Everyone wants more website traffic, right? But are you doing all the little things that help boost search engine ranking with every new image upload or content update?

Creating the right habits from the start will keep your website in tip-top shape and hopefully result in bonus points from the Google algorithm.

The good news is that this list is packed with actionable, everyday tips. Start with a solid website framework and then employ these techniques with every update to get on the path to creating great SEO habits that won’t be tough to maintain.

1. Create Quality Content

Good search rankings start with quality content. There’s a reason marketers say “content is king.”

Quality content includes text, images, video and elements that users want to interact with. It can be fun or informative, a game or e-commerce, short or long-form. There’s no truly magic formula; they key is that content relates to what your website is about and is well constructed and composed. And then write killer headlines to match, so that users can find this great content.

Characteristics of quality content include:

  • Content that is rooted in data or factual information. It should be easy to read – think around an eighth-grade level and free from grammatical errors.
  • Content should relate to your website or brand goals. Don’t write about ponies and unicorns if your website is about baseball. The connection should be obvious.
  • Content is shareable on social media, and users interact with it. While this concept doesn’t help you in the creation of content, it can be a measuring stick as to what types of content work for you and your users.
  • Content should have enough length – the best estimate seems to be about 300 words or more per page – to actually say something of value.
  • Content should establish your credibility and authority in your field. Testimonials, case studies, and reviews are a good place to start.

2. Link to Reputable Sources

Don’t cram your content with meaningless links just to build a history; use links that are meaningful and add actual value to the story you are trying to tell.

Certain domains have more credibility and authority than others, so opt for those links.
A good set of links includes internal links – you want users to move around within your website – as well as external links. Aim for a mix of both types (where applicable on each page).

And think about the kinds of websites you are linking to. Do they also relate to your type of product, brand or business? Those links are valuable. Unrelated links are a waste of your time.

The authority of those links is equally important. Certain domains have more credibility and authority than others, so opt for those links. Here’s a guideline for authoritative rank:

  1. .gov
  2. .edu
  3. .org
  4. .com
  5. .everything else

Try to include a mix of links from a mix of places. But please, don’t cram the content with too many links; users will abandon the page. (Don’t forget social media. Those links count as reputable sources, too!)

3. Ensure User Security

Google is already warning website owners that having an SSL certificate is a big deal and it will impact search ranking. You need to…