10 SEO Best Practices: The Roadmap To Higher Rankings

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Is your content still nowhere to be found on search results? If you’re looking to increase your organic traffic, you have to consider more than just creating content and praying to the Google gods to rank your pages.

It’s no secret that achieving higher search rankings in Google and other search engines can be a challenging endeavor, specially with its constant updates to their algorithms (Google makes about 500-600 updates per year). The landscape of Search Engine Optimization is ever-changing and if you don’t want to play catch up, you have to future-prove your site with SEO best practices. 

In this post, we’ll explore best practices for SEO to increase your traffic in 2023 and beyond.
Let’s do this!

What are SEO Best Practices?

SEO best practices are a set of tasks solely for the purpose of appearing higher in search results. The actions you can take in regards are almost limitless.

Search engine optimization is very nuanced and you can easily get hung up on the gazillion things you can try to rank higher in Google. 

That’s why it is important to get the SEO basics down first to build a strong foundation for your game plan.
Common practices for optimizing your online visibility through SEO efforts include:

  • Keyword research
  • Link building (internal links & backlinks)
  • Optimizing web pages for on-page SEO

But it doesn’t stop there. In the next section, I’ll show you several strategies that you can easily implement to increase your Google rankings and ultimately attract more organic traffic to your website.

1. Target The Right Keywords

Identifying the right keywords that accurately represents your niche and aligns with your business objectives is the first step to a successful content strategy.

The keywords you target will set the direction for your online venture and will ultimately decide your performance on the search engine rankings.

That is why it’s crucial to base your decision-making on data – speaking of it: You have to research how many people search for this term (Search Volume), how difficult it is to rank for it (Keyword Difficulty) and what people are looking for in regards of the search query (Search Intent).

You can use a tool like Ahrefs to do your keyword research.

Keyword research tool dashboard to identify good keywords as SEO best practice

Common mistakes to avoid are:

  • Targeting high volume keywords which do not align with business objectives
    (You might be able to attract a lot of traffic, but what good does traffic do when it doesn’t convert)
  • Targeting relevant keywords without considering the keyword difficulty
    (Search engine results pages are a battleground, in which everyone participates – from big media sites to small bloggers. In some keyword cases you will go up against giants that are next to unbeatable. Sure, you could have a “David vs. Goliath” story here and there, but I wouldn’t bet on it in the long run. SEO is a long-term game!)

Keyword research is all about data-driven analysis. When you look at the data, you have to be able to understand if a keyword is a good opportunity and wether it serves your business goals or not.

Tip – If there are pages of similar caliber to yours ranking in the SERP with only a few backlinks, that is a good sign that you could perhaps rank for it too.

2. Create Content That Matches Search Intent

When it comes to SEO, your content has to always bear in mind the search intent (also known as “User Intent).

Search Intent

= The purpose or main goal behind every search query.

4 Common Types:

  • Informational
  • Transactional
  • Commercial
  • Navigational

Search intent is one of the most important ranking factors. In order to rank high, you need to understand the motivation behind the search and answer the user’s query the best you can.
Satisfying the user intent is the central focus of Google.

Think about it. The number 1 goal of Google’s business model is to organize the information on the world wide web and provide the best answers to every search query. This is where most of the money Google makes comes from and this is how they manage to generate around $280 Billion in 2022.

Because they are so good in this one thing, they obtain 90% of marketshares when it comes to the search market.

Google rewards relevant content and every page that appears in the SERP (Search Engine Results Page = first page) is deemed as the best solution to the user’s query.

This means: If you want to get to the number 1 page of Google, you have to create content that aligns with search intent.

Tip – If you want to understand the search intent behind a query, ask yourself:

  • What are they looking for?
  • What problems / pain points do they have?
  • What answers / solutions are they looking for?

3. Build Quality Backlinks To Boost Your Authority

A backlink (also known as “inbound link”) is created when a website reference a page on another website and link back to it. They are usually placed on an anchor text.

Backlinks are basically the fuel to higher rankings because Google consider these as “votes” from other websites for specific pages. These votes principally indicate relevance and authority.

If a website links back to a page on your site, this tells Google that your page is useful and of high quality and credibility.
The more authoritative the linking website is, the more credibility will pass on to your webpage, thus the backlink is of higher quality.

General rule of thumb: Pages that have lots of relevant backlinks tend to show up higher in google search.
So if you want to optimize your SEO performance, you have to build quality backlinks.

One common way to do link building is through email outreach.
(Email Outreach = Contacting people who might be interested in linking to your webpages.)

A couple things to consider when you go for this strategy:

  • Don’t beg for links (nothing is for free)
  • Create a win-win (links have high value)
  • Provide value for the recipient of the email first

4. Optimize Loading Time For Your Site

As we’ve discussed earlier: Google wants to provide the best answers, this includes getting to the answer as fast as possible. Around half of the visitors expect your website to load within 2 seconds, otherwise they could abandon your site again, leading to a higher bounce rate.

