What exactly is SEO?
All sounds a bit overwhelming, doesn’t it? Especially if you are first starting out in the world of blogging or managing your own website. Well, never fear, these easy SEO tips will help you navigate through some of the commonly used SEO terms and help make life a bit simpler for you.
Simply put SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and is the steps that a website developer or blogger takes to ensure they have the best chance of their website ranking as high as possible in search engine results.
This is based on many variables and no-one knows truly what the exact ‘secret-sauce’ is made up of, but what we do know is that it is a balance of elements including –
- Keyword Density
- Alt Text
- Domain and Page Authority
- Meta Descriptions
- And more besides
This list is some of the main target items that go into making sure your pages are Google-friendly but overall there are many more that go into making the complete picture.
The ability to improve SEO comes with time and practice but if you are just starting out with your blog or website it is worth focusing on the main components until you become more familiar. Use this list of easy SEO tips to help you.
One of the simplest things you can do to help your rankings is to focus on Keyword Density, so if you want your page to rank on Google every time someone types ‘best restaurants in Leicester’ you need to include that phrase several times throughout your website and blog articles.
This is known as an SEO Focus Keyword. You can use different keywords for different blogs or pages so you can rank for different things. Don’t be tempted to overdo it though, Google has clever algorithms that can detect overuse of key phrases and it may actually hurt rather than help your ranking.
This is an alternate text that search engines crawl when they look through your website. It is a descriptive text that helps to describe on page images. It helps the search engine index your images properly and is useful for visually impaired users.
Beware of ‘keyword stuffing’ here or being spammy. Google is smart and can detect such things that may actually hurt you.
Think that descriptive text for your photos isn’t necessary? You would be wrong. Search engines are becoming increasingly visual and searching by image is on the rise. Think about Pinterest and Instagram!
Many website builders have basic SEO functions built-in, but if you are serious about your blog or site then WordPress is the way to go. It has very versatile plugins and although it may seem a bit overwhelming at first it is actually relatively easy to use.
The addition of built-in website editors has recently made it easier still, and several of them use a drag and drop style of interface making it easy for beginners. Almost 30% of all websites are built using WordPress so with those numbers it speaks for itself.
Once you have your WordPress site up and running get yourself an SEO plugin. There are loads on the market but the favorite of many website designers and bloggers is Yoast. Having a good plugin is one of the best SEO tips you can use.
It comes in free and premium versions and walks you through many SEO functions step by step giving you a ‘greenlight’ when you have successfully completed the steps, so you can easily tell when your SEO is up to standard.
Yoast is the go-to pick for many but a recent and upcoming plugin that offers much in versatility and helps to educate the user on SEO is Squirrly. It’s not quite as easy to get to grips with but once you get used to the interface it offers more function at the free level than Yoast does. There is also a premium version of this plugin too if you want to upgrade.
Another nice function of Yoast is that is scores the readability of your blogs, articles and website pages. The better the score, the easier your website visitors will find your writing to read. It is another variable that Google takes into account when ranking your pages. Badly written or poorly formatted text just won’t make the grade.
Yoast keeps you on track by identifying sentences that are too long, or sections that don’t contain appropriately constructed text. Useful pointers and sections can be chosen to highlight the exact text or sentences that require attention. Pretty useful.
Meta Descriptions and Page Titles
Once again your SEO plugin of choice should keep you on track with this. Page titles need to be formulated correctly and include SEO keywords where possible. The same goes for meta descriptions – the short 2 or 3 sentences you see after a website’s name in the search engine results.
These should be descriptive and informative so that your visitor knows exactly what he/she is going to get when they click on your page. Be careful not to make them too long though, the trick here is to be concise as search engines will cut your text short if there are too many words or characters.
These are some easy SEO tips to get you started. As you progress there will be much more to learn as SEO is an ever-evolving function of page ranking. I hope that my website helps you to progress with your online business.
What’s your best SEO tip?