SEO best practices

From February to April 2023, Google received more than 8.5 billion searches a day.

With the advancement of artificial intelligence (AI), it’s crucial to stay ahead of the curve and adapt to current search engine optimization best practices.

This means that mastering the art of (SEO) is essential for businesses and individuals seeking online visibility in the ever-evolving digital landscape.

Backlinko found that, on average, the first result in the search results has a click-through rate (CTR) of 27.6% compared to 15.8% if you’re in the second position, 11% if you rank third, and 2.4% if you rank 10th.

That speaks volumes.

Here are 12 SEO best practices that you should implement today.

1. Pick keywords with search potential

It’s essential to choose keywords that have sufficient search potential.

The golden rule is to identify low-hanging fruit: keywords and phrases with high search volume and low competition.

Going after this can help your content reach a broader audience and rank better in the rankings.

Use a tool like Surfer’seo Chrome extension to find search volume data in your browser.

It’s important to optimise for other search engines, not just Google, to maximize your content’s reach and effectiveness.

There’s so the other side of the coin.

Going after highly competitive keywords isnisn’tsy because you are competing against big brands.

It’s impossible to rank those terms, but it’s the easiest, and there may be better opportunities to target your ideal audience. You want to identify the right keywords that best represent your services and products and that you can create authoritative content around.  With high-quality content thathat’silt around strategically selected keywords, you can drive more organic traffic to your website, increase visitor numbers, and potentially boost conversion rates.

Sounds like a win, right?

Pick realistic topics

When you choose keywords with the right search potential, you also need to pick realistic topics that are suitable for your brand.

Start by considering your competition and identifying what they are doing right and where they are missing the mark. Then, go back to your business and objectively choose topics that will work for you.

You also need to consider keyword difficulty when evaluating your keyword ideas.

While seed keywords have the highest search volume and attractiveness, it’it’sst to opt for long-tail keywords suited for your website.

They will cater to a more specific target audience with higher interest.

You can also use the queries report in Google Search Console to identify keywords you are ranking well for. And then pick related keywords to create content for.

2. Match your content to search intent

Understanding and meeting search intent (also called user intent or keyword intent) is another good SEO practice.

Matching search intent with the content you create should be a main priority in your SEO strategy. This not only helps in providing relevant information to users but also improves search engine rankings.

Authority Hacker Breton said it best: If you don’t check and align with the user’s intent, you won’t rank. Search intent refers to the searcher’s goal or purpose behind their search query.

What do they want to achieve?

Do they want to learn something, buy something, do something, or go somewhere?

Once you understand the user, ensure that your content for that specific intent is spot-on so you can rank higher in the search results.

But how can you ensure that you meet search intent?

SurSurfer’s Keyword Research Tool can help you identify search intent for a keyword you’re researching. In this example, “po”e trekking” i” categorized as “cu”tomer investigation” a”d is closer to transactional or commercial intent.

Keep in mind that although there are 4 types of user intents, they are often worded slightly differently.

Informational intent

When a searcher types informational keywords in Google, they want to learn something.

So your blog posts, glossary terms, FAQs, and research papers need to match their search for education and information.

Examples of informational intent queries are:

  • What is X?
  • Definition of X
  • Examples of X

Commercial intent

Once a searcher understands the topic, they may decide to act on the information.

Commercial intent keywords are process-oriented and fall into the “do” category.

Searchers are now ready to decide how they want to move forward, and the content you create needs to fulfil this specific search intent.

In-depth tutorials and guides are examples of content that matches commercial intent.

When you search for “apply for a credit card,” Google and other engines know that you are looking for an application page.

And thathat’sactly what it gives you in the search results.

Transactional intent

A searcher who uses transactional keywords is looking to buy.

This person has decided they are ready to commit to a purchase, so during this stage, they’re reviewing their options, seeking validation, and finalizing the “buy.”

Create content, such as broad landing pages, specific product and service pages, testimonials, and pricing pages, to match these types of transactional intent queries:

  • best X
  • X vs Y comparison
  • X reviews

If you are looking for the “best family tents,” Google understands and will give you nine of the best family tents (with the option to load more).

Then, you also see reviews to help you narrow down your decision so you can continue on your purchase journey.

Navigational intent

Navigational intent queries indicate that the searcher wants to go somewhere specific: visit an online store, or a specific web page.

Searchers often have a brand in mind when they use navigational keywords, so it is essential that your brand appears first in the results when they type in your product.

When a navigational search is related to a brand, the searcher is more likely to buy.

3. Use your primary keyword effectively

Effectively incorporating your primary or target keyword is essential for SEO success. This keyword should best represent what your blog post is about, as this will help your content rank.

