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SEO Best Practices in 2022

Danni Roseman
March 1, 2022

Inside this article:

Search engine optimization, or as we call it SEO, is one of the organic tactics companies use to make sure that their content, website or business stays visible on the SERP (search engine results page).

When a company or website improves their search rankings their web page is easily discovered by their ideal client, customer or reader seeking similar services and who oftentimes overlap in search intent.

Standing out on search engine results pages is not an easy task, so professional SEOs do a lot behind the scenes to improve their search engine rankings.

If you're reading this post, I'm sure you've heard words like internal links, meta description, title tag, and keyword research tossed around, right?

These are all ways to optimize your position within the search results and well, be considered relevant and respected by search engines. You should never write a blog post without first understanding basic search engine optimization.

Basically, before you create content, you need an SEO strategy.

Let's dive into SEO best practices for 2022! (and beyond)

What are SEO best practices?

According to HubSpot, 65% of searches don't reach the first page of search results. Follow SEO best practices for gaining an advantage. Among SEO best practices are those aimed at helping Google crawl, index and understand your content. Here is a relevant post on how to write SEO-friendly Blog posts which will help you find the preacricies most relevant to your needs and niche!

Make content easy to read

This isn’t an extremely important factor for SEO, but it helps users quickly search for your content. Use bold and bullet-pointing to separate text, and this tells the engines what is important to them. Standing out on search engines goes beyond ranking high. If your web pages are hard to read and impossible to navigate, no matter how amazing your blog post is, it won't matter if the user can't find it easily. Add visual queues like bullet points, bold and underlined and short paragraphs with headings for easy skimming.

In Surfer's free SEO writing masterclass 2.0 there's an entire section on improving readability and also within Surfer's content editor there are suggestions in real time for headings, paragraph, images and word count.

Earn Authoritative Backlinks

Although Google has updated its algorithms, Google still considers backlinking one of the most important ranking indicator. Back links can be considered trustworthy by Google. If your website has a high number of reliable backlinks they should perform well in the SERPs. Not everyone has the exact same back link structure and content.

Backlinking is a way that increases search engine rankings exponentially while other techniques are often considered dangerous. You will not be automatically penalised for backlinking to a website with poor content in your profile, but it is something you should actuvely avoid doing.

If you use links schemes and get links from backlinks, Google will penalise you however. Link building takes time when you do it right.

Using Surfer's Audit tool, you can optimize your content after you've posted, and get an idea for gaps in your backlinking and internal linking strategy.

Create useful content

Imagine going to a pizza restaurant and then discovering all they serve is ice cream! Give people what they want, but the priority should remain on quality. Don't mislead people, and make relevant content the goal. Obviously search intent is important. Dated SEO advice often suggests longer content is best; this may not always be true.

The content must first provide relevant answers. Some of these pages require longer content or shorter. If your content matches the intended intent of the user, you're going in the right direction. There is no golden rule on content length, and more often than not, it's however long it needs to be to give the user what they expect is best.

When it comes to creating useful content, you'll also want to avoid dated practices like keyword stuffing, duplicate content, broken links and make high quality content the focus of your content marketing.

Match Search Intent

Once you understand the importance of SEO for your business, you can start analyzing what your search intent might be.

Search intents (also called user intents) are used in all searches. Google is committed to ensuring that users get the most information possible on Google search engines. Page rank on first page of Google has passed Google's Litmus test.

Look in search results to find out how to bake oatmeal cookies. Search top results are blogs and videos There is no web shop selling oatmeal cookies. Google understands those searching for specific information want to know how to do something rather than buy or shop.

When discussing search intent, we usually consider: informational, transactional, commercial and navigational.

See also: The Great Search Intent Analysis

Title tags

When you do keyword research, it is one important factor to be taken into account when establishing an online presence. The title tag enables search engines to find the site and determine if your site's content relates to those keywords.

Titles have to have a unique tag to each page, I'm sorry. Google's search engine shows the keywords you use if someone searches for those keywords. It helps to improve visibility as well as the clickthrough rate.

