The Bad News: It’s true, if you’ve no SEO then you’ll be getting no love from search engines
The Good News: Even the simplest Search Engine Optimization is well worth the effort!
Another little thing that peeps inevitably always find out far too late.
No matter how much you write or how great your content is, if you don’t use SEO search engines can’t categorise or rank your site for the keywords that are relevant to your business.
Don’t go running from SEO, search engine optimization that you ‘should‘ be getting familiar with.
- STOP there’s no need to submit your website to search engines. Long gone are the days where you have to notify google you’ve a new website, page or post on the interweb. Simply getting a good backlink from a website that is trusted and already ranking is all you need.This is easiest done with you leaving a decent comment on a recognised blog that won’t get deleted. [Why not so have your say here 🙂 ]
- Optimise your website for mobile users. This wouldn’t usually go near the top, but as of April 21st 2015 if your site isn’t mobile optimized you may be getting penalized. Your site needs to be clear and simple to use for people accessing it using smartphones and tablets. Here’s a mobile friendly test from google webmasters.
- Both on-page SEO and off-page SEO are equally important. You can’t seriously expect to achieve your best results if you do one without the other. Basic on-page SEO will get you started, with off page SEO you can use with social media sites, blog commenting, website outreach (Kristi Hines ), submitting guest blog posts and other such shenanigans.
- Use an SEO plugin. There are a handful great wordpress seo plugins on the market, I’m a fan of Yoast because he’s a bigamist! – but seriously, it’s an awesome time saver and SEO booster, there are some detailed setup suggestions on the Yoast website.
- Competition is out there. Find out what are sites ranking on the 1st page for the keywords that you want to rank for. Then use a tool like ahrefs which is a cool backlink checker to see where the links are coming from and get ya boogie on getting similar links, or step it up a notch.
- Set-up and use Google Tools. Google webmaster tools and Google analytics you find out, among other things, what keywords your site ranks for and which other sites are linking back to you, how many visits you get, keywords that drive traffic, what browsing action on a page, and what pages your visitors go to next and heaps more information.
- Create content primarily for people, not search engines. There’s no point creating content that ranks well if it doesn’t help people, give solutions, keep them engaged, or persuade them to take some form of action. Effort without results is meaningless. Consider what it would do to your bottom line if every visitor took the desired action!
- You’ll need at least 500 words. Back in the day when I started, 350 words on a page was enough to get ranked, however these day’s it’s a lot different. Posts need to be informative and full of information that can be actioned. That usually means a long detailed article. Quicksprout blog had a piece on ideal post length that I found interesting – and enlightening.
Google is ranking new content that has 2000+ words best at the moment.
- Make your content obvious to search engines. The title of the article or post should have the main keyword you want to rank for woven into it. Subheadings in your content should contain other search terms or LSI keywords related to the original search. A description of your page will be displayed in the SERPs, make sure it has your main keyword in it.
- Create engaging videos. Watching a video increases the amount of time that people spend on your site which is a huge indicator to google about how ‘sticky’ your site is (how long peeps spend on it). The video’s you create can be quite basic and fun to as comprehensive and detailed as you want, as long as you get the right message across to your audience.
- Balance creation with marketing. If you’re creating content and not marketing it the few visitors you get will be by luck.. remember what I said about effort without results?! The balance ratio is 20-80, that’s 20% of your time creating content and 80% of your time marketing by sharing your content socially and engaging with others in your niche arena.
- Long-tail keywords are a great source of traffic. It’s a lot quicker and easier to rank for longer tailed keywords or phrases (phrases with more than a couple of words in the search). With more than 41% of searches using four or more words, it’s a winning strategy for targeting a specific search term. I’ll pull no punches and tell you that I use Jaaxy and it’s way ahead of the curve. Finding great keywords is made simple with this tool.
- Dedicate 1 page of your website to the main keyword that you’re targeting. Doing so makes it simpler for search engines to categorise and rank your posts. I recommend getting your head around WP Post List, it’s what I use on the page where I list all my Amazon affiliate marketing posts. I first saw that idea in action on a friends blog
- Change up your backlink profile. Grab different types of links from a wide range of IP addresses. It’s great to get some backlinks with your target keywords as the link text. However even though keyword links are good to have, they shouldn’t make up no more than 25% of your links profile.
- Build backlinks to every page of your website that you want to rank. Encourage folks to link to the inner-pages of your site that you want to rank for specific keywords as well as to the homepage. Link building is a slow and steady task.
- Get the good backlinks that your competition already has. If someone has already linked to one of your competitors then there’s a good chance that they’ll link to you as well if you give them a good reason to. Use the hrefs tools to check who’s linking and to your competitors and follow up. Click the NicheHacks image for a quick how-to on tracking down your competitions links.
- Every page of your website should be linked to from at least one other page. Search engines do not include pages in their results that aren’t linked to either internally from another page of the same site or externally from another site.
Matthew Woodward has a very in depth guide to serious backlinking and if you’re a do it yourselfer… it’s well worth absorbing.
- Have direct links from your homepage to your most important pages. Doing so passes authority from the homepage to your important pages and improves the rankings of those pages.
- Add in-content links to other relevant pages on your website. Whilst not as valuable as external links, internal links do still pass authority and signal to search engines what pages to rank for which keywords.
- Use social websites to promote other people’s content as well as your own. People generally know if you’ve taken action on social sites to help them, and if they see that you’ve helped them, the chances of them helping you out in return are much higher.
- Add social sharing buttons to your website. The easier you make it for people to share your content, the more likely they will be to do so.
- Search engines ranks webpages, not websites. Whether or not a page ranks for a particular keyword depends largely on the quality of that individual page, and not the quality of your site as a whole.
- Choose between using www or not using www. Ensure that your site is set to load at either www.domainname.com or domainname.com but not both. Register your design with Google webmaster tools.
- Use a simple, clear URL structure. People should be able to guess the topic of a page by looking only at its URL. So set your permalinks to post name.
- Use header tags. Include variations of your target keyword phrases in a page’s H1 and H2 tags. I use them with sub-headings.
- Optimise your images. Include a page’s target keyword phrase, or variations of it, in the file names and img alt tags of the images on that page.
- Maximise your website’s loading speed. Use Google’s site speed tool and implement the recommendations that they give you. No ned to get phased it’s pretty straight forward to use.
- Use a reliable web hosting company. Your site’s keyword rankings will be seriously affected if your site is regularly down for whatever reason. Make sure you have a reliable hosting company to ensure SEO consistency.
- It’s good to keep up with SEO news and trends. Dig into sites like as Search Engine Watch, Search Engine Land and MozBlog, even BuzzSumo you’ll learn loads and also discover links to a whole new world of SEO.
- Just ask an SEO geek. The more you know about SEO, and as long as you are implementing what you are learning about SEO in your business, the better your overall results will be.
Now it’s over to you, there you have it, a bunch of fairly easy SEO tasks that you can implement to help boost your site and pages in the SERPs.