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Why SEO is so important.
To acquire rankings and ultimately traffic there are certain points to consider when tackling SEO to optimize your website.
Search engine optimization is the main factor in operating a successful Online Business.
Without SEO your website is going to lurk in the deep dark hole of search engines never to see the light of day.
The essential factor and the difference between online success and failure is having your hard work found by surfers, and this can only be achieved by having your site listed on page 1 of the search engines.
Not very many people who are searching for a certain piece of information go beyond the first page of the SERPs( Search Engine Results Pages).
Therefore your ultimate goal is to get your work to that coveted spot.
There are many SEO agencies out there on the internet, which you could employ to do the work for you, but I’m more interested in saving you an expense that certainly as a startup you can ill afford to take on.
With that in mind, I have laid out 5 simple tasks that will help you start to climb the ladder up to your ultimate goal.
SEO And Social Media
Social media has become so firmly established in the promotion of products and services that the two are now joined at the hip.
With platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+ the opportunity to engage with like-minded people on a global scale is phenomenal.
Social media can play a large role in your SEO through engagement.
Google loves sites that are of interest to other users, and by engaging with other users in groups within your niche though comments, responding to questions and publishing unique quality content will only benefit your SEO.
The content you share helps to generate brand awareness and in turn, will lead to free traffic to your site which enhances your SEO.
Set aside at least an hour in your working day to concentrate on social media activity.
It can also be quite time-consuming creating content and engaging in the group activity, but once you get yourself into a daily routine, the benefits can be very rewarding.
If video creation is your thing, then you can steal a march on your competitors.
YouTube is another platform that makes for good SEO to optimize your website.
The popularity of YouTube is borne out by its latest figures, 400 hours of video content is uploaded to the website every minute of every day and 1 billion hours of content is watched by its users every day.
Google owns YouTube and it should come as no surprise that video content is being featured on page 1 of its SERPs more often.
Quality videos are certainly becoming more and more popular and what better way to get your message out there and increase traffic numbers in return.
Unique Quality Content
Think about this for a moment, you are looking to buy a new small kitchen appliance.
You search online for your chosen item and up pops several options.
Some have 5-star reviews some 4-star, 3-star etc.
Which one would grab your attention and more than likely end up in your basket?
This is how the search engines decide what content they believe is more beneficial to the surfers’ needs and place it at the top of their rankings on page 1.
Quality content consisting of a lengthy article that comprehensively covers the topic that the surfer has searched for.
These search engines are in the business of providing information, and because Google has set the bar so high people are now becoming very picky about the content they read.
They also have to be entertained in the article so as to keep their concentration level.
Write your article in a compelling way that keeps your audience engaged, using everyday speech, images, and white space, so your text isn’t just a page of text that is difficult to read.
It is a proven fact that Unique Quality Content ranks so much better than articles that are just mushed together with about 4/500 words just to get quantity over quality.
How to make mashed potato.
- Peel the potato and cut into pieces
- Place in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil
- Cook for 20 mins and drain
- Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes
- Carefully choose the best Potatoes for mashing (Maris Piper or King Edwards)
- Peel the potatoes and cut into smaller pieces.
- Place into a pan of cold water and bring to the boil.
- Once boiling turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Simmer for 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked
- Drain the water and using a potato masher mash the potatoes.
- Add a knob of butter and a little milk
- Beat in the butter and milk gently until nice and smooth
Just an example of how you can make an article more informative and assume this is the first time your reader has tackled this topic.
Research your topic and give the reader absolutely everything they need to know in a well constructed informative article and try to aim for at least 1500 words per article.
Creative informative content is one of the main focal key points of SEO to optimize your website.
How long do you give a site to load before you get disinterested and hit the back button?
In this growing age of Mobile usage, users expect things to happen fast, so if your site hasn’t loaded within 3 seconds the majority of surfers will click off and go looking for another website.
Google has recently updated their algorithm to focus on mobile-friendly sites to rank higher than PC or laptop searches, with the launch of Accelerated Moblie Pages (AMP).
So now searchers looking for a certain topic from a mobile device will have pages or sites using AMP appearing in first place over those that aren’t built with AMP.
This is because AMP pages load much faster giving the user a more favorable experience.
If you are a beginner and not accustomed to using AMP there are several ways that you can optimize the speed your site loads.
The Theme you choose for your website can have an enormous effect on your SEO and your rankings.
A theme must be responsive, meaning that it can be seen properly on both PC/laptop and any mobile device.
It has to load quickly. If the theme you choose is heavy and loads slowly, no matter how much time you spend on optimizing your site for speed, your efforts will be in vain.
Images play a large part in site speed. Large image files obviously take a lot longer to load up than smaller files.
Every image you place on your website should be optimized and compressed to the smallest file size possible. There are many WordPress plugins that will do this work for you automatically.
And talking about plugins, you really should keep these to a minimum. If you need to use a lot of plugins, Deactivate them when they are not in use.
