People use search engines every day to find the information they need. Have you ever wondered why you get the results you get when you use a search engine to find out something?
Search Engines use keywords (also known as phrases or questions) from actual user queries to come up with search results
Search Engine Optimization is how content creators get their content found by the search engines.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is very important to websites who wish to gain organic traffic from the search engines. It is the process of “optimizing” each and every post/page on a website so that the search engines know what your article is about and rank it accordingly.
Note: Organic traffic can come from many search engine sources which includes videos, images, and posts.
SEO is a marketing strategy designed to get your website found and get free traffic.
Doing SEO properly can rank content higher in the search engines as well. Ranking is important. It determines what page of search your content will appear on, such as, page 1 or page 101. The goal for every creator is to rank on page one of the search results. Preferably in spots 1-3.
There are two main ways to optimize your website with SEO, On-Page-SEO and Off-Page-SEO.
Off Page SEO
Off page SEO consists of making sure you have the right tools for your website. Starting off with the wrong elements can make your site slow and bogged down. This is terrible for user experience and can significantly lower your rankings.
1. Make sure you go with the right hosting company for your business needs. You want to make sure your website is as fast as possible and that starts with the right hosting platform.
(We are currently members of Wealthy Affiliate and hosting comes with our membership.)
2. Pick A Fast and Light Theme: We use Generate Press as it is one of the fastest themes available. Your theme should be light weight, fast, and mobile responsive.
(People using their phones for searches account for the majority of traffic. You need your site to be mobile responsive. Most websites now use an open-source program called AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to make sure websites can render on a cell phone.
3. Install an SEO plugin: We use “All In One SEO” (AIOSEO) on this site and “RankMath” on our other site. We love both! “Yoast” is another alternative.
4. Website Navigation: Make sure you make your website navigation as easy as possible. Make your menus and elements clear and easy to find. Don’t bog down your site
5. Plugins: Be careful of the plugins you use. Pay attention to your site speed. If a plugin is coded wrong, it can slow your site down which again makes for a poor user experience.
6. Backlinks: While an important part of SEO, this can be the hardest part to achieve. It is against Google rules to spam links or buy links. They have to happen naturally or your site will be penalized. The only thing you can do is make great content that people want to share and back links will happen naturally and over time.
1. Optimize Your Images. You will want to make sure your image isn’t heavy so compress your images to make the file size smaller. You don’t want to sacrifice quality so make sure the image still looks nice after compression. We currently use a free program to compress our images https://tinyjpg.com/.
2. SEO plugin: Use your SEO plugin to write the Meta Description and Meta Title. Make sure to add your keyword(s).
All In One SEO Plugin Sample: We zoomed out so that we could capture as much detail as possible. When you have AIOSEO installed the image below is what appears below every post/page.
Rank Math Plugin Example: : We zoomed out so that we could capture as much detail as possible. When you have RankMath installed the below image is what appears below every post/page.
3. Keywords: Use your keyword in your title (H1 Tag), in the first 100-200 words of your introduction, in at least one subheading (H2 tag), and in the conclusion. You also want your keyword in your URL (permalink).
Note: If you are using WordPress, the Title is always a H1 tag so no need to do anything as you are already good to go!
4. Use External Links to link to relevant sites. Contributes to user navigation and experience.
5. Use Internal Links to link to relevant pages/posts. Contributes to user navigation and experience.
6. Meta Tags: These are title tags like H1 tag, H2 tag, etc. This helps search engines define the structure of your site.
Meta Tags are invisible as they are added to the code of your site.
If you are using WordPress, all you have to do is choose the H tags from a predefined list.
7. Publish Unique Content. Do NOT duplicate any content from other sources on the web. Google does not give site penalty’s for duplicate however they won’t rank the content. Bing still penalizes sites which can result in deindexing our an outright ban. (Plus, plagiarizing is just plain mean spirited.)
10. This one is a requirement as of the Google Link Spam Update, but you will need to label all your links as either “no follow” or “sponsored”. Google is trying to cut down on spam this helps them to identify spammers from genuine content with links.
Search Engine Optimization is the most important tool in your toolbox as it leads to rankings and organic traffic. Optimize everything on your site from the content to the images.
Organic traffic is FREE so it would be silly not to utilize SEO. As my grandmother says “Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face.”
SEO is accomplished though optimizing your site for the search engines by using the appropriate keywords in your content which also adds to the user experience.
Questions? Comments? Suggestion? Leave a reply below.