Search engine optimization (SEO) has come a long way since the old days of keyword stuffing and link purchasing. As algorithms get smarter and search engines rely more heavily on artificial intelligence, it is important to adjust your SEO strategy to stay current in 2021.
SEO best practices for 2021
With algorithms doing much of the heavy lifting these days, search engine rankings are based on a myriad of factors varying from mobile friendliness to semantic markup. That said, it is still important to adhere to key SEO guidelines when writing your content to positively impact the outcome of your SEO’s performance. To further your blog post’s SEO, follow these tips:
Keywords are key
- Once you have an idea for your blog post, research keywords directly related to the topic.
- There are countless tools you can use to create your relevant keywords – choose the tool that works best for you.
Craft a catchy title
- Your title should have a character limit between 55-65 so that it is shown without breaks in the search engine results pages [SERPs].
- Verify the title contains your target keyword.
- Craft an intriguing title so it grabs the user’s attention when displayed in the SERPs.
- If your blog post answers a question people might be using a search engine to answer, consider a title that either includes the question or directly answers it.
Semantic markup and structure
- Semantic markup consists of HTML tags that define elements on the page so that it is both human-readable and machine-readable. For instance, a <p> tag designates the content is a paragraph.
- Use headings and subheadings to break up content blocks and content topics.
- Headings not only help the reader understand your content, but also helps search engines understand the topics covered by a blog post.
- Use keywords in your subheads.
Sprinkle in some links
- First, add internal links to other pages or blog posts on your website. This keeps the reader on your site and reading other pages you own, which will help reduce your bounce rate.
- Second, link keywords to other pages or posts that discuss the same relevant keywords. Select sources with high expertise that align with your blog’s branding.
- There is no magic number for the ideal number of links to include in your blog post. That said, be aware of how multiple links in a small area might interrupt the reader’s experience and distract from your content.
- Your post’s meta description will provide the search engine with a summary of what your post or page is about.
- Your page’s meta description should not exceed 155 characters.
- While your meta description won’t directly impact your search results, it can help with click-through-rate by enticing the reader to click on your article from the SERPs.
“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.”
Some argue that algorithms and artificial intelligence have killed SEO entirely. This simply is not true. While algorithms and artificial intelligence certainly have driven new innovation in SEO, it is as important as ever to follow the basic principles of SEO to help users to find the content they desire.
If you need assistance or guidance with your blog or website’s SEO, contact NST. Our team is here to help.