketing funnel. 

Informational: In case the search intent is informational, it means that the user is looking for a certain answer on a topic that does not conclude in a purchase or a thought of purchase; however, this stage is one of the most important in your marketing funnel. 

In this stage, you can persuade the user about the benefits of your product or service and make it stand out from the rest of the crowd. It does not guarantee a sale but can leave a good impression on the user. 

For this stage, you can create content such as: How to, Why, What, When Guides that fulfill the searcher’s intent.

Navigational: In the Navigational Stage, the user is looking for something specific that they do not need any suggestions about. For Example Trend-Online.com, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc.

Commercial: In the Commerical Stage, the user is already aware of what they want but is still not ready to make a purchase. This stage is quite crucial because it can largely influence the buyer’s decision-making process. Most of the searches in this stage include Best Laptops Under $1000, Best SEO tools in 2021, etc. 

Transactional: In the last stage lies Transactional Intent, in this search intent stage the user is ready to make a decision therefore a purchase is about to happen. For Example Buy Macbook Pro, Buy Canon 80D, etc. 

All these common intent types can be fulfilled by optimizing your website content with appropriate keywords. 

There is completely no use in optimizing your Landing page with keywords like Buy Camera when the search query is Best Cameras under $1000.

Search engines understand the type of search intent and show results according to that.

Quality content can be a really powerful way to grow your online presence.

After you create your content, there are two basic ways to promote it: Getting links to it and promoting it on social media. But which should you do first? If you want to build links naturally (and don’t want to pay for them), share your content on social media first. Once people have read and enjoyed it, they’ll be more likely to link back to your website naturally. 

When promoting your content, it’s not just about who you promote to; it’s about when and how you promote. 

Finding an influencer to repost your content is like playing matchmaker: Not only do they have a large audience that can be reached at once, but you’ll also find out if your target audience matches their audience. 

For example, if I wanted to reach moms or families with young kids and I had some advice on holiday travel hacks, I might reach out to a blogger who writes about parenting hacks that seem to align with my target audience of parents. If she agrees, she will then re-post my content on her social media page.

The key to generating buzz around your content can seem like a mystery. But it's not! Ask yourself: How would you feel if no one reads your posts? That's what's at stake for writers—finding an audience that cares about their work. 

The same is true for any company marketing its content, which means you have to get creative when promoting your content and encouraging people to pay attention. 

One way you can do that is by encouraging engagement with live Q&A sessions via Twitter or Facebook, or through a live-streaming app like Periscope. 

Encourage questions about topics related to your content—and be prepared to give answers! When potential customers can see that real people are behind an organization, they're more likely to engage.

2. Your Copy Should be compelling

The copy on your website should be compelling and should resonate with the reader. It should be resourceful enough for them to fulfill what they are looking for. Your content should be designed according to the type of audience on your website and the type of audience that you want to target. 

For Example: If your target audience is senior executives like VP’s and COO’s, your content should be in-depth and informational because a high-level overview won’t make them stay on your website; however a long-form content about a specific topic with examples, case studies can keep them on your page for a longer time. 

When it comes to creating compelling copy it doesn’t limit to the content on your website but also your meta titles and descriptions. 

These Metadata’s are important for SEO and also for the reader. The title tag on your web pages should contain the specific target keyword but it should also be designed with excellent copywriting to make the reader click. 

Pro Tip: Make sure your Meta Data matches the user’s search intent

3. Optimize Your Images

Images are important for increasing the user experience on your website. They make your website much more attractive and make the visitors stay for longer. 

The types of images you pick for your website can help you portray a completely different brand image. Long gone are the days of stock photos with office people laughing. 

Optimizing your website images can help you boost your website’s organic traffic and improve SEO. 

A few best ways in which you can optimize your images are: 

The File format

Choosing the right file format for your images is important. It can largely influence your website’s loading speed and not optimizing the right file format can make your website pages load slowly and bring your SEO and UX down

There are different types of file formats like JPEG, PNG, and WebP

The most commonly used are JPEG and PNG. Both of these file formats have different compression techniques because of which they can be resized completely differently. 

The best tools you can use to compress your images online are: 

Alt-Text

Using Alt Text on your website plays an important role in making your website accessible to everyone and helping the browsers understand it better. 

