SEO Best Practices 2020

SEO Best Practices 2020

Posted on : by : CCDM Staff

Here is an article on the topic SEO best practices in 2020, these tips will help you better optimize your website/blog to face the challenges of ranking higher in search engines.

Information Architecture

When you talk about SEO best practices the first thing that comes to mind is INFORMATION (which is CONTENT in SEO context) because in SEO, “Content is King”. So let us first focus on the content. Even before you jump to website design and other SEO parameters, first consolidate the information/content architecture of your website. The best practice is to identify the information that is going to be displayed on the pages. It is a good policy to “quantize” this information into individual pages. Ascertain what information you want to put on your website and accordingly identify the pages. You have well defined pages that arrange according to the hierarchy.

Content Hierarchy

Content SEO Best Practices 2020 For better SEO results, it is a good practice to arrange the website structure in proper order. Content hierarchy is a subset of Information Architecture and is a good SEO practice that most websites often overlook. Content hierarchy is the outcome of crafting of the correct information architecture. Combined with internal linking, CH (Content Hierarchy) strengthens and fortifies the context of the keywords with the pages. This is particularly important for large websites which offer diverse services, products and gave a variety of pages. Real Estate, eCommerce, Tourism and Travel, Digital Marketing, Branding Agencies etc are the category of businesses which can benefit from this.

Content Writing Best Practices 2020

Now that you have the pages and website content structure well defined. The next step in the SEO best practices is creating (writing) the content. When writing the content bear these instructions in mind.

  • Write Informative Content – Don’t just write the content but create original content that offers good information value to the readers.
  • Organize the content – It is a good SEO practice to create a content structure for each page first. Before you write, identify the topics for the content and assign them the heading tags (H1 to H4) based on their hierarchy.
  • Content Formats – It has become a standard SEO practice to use long-form format while writing the content. It is a good practice to use other content styles like Question and Answers, Reviews etc. Also while writing the content it is good practice to give real life examples to explain the points.
  • Fortify your Context – For better SEO results, use original research, statistics and links to authority websites to strengthen the value and context of your content.
  • Content Formatting – Use formatting options like heading tags, bullet points, bold text, italics, underline to emphasize your point. Use these formatting varyingly while writing the the content, the text formatting is like using gestures while we talk.
  • Keywords – It is a good SEO practice to spread your keywords across the content and maintain a keyword density of 2 to 3 percent. Not just keywords but also use the synonyms of the keywords to encompass the LSI keywords.
  • In Page Links – Since you are going to use long form content format make sure that your reader does not get lost in the information. Use in-page links to take users to the relevant topics within the page. Use your keywords in the anchor text to strengthen the relation between the keywords and content.
  • Linking Matrix – As a best SEO and Content practice, maintain a “Linking Matrix” spreadsheet where you have record of all the out-going links from individual pages. This practice would help you in optimizing the flow of the SEO juice.

Web Design SEO best practices

Website Design Best Practices 2020 As a good website designer you should be aware of best website design practices that affect the SEO. While the content is ready your web design team can now create the website which is going to carry this information. Generally web designers are more inclined towards aesthetics and good UI/UX design – which is a good practice, but they often overlook the SEO factor. Following are the SEO best practices that a web designer needs to follow when designing SEO-friendly websites.

