I’m sharing some of my knowledge on mastering search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website. This easy to follow ‘cheat sheet’ (well blog post!) will guide you through what SEO is and how to utilise it to maximise your online marketing reach.
Search engine optimisation, or SEO for short, can be a very confusing process. Most savvy business owners out there have heard of it, but not many of us know exactly what it is or how to use it to their advantage.
First, the most basic question: What exactly is SEO, anyway?
The main goal of SEO is to make sure that end users can actually find us using Google. It’s a completely free process that we can do to our website that involves:
Figuring out exactly what our end users are most likely to search for to find our products or services (called “keywords”), and
And then strategically placing those keywords on our site so search engines can “see” that we offer those products or services, which means we’ll show up in the search results — preferably on the first page.
Seems simple enough, right? I wish. It turns out that SEO is possibly one of the most confusing processes ever. Many businesses have no idea where to start with SEO, if they’ve even heard of it.
SEO focuses on organic search results. SEO involves a lot of work, but it’s also focused on long-term results and success. SEO is free and more effective than paid efforts (PPC), especially if you’re a small business that can’t afford to spend money on it.
Although SEO is an extremely complicated process I’ve found that choosing keywords and figuring out what to do with them is often the hardest part of the process.
Choosing Keywords for Your Website
Choosing keywords seems simple enough in theory, but there’s actually a real “right” and “wrong” way to go about it that can make or break the success of your entire SEO ‘plan’.
First, ask yourself what it is you’re in business to do. What products or services do you provide, and who is your target customer? Try to step into her shoes: who is she, and what would she type into Google to find you?
Long Tail SEO Keywords
Long Tail SEO is the use of mostly low-volume, high-conversion keywords. These keywords are typically 3–5 words long and seem very specific (like “Blog Post about WordPress Websites Leicester”). These terms are searched for less frequently, but when there’s a hit, it’s extremely likely that the search will turn into an enquiry.
Top 5 Tips for Keywords to AVOID
- Single words (“Tree”)
- Terms that are too broad (“Website Design”)
- Terms that are too specific (“Witty Leicestershire Female Website Designer with Dark Hair”)
- Unpopular terms (“Website Unicorn”)
- Highly competitive terms (“Washing Machine”)
Remember: It’s not the total volume of traffic to your website that counts; it’s the quality of the people landing on your site. A thousand hits from random people who end up on your home page for about three seconds before bouncing off won’t help you, but one hit from a customer looking for a bespoke training course which to you deliver in the East Midlands will.
Placing Keywords on your WordPress Website
So now that you’ve done your research and have your keywords all picked out, it’s time to place them on your WordPress website. This process is easy and painless — if you know where to put them and how many times to use them.
Placement Definitions & Basics of SEO / Key Search Words
Firstly, the basics. Title tags? H1 tags? Meta data? URL? Alt text? — Got it? Don’t worry, I’ll break these down below:
Title tags are what appear on the top of any internet browser. It’s also the main text that appears in search engine results. In WordPress this is your Page Title. Check that the title text when you look at this again in the Yoast SEO doesn’t do about 55 characters as the … won’t look good in search!
Meta Descriptions have no effect on SEO, but are the little snippets that appear below the title tag in search engine results (and the searched wording is highlighted in bold). These actually serve more of a marketing purpose than SEO (they get people to click you) and should be carefully written. To write this text, this is in the Yoast Plugin in WordPress.
H1 Tags are typically the main paragraph header on any web page. There is more to this but text that you want to appear as a H1 needs to be highlighted and then changed to a H1 format in the Visual Editor in WordPress.
The Meta Keyword Tag is the specific keyword (search term) that we tell Google that we want to be found for. It is entered into the Yoast SEO plugin in WordPress. This term is hidden behind a Page, Post or Project.
URL stands for “Uniform Resource Locator.” I bet you didn’t know that one! It’s your web address for a specific page like /blog. Make this count for SEO.
Alt Text (Images) is used to give images a text description. This is done through the Media Library settings in WordPress. Alt text apparently talks to Google so counts for SEO.
Body Copy is the main text on any web page.
Keywords should be used in all of these places. Title tags are definitely the most important place to nail down good keywords, as well as in H1 tags and body copy. URLs should always include keywords.
Don’t try and overuse your chosen keyword (search term) on a page or in a post, it can hurt your SEO efforts.
In the body copy, you want to use your chosen keyword at least once in the first 1–2 sentences of the page, and then repeat them a few times. However, never repeat a keyword more times than it actually makes sense to do so. You don’t want your text to sound robotic.
Checking in on Keywords
Now it is a matter of waiting and checking. Keep a spreadsheet record of all keywords used and do Google searches on these. Check what page you come up on.
Adjust your keywords and see where you come up after a few months. Incorporate blog posts on keywords which aren’t coming up where you want them to.
Google Analytics & Online Marketing
Google Analytics tracks your online marketing efforts. It’s free to have and will report monthly for you at least.
You can check where traffic is coming from through the Acquisition screen to see which of your efforts are paying off.
If you like what you have read, or are abit confused, or now need some tea and cake – Then get in touch! Use the Contact Me form on this website and I’ll get right back to you!