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Everyone is looking for an SEO quick fix that can deliver dramatic results. Unfortunately, one doesn’t really exist.
There are, however, plenty of good practices you can adopt to help improve the chances of your business performing well in the search results. The more you incorporate, the greater chance of achieving the results you’d like.
Google is always reviewing its algorithms, so you need to keep abreast of any developments.
Let’s take a look at a few of the smartest practices you can incorporate into your SEO today.
Google wants to find the best results for its users. It does so by looking for relevant content and user-friendly websites. If yours looks dated, is slow to load, or isn’t mobile-friendly, there’s a good chance it will get overlooked no matter how good your content.
Look at your website from the perspective of a user. Is it easy to navigate? Is your content straightforward to access? Have you taken care of technical SEO?
A user-friendly website with technical SEO completed properly serves as the best platform for your content.
In the early days of SEO marketing, the aim was to stuff as many keywords as you could into your on-page copy in the hope of attracting website visitors.
The result was often complete illegibility. Changes to Google’s algorithms ended that practice, but all too often little attention is paid to how readable the content actually is.
Ensure you write high-quality copy that answers the questions your customers are asking. The content itself should include shorter paragraphs, and mixed sentence lengths. Note that longer sentences can be harder to follow on mobile devices.
Well-written, readable content should be the aim.
About a decade ago, Google concluded that factors such as the speed at which websites load are important to users. Several tools are available to check the speed of yours, including Google’s own Lighthouse.
The faster you make it, the more accessible it will be for visitors. There are several simple ways to improve the speed of your website:
You should also be aware that Google’s Core Web Vitals update is due later in 2021 and this will have a profound impact on the way the search engines server pages to users.
In 2020, Google announced that it would primarily use its mobile-smartphone-user-agent to crawl sites. What this means is that the mobile version of your site will be crawled and indexed before the desktop version.
In the future, it’s possible the desktop version may not get crawled at all. As a result, any new site you develop should prioritise the user experience of its mobile version.
It’s no longer possible to neglect making your site mobile-friendly and expect results, nor to have separate desktop and mobile versions. This Google change reflects changes in consumer habits.
Increasingly, people access the internet via their mobile devices to find information, watch videos and make purchases. Don’t let your website get left behind.
As Google’s algorithm evolves, it has taken account the consistency of content on a website and how it connects to other topics. The objective is to try and understand the intention of its users. What type of content are they looking for? What might best answer their particular question?
The introduction of the ‘snippet’ box on the first page of Google results reflects this approach. So, it’s no longer enough to write keyword-targeted content. You need to explore the context in which this content is placed.
Does all your content fit together? Does it answer the questions people are asking?
While you need to ensure your content is readable, not to mention useful, you should also think about its length. Short-form content that covers the keywords is no longer enough. Google is looking for information-rich content that can answer the questions its users are asking.
Therefore, yours needs to include long-form posts and articles. Beware of becoming verbose though, and mix up your blog-post length.
Getting other websites to link to yours is SEO gold dust. It helps to establish your authority and credibility, while increasing the chances of securing a high placing in the Google rankings.
These have to be good quality, however. Spammy backlinks won’t cut it, and can hurt your site.
To keep Google happy, your backlinks need to be diverse. A couple of high-quality links and nothing else could send the wrong signals as search engines expect to find links from a range of other websites. Usually, links from high-ranking sites will encourage links from smaller ones, creating a diverse portfolio.
Securing backlinks can be one of the trickier aspects of SEO. While agreeing to reciprocal links with other companies can work, there are usually few shortcuts other than creating high-quality content and ensuring it gets shared. Eventually, backlinks will happen.
This is another reason SEO is as much about establishing good practices which you implement over the long-term.
At Aqueous Digital, we pay close attention to the constantly evolving nature of SEO and the best practices that emerge. However, we’re also conscious that today’s best practice might not be what tomorrow needs, so we are constantly looking for ways to improve.
We help you get the most out of your website after conducting an audit of your current approach before devising an effective strategy.
Our reputation is built on the results we’ve achieved for our customers. In 2020 we won Best Small Integrated Search Agency at the prestigious UK Search Awards.