Use your main keyword in these 4 essential areas of your page:

H1 page title: Place the keyword at the front of the page title or title tag. Searchers like to scan, often just reading the first two words of a title, so chances are higher that thethey’llick on your site if they can see that your headline matches what they are searching for.

Header tags: The headings or header tags you use in your web pages structure your content. It’s important to include your main keyword and variations in some of your header tags, such as H2 and H3, to help give context to your content for search engines.

Meta descriptions: Your meta description will appear in the search results together with your page and meta title. This tells readers what your content is about and whether it will help them. Make sure that your description includes your primary keywords. 

URLs: Using your main keyword in the web page URL tells readers and search engines what your content is about. 

Ensure that your URLs are SEO-friendly.

For example, the primary keywords for our pillar page are “Keyword Research” Ultimate Guide: Step-by-Step Strategies for More Traffic” and “keyword research.” 

“The target keyword appears prominently in the page title, meta tag, meta description, header tags, and the article’s URL.

4. Optimize your content with secondary keywords

You also need to use secondary keywords in your content to convey topical depth to search engines. 

Since secondary keywords signal semantic relationships, Google uses these to identify related entities on your page.

Finding these on your page will signal to search engines that you have a well rounded article on your main keyword. 

Instead of spending hours identifying related keywords in GooGoogle’stocomplete, Related Searches, and People Also Ask, you can use Surfer’s content Editor

The Terms panel shows a list of suggested keywords and their optimal frequency that are relevant to your content.

TheThey’reranged in order of importance so you can easily find the most popular terms for your target query. 

Those highlighted in green are optimal, while yellow and red leave room for improvement. As you include more keywords in the optimal range, Surfer improves your page’s content score.

5. Write compelling titles and meta descriptions

It’s important to write compelling titles and meta descriptions if you want to improve CTR and make it easy for search engines and users to understand your content.

To maximize CTR, titles should be no longer than 60 characters, and meta descriptions should not exceed 150-160 characters.

When crafting titles and meta descriptions, consider accessibility, brevity, and capturing quality. Titles should be capitalized, with every word in upper case. Meta descriptions are like elevator pitches, and they should persuade the searcher that your page is exactly what they are looking for. By giving your content a catchy title and a detailed, interesting description, you can get more people to click on it in engine results pages.

A well-written title and meta description can help your website get a lot of traffic from search engines.

Here is an example of a good meta title and description.

The whole meta title tag is clearly shown, and the meta description tells the reader what they can expect to learn by reading this blog post.

6. Include internal links

Internal links are hyperlinks that connect one page on a website to another on the same domain. They are crucial to improving your website’s SEO performance.

Internal and external links aid in offering context to search engines for understanding your content and the relationship between content pieces. 

Internal links also help establish a site hierarchy while improving the flow of PageRank through your website. They can also offer valuable additional resources to readers.

How do internal links influence your search ranking?

Linking acts as a vote of trust in the eyes of a search engine. While external links to your pages are the strongest indicators, internal linking can also help search engines understand which pages to prioritize.

Search crawlers use links to discover content on your website.

When you link to a page on your website, you’re essentially telling search engines that this is an important page for you.

Here are a few tips to optimize your internal linking strategy:

  • Link within related pages in a topic cluster to signal a content hub on your website. This will ensure that your links are semantically related and aid topical authority.
  • Older content tends to have more authority than newer ones on your site, so ensure that you always link to new pages from old ones. 
  • Use variations in your anchor text.
  • DonDon’tnk to every page. If you are a relatively new site, link to pages within your topic. Authority sites can get away with linking to pages outside the topic cluster. 
  • Ensure all the web pages on your site are linked so there are no pages without internal links. Without pages linking to them, it will be harder for Google to find, crawl, and index content on your website.

Don’t forget to include external links. They can help you associate with credible websites, which can help your standing. 

7. Build backlinks 

We know that backlinks are a confirmed ranking factor that needs to be part of your SEO strategy. 

A website with fewer or no backlinks is like an isolated island in the vast ocean of the internet.

It’s harder for search engines to discover and index such websites, which can lead to lower visibility in engine results pages.

This lack of visibility can result in fewer visitors, less brand exposure, and, ultimately, lower revenue.

When a website links to your site, it signals to search engines that your content is valuable and relevant. This can significantly improve your website’s ranking.

Moreover, backlinks can also drive direct traffic to your site, increasing your audience and potential customer base.

Here are several ways to acquire backlinks:  

  • creating high-quality, shareable content
  • guest blogging on reputable sites
  • building relationships with influencers and other relevant websites in your industry
  • digital PR tactics such as press releases and HARO style outreach to journalists.