When choosing alt text, Google says that,  focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and is in context of the content of the page. Avoid filling alt attributes with keywords (keyword stuffing) as it results in a negative user experience and may cause your site to be seen as spam.

Your alt text should not look something like this 

”Oral-B

It should rather look like this

”A

Lazy Loading Images 

When you lazy load your website’s images it defers the loading of non-essential resources such as images, videos, gifs, embeds, etc. In the lazy loading technique, these resources are only loaded when the user needs them. 

Pro Tip: You can use a3 Lazy Load Plugin on WordPress to lazy load your images and videos.

4. Optimize Page Speed

Slow-loading websites are the worst. The average attention span of a user is 0.8 seconds. 

If your website page takes a lot of time to load, users will eventually leave your page, resulting in a significant bounce rate on your website, which will also affect your overall SEO by dropping your rankings. 

To make sure your website is loading fast, you can run your URL on PageSpeed Insights that will help you keep in check your Core Web Vitals score to optimize your website accordingly.

You can also GTMetrix to check your page loading speed. 

Technical issues that can make your website’s performance slow are: 

a) Disabled Browser caching

b) A lot of unnecessary plugins

c) High Server Response time

d) Multiple redirects chains

e) Unminified CSS and JavaScript Files.

5. Improve UX

Improving user experience can help users find your website and make them stay on it. A good user experience can be fulfilled through excellent user-friendly navigation across your website so that the user gets what they are looking for. 

Good User Experience can help decrease your website’s bounce rate thus contributing to improving SEO scores. 

Here are a few best practices for improving your website’s user experience:

  • Simple Navigation across the website 
  • Excellent Website Load Speed 
  • Mobile Responsive Design
  • Good URL structure

6. Use Website Tracking Tools

Using Website Tracking Tools can help you know your visitors and the sources they are coming from to optimize your campaigns according to that. 

You can find if they are coming from your targeted countries, the percentage of users coming from desktop or mobile; so that you can optimize your website’s SEO as per the data.

The best thing you can do is set up an audit with a website tracking tool like Google Analytics and Google Search Console to help you track every activity on your website and optimize your site or invest in a third-party tool. 

What is the Importance of SEO?

SEO positioning is really important to grow digitally. 

SEO helps your website gain visibility on the search engine result page and drive free traffic to it. This free traffic enables you to sell your products or services at a much lower cost per click compared to paid advertisements, allowing you to acquire more customers and increase sales. 

Additionally, as your ranking improves in organic search results, more visitors start clicking on those results and eventually land on your website. 

As a result of increased website traffic through organic searches, it becomes easier for people to trust your website. 

It also becomes easier for them to connect with you through various social networks and purchase your products or services at a reduced cost per click.

Is SEO Dead in 2021?

SEO has been a hot topic in digital marketing for years. In truth, there are no signs of SEO slowing down anytime soon. 

You might be wondering how I came up with that conclusion considering all of the talks about Google constantly cracking down on SEO and other types of link-building strategies. 

While it may be true that Google continues to take steps against tactics used by marketers seeking a quick ranking boost, there's a deeper understanding of why many businesses still see SEO as a viable option for growth.

Ultimately, Google wants your website to succeed—otherwise, you wouldn't rank highly or at all. SEO isn't going anywhere anytime soon because it's essential for small businesses trying to make an impact online now more than ever before.

SEO Mistakes to Avoid

It's important to avoid mistakes in SEO because they will most likely be detrimental to your business. 

Things like choosing a poor domain name, not working with a good web hosting company, and having a poorly designed website will hurt your SEO efforts, but it’s easier than you think to avoid these mistakes. 

There are also technical aspects of SEO that might cause problems if overlooked. 

To help avoid some of these mistakes, take some time today and go over some common pitfalls many businesses encounter when looking at improving their SEO efforts. 

By avoiding these common pitfalls, you'll be on your way towards increasing website traffic through organic search results.    

Conclusion 

If you don’t have a clear strategy for your website, it will become very difficult to keep up with SEO best practices. While there are lots of different approaches to SEO, most of them involve creating and publishing content that users will find valuable.