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SEO Best Practices: 20 Ultimate SEO Tips to Boost Rankings

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Research shows that 75% of searchers don’t bother clicking past the results on the first page, and the first 5 results for a given search account for 67% of all clicks. That’s why it’s essential to rank on the first page of Google, which can make any website owner feel a bit hopeless.

Don’t worry…we’re here to help you improve your rankings on Google!

In this SEO best practices checklist, we’ll give you 20 ultimate SEO tips that’ll help boost rankings and drive more organic traffic to your website at record speed.

Since this is a comprehensive list, you can click on these quick links to jump straight to the different sections:

  1. Perform Keyword Research
  2. Understand Your Keyword’s Search Intent
  3. Add Your Focus Keyword or Keyphrase
  4. Use Long-Tail and Medium-Tail Keywords
  5. Improve Your Content With Related Keywords 
  6. Use the Readability Analysis Tool
  7. Optimize Your SEO Title or Title Tag 
  8. Write a Well-Crafted Meta Description
  9. Crush It in Visual Search
  10. Use Schema Markup and Rank for Featured Snippets
  11. Create an XML Sitemap
  12. Optimize Your Video Content for Video Search
  13. Use an SEO-Friendly URL Structure
  14. Link Internally and Externally
  15. Boost Your Site Speed
  16. Make Sure Your Website Is Secure
  17. Optimize for Local SEO and Rank on Google Maps
  18. Prepare for Mobile-Only Indexing
  19. Get Ready for Voice Search
  20. Check Your SEO Site Score and Fix Critical Issues

Alright, let’s get started by presenting the first and most important step in our goal of helping you rank your website on Google’s first page.

1. Perform Keyword Research

Infographic by DigitalNext

Keyword research is one of the key aspects of SEO. You want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so that Google will rank your content on them. 

Think about which words and phrases represent your website and business the best. What do you do? What products and services do you offer?

For example, you might come up with “best protein powder” if you sell fitness supplements or “plumbers in Lake Worth, Florida” if you’re running a local plumbing business.

But if you’re only guessing what people are searching for, you’re wasting your time. You’ll need to analyze your keyword’s popularity and search volume. That way, you can see how many people are searching for that particular keyword and how easy or difficult it is to rank for it.

Luckily there are several tools available to help you get accurate data on any keyword. You can use a free tool like Google Keyword Planner, choose a Load Toad Networks DIY option, or you can answer a few questions and we’ll handle it all for you. For more details, you can check out WPBeginner’s guide on how to do keyword research for your WordPress blog.

That said, as Google becomes smarter, there’s a greater focus on relevance and intent than matching the exact keywords. This means that if your content doesn’t match the search intent, it simply won’t rank in search engines.    

You have to try understanding what users are searching for and the meaning behind their searches. And a good way of doing so is by using the Google giant like we’ll show you how to do next. 

2. Understand Your Keyword’s Search Intent

Since search intent is the most important ranking factor in search engines, your first step is to understand your target keyword’s search intent.

Fortunately for most keywords or keyphrases, the search results on Google will tell you everything you need to know about that keyword’s search intent. 

For example, take a keyword like: “keto supplements”. Users searching for that keyphrase could want to buy keto supplements or maybe they just want to learn more about it. 

And according to Google’s first page for that keyword, most people searching for “keto supplements” are looking for information. 

Example of a Google search to check a keyword's search intent

So if you want to target this keyword’s search intent, you need to create content that offers the best possible information about keto supplements.

Simply use the Google giant to figure out what type of information users are searching for on Google for your target keywords.

Remember to always use your main focus keyword or keyphrase in the first paragraph of your content, as well as in the SEO title and meta description. We’ll show you how to add that next.

3. Add Your Focus Keyword or Keyphrase

You can easily add your focus keyphrase (your main keyword or keyphrase) using the best WordPress SEO plugin, All in One SEO (AIOSEO). And even get an analysis of how well you’ve optimized your content on it.

Once you’ve installed and activated AIOSEO on your site, you’ve access to many powerful SEO tools and features, including:

  • SEO Audit Checklist — it lets you analyze your entire WordPress site to detect critical errors and get actionable insights on how to boost your SEO and get more traffic.
  • Smart XML Sitemaps — this feature automatically generates a WordPress XML sitemap and notifies all search engines of any new updates. You can also create a video sitemap and Google News sitemap to boost rankings in the video and news search results.
  • Social Media Integration — Connect all your social media profiles and let search engines know about them. This feature also allows you to create beautiful Twitter Cards and Facebook thumbnails that let you control how your content looks when shared on social media and help drive more referral traffic to your site. 
  • Local SEO — boost rankings for all your Business Listings and get featured in Google’s Knowledge Panel and Google Maps.

These are just a few of the awesome SEO tools, which will help increase rankings in search engines and grow your website. 

Anyhow, to add your Focus Keyphrase is super easy when using AIOSEO.

To get started, simply scroll down in the post or page you’re editing to the AIOSEO Settings, and click on the General tab. 

Adding your focus keyphrase in All in One SEO

Here you can write your focus keyphrase and then press on the Add Focus Keyphrase button. This allows you to see how effectively you’ve used it in your blog post. 

It’ll double-check so that you’ve added your focus keyphrase in the first paragraph of your content, SEO title, and meta description.

Now that you know how to figure out a keyword’s search intent and how to add your focus keyphrase, we’ll move on to why it’s a good idea to use long-tail and medium-tail keywords in your content to increase organic traffic.

4. Use Long-Tail and Medium-Tail Keywords

Did you know that long-tail keywords make up for 70% of search traffic? So if you want to get more organic traffic, you should definitely use long-tail keywords in your content.

Long-tail keywords are phrases people enter into search engines when they’re looking for something specific. Often, they’re 3 or more words.

Even though they tend to have low search volume, they’re easier to rank for since they have a more specific intent and are more likely to answer users’ queries. 

If the search volume is too low, you can always aim for mid-tail keywords instead. They’re 2 to 3 words long and often have higher search volume. However, they can be more difficult to rank for since there’s more competition for mid-tail keywords.

With AIOSEO, you can add long-tail or mid-tail keywords and even get an SEO analysis of how well you’ve optimized them in your content. All you need to do is enter your keywords in the Focus Keyphrase field, and press Enter.

You can read more posts like this at www.loadtoadnetworks.com.

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