Top 8 SEO Tips You Need To Know
SEO is constantly evolving and changing, and so are the tips. It might be difficult to keep up to date with the latest best-practices. In this blog, we’ve kept it clear and concise of the top 8 SEO tips you need to know in 2021!
Improve Page Speed
Your website speed is an incredible part of user experience and it has been a ranking factor in Google for years. Now with the new Page Experience update, we have specific metrics to measure website speed in terms of ranking benefit. Google will give faster loading websites a slight boost in the rankings. In addition to your rankings, a good website speed will also vastly improve your user experience which can ultimately lead to more conversions.
In fact, website speed is so important to conversions that according to Akamai, a 1 second delay in page load time will result in a 7% loss in conversions.
So fix your page speed now – optimise for both search engines and users in one go!
Link To Other Websites
Linking out to other websites is a very undervalued SEO tip. No matter how many outbound links you have, eventually a user is going to leave your website. By linking out to relevant content on other websites, you can ensure the user leaves with appreciation for your website. Plus, in terms of SEO, by linking out to other relevant and authority websites you are aligning your website with theirs. For example: a web designer specialising in WordPress is bound to link out to the WordPress website at some point, right? It would only be unnatural for them not to. This allows the web designer to appear more relevant for WordPress designs as they are directly aligning themselves with the WordPress website.
Outbound links also have a hidden benefit: you can actually achieve backlinks yourself through this, especially from authoritative websites that would usually brush aside your outreach email. Many companies will check who links to them, and if they have a new article or page that they wish to build natural links to, they may reach out to these people who have already linked to their website and offer a reciprocal link.
Write For Humans
In 2021, writing content for SEO means writing content for humans. Gone are the days of keyword density (in fact those days have been gone for a few years now.) With new Google algorithms such as RankBrain, BERT and the upcoming MUM, Google is clearly phasing out keywords in favour of readable content that is focused on the user and not the bots.
This doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t use keywords – you just have to ensure they come up naturally and don’t break the flow of your content. And one more time for the people at the back: keyword density is dead.
Here’s an example for our own website, let’s say we are trying to rank for a generic keyword like “Website design.” Back in 2010 the content would just have “website design” plastered all over it and we’d call it a day. In 2021, we just can’t do that. Instead, our keywords will include variations and related phrases (semantic keywords) such as “website design company”, “website design studio”, “website designer”, “WordPress”, “website builder” etc. These are all considered keywords, but we’re not obsessing over using the exact match keyword for 2.0635% of the content length like in the good old days.
Backlinks for SEO are still a thing and they always will be. Linkbuilding has gone through the exact same changes as content. Back in 2010, we could launch software and create 500,000 new backlinks in a week with the exact keyword we want to rank for and we’d magically shoot up to #1. Just like keyword density, this blatant over-optimisation/spam just won’t work anymore. Backlinks need to be natural and they need to actually add value to the user. Just like I recommended in tip number 2, links should be relevant to the content and add value – if a user clicks the link, they should land on the new page feeling appreciative that you included the link. If they click the link and find the page they landed on is not what they were expecting or gave a bad user experience, then this is an example of a bad link.
Today, linkbuilding is all about quality over quantity. In our own site, we managed to have our page competing in the top 3 for our most competitive locational keyword from just 11 backlinks acquired over 7 months. This is from a starting position of outside the top 100 results! (case study coming soon?)
For the businesses, this is probably a no brainer. But for the novice bloggers, this is something that can be seriously overlooked.
Anyone with a website should have some sort of analytics software connected so you can see how well your website is attracting new users, where they’re coming from and how they’re interacting with your website. Obviously I’m going to recommend Google Analytics but there’s plenty of alternatives as well.
In terms of SEO, these analytics can quickly show you how well your website SEO is performing by showing organic users, top landing pages and behaviour flow of these users.
Write Meta Descriptions
Meta descriptions are the little snippets of text below the headline when you do a Google search. They’re actually written by a user (most of the time.) Meta descriptions can be used to increase your click through rate by being more persuasive or enticing than your SERP competitors.
Use Descriptive URLs
Your URLs should be actually useful to your users as well as search engines. According to John Mueller, the text used in a URL is actually used by search engine crawlers to learn about the content on the page before they even crawl it. So if you set a URL, make sure it is actually relevant to what your page is talking about – both for users and search engines!
Here’s an example of a URL you’re going to want to stay away from:
This URL tells us absolutely nothing about the content. Think about it from a user point of view: if someone sends you this link are you going to be drawn to it and click it? Probably not – there’s nothing there to entice you. Think about it from a search crawler point of view: can GoogleBot get an understanding for the page’s content from this URL before they crawl it? Definitely not. Here’s a better URL which fixes both of those problems:
Just like the written content, images are also very important for webpages. Plain text pages were good enough back in 2001, but in 2021 users like to see images and even videos accompanying the text. This multimedia helps to engage your visitors and keep them on the page for longer than they would if the page was text only.
Images are also important for SEO, images are such a big part of Search that Google has its own search results dedicated to images! Whether your looking to actually improve the rankings of your images or just optimising them alongside the page, images aren’t just a place-and-forget feature for your website. Your images need be optimised for relevancy:
- Give them a relevant file name, not just “image1015.png”
- Make sure to include alt tags. This is what appears if a browser can’t show the image, and it’s what search engines use to determine what the image actually is.
- Optimise image file sizes. The last thing you want on your page is a 40MB image from your graphic designer!