Looking for the perfect SEO checklist to make sure all of your ducks are in a row when it comes to increasing organic traffic and ranking higher on Google? It’s right here. We’ve come up with a list of some 2021 SEO best practices you’re absolutely going to need if you’re going to achieve better rankings. Ready to get started? Let’s go!
Start With Google Search Console and Google Analytics:
If you’re not yet familiar with Google Search Console, it’s a way to see how well your site is performing and to understand what needs to change as you continue to work on your SEO. Here, you’ll quickly be able to see what kinds of terms users find on your site from Google, give Google a sitemap of your site, and see any error reports the search engine is getting when they crawl your site.
Google Analytics is also free, and here you’ll understand how much traffic you’re getting, where they come from, and what they do while they’re on your site. It’s a big tool, and there’s much to understand, but it’s absolutely essential.
You’ll want the right mix of keywords to include with your site, and there are many ways to find them. Long-tail keywords are best uncovered with Google Suggest, but you can also find lots of good suggestions with the Google Keyword Planner tool. Online communities and forums can also help you understand the kinds of terms people use as they look for your products and services.
Don’t forget to include some question-based keywords, though, because those can help you rank well in zero-click searches and connect with additional customers. As you add keywords to the pages, though, don’t overdo it. You just want a few keywords per page. After that, use synonyms. The last thing you want is to get accused of keyword stuffing.
The way your URLs are structured helps Google and customers know what to expect when they land on your website. Be sure to include a keyword in your URL, and keep them as short as possible. Be sure that you take out any stop words (like the, and, or but), and use hyphens to separate words so they look more natural.
Separate On-Page Content with Headers:
You’ll want plenty of H1, H2, and H3 headers on your pages for a few reasons. First, it makes them easier to read from a person’s point of view. Second, and maybe more importantly, it makes them easier to read from a search engine’s point of view. As you separate your content with headers, though, be sure to use keywords within those headers.
Make Sure Every Page Loads Quickly:
You’ll want to do everything you can to make sure your pages load as quickly as possible. That means optimizing your images to keep them fairly small, reduce redirects wherever it’s possible, and leverage the process of browser caching.
You’re going to be updating your site a lot in the coming days, and if you’re using a CMS like WordPress, you can install an SEO plugin to help you understand what to change to best optimize your site. More than that, though, they’ll actually help you create those sitemaps you can upload to Google, and they can help you really take control of your SEO process.
Not sure where to turn next for better optimization practices? The right digital marketing team can offer you an SEO audit that will help you identify potential problems and know what to do next for your site.