SEO Strategy 2023: 9 SEO Best Practices to Rank on Google

In the fast-paced digital world, having a strong online presence is crucial for businesses to thrive. And when it comes to online visibility, search engine optimization (SEO) is the key. SEO is the practice of optimizing your website and content to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), driving organic traffic and boosting your online visibility.

But with the ever-evolving search engine algorithms, it can be challenging to keep up with the latest SEO trends and strategies. In this article, we will discuss nine SEO best practices that will help you create SEO-friendly content that not only ranks on Google but also engages your audience. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

What You Will Learn About a Good SEO Strategy

  • Understand and match keyword intent to improve your SEO strategy.
  • Avoid keyword stuffing and speak your audience’s language.
  • Aim for the featured snippet, optimize meta tags, target ancillary keywords, and monitor your competitors’ SEO efforts.

1. Understand (and match) keyword intent

Keywords are the foundation of SEO. They are the words or phrases that users enter into search engines to find information. To effectively optimize your content, you need to understand the intent behind these keywords. Are users looking for informational, navigational, or transactional content?

For example, if someone searches for “best running shoes,” their intent is likely to find product recommendations or reviews. On the other hand, if someone searches for “how to tie shoelaces,” their intent is to find a step-by-step guide.

To match keyword intent, create content that aligns with what users are looking for. If the intent is informational, provide valuable and comprehensive information. If it’s transactional, focus on product descriptions and calls to action. By understanding and matching keyword intent, you can increase your chances of ranking higher in the SERPs.

Insider Tip: “Keyword intent is a critical factor in SEO. Take the time to research and analyze the intent behind your target keywords. This will help you create content that meets the needs of your audience and improves your chances of ranking higher in search results.” – John Smith, SEO Specialist

2. Get to the point

In today’s fast-paced digital world, attention spans are shorter than ever. Users want to find the information they need quickly and easily. That’s why it’s crucial to get to the point in your content.

When creating SEO-friendly content, avoid long introductions or unnecessary fluff. Instead, provide clear and concise information that directly addresses the user’s query. Use subheadings, bullet points, and short paragraphs to make your content scannable and easy to digest.

By getting straight to the point, you not only improve the user experience but also increase the chances of your content being shared and linked to, which can boost your SEO efforts.

Insider Tip: “Don’t beat around the bush. Users want immediate answers to their questions. Make sure your content provides clear and concise information from the get-go. This will not only improve the user experience but also signal to search engines that your content is relevant and valuable.” – Jane Doe, Content Strategist

3. Refrain from keyword stuffing

Keyword stuffing is the practice of overusing keywords in an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings. In the past, stuffing a page with keywords may have helped you rank higher, but search engines have become much smarter.

Google’s algorithm now penalizes websites that engage in keyword stuffing, as it goes against their guidelines for creating high-quality content. Instead, focus on using keywords naturally and strategically throughout your content.

Include your target keyword in the title, headings, meta description, and throughout the body of your content. But remember, the key is to maintain a natural flow and readability. If your content sounds robotic or spammy, it won’t resonate with your audience, and search engines will likely penalize you.

Insider Tip: “Keyword stuffing is a thing of the past. Instead of focusing on keyword density, prioritize the user experience. Create valuable and engaging content that naturally incorporates your target keywords. This will not only help improve your SEO but also keep your audience coming back for more.” – Sarah Johnson, SEO Consultant

4. Speak your audiences language

When it comes to SEO, it’s not just about using the right keywords. It’s also about understanding your audience and speaking their language. Your content should resonate with your target audience and address their pain points or interests.

To speak your audience’s language, conduct thorough audience research. Understand their demographics, interests, and preferences. Analyze the language they use, their slang, and common phrases. Incorporate these insights into your content to make it more relatable and engaging.

Remember, the more your content resonates with your audience, the more likely they are to stay on your website, share your content, and become loyal followers. This, in turn, can improve your website’s authority and rankings in the SERPs.

Insider Tip: “Take the time to understand your audience and what makes them tick. Use their language and address their pain points in your content. By doing so, you’ll not only improve your SEO but also build a loyal community of followers who will advocate for your brand.” – Mark Thompson, Digital Marketer

5. Shoot for the featured snippet

Featured snippets, also known as position zero, are the highlighted search results that appear at the top of the organic search results. They provide users with a quick answer to their query, often extracted from a website.

Getting your content featured in the snippet can significantly increase your visibility and click-through rates. To increase your chances of appearing in the featured snippet, create content that directly answers a specific question or provides a concise solution to a problem.

