seo best practices

Every business and website owner struggles with search engine optimization. Without proper SEO efforts, it is difficult for a website to be discovered on the internet. There is so much information on the internet on such a wide variety of web pages that competition has become too intense for a new website to appear in search results.

From keywords research and link building to social media integration, businesses use various tactics to get their website visible and discoverable for their target audience. The interesting part is that you no longer need to be a digital marketing expert to apply these tactics. You can learn the latest SEO best practices from online sources, such as blog articles and Youtube videos, and apply them to your website on your own.

These practices do not require you to have any specific coding skills. You can manage everything through the open-source or paid tools available on the internet. For example, many website-building platforms make statistics about your site visitors viewable directly from the dashboard.

If you build a website on Strikingly, you get access to your site stats and your website analytics. The statistics only show you how many people visit your website every day, but the analytics show more detailed data.

Strikingly user's website statistics

Image taken from Strikingly

Strikingly features an analytics tool that displays an overview of your site’s visitors, their location, how they ended up on your website, the pages they visited, and how frequently they usually visit your site. This data is precious for you to implement the best SEO strategies for the further growth of your website and business. You can base your market research on these analytics to get a closer look into your site’s performance.

website's audience list in the Strikingly editor

Image taken from Strikingly

In this post, we will talk about the SEO best practices you need to implement your website’s performance in this year and the next. As Google changes its policies and the way people apply SEO tips change, we need to cope with the changes and do our due research again. But the SEO tips mentioned here are at the least applicable for any website that’s created or running in 2021 and early 2022.

The Basics of SEO Guidelines

SEO is essentially the use of qualitative principles that help you make technical improvements in your content to increase the traffic and search rankings of your website.

The quality and quantity of your content both play a significant role in your website’s search engine optimization. If you write more content, insert more links in it, and use a broader variety of keywords, you will most likely be successful in ranking high in search engines.

the growing traffic statistics of a website that ranks high in search engines

But overall, SEO recommendations are not that simple. That’s why the best SEO guide keeps changing every few months. Since 2020, the ongoing pandemic has further brought about more changes in the way people struggle for SEO. Competition has become ever more fierce, with both small and large organizations striving to get a higher position in Google search results.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s remain focused and talk about the latest SEO best practices.

The 8 Latest SEO Best Practices

Here are eight SEO guidelines that you can use to improve your website’s search rankings.

1. See With The Eyes of Google

The first and foremost SEO recommendation is that you need to see things the way Google sees them. What does that mean? It means, when it comes to search engine optimization, you cannot go around assuming things. You need to know what Google bots look for in your content and what factors they use to rank your web pages.

There is a feature-rich, free plugin called Yoast that you can install and use to see things with the eyes of Google if your website is built on WordPress. Yoast provides instant feedback about your site’s analytics and helps you determine whether the keyword placement in your content is following the SEO best practices. You can also check in Yoast if your images are appropriately tagged and if your articles or posts have a favorable rating in terms of readability.

Such tools are very useful in previewing how your content will appear before publishing a web page. This way, you can check if your core keyword appears in your titles, content, and meta descriptions.

2. Optimize All Images Using Alt Tags

Using images is very common in all kinds of websites. If you build an online store, you will use images in the form of product photos. If you create a blog, the thumbnails of your posts will be in the form of images. Suppose you develop a website to showcase your corporate environment and the services you offer. In that case, you might want to upload pictures of your work teams, your internal office environment, and perhaps your staff delivering services on site.

All the images that you upload on your website need to have Alt tags. Using good quality images on your website helps you enhance user experience, but merely the quality of images is not enough for Google to rank them high. Google considers any images you upload when it indexes your site, but Google bots cannot interpret pictures that don’t have Alt text attached. Using keyword-rich titles for all your images also helps in highlighting them to Google. Thus that’s also among the SEO best practices that you should consider.

3. Avoid Duplicate Content

Plagiarism can be the greatest enemy of your site’s search engine optimization. Thus even a layman would know the SEO recommendation of avoiding duplicate content. If you use images, quotes, or infographics from another website, make sure you link them back to their source. Any kind of copyright infringement can damage your SEO efforts.

Once your website is ready, you should check once again to make sure that every web page has unique content on it so that there is even no plagiarism within your website, let alone from external sources. Google could penalize your site if you use the same content on more than one page. SEO best practices dictate that each web page should be unique, appealing, and creative.

For example, if you have an ecommerce website where you create product pages, you should not use the same product description for more than one item, even if you have very similar items on sale.

4. Create Effective Permalinks

According to SEO best practices, you should keep your slugs and permalinks as short as possible. The preferred length of a slug is five words or less. Moreover, Google considers an underscore as an extension of the same word. Thus you should separate the words in a slug with hyphens, not with underscores.

When you are using the Simple Blog feature of Strikingly, changing your blog post title automatically causes its slug and permalink to update accordingly.

5. Work on Link Building

Building links internally among your web pages and externally with other websites is like building valuable relationships and networks with the people around you. Link building greatly enhances your search engine optimization and is, therefore a very common SEO recommendation.

an article on a blog thats built on Strikingly

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

External links can be built through guest posting, which means posting on other people’s blogs or websites with their permission, and inserting links in your posts that direct their audience to your website. If you are running a blog, you can insert links in your one article to take readers to your other article and vice versa. This kind of link building will tie up your web pages together so that if even one of your articles gets popular, the other articles on your blog will also get traction.

links within an article of a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

6. Choose Your Web Hosting Service Provider Wisely

Your web hosting plays a crucial role in your site’s browsing speed. It also helps in building quality organic search traffic. If you choose a poor web hosting provider, your website could be down now and then. If that happens, not only your audience won’t be able to open it, but Google will also not be able to find it. That’s not good for your search rankings. Therefore, those who follow SEO best practices choose their web hosting provider wisely.

7. Create a Sitemap

When your website has a sitemap, it is easy for Google and other search engines to crawl through your web pages. A sitemap also helps your site visitors discover different sections of your website easily. Hence, creating a sitemap is included in our list of SEO tips.

8. Write Good Titles and Meta Tags

Your website content should have good titles and meta tags to be effective for SEO. This is among the SEO best practices because it ensures that your web content gets properly indexed by Google and other search engines.

One thing worth mentioning here is that if your website is running smoothly and error-free, it is easier to focus on SEO and driving traffic to it. That’s why we offer full-time technical support to all our users on Strikingly.

Building and running a website on Strikingly enables you to implement all the SEO best practices described above. Our ready-to-use templates save you time, so you can straight away start inserting content after creating your free Strikingly account. We have a feature that allows you to add a blog section to your site. You can use this section to post content and establish yourself as an expert in your field.

Besides that, the responsiveness of our templates will automatically boost your SEO. Our users enjoy the attractiveness of our web designs and good search engine optimization for the landing pages they build on our platform.