Your Hosting company can also have a big part to play on the loading time of your website. Find a hosting company that is large enough to handle the vast amount of files that it hosts from the websites that it manages. A good indication of this is how fast your site loads when in the editor mode.
Using expires headers for returning visitors is a significant way of getting your site in front of them very quickly.
Although this has no effect on first-time visitors it will be beneficial to those who visit your site frequently.
When they visit your site for the first time, files from your site are stored on their computer for a certain amount of time.
Normally the time will be set at 24 hours, but if you feel certain visitors will be frequenting your site these times can be extended
You can set the expires header so that the files never time out.
Again there is a WordPress plugin that is capable of making these alterations if you are not comfortable with coding the site yourself.
Each pointer of a second you can cut from your page load speed time optimizes your site for better rankings.
This can literally be the difference between seeing your page rank on the 1st page of Google or way down in the doldrums.
A fast loading page is must have for the success of your website.
Try to aim for a score of 80 or higher for each page and you will be doing pretty well.
You will be surprised at the effect on your rankings this will have.
On Page SEO
is a vital part of getting your work ranked and for User Experience.
The purpose of On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO is to make sure your pages/posts takes full advantage of the algorithms set out by Google to increase your chances of good ranking positions.
It includes all additions to the webpage that, when the pieces of the puzzle come together, will hopefully improve your rankings in the SERPs.
Google is becoming more and more sophisticated, and probably the biggest influence for on-page optimization is the relevance to the query searched.
So we are back to the quality of your content once again.
I can’t stress enough how relevant unique quality content is going to benefit your website in the long run.
The main focus for on-page SEO is to get the attention of the user so that they stay on the page longer giving them a better user experience and giving you more recognition with the search engines.
If search engines see people interacting with a site it gives them a better understanding of how relevant that site is to the query searched.
The main areas you will want to focus on are:
The URL of your page should be easy to read and relatively short. It should let the reader know the purpose of the page and include your keyword if possible.
This is the biggest influence you will have to get surfers to click through to your site from the SERPs.
Title tags serve 2 purposes, firstly they let the search engine bots know what your page is all about and secondly they let the surfer know exactly what to expect by clicking on your page.
When composing your title make sure to include the keyword for your page, preferably at the beginning and keep within the 70 characters that Google allows for the whole title to be shown in the SERPs.
Meta tags are the pieces of information that search engines place beneath the Title Tag in SERP’s.
They are designed to give surfers a description of exactly what your page/post is all about.
If you omit to include a Meta Tag, Google will grab the first 160 characters of your post and use this for the description.
The problem here is that what Google decides is the Meta Tag may not be fully descriptive of your page/post.
Writing your own Meta Tag gives you the opportunity to include your keyword and give an engaging description to capture the readers’ imagination.
- The use of H tags will not have a significant impact on ranking except for the fact that they will give the user a better experience.
Using H1, H2 and other H tags in the structure of your content on the page, helps the reader find relevant information at a glance.
Most people will only skim an article looking for a little piece of information that is relevant to their search query.
Breaking up your article into sections using H tags as headings will certainly help with User Experience.
H1 tags should always be used for the title of the page/post.
Sections of the page would use H2 tags and sections within sections would use H3 or lower.
Stuffing your article with your focus keyword to gain traction from the search engines, doesn’t work anymore.
It used to be the done thing to place as many variations of your keyword as many times as you can, and it would help your rankings reach the top page.
Not anymore, the search engines pick up on that practice very quickly and your work will not gain any recognition in their SERPs.
The ideal usage of your focus keyword should be 3/4 times in a 1000 word post.
Firstly in the title, very important.
Next, in the first 140 characters of your post, this enables it to be in your meta description if Google adds it.
Then sprinkled throughout the article used in a proper context where it makes sense.
Linking your pages/posts is another very useful tactic for Seo To Optimize Your Website.
The purpose of linking is to enhance the readers’ experience by giving them extra information pertaining to the query searched.
The longer you can keep visitors on your website, Google will interpret this as a site that is of interest to surfers of your topic and will rank it higher.
Find phrases within your article that you have written a previous post about and link that phrase to that article.
For example, I have a link from the phrase “Unique Quality Content” linking to an article I wrote a little while ago on how to write Quality Content.
It just gives the reader another option to retrieve information on or about your current post.
Linking to another website is also beneficial, it tells Google that you have the reader in mind by giving them more relevant information.
Linking to other authoritative websites will enhance the User experience and the search engines will love you for it.
Bear in mind though, when you do insert a link away from your own site, always make it open in a new window. That way the reader will still have your web page open while reading the other article, giving you a lower bounce rate.
25 Points To Check
Just one more thing before I sign off, before you actually publish your article there are a list of “must do’s” that will be beneficial to your finished article.
A member of Wealthy Affiliate (Loes) has compiled 25 points to check before you hit the publish button
Check it out, it is definitely worth the read.
Enjoy and remember if you have any comments or questions about my page please free to leave your contribution in the comment box below.