WHAT IS SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Search engine algorithms look for certain technicality when crawling the web, and so the better adapted your website is for algorithms (as well as humans!) to understand, the higher you are likely to rank on a search and this way you gain pure organic traffic.
WHAT DO YOU NEED?
If you are on a self-hosted WordPress account (if not, here’s a tutorial on how to sign up) you need to have the SEO plugin known as Yoast SEO or SEO Breeze as both of these will easily walk you through the steps required to increase your blog traffic through search engines. SEO breeze is a more advanced, premium plugin, and so if you are just starting out, Yoast SEO has a free version which is just as good.
MAKE YOUR COPY READABLE
Google wants the best blog posts to rank in search engines for a particular query/keyword, and therefore the algorithm ranks pages according to how readable they are. If your article is unreadable or has a lot of jargon terminology, chances are that the algorithm will consider it not so helpful to potential readers.
• Grammarly: this is the service I use to ensure that my spelling and grammar is exactly how google would want it, by ensuring that there are no errors. It’s free to use (although there is a premium version) and it basically crawls through your writing and points out all the mistakes you might have missed!
• Separate your paragraphs. Nobody wants to read a large chunk of text, so make your content readable by presenting in such a way that it is easy for a human to read.
• Yoast SEO also checks the readability of your content, therefore you can keep tweaking your writing until the service gives you the green light. If you go to your blog posts in yourblogname/wp-admin you will see this at the bottom of your blog post:
This is an example of one of my blog posts before I edited it for SEO optimisation.
• Get an editor. If you really suck at writing cohesive sentences and editing your own work, you can always hire an editor to do the work for you. Although if you are a blog content creator, I would highly suggest you learn this for yourself.
• Make your content valuable. If your bounce rate is too high, as in readers are leaving within a few seconds, this will impact your ranking as the algorithm will perceive your content as lacking in value.
MOBILE AND SPEED OPTIMISATION
We live in an age of technology becoming more and more remote and compact. This means that most people don’t actually view content on their laptops or PC, but on that tiny (or not so tiny) device in their hand. How can you make sure that it’s your content they’re absorbing? Easy. By making sure that your theme is responsive and mobile optimised. At the start of 2016, Google made it so that mobile optimised search’s ranked higher than all other searches.
• You can check if your website is mobile optimised by doing a quick check using Google Search Console and if it is already optimised, you are sorted!
• Get a new theme. These feminine, chic, WordPress themes have been optimised for mobiles.
• Do not have too many visuals. Even though animations and visual are important to your page ranking, using too many additions on your website that are unnecessary will rank you down. These are the plugins I would recommend you get, and anything else is really a bonus.
• Get a website speed test on Pingdom to see how well your blog is performing in terms of loading time. We humans nowadays are both impatient and have short attention spans, so if a page takes longer than 3 seconds to load, your potential reader will most likely leave.
Add Alt Text to your Images
You know when you add an image onto your blog posts and have no idea what alt Text means? Do you leave it blank? Yeah, stop doing that. Like, right now.
All Alt Text really means is the keywords to describe your image because search engines can’t read images, so it’s important that you describe them in a few key words.
optimise your images for speed before uploading them onto your website. Resize your images and click ‘save to web’ if you use an image editing software like Picmonkey, so that the file size is smaller and will, therefore, load quicker.
If you want your content to be even more honed in on keywords, you can sign up to a keyword tool website, with SemRush being the best I’ve found.
Longtail keywords are what creates 70% of top google traffic, so if you want an advanced and affordable SEO keyword service, I would go for Semrush.
You can also use Yoast SEO for coming up with keywords, like in the previous screenshot I showed you. The Meta data is simply the title and small excerpt that Google shows in its searches.
Increase the number of links you have to other blog posts within a blog post. Kind of like Inception for blogging, so that high-quality posts can be amplified. Put links to other blog posts to increase click through rates, decreases bounce rates, and overall rank you higher in search engines.
You know how they say the devil is in the detail? Google analytics is not the most fun or appealing website to be on, I mean who actually wants to sit there analysing their analytics? But, this tool is the best to see your bounce rate, the pages being visited – practically everything going on with your site. If you want to know how to rank higher on Google, this is the one tool you need to use to check your KPI and SEO. It’s free and the best tool!