You can also conduct a backlink audit of your competitors to identify potential link-building opportunities with tools like Surfer Audit.

Instead of entering several of your competitors’ URLs, you can enter your own page, and Surfer will extract the most common websites linking to the top-ranking pages for that target keyword. 

For my article on submitting your website to search engines, I found 207 websites that I could approach for link-building opportunities. 

8. Engage your readers

There is no point in creating content that your audience will not enjoy or find helpful; they will leave your website quickly.

You can only captivate your audience and encourage them to spend time on your website when you create helpful, valuable, and original content and share unique perspectives. 

You also boost your search rankings when you write compelling, optimized content that meets Google quality rating guidelines for E-E-A-T.

Your content also needs to resonate with your target audience, and you can only do this when you understand their needs, preferences, and search intent. 

Here are some best practices when writing SEO content.

Make your content skimmable: Most readers skim content to find what they are looking for, so you want to utilize white space, make your content skimmable with short paragraphs, and include formatting to attract their attention.

Use headers and subheaders: Headers and subheaders categorize your content, and they improve skimmability too. Choose clear and concise headers and subheads that accurately summarize the following content sections to help your readers stay on your page.

Communicate with images: The saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” remains true. To make your content more attractive, include images, infographics, videos, GIFs, and screenshots, and optimize images to be SEO-friendly.

Optimize for mobile: Mobile searches are more popular than desktop searches, with more than 55% of searches going to mobile devices compared to roughly 43% of desktop searches. It’s important to ensure that your website is optimized for mobile search queries. 

  • Content should be legible on the smaller screen
  • There should be space to tap on buttons and links
  • And don’t have walls of text.

By crafting informative, visually appealing, commercially viable, and user-friendly content, you can provide an enjoyable experience for your readers while satisfying search engines and achieving your on-page SEO objectives.

9. Practice E-E-A-T

E-E-A-T stands for experience, expertise, authoritativeness, and trustworthiness. 

E-E-A-T originates from Google’s Arch Quality Rating Guidelines and is used to differentiate between high- and low-quality websites, especially in YMYL niches (Your Money Your Life) like finance and healthcare. 

However, Google values expertise, trust, and authority, so it’s a good idea to practice E-E-A-T in every industry. 

As AI content becomes more prevalent, E-E-A-T will be considered even more important. 

Content that meets Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines can help you build trust with the search engine and your audience.

Here are some tips to show E-E-A-T in your content:

Hire industry professionals: Using industry professionals and subject matter experts (SMEs) to write, edit, and review your website pages is good practice to ensure credibility and accuracy. Your audience is more likely to trust content written by someone they know than by someone who doesn’t have a license.

Showcase author bios: Name the industry professionals and SMEs that are involved in the content creation process. Prominent author bio pages can show your readers that the blog posts are written by real experts. You can also showcase links to your autauthor’scial pages and LinkedIn.

Display credibility: Credible content cites statistics, research, and case studies. All facts are verified, and there is a clear distinction between fact and opinion. 

Sites in the YMYL space, like VeryWellMind, are great at building credibility and authority.

A medical expert reviews their articles, and you can see who they are by hovering over the reviewer’s name.

It’s a similar author bio, and clicking on the links takes you to a more detailed biography and personal accounts.

How VeryWellMind builds credibility by elaborating on what "medically reviewed" means.

The site also explicitly mentions that the article has been medically reviewed, with information about what this means exactly, for transparency purposes, which helps them abide by E-E-A-T guidelines.

To showcase E-E-A-T in your content, ensure that the information is accurate and up-to-date, reference reliable sources, and utilize language that is suitable for your audience.

10. Build topical clusters

You can demonstrate topical expertise to search engines by building several pages that cover a topic in sufficient depth.

These pages can be linked together with anchor text to form a cluster of information about the topic, commonly known as topical clusters or content hubs. 

Topical authority is crucial because it signals to search engines that your website is a trusted source of information on a specific topic.

This can significantly improve your website’s ranking for keywords. 

Using SurSurfer’s Keyword Research Tool, you can find several topic clusters for your website. In this example, I searched for “ho”e appliances” and found 43 keyword clusters related to my topic.

 Keep in mind that you can also search for more specific topics, such as kitchen appliances and food appliances, to find even more related subtopics for your website. 

By establishing topical authority, your website becomes a recognized expert in a specific field.

This clarity helps search engines understand what your site is about, making it easier for them to rank your site for keywords. 

