Search engine optimization (SEO) is a powerful digital marketing strategy for boosting your website's traffic and rankings.
To improve your search engine rankings and to reach more potential customers, you need to implement the right SEO strategy to get more organic traffic.
We have compiled a list of best practices to follow for your blog post by covering the 15 most powerful SEO tips to boost traffic and rankings.
1. Understand and Match Search Intent
Search intent is the reason behind a search query. It is the reason why someone is searching for a specific keyword on Google.
One of the top SEO mistakes that beginners make is not understanding the search intent of their target audience before writing a blog post.
To rank on the first page of Google, you need to understand the search intent of search queries and write content that matches their specific goal or purpose of the search.
For example, if you are writing an article on "how to lose weight", they are looking for relevant information on how to lose weight. They are not looking for a diet plan or a weight loss program.
For best results you need to understand Google's algorithm and check relevant keywords and really read the page titles and content of the top 10 search engine results.
SEO experts call this process "reverse engineering". You need to reverse engineer the top 10 search engine results and understand what Google is looking for.
Tools like RankIQ help you find related keywords for your target keyword so you can add it to your piece of content.
Here is a list of the different types of search intent:
- Informational: The user is looking for information on a specific topic.
- Navigational: The user is looking for a specific website.
- Commercial: The user is looking for a product or service.
- Transactional: The user is looking to make a purchase.
2. Use Keywords Wisely
Keyword research is the first step in any SEO strategy.
Using the relevant keywords in your content can help you rank higher on search engines and drive more organic traffic to your web pages.
Keywords are the words and phrases that people use to search for information on search engines like Google. They are also known as search terms.
You can use free keyword research tools to get started. One of the easiest ways is to use the StoryChief AI Keyword Generator to find relevant keywords for your target keyword. Then you can add keyword phreases in your long-form content.
You can also use Google Keyword Planner to find the search volume, competition, and cost per click (CPC) of long-tail keywords and related keywords.
Here are our best SEO tips to use keywords effectively:
- Use your target keyword in the title tag of your page.
- Add your main keyword in the first paragraph of your content.
- Use keywords in your alt text and meta description.
- Check the search volume and competition of your target keyword.
- Use long-tail keywords in your content.
- Avoid keyword stuffing.
3. Create High-Quality, Original Content
To get real potential customers and make your SEO efforts worth it, you need to create high-quality, original content that your target audience will love.
If you feel like your blog post is not worthy to be shared on social media because it's just written for search engines, then you need to rewrite it
What exactly makes a piece of content high-quality?
High-quality content is content that is original, well-written, and provides value to your target audience. It answers their questions, solves their problems, and helps them achieve their goals.
Original content is content that is unique to your blog post, with original high-quality research, ideas and insights.
Usually it comes with relevant information from personal experience, expertise and knowledge that only you can provide.
You'll need to update and refresh your piece of content on a regular basis to keep it relevant and up-to-date.
For best results, start with a complete guide on a specific topic and then add additional information to it. Or use video content to explain your topic in more detail.
4. Optimize Your Title Tags and Meta Descriptions
Title tags and meta descriptions can significantly boost your click-through rate (CTR). Make them compelling and relevant to your content, and include your target keywords.
The title tag is the title of your web page that appears in search engine results and in your web browser tab. The meta description is a short summary of your web page that appears below the title tag in the SERP.
Both elements play an important role in how likely people are to click on your web page when they see it in search results.
On mobile devices, the title tag is slightly larger than on desktops. The recommended length for title tags is 50-60 characters, while the recommended length for meta descriptions is 150-160 characters.
Here are a few best practices and SEO tips to follow when writing title tags and meta descriptions:
- Use your target keyword in both the title tag and meta description.
- Make your title tag engaging like a question, list or how-to article.
- Write a meta description that provides a summary of your piece of content.
- On a regular basis, check the CTR of your web pages and optimize them for better results.
5. Use Short, Descriptive URLs
A powerful SEO tip that is easy to implement is to use short, descriptive URLs for your web pages.
Short URLs are easier for users to remember and share on social media. They also help search engines understand the content of your web page.
They should be descriptive and include your target keyword. Avoid using numbers or special characters in your URLs.
Because you should be rewriting your blog post on a regular basis, you need to make sure that your URL is not changing. Otherwise, you will lose all your social media shares and backlinks.
For example, from this like of URLs:
Which one do you think is the best for SEO and user experience?
The third one is the best because it is short, descriptive and includes your target keyword.
6. Build High-Quality Backlinks
Backlinks are links from other websites to your website. They are one of the most important ranking factor in search engine optimization.
Backlinks are like votes of confidence for your website. They signal to search engines that your content is valuable and trustworthy.
Because of the rapid growth of artificial intelligence, SEO experts have started writing more high-quality content and are trying to trick search engines without spending much time.
So in 2024, important pages need to follow a SEO strategy of link building to get higher search engine rankings.
Here are a few SEO tips to build high-quality backlinks:
- Write guest posts on relevant websites in your niche.
