- Search engine optimisation (SEO) is an ever-evolving landscape that involves frequent algorithm updates. It can be difficult to keep up!
- SEO is one of the top drivers for website traffic and lead generation, and as we approach 2021 it's important to know what you need to be doing to generate growth.
- In this article, we delve into seven SEO best practices for 2021 that will help your website climb to the top of Google search results.
Are you all set for online success in 2021?
To get the most effective lead generation and to beat your competitors, you need to be abreast of the best SEO practices and understand the trends your competitors are following.
Google’s algorithm is constantly changing goalposts, and as such, SEO is constantly changing. You must be on top of your SEO-game to keep up. This is why choosing the right SEO provider is so important.
SEO experts have the know-how to understand and adapt to the changes as they occur, tweaking your SEO strategy and providing ongoing advice and support.
Even if you have some marketing insight and elect to try going it alone, you need some basic knowledge of SEO, how it works and how to do it right. This is true whether you are a professional digital marketer, a sole trader, small business owner or a curious coder.
Why Implement an SEO Strategy?
Investing in SEO is one of the most important ways to drive relevant, high-quality traffic to your website. Competition for the attention of internet users is fierce and becoming even more so.
While Google advertising and social media ads are effective, SEO is one of the top drivers of traffic to business websites. This is true across all industries and for businesses of all sizes, from local sole traders to international enterprises.
SEO Best Practices for 2021
While there are many SEO best practices to consider for 2021, the key things to focus your efforts on are:
- Search Intent
- Alt Image Tags
- Optimise Images
- Optimise for Mobile
- Internal Linking
- SEO-Formatting and Website Structure
1. Search Intent
Focus tags or keywords remain incredibly important for SEO, but Google now also considers the intent of a search, i.e. its motivation and purpose. Are users searching to seek information, intending to purchase or for some other reason?
Content that complies with these motivations will rank, and context matters more than ever before. Understand what Google is already ranking for the terms or tags you choose and create quality SEO-optimised content on your website that is tailored to the intent behind the search.
Create high-value content around your chosen keywords for a human audience and related to your niche to drive the right traffic back to your website.
Title tags, meta descriptions, H1 tags and URL slugs for your content must be relevant and included. They should incorporate (but not stuff) your keywords and phrases. Meta titles should be no longer than 60 characters and meta descriptions no longer than 160 characters.
3. Alt Image Tags
Add Alt tags to every mage on your website. Alt tags describe the image and this description is used by Google and other search engines as both a ranking indicator but also to assist visually-impaired internet users.
4. Optimise Images
SEO optimisation requires text, as without textual content a site will not rank. But images are important too as they captivate your audience and improve ranking indicators. Use plenty of high-quality images on your website and an image on each blog post. Image file size needs to be below 1MB and compressed if possible – this enables faster-loading speed.
5. Optimise for Mobile
More than 50% of all internet searches are now conducted via a mobile device (Statista, 2020). The attention span of modern consumers is extremely limited and any site which does not load and display perfectly within three seconds will be abandoned for the next best thing.
Your website must be optimised to work seamlessly across all device types, including Android, iOS, tablet, laptop and desktop.
6. Internal Linking
Google’s search algorithm relies on internal links to determine a page’s relevance, authority and purpose. The more quality links to a landing page, the better it will perform in search engine ranks.
Link internally from your home page to your relevant landing pages (you should have a landing page for each target keyword or phrase), and link from your blog to the relevant landing page. Also link back to your site from your social media posts.
7. SEO-Formatting and Website Structure
SEO formatting and website structure encompass a wide range of things. Use the following checklist to ensure your website is formatted and optimised to the best standard:
- Use H1, H2, H3 tags appropriately
- Use the main target keyword in the first paragraph of a page’s content
- Structure your website so it is straightforward, concise and easy to navigate
- Use both internal and external links
- Break up content with shorter paragraphs and include dot points, etc.
- Have an expert web developer optimise your site’s backend for speed – this is a technical endeavour that requires experience in the field
- Include a physical address for your company and a phone number for contact on every page (in the header or footer is ideal) – this is important for local SEO
- Create dynamic, consistent, quality content – this is where your onsite blog can really deliver
Last but not least, consider hiring a professional SEO expert. They have the skills, expertise, experience and insight to help you rank on Google, and get you seen by the right audience at the right time.
Search engine optimisation is a marathon, not a sprint – it requires an ongoing commitment and the overall process is very complex.
While you can certainly affect valuable changes and actions on your own website, only a professional SEO company can deliver the full package for optimum results.
So, are you all set for online success in 2021?
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