  • URL Structure – Technically this is the job of the SEO guy who crafts the information architecture of the website. It is a good practice to create a keyword-rich URL structure that is in-sync with the hierarchy of the content of the website. To get the feel of “URL structure best practices” browse through the pages of our website CompleteCircleDigitalMarketing.com, and notice how the URL structure and information hierarchy are in harmony with each other. The URL structure of the website should make justice to the keywords and also fortify the relation of the keyword with the given page.
  • Coordinate with the SEO/Content Guys – It is a good practice to let the SEO/Content team create the page titles and meta description along with the content. You being a web designer, focus on the aesthetics and the placement of the content modules in the page.
  • Leverage Google Structured Data – Also called as Google Rich Snippets are a great way of showing key features of your websites in the google search results. Product prices, ratings, reviews, inventory, author, availability are just some of the snippets you can display in the google search results. Displaying snippets improve your CTR and is great website design practice that helps in SEO
  • Choose the Right CMS – WordPress is by far the best CMS and is SEO-friendly. As a web designer you should be well acquainted with the features of the CMS that can affect the SEO value of your website.
  • SEO-Friendly Site Navigation – Create a simple and HTML based navigation that search engines can follow and index. It is good SEO/website design practice to display Breadcrumbs navigation on pages.
  • Sitemaps – Create crawlable HTML and XML sitemaps. It is a good SEO and website design practice to update the sitemaps as soon as the content is updated.
  • Robots.txt – Though this belongs to the SEO realm, as a web designer it is always good to have knowledge about the robots.txt file and how it affects the accessibility of the website. As a web designers it is good practice to get a hang of robots.txt file.
  • HTML Elements – As a web designer you should know which HTML are non-SEO friendly or less-SEO friendly. Flash, Java, Frames, AJAX etc are the elements which search engines cannot crawl. We are not saying don’t use them but you (as a website designer) should be aware of their limitations. Here is a great resource on JavaScript and Google.
  • Mobile-Friendly Page Layouts – Make sure the pages of your website are responsive and mobile-friendly. As a website designer it is good practice to test the pages to check their mobile compatibility.
  • Page-load Factor – Page-load is one of the important SEO factors. A good website design practice calls for keeping the page-load time within acceptable limits.
  • Graphic Design Best Practices – Because website speed is one of the factors in SEO, it is a good practice to reduce the size of the images to promote faster website loading. Tiny PNG, JPEGMini, Puny PNG, are some of the services that offer image compression. Along with the image compression, use correct alt, title, filename and captions for the images.

On-Page SEO Best Practices

SEO Best Practices 2020

Now lets look at the on-page factors that are decisive in making your website rank higher in search engines.

Title Tag Best Practices

Title Tag is the summary of your entire content of the page. Remember the length of the Title Tag is just 60 characters (not words) so don’t be too fancy, the best practice is to just put your main keywords in the title tag. WordPress webmasters bear in mind it is not a good practice to append the “Site Title” to the title of other web-pages of your . Make sure all the titles of your pages are “unique” and portray distinct context. Also don’t repeat the keywords in the title, repeating keywords in the title is not going to help you rank higher. E.g for a digital marketing company, the title of our website is simple:

Digital Marketing Company in Pune | Affordable Digital Agency

In this case the main main keywords of the index page are “Digital Marketing”, “Company/Agency” and the location “Pune”. The title is simple and has got all the keywords in it. Another E.g. This is the services page of our website

Digital Marketing Services in Pune | Affordable and Best Services

All the best SEO practices are implemented in the title. The secret of creating good HTML/Meta titles is rooted in the Information architecture discussed above. When you have a refined information structure with all the pages having distinct identity, it become easy to implement the SEO best practices by assigning right keywords (or set of keywords) to the pages.

Meta Description Best Practices

This is an extension of the meta title, choose the best 25 to 40 (160 to 250 words) words that summarizes the page content. The meta description optimization best practices are similar to that of the meta title. Many web designers tend to ignore meta description under the pretext that it is not important. This is a big misunderstanding, meta descriptions are very much important in 2020. The content of the meta description most aptly describe the summary of the page that is why most of the times google will show the meta description for the given keywords, then picking the content from the web page. Meta description is the best place to include the secondary keywords and LSI keywords. A good meta description has the potential to improve the CTR of your web-page. So it is not a good practice to ignore the meta description.

E.g of good SEO Meta Description

“Digital Marketing Company in Pune with focus on small/medium size companies in Pune. Digital Agency unlike any other. Our best practices, domain expertise and proven  online marketing methodology guarantee quicker results at lower cost.”