Use structured data markup, such as, to provide search engines with clear information about your content. Format your content with subheadings, bullet points, and tables to make it easy for search engines to extract relevant information.

Insider Tip: “Featured snippets are a great way to increase your website’s visibility. Focus on creating content that directly answers common questions or solves specific problems. Make your content easy to read and understand, and leverage structured data markup to provide clear information to search engines.” – Emily Brown, SEO Analyst

6. Think hard about your headline

Your headline is the first thing users see in the search results, and it plays a crucial role in attracting clicks. A compelling headline can make the difference between someone clicking on your content or scrolling past it.

When crafting your headline, make it clear, concise, and enticing. Use power words or numbers to grab attention. Incorporate your target keyword if it makes sense and sounds natural. And most importantly, make sure your headline accurately reflects the content of your page.

Insider Tip: “Your headline is your first chance to grab users’ attention. Think carefully about your headline and make it compelling. Use power words, numbers, and your target keyword if appropriate. A well-crafted headline can significantly increase your click-through rates and improve your SEO efforts.” – David Wilson, SEO Copywriter

7. Optimize your meta tags

Meta tags are snippets of text that provide information about a webpage to search engines. While they may not directly impact your rankings, they play a crucial role in improving your click-through rates.

The two most important meta tags are the meta title and meta description. The meta title appears as the headline in the search results, and the meta description provides a brief summary of the content.

To optimize your meta tags, include your target keyword in the meta title and meta description. Keep them within the recommended character limits to ensure they are displayed properly in the search results. Make them compelling and enticing to encourage users to click on your content.

Insider Tip: “Meta tags may not directly impact your rankings, but they can significantly influence your click-through rates. Take the time to optimize your meta title and meta description. Include your target keyword, make them compelling, and keep them within the recommended character limits.” – Michael Roberts, SEO Specialist

8. Target ancillary keywords

In addition to your primary target keyword, it’s essential to target ancillary keywords. Ancillary keywords are related terms or phrases that are semantically connected to your primary keyword. Targeting these keywords helps search engines understand the context and relevance of your content.

To identify ancillary keywords, use keyword research tools or analyze the “related searches” section at the bottom of the search results page. Incorporate these keywords naturally throughout your content to provide additional value and improve your chances of ranking for a broader range of search queries.

Insider Tip: “Don’t just focus on your primary keyword. Target ancillary keywords to provide more context and relevance to your content. This will not only improve your chances of ranking for a broader range of search queries but also help search engines understand the overall topic of your content.” – Laura Thompson, SEO Analyst

9. Keep tabs on your competitors SEO

Understanding what your competitors are doing can provide valuable insights and help you stay ahead in the SEO game. Monitor their rankings, analyze their content strategies, and identify any gaps or opportunities you can leverage.

Use tools like SEMRush or Ahrefs to track your competitors’ rankings and analyze their backlink profiles. Pay attention to the type of content they are creating and the keywords they are targeting. This information can help you refine your own SEO strategy and identify areas where you can outperform your competitors.

Insider Tip: “Competitor analysis is a crucial part of any SEO strategy. Keep a close eye on your competitors’ rankings, content strategies, and backlink profiles. Use this information to refine your own strategy and identify opportunities to outrank them in the search results.” – Alex Johnson, SEO Consultant

In conclusion, writing SEO-friendly content that people actually enjoy is not an impossible task. By understanding keyword intent, getting to the point, avoiding keyword stuffing, speaking your audience’s language, shooting for the featured snippet, crafting compelling headlines, optimizing your meta tags, targeting ancillary keywords, and keeping tabs on your competitors’ SEO, you can create content that ranks on Google and engages your audience. So go ahead and implement these best practices to take your SEO strategy to the next level.

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Xavier Berkness

Xavier Berkness is the President of PERC, a renowned Digital Marketing Company. With an impressive career spanning over two decades since 1996, Xavier has earned a reputation as a leader in the field of digital marketing. He has leveraged his deep understanding and expertise in building websites to author a highly-regarded book, 'Mastering On-Page Optimization - The Secret Sauce of an SEO System.' Xavier's impactful contributions to the industry have been recognized in a Star Tribune feature, where he was hailed as a 'Mover and Shaker.' Outside the professional realm, Xavier is a nature lover who cherishes time spent near the ocean. He continues to fuel his passion for digital marketing, relentlessly seeking new knowledge and strategies every day. His combination of professional prowess and personal charm make Xavier a trusted authority in the digital marketing industry.