If there’s one thing we love more than a fresh cup of coffee here at Estes Media, it’s talking about SEO. And let’s be honest, who doesn’t? In today’s digital world, SEO is crucial for online success. But with so many best practices to consider, prioritizing what to focus on can be daunting. Worry not, dear reader! We’ve got you covered. In this blog post, we will take you on a fantastic voyage through the top 10 best SEO practices we use to make sure our client’s online businesses’ presence is highly visible and attractive. Buckle up, and let’s dive in!
1. Keyword Research
As the old saying goes, “Keywords are the lifeblood of SEO.” Okay, maybe that’s not an old saying, but it should be! Selecting the right keywords is vital for driving targeted traffic to your website. The keyword research shows you what your customers are asking to find answers to their problems (1). If you have bad research, then everything else you do when attacking your SEO will be wrong. To find those precious gems, at Estes Media we use tools like Google Keyword Planner or SEMrush to identify high-volume, low-competition keywords and long-tail keywords that can drive 70% of web traffic and often have a higher conversion rate (2).
2. On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization is like laying the foundation for a beautiful SEO house. No On-Page Optimization and your pretty house will collapse into the back pages of search engines instead of being showcased on the first page. What is On-page Optimization? It includes the basics like title tags, meta descriptions, header tags (H1, H2, H3), alt tags for images, and internal and external linking strategies (3). We also have to make sure your URLs are short, sweet, and keyword-rich, along with these other best practices (4). In the words of our SEO-loving forefathers: “A well-optimized page is a happy page.”
3. Content Quality and Relevance
Creating valuable, relevant content is essential for engaging your audience and keeping the Google (and Bing) gods smiling down in your favor. Remember, content is King, and content creators, are the Arch-Bishop of Canterbury! We employ a multifaceted approach to ensure our client’s content stays fresh and relevant. Our team creates new content monthly and analyzes and updates older blog posts by adding valuable information as needed. But it continues; readability and structure are vital to creating successful website content. To enhance the overall user experience, such as incorporating images, videos, and infographics (5).
4. Mobile Optimization
With over half of all web traffic coming from mobile devices (6), it’s no wonder that mobile optimization is a top priority. We always make sure our clients website is responsive and looks great in all screen sizes, by using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights and Google Chromes Inspect tool to simulate various mobile views. Also, we implement Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to ensure lightning-fast load times on mobile devices (7). Bonus: keep CTA’s at the top of mobile, fewer mobile users scroll to the bottom.
5. Page Speed Optimization
Slow and steady may win the race in Aesop’s fables, but speed is king in the world of SEO. A one-second delay in page load time can lead to a 7% decrease in conversions (8). To win the race against time, we always run a website’s speed test using tools like Google PageSpeed Insights or GTmetrix, and follow their recommendations for fast improvement. With gigabit internet speeds and 5g everywhere, everyone expects a quick site. No one has time for a slow site, not even your Nana.
6. User Experience (UX) and Usability
User experience and SEO go together like peanut butter and jelly. Or like cats and the internet. You want it to be simple for your visitors to find what they are looking for on your site, be it content, products, or a specific CTA. To provide a stellar UX, the key is to focus on intuitive navigation and site structure. How do we do that? By encouraging user engagement and interaction by including calls-to-action, internal links to relevant content, expandable content, videos, images, animation, comments sections, or social sharing buttons (9).
7. Social Media
Social signals play a significant role in SEO (10). Integrating social sharing buttons and leveraging social media platforms can help boost your content’s visibility and reach. Social sharing with your backlinks helps boost your traffic and brand reach. Social also allows you to build community and create a space to showcase your customers as they share images/videos of your work/products. Remember, like Mom said, sharing is caring!
8. Backlink Building
Backlinks are like a big, warm hug from other websites, telling search engines your content is valuable and worth linking to. It is a chain of authority. Quite literally, one website that is more quality than yours is sharing its credible link juice with your site, thereby boosting your notoriety with search engines. Aim for high-quality backlinks from authoritative sources and monitor your backlink profile to ensure it stays healthy (A). Don’t buy garbage links from spammy agencies, folks in your inbox offering you fantastic links, or strangers on Fiverr selling 500 links for ten bucks. Trust us, Google’s Latest Spam Brain update will pummel you for this.
9. Technical SEO
The nitty-gritty of technical SEO includes site architecture, XML sitemaps, structured data, schema markup, canonicalization, and avoiding duplicate content (B). While it might not be as glamorous as other aspects of SEO, technical SEO is the unsung hero, quietly ensuring your site runs smoothly and is easily understood by search engines. Technical SEO, the unsung hero of search engine optimization, these elements live behind the scenes to spruce up your website’s infrastructure, performance, and security. By giving your site’s technical elements a little TLC, you’re laying down a red carpet for search engines to crawl easily, index, and rank your content. By ensuring your website loads quickly, has a mobile-friendly design, and follows a clear structure, you make it easier for search engines to identify and showcase your content (meaning business) as valuable snippets. The result? You’ll enjoy increased visibility, authority, leads, and traffic without breaking a sweat.
10. Local SEO
For small businesses and brick-and-mortar locations, local SEO is the key to getting found by nearby customers. We recommend optimizing Google My Business listing to ensure its accurate and complete and don’t forget to gather and manage online reviews (C). After all, 82% of consumers read online reviews for local businesses before deciding (D).
11. Voice Search Optimization
With the growing popularity of voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant, optimizing your content for voice search is becoming increasingly important. To stay ahead of the curve, we started performing the best practices for our clients, such as using conversational language, answering common questions, and implementing schema markup to help voice assistants understand what the content is about (E).
ChatGPT and Bard. What’s Next?
By focusing on these aspects, your business will be well on its way to a more substantial online presence and improved search engine rankings. But… there’s more. Do you want to discover more of Estes Media’s best practices? Check out this special Bonus Section: Ensuring Your Content Ranks Better and is Discoverable for AI Tools like ChatGPT and Google Bard.
And there you have it, folks! The top 10 best practices you should stack rank for SEO success. With the right digital marketing agency partner by your side, you can unlock the full potential of your website and reach new heights. Estes Media serves different industries, especially roofers and contractors, to get more and better leads. Want to know more? Discover how we improved one of our client’s websites and SEO efforts here. If you have any questions or want to escalate your business online, feel free to contact us anytime!
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