This is why you have to reduce the loading time for your site as much as possible.

Here are a few actionable steps you can take to optimize your loading speed:

  • Cut unnecessary Plugins & Add-Ons: Your website might slow down if you use too many plugins due to the extra storage space they take up.
  • Compress large media files: Images, graphics and videos take up a great portion of your page’s size. They can take a long time to download, which can lead to slower loading speed.
    You can use a tool like compressor.io or the Plugin Shortpixel to compress your images.
  • Choose lighter themes: Some themes tend to have a lot of features, which can bulk up your website and slow it down. Either optimize your theme for website speed or switch to a lighter one.

5. Use Internal Linking To Organize Your Site Structure

Internal linking is one of the fundamental strategies when it comes to good SEO practices.

Google uses “crawlers” to go through every website and scan every page and every link on the page. If you build a good internal linking structure for your website, this helps Google understand the hierarchy of information on your site.

Additionally, internal links between pages can create a better user experience for your visitors by helping users to seamlessly transition from one content to other relevant content on your site.

The best of it all:

When you link to pages on your site with internal links, you’re facilitating the flow of something called “PageRank”, helping your pages which are hard to obtain backlinks, get some “link juice”.

Basically, when the linking page gets backlinks, it’s passing some of the so-called “authority” or “link power” over to the pages it links to, helping them rank higher in Google.

6. Optimize Title Tag With Compelling Page Titles

Title tags are clickable headlines in search results. They are vital for on-page SEO and signal to Google what your page is about.

As they are the first things users see, they should provide a quick insight into the content and its relevance to their search. Best practices include crafting optimized title tags for search engines and humans.

Things to consider when writing a title:

Things you should do

  • Title should tell exactly what your page is about
  • Target one keyword per title
  • Use target keyword in the beginning when possible
  • Title should be about 50-60 characters long
  • Clear, descriptive, plain English
  • Use trigger and modifier words
  • Address user intent

Things you should avoid

  • Stuffing unneeded keywords
  • Use very lengthy titles that are unhelpful to users
  • Avoid duplicating title tags across multiple pages: Each title tag should be unique to the page’s content
  • Click baiting but not providing relevant content

7. Optimize Meta Description Tag For Higher CTR

A meta description is a tag that talks about what’s on a page. You find it under the title and link in search results. These descriptions should give a quick and interesting summary of what the page is about. Think of them like a short pitch that convinces people the page has what they are looking for.

Here are a few best practices to follow when it comes to crafting meta descriptions:

  • Create distinct meta descriptions for each page
  • Should be about 130-160 characters long
  • Use compelling copy to entice readers to click
  • Incorporate your main keyword
  • Incorporate semantic keywords 
  • Align with the purpose of the search.

Tip: You can use generative AI to come up with a compelling meta description.

8. Construct SEO-Friendly URLs

How you construct your web addresses is important for technical SEO. When a URL is well-organized, it helps people find information and let search engines better understand what’s on the page.

Best practices you can adopt when creating URLs are:

  • Keyword-focused
  • Unique and as short as possible
  • Avoid including the same keyword more than once
  • When using multiple words in the slug
    Use hyphens to separate the words (/best-ai-productivity-tools)
  • URLs should stay consistent and should not be changed over time
    (Google signs authority at a page level – changing URLs could lead to loss of value of a page)

9. Optimize Images for Search Engine Optimization

Optimizing your images can not only lead to better visibility in image searches but also help pages on your website in general rank higher in search.

When it comes to image SEO tips, you have to keep two best practices in mind:

  1. Add descriptive filenames to your images.
  2. Use alt text to describe your images.

10. Track Your Performance With GSC & GA

To efficiently monitor and evaluate your website’s performance, you have to make use of Google Search Console (GSC) and Google Analytics (GA).

Google Search Console is a free service provided by Google that allows website owners to understand how their website is performing in organic searches. You can track important metrics like the number of clicks your website receives from search results, the average position of your website, and the overall visibility of your website in Google’s SERPs. 

Google Analytics on the other hand is a powerful tool that provides comprehensive data regarding your website’s user activity and engagement. With GA, you can examine important insights such as the number of visitors on your site, their demographic information, the channels through which they arrived on your website, and the pages they navigated. 

By regularly monitoring both GSC and GA, you can gain valuable insights into the effectiveness of your website’s performance, enabling you to make data-driven decisions to optimize your digital presence. 


Mastering SEO strategies is your ticket to a better search presence and increased search traffic to your site. When you optimize your website for Google, you’re setting the stage for higher rankings. 

These 10 SEO best practices act as your guide. From creating awesome content to fixing technical stuff, each step boosts your online footprint.

Remember: smart planning, ongoing learning, and making your website Google-friendly are key. So, follow this roadmap to improve how people find you on the web and get more visitors to your site.

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