- Reach out to influencers and ask them to share your content.
- Create infographics and share them on social media.
- Write testimonials for products and services you use.
- Create a resource page and link to it from your website.
- Add your local business to Google Maps and other local directories.
- On a regulr basis, check the backlinks of your competitors and try to get them too by reaching out to the website owners.
- Hire a link building agency to do the work for you.
7. Use Internal and External Links Wisely
This is one of the most important SEO tips that really works. Following a good SEO strategy for internal and external links can make a huge difference in your SEO efforts.
Internal links are links from one page on your website to another page on your website. They help search engines understand the structure of your website and how your content is related.
Internal links help you:
- Improve user experience by guiding users to relevant content.
- Create a hierarchy of pages on your website.
- Pass 'link juice' (or ranking power) to other pages on your website.
- Which helps boost the authority and relevant of your web pages.
External links, also known as outbound links, are links from your website to other websites. They help search engines understand the context of your content and how it is related to other content on the web.
External links help you:
- Build trust and credibility by linking to references and sources.
- Improve user experience by providing additional information.
- Help you build relationships with other websites in your niche.
Here are a few SEO tips to follow when using internal and external links:
- Use descriptive anchor text for your links.
- Avoid adding too many links in your content.
- Link to relevant pages on your website.
Our StoryChief editor helps you improve your links and SEO as part of your writing process. Give it a try!
8. Improve Your Core Web Vitals
Core Web Vitals are a set of metrics that Google uses to measure user experience on your website. Improving these can lead to better rankings.
Watch out, you don't have to improve every single pagespeed insight or lighthouse score. You need to focus on the core web vitals, as John Mueller says in this video.
According to Google, you need to write high-quality content that for users, not for search engines. So making sure that the user experience is good is an important SEO tip.
9. Optimize Images and Other Visual Assets
Optimize your images by compressing them and using descriptive file names and alt tags. This not only improves page load speed but also helps search engines understand the content of the image.
Make sure to add alt text to your images. This is a short description of the image that appears when the image cannot be loaded. And it helps in terms of accessibility when users are using screen readers.
10. Identify Your Organic Search Competitors
Your organic search competitors are the websites that rank for the same keywords as you. Identifying them can help you understand what they are doing to rank higher on search engines.
There can only be one winner on the first page of Google. So improving your SEO strategy, writing high-quality content and link building is the best way to beat your competitors.
But you don't need to use these tools if you are just starting out. You can simply search for your target keyword on Google and see who is ranking on the first page.
Then make a simple list in Excel and start analyzing their content to see what they are writing about, what keywords they are using and how they are building backlinks.
11. Optimize Your Website Architecture
The website architecture refers to the structure of your website. It's an important part of your overall SEO strategy and can be measured by checking your website's internal links.
Having a good structure for your web pages can help search engines understand your content better. It will also improve your website indexing speed and crawlability.
A well-structured website is easier for both users and search engines to navigate. This can lead to improved user experience and better search engine rankings.
12. Leverage CTAs Throughout Your Site
Call-to-actions (CTAs) guide users towards desired actions, such as signing up for a newsletter or making a purchase. Effective CTAs can improve user engagement and conversion rates.
It's not only important to write good content, but writing a blog post that converts your readers into potential customers.
So make sure to add a CTA at the end of your blog post to get more leads and sales.
You can also add a banner at the top of your website to promote your latest product or service. Or add a popup to collect email addresses and build your email list.
13. Build Topic Clusters
Topical authority is an important ranking factor in SEO. Building topic clusters can help you establish your website as an authority in your niche.
Search engines will rank your website higher if you have a lot of content on a specific topic. So make sure to write long-form content and cover all the subtopics related to your main topic.
You can use ChatGPT prompts for SEO to ask the AI to generate subtopics for your main topic.
When you write a complete guide on a specific topic, you can then add additional information via internal links to your new content and target related keywords.
This is a similar tactic to the content pillar strategy that is used by social media marketers.
14. Add FAQs Based on "People Also Ask" Questions
Including FAQs in your content that answer common questions related to your topic can improve your chances of appearing in Google's "People Also Ask" boxes.
You'll get a featured snippet on Google's search results page if you answer the question in a concise and clear way.
It's a good way to learn to match the user intent of your target audience and to get more organic traffic.
15. Demonstrate E-E-A-T
E-E-A-T stands for Experience, Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. It's a set of guidelines that Google uses to evaluate the quality of your website.
The Google Search Quality Raters Guidelines state that websites with high E-A-T are more likely to rank higher on search engines.
So it's important to demonstrate your expertise, authority and trustworthiness in your content. This can be done by adding author bios, testimonials, and social proof.
Link building is also an important part of E-A-T and improves your overall website authority.
SEO is a long-term strategy that requires patience and persistence. It's not something you can do overnight, but it's worth the effort if you want to grow your business online.
We hope that these SEO tips will help you improve your search engine rankings and drive more organic traffic to your website.