See also: How to Write SEO Title Tags for Maximum Impact

Optimize Images

Images can greatly improve your site's user experience.

Many people spend a good amount of time showcasing the best images on their website to enhance their content or products. How much time does it take to optimise a photo for the website? It depends. Is the image high quality? Is it relevant? Is there alt text?

Properly used photos increase the overall visibility of the website, as well as boost organic traffic.

Don't forget that adding the image alt text is not only a considerate move to make the user experience more inclusive, it's also SEO-friendly. Win win!

Make URLs SEO-Friendly

URLs are sometimes forgotten in SEO.

Ideally, a well-structured URL helps the search engines understand what their destination webpage aims for. Google's website's URL structure needs a very simple format.

Make logical URLs in such an order that the URLs are readable to humans when possible.

Optimize Your Page Speed

When a website takes an extended time loading your webpage is likely to lose a lot of visitors. The free tool Google PageSpeed Insights helps you improve.

The program provides insight into your web speed and provides suggestions on the best methods to increase loading speeds.

If multiple pages on your website take a long time to load, you can probably assume that the user will move on and forget all about the pages on your site in hopes of finding a faster more efficient answer to their question.

Use Surfer's Audit tool to check out page load time! Page speed is important.

Meta description

Meta description is extremely important when it comes to getting a user to visit a page on your website.

Meta descriptions have to be carefully chosen and should contain compelling descriptions for users. Similar to title tags, SERP highlights keyword searches that increase chances that a user visits your site.

Get creative, but adjust expectations so that the user is reassured that their target keyword or keyword phrases can be found on your site.

See also: 7 Tips for writing optimal Meta Descriptions

Improve user experience

Google monitors your site's interaction with visitors. In other words, users experience can help increase a website's rankings. As discussed in this post, speed can greatly influence a web visitor experience. Let us list the other ways you can make your website more enjoyable and user friendly. For example, are the colors attractive and on-brand? Are the buttons and calls to action clear and compelling? Is your page simple to navigate? These are all questions to consider when it comes to user experience.

When in doubt, recruit a couple friends or strangers for market research.

Do keywords still matter for SEO?

In 2022 keywords will remain important in SEO. Search engine optimization is so complex. The way that marketers use keywords is changing.

Use 1–2 longtail keywords

Optimizing blog content with keywords does not mean using a lot of keywords. Nowadays, this actually impacts your SEO, as search engines regard this keyword stuffing mainly as a way to rank higher in search results, not necessarily provide high quality content.

This also has a negative effect on the reader experience which searchers now prioritize to ensure your page addresses the needs of the users.

Generally speaking, the keywords used in content should be used so as not to be unnaturally forced. One rule of thumb would be to concentrate on one or three keywords for one or more blog articles.

Within Surfer's Content Editor, you'll find NLP optimized suggested keywords as well as suggested range to ensure optimal keyword density. You can use Surfer's Content Planer tool to find a variety of keywords that often rank together.

Does blogging help with SEO?

Blogging improves search engine optimization quality because you can position yourself for the best answer to customers' questions. Blog posts using various on-page SEO techniques can help you increase rankings on Google.

Blogs, when done properly, help establish you as an authority within your niche and your domain authority is something that Google search engine considers.

What makes good content SEO?

Content SEO works by linking to your keyword strategy for your site. In a keyword analysis, you should consider a number of competitive keywords, along with broader niche keywords. Use internal links, write title tags, understand your target keywords, pay attention to search volume, write a compelling title tag and follow your progress using google search console if you want to boost organic search traffic to your site.  Creating content for mobile devices is one of the many SEO strategies most top ranking pages recommend.

There are many SEO tools and SEO resources on the market, but most are not as comprehensive as Surfer which you can use to plan, research, write and optimize your content.

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All you need to do pass the exam with 85% or higher, and complete the practical activation task of writing a blog post of 1500 words within Surfer's Content Editor! If you're successful, we'll send you an official Surfer Certificate that you can share, and a badge for Linkedin!