This is our simple SEO meta description. We could have written it in a much fancier way but we don’t want dilute the context of the keyword. We have deliberately avoided the keyword “services” as it has got a dedicated page. We want to avoid keyword cannibalization. The description has all the primary keywords “Digital Marketing Company in Pune” and the secondary keywords “Online”, “Agency”, “Low Cost” and “Best”.

Another Example of Meta Description Best Practices

“Affordable Digital Marketing Services in Pune! We formulate unique digital marketing solutions for your business to increase your online traffic. Low cost, best practices, domain knowledge makes us the best service provider in Pune.”

This is the SEO meta description of our “Services” page. The description again has the primary keyword “Digital Marketing Services in Pune” at the beginning. The secondary keywords like “Affordable”, “Service Provider” and “Online” are also sprayed in the description.

Keyword Best Practices

SEO Best Practices 2020

Here are the best SEO practices for the use of keywords and optimization:

  • Understand the Anatomy of Keywords – For successful SEO you have to understand the structure of the keywords. Let’s consider the keyword “Digital Marketing Company in Pune”. The keyword is made of three separate keywords “Digital Marketing”, “Company” and “Pune”.  The best SEO practice is to create content that fortifies the context of these separate keywords.
  • Avoid Keyword Cannibalization – The best SEO keyword practice is to assign a single or a set of closely related keywords to each page. Don’t use two entirely different keywords on the same page. Lets revisit the CompleteCircleDigitalMarketing.com example above one again, The keywords “Digital Marketing Company” and “Digital Marketing Services” are two distinct keywords and have different context hence there are two different pages to which they are assigned.
  • Maintain Keyword Prominence – Keyword Prominence is not just about infusing the title, tags, heading tags and content with the keywords . But the best SEO practice is to maintain the right context  of the content by avoiding use of keywords that dilute the context of the content. For example the index page of our website who’s context is “Online Marketing Company” has low prominence of keywords related to “Online Marketing Services”.
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  • Avoid Keyword Duplication – Don’t repeat the same set of keywords for more than one page.
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  • Maintain Keyword Density – The SEO best practice is to maintain a keyword density of 3% for the keyword and the variation of the keyword. On top of this density you can use LSI keywords with a frequency of 1%.
  • Keyword Proximity – This refers to placing the individual keywords in close proximity to each other. For example, the main keyword of this page is “SEO Best Practices” which is a combination of “SEO”, “BEST” and “Practices”. Keyword proximity best practices include spacing these keywords in close proximity to each other. Something like this – “While doing SEO, follow these best practices“, “Follow website design best practices to promote SEO“. It is even better to combine keyword proximity with LSI keywords and variations.
  • Avoid Keyword Cannibalization – This SEO best practice calls for NOT using same keywords in the titles and prominent on-page locations of more than one page.
  • Refer to Webmaster –  Its a good practice to check the Google webmaster account to see what keywords and being searched by the users and what pages are being showed up for the given keywords.

Internal Linking Best Practices for SEO

When it come internal linking, you have to think about siloing. The thumb rule of the linking best practices is to use keywords and their LSI variants in the anchor text to link to relevant pages. So if I have to link to the “SEO Best Practices” page from other pages, I would use the keyword and its variations in the anchor text.

Sitemap SEO Best Practices

Sitemaps are important resources that maintain the index of your website or blog. The tell search engine crawlers which pages are updated and needs to be crawled. Many webmasters ignore the importance of sitemaps and pay a heavy price. It is a good practice to update your website sitemap regularly and submit it to search engines. If you have a big website, it is recommended to use smaller dynamic sitemaps that are not prone to crashing. With the advent of XML sitemaps, HTML sitemaps are considered outdated. But it is still a good practice to maintain a HTML sitemap if you have a small website (less than 100 pages).

Summary

You cannot afford to have a haphazard approach towards the SEO of your website/blog. You have to go step by step planning and anticipating things well in advance. The SEO best practices have to be implemented in all the phases – planning and execution.

About Complete Circle SEO Company

We are a Pune based company offering SEO services to businesses in Pune. Our SEO best practices guarantee quicker results. With our proven strategy we can make your website rank higher in search listings. Get in touch now!

 

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