There are many SEO (search engine optimisation) techniques that will increase your ranking in Google search results, but some are better than others. On day 3 we focus on some of the SEO techniques you can use to boost visitor numbers coming from search engines.
Every time Google changes its algorithm (its method of ranking websites), there is a cry from many website owners that they have fallen down the rankings. Their site has dropped from page 1 to 10 or some similar catastrophic demotion.
This can severely impact the numbers of people coming to your website via web search.
Of all the SEO techniques, the most resistant to changes in Google’s algorithm is on-page SEO. In fact, algorithm changes often increase your ranking, resulting in more visitors because those around you in your niche may be penalised.
What is on-page SEO?
This simply means making sure the web page is perfect for readers and perfect for Google’s bots that scour the web indexing the sites and pages it finds for its search results database.
Usually, what is good for readers is good for Google, so anything you can do to make a web page more attractive, easier to read, and simpler to navigate is good for SEO and will help your Google ranking.
Make sure posts have a title
Every post has a title and you cannot create a post without one. What is meant here is that the post should have an h1 title. This means that there is some text at the top of the age that is marked up with the <h1> tag in the HTML code. The page should have one, otherwise people might be confused over what the title is.
When creating a post in WordPress, the title is in a box on its own at the top. Keep it short and place the most important words near the start rather than the end.
Make sure your theme uses h1 titles by right clicking the title on a page and selecting Inspect (in chrome, other browsers may call this something else).
You should be able to see <h1>Some title</h1>. If you see h2, you need a new theme or to edit the current one.
Use subtitles in the text
The post should have subtitles and they can be used to break up the text and draw the reader’s eye to important points. They are also used by search engines when they scan the page and titles help them understand the text.
Insert a subheading every couple of hundred words impossible (use the in WordPress to select a heading style).
Add tags to describe images
When selecting an image to insert into an article using the media library, there are several boxes on the right, such as Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description. Fill in those boxes.
It is tedious and a nuisance, but they are really important. Search engines do not have eyes and cannot see, so the text you enter into these boxes tells them what the image shows.
Some are more important than others and the most important is the Alt Text. If there is only one box you fill in, make it this one.
Describe the image to someone that cannot see it. For example, Laguna beach at sunset, cat sat on a mat, beautiful red rose, and so on. Keep the description short and no more than a dozen words at most.
The Title is another way to describe the image, but it can be shorter and 3-5 words is fine.
Try to make the image filename descriptive too. For example, If the image is a photo of a mountain lion, name it mountain-lion.jpg.
Get an SEO plugin
Yoast and All-in-One SEO are two of the most popular plugins for WordPress because they enable you to add extra information to web pages that is essential for search engines like Google, Bing and others.
At the bottom of the post editor is a section for these plugins.
Set a page title: This is the text the browser shows on tabs and it should be different to the heading on the page.
Set a meta description: This is a short description of the post, a summary in 160 characters or less. Google, Pinterest and others may use it when displaying your website in search results.
Set the keywords: This is not used much by search engines, but it helps to focus your attention. What one or two words would people type into a search engine to find this post?
Add open graph tags
Open graph tags are special tags used by Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and others and they contain a description of the page, the title, the URL, the URL of a featured image and more.
This information can be created automatically or entered manually. The Jetpack plugin for WordPress automatically inserts open graph tags in pages without you having to do anything if you turn on the social shares feature. Other plugins may require you to manually enter the information.
- Make sure each post has a heading at the top of the page that uses the h1 tag.
- Insert subtitles at appropriate points to break up the text and tell search engines what the next chunk of text is about
- Fill in the Title, Caption, Alt Text and Description boxes when inserting an image into a post
- Install an SEO plugin like Yoast or All-in-One SEO and fill in the form fields at the bottom of the post editor
- Make sure Open Graph tags are inserted into each page’s HTML code. SEO plugins do this
SEO is a complex subject and is covered in much more detail in the course: Secrets to successful social media promotion.
Course Contents: Boost Website Visitors In 7 Days
Go to Part 4: What to do after publishing a post
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