I bet you would love to see all your keywords rank your website or blog post #1 in Google’s search page, right? Well so would I and that is why I always try and write with SEO in mind.
So, what’s the secret? How long does it take? Is SEO dead? That is what you are going to learn in this blog post.
What is SEO and How Does it Work?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. This is a technical practice that marketers use to help you rank for search in Google’s algorithm. In other words, it gets you more organic traffic hence more prospects that can convert to customers. A good thing right?
Computers are programmed to read and sort out the field to rank them from best to worse according to “keywords”. This tells the computer what the page is about.
Google’s algorithm is much more complex in that it has a step by step process that the computer follows when you search for a keyword. It instructs it to look for content that satisfies your request. The number 1 slot is the best that Google can find using over 200 steps in its algorithm.
The algorithm has many steps and we are going to learn some of the more important steps in this post. We need to start with the ones that are easy and can start effecting traffic as soon as possible. You have to love that- more traffic.
Unfortunately, Google guards this algorithm closely and doesn’t give out the details to anyone. It also changes or updates the algorithm frequently to correct or adjust how keywords are ranked to be served up to the public. This makes SEO hard to predict. Nothings easy with Google.
There are people who study and write research papers about what they think changes in each update and how the whole algorithm works.
Then SEO specialists modify websites and content to make them more appealing to this algorithm. But do not fall for someone who guarantees you the #1 rank. There are too many variables, making a guarantee worthless. Maybe with keywords with minimum traffic but nothing else.
SEO is not dead but needs to be done correctly to have an effect on your analytics. It does take time but can be very rewarding in the long run to get quick results. They ignore SEO, but what happens when the economy tanks?
A lot of website owners depend on social media to give them a quick fix. They ignore SEO, but that monster has to fed constantly. Whether you use Facebook or pay-per-click (PPC) it costs money and time.
Sure, there are other social media channels like Instagram or Twitter but you need to watch and listen constantly because cost go down, but time goes up dramatically.
SEO, thanks to long-tail keywords, is constantly working for you by sending traffic of people that want to buy. That is why we need both to have all guns blazing to get the most revenue possible.
How SEO Specialists Help Your Website or Blog Post Rise in Rank
I am going to give you 7 Important ways to help you increase your rank using WordPress. These are not the only things that Google looks for but should be where you start first.
- Use alt tags with your images and video shots.
This helps the search engines locate your site. When uploading an image or video in WordPress you can edit them and place a short explanation of what the image is about in the alt tag and save it with the image or video.
Make sure you use your keywords in the alt tag to increase your score in the algorithm.
- Have both internal as well as external links.
When you are reading content sometimes you run across an internal link that you can click that takes you to another post and explains what the writer is talking about. This post can be external or internal.
Another external link is when someone links to your site because of your authority on the subject and is called a backlink. This is a whole post by itself but for now, realize it is an important one because Google increases your sites authority the more backlinks you get.
- Page speed is another ranking factor that Google started using because they have gone to a mobile-first philosophy.
Their research has shown that a site that doesn’t download in less than 3 seconds will not be seen by the majority of searchers because they are already on to the next site. Check your site speed at Google Page Speed so your bounce rate doesn’t go up and decrease your rank.
Bounce rate is the percentage of visits that stay then go to another site quickly as soon as they realize the site loads slowly.
- Check your links occasionally to ensure they don’t retrieve a 404-error page. If so, fix the broken link as it will hurt your ranking.
A 404-error just means the server can’t find this page. It happens for different reasons. Just fix it or change the link to a page you can find on the web. It’s very helpful to your visitor if this 404-page included navigation back to your site. You can create your own 404 pages to help guide those visitors back to your site and a possible conversion you would have lost.
- Use your keyword in the headline and sub-headlines. This shows Google that you are discussing the main subject throughout the post. Don’t forget the website description, it too should include keywords.
- It’s very important to optimize all your images so you don’t bog down the site speed. It is very easy to do, and you can find free sites such as TinyPNG on the web to manage image optimization. Also, use the free site org to test the speed.
- Make sure you have well written, relevant and high-quality content. This might be your most important SEO item. You must change it often to keep improving and updating so you stay high in the ranking. Need help? – shoot me a comment or an email.
All these steps are useless until you pick a keyword or two and use them in your headline, sub-headline, site description and content.
How to Pick a Keyword to Help Your Content Rank Using SEO
Keywords are very important. If you have read this whole article, I think you get my drift.
You will find that keywords are very competitive. Especially if they are just one word like “SEO” or two words like “small business”. They also give you the biggest bang right off the bat as far as immediate traffic, which is why they are so competitive.
When you get to three or more-word keywords they are what called “long-tail keywords”. These are very specific, and you will get less traffic but more sales per visitor. Your keyword phrases are more detailed questions your client wants to be answered. We call these questions, buying signals because they are making sure your product or service meets their needs.
Also, long-tail keywords are not immediate but are more long term in nature. Over time you will get more sales and if you work your content correctly you can rank #1 for more and more of these long-tail keywords because they are less competitive.
I usually go to Ubersuggest to get my keyword data and ideas for articles. It helps a great deal and is a tool Neil Patel offers for free. How cool is that? It takes the guesswork out of keyword research. This is another long subject I will make a post about soon.
How to Write with SEO in Mind
I hope you are still with me because now comes the good stuff.
First, make sure your focused keyword appears in your headline. In your first 150 words use your keyword again. Then use your keywords in the subheadings and sprinkle a few but not too many in the body of your article or blog post. Keywords should be used less than 2% each of the overall word counts.
If you are using WordPress and the Yoast plugin all this and more is pointed out. It helps to have someone like Yoast having your back on your SEO keyword placement.
If you do the 7 items above and follow my advice on your writing you should be in good shape. Just remember it has to be a good quality article or post to be persuasive enough to get an email or a sale.
To Summarize Our SEO Discussion
Google uses an algorithm to rank websites and we can only guess what factors are included, but there are experts that study nothing but Google’s algorithm, so you might check their site. The main one I check is called Moz.
I know people feel like SEO is dead, but I disagree. When done right it can increase your organic traffic and sales. We should continue to do offsite SEO, which is another discussion for another day, but you should make sure your site does these 7 SEO steps to ensure you are getting maximum traffic at all times.
This is an important topic that I will write more about because it can have an impact on everything you do online. This is the beginning, albeit a significant beginning, of your journey to get to the #1 Rank on Google.
We will talk about offline SEO and other SEO subjects in future articles. Just remember SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. It gets better over time.
I want you, for now, to study about it at Moz or any other beginning SEO site. So, you can understand SEO and how easy it is for you to do it yourself.
Disclaimer: Also, I am not affiliated with nor accept compensation from any of these links in my blog post.
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