General SEO best practices that your company needs to know

31 Dec 2019

SEO is by no means new, but it is still a source of confusion for many businesses. The jargon and how much time and effort is needed to keep a website thriving are a very daunting prospect and for most people they don’t know where to begin. Hire an agency? Implement it in-house? Once a company knows what it wants to achieve it’s just a case of keeping on top of it, so here are some of the best SEO practices to help get the ball rolling.

The general rules that anyone starting out with SEO needs to conform to all start with content. 600-700 words are the optimum amount for blogs and news pieces, any less and Google will not rank the pages. Keywords are also important, so focusing on one or two when optimising a webpage is a good start, but make sure they are relevant to the subject of the content. It should also go without saying that to make the content as high quality as possible spelling should be faultless and the page structure and layout should be done correctly. Websites should have content that people want to link to so needs to be eye-catching and simple to navigate in order to build a domain authority.

Images are where it can get slightly more complicated as they all need to have relevant ‘alt’ and ‘title’ tags assigned to them. Explained simply this means that the description should say exactly what the image is. For example, if the picture is of a dog in a field then name the image dog in a field, that way Google AI can read the image and try to boost the webpage’s overall score. Despite many people having different opinions on the number of images that each page should have, there is no minimum or maximum amount. However, overloading a page with pictures will slow the website down and cause some SEO issues and incorrect image sizes will also cause problems for Google when it comes to rank a website.  

Each webpage should have a ‘H1’ tag, which will include a focused keyword no longer than 50-60 characters. This keyword will also need to appear in the first paragraph of the content, ideally in the first sentence, and all headings should clearly state what the copy below it is about. Headings should be used above every long paragraph (or above a group of paragraphs that are similar) and the reader must be able to understand what the copy is about within the first few sentences.

It can also be beneficial to include a location in with the keywords used as this will optimise the website and the business for any local searches that will reach local clients.

So to summarise, ensure that keywords are used in headings, subheadings and anchor texts, internal links are added where possible to link visitors to other areas of the website and technical jargon is avoided so that it makes sense to Google when it comes to rank the pages. SEO companies recommend using the E-A-T acronym to help businesses when it comes to their content. This stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness and Trustworthiness, so that Google can give its customers the best online experience possible by only promoting websites that it trusts.

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