11. Optimize page speed

Your readers are busy and don’t have to wait around for your page to load. Slow-loading pages result in higher bounce rates and lower engagement, negatively affecting your SEO rankings.

In fact, Unbounce compiled a page speed report that indicates that most internet users leave if your page has not loaded after 3 seconds. 70% of online shoppers say that the speed at which a page loads affects their decision to buy. Be aware that slow load times mean fewer sales and conversions.

Since page speed is a confirmed ranking factor, its essential to pay attention to your website speed. Technical SEO, including aspects like page speed, is crucial for ensuring search engines can easily crawl and index your website.

To improve your website’s speed, consider incorporating lighter elements into your design and utilizing image compression software to compress images before use.

Tools to check page speed

Using page speed tools can help you identify potential performance issues and uncover opportunities to optimize your site’s speed.

Here are 3 tools you can use to check your page speed:

Google PageSpeed Insights

This tool lets you see how fast your website loads on mobile and desktop browsers. Simply enter your site and look at the diagnostics to determine what you need to fix.


Pingdom has a free version for checking your website’s loading speed. The paid plan lets you dive deeper to identify and fix performance bottlenecks.


Another popular tool, GTMetrix, is a website performance monitoring and testing tool that you can use for free but need to pay to access more features. Enter your site and view your page speed grade, along with recommendations for improving it. 

Monitor your site’s loading speed on a regular basis and implement the suggested optimizations in these tools to ensure that your website remains fast and user-friendly for your visitors.

In addition to checking for page speed, ensure there are no broken links or server issues and that your pages provide an overall user-friendly experience.

12. Revisit old content

In the fast-paced world of the internet, content can quickly become outdated or irrelevant.

If you don’t visit and update your old content, it can lose its value and relevance, both to your audience and to search engines. 

Updating old content is important because it keeps your content fresh, relevant, and valuable to your audience.

It also signals to search engines that your content is up-to-date and reliable, which can improve your SEO rankings.

Moreover, updating old content is often more cost-effective and less time-consuming than creating new content from scratch, making it an efficient way to maintain and improve your SEO performance.

Updating your content can include:

  • Revisiting facts and statistics
  • Adding new information or sections
  • Improving the content (such as optimizing keywords, meta descriptions, and title tags)
  • Improving the content’s readability and structure. 
  • You should also check and update any broken links and consider adding new internal and external links where relevant.

For example, we have several blog posts written in 2020. As we approach 2025, this content is outdated and may no longer be relevant or accurate.

This can lead to a drop in our content, resulting in less organic traffic, lower engagement, and fewer conversions.

Key takeaways

  • Choose keywords with search potential, high search volume, and low competition. Find the best keywords to rank for, and then choose realistic topics to match.
  • Understand the search or user intent behind queries and create content that will fulfil your audience’s needs. Before planning and creating content, distinguish between informational, navigational, transactional, and commercial intent.
  • Use your primary keywords effectively throughout your content. Write title tags that include the keyword, and use it in the meta tags, header tags, and URLs too.
  • Write compelling title tags and meta descriptions that capture searchers’ attention when they are looking for the site that best matches their search query in the search results.
  • Build an internal linking structure on all your content so Google bots can find and crawl your pages and understand the relationship between content pieces. Remember to include external links, too, but ensure you only link to credible and authoritative sources.
  • Building authoritative backlinks is another best practice to adhere to. Since they are seen as “votes of confidence,” having more quality backlinks tells Google that your website has high-quality content, which improves your rank and website’s visibility.
  • Engage your readers by providing high-quality, relevant, authoritative, valuable, and original content. Use white space, clear headings and subheadings, optimized images, and mobile-friendly design to ensure your content is skimmable.
  • Following Google’s E-E-A-T guidelines is a must, especially if you publish content in the YMYL niches. Your content needs to showcase experience, expertise, authority, and trustworthiness, which will build credibility with both users and Google.
  • Create topical clusters to help you rank higher for more long-tail queries. Spend time building a pillar page and then writing-related articles. Ensure all the content in a cluster links to each other.
  • Optimize your page speed to lower your bounce rate, and Google will reward you for it.
  • Old content doesn’t have to stay “on the online shelf” and die. Dust it off by repurposing and refreshing it. Up-to-date and accurate content remains valuable for your audience.


As the digital landscape continues to evolve, staying updated on the latest SEO best practices is crucial for maintaining and improving your online visibility. By implementing these strategies and continuously refining your web website and performance, you can position yourself for success in the ever-changing world of SEO.

Have you updated your website and content with all of these SEO best practices for 2023 yet? What rewards have you reaped with your SEO efforts get in touch with Omnime Digital and see what we can do for you

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