Let me preface this whole post by saying, SEO is not fast. It takes time for people to find you. It takes an effort to like you. It takes consistency to get ranked high for your keywords. Yet above everything else in this post remember this.
Never write for results Write for your target customer. A Search Engine will never buy your products. No matter how well written it is.
How many times have you had your company phone ring? You answer this phone hoping that it may be a lead to a life long customer. Only to have a person on the other end start telling you that you are not being found on the internet. People can’t find your company for the Keywords of your industry. The information that is coming from your ear piece is phrased with mystery and scary words. For instance, “losing business”. These folks then turn around and tell you that they will get you ranked at number one for all your keywords.
If you have a business that is an online good chance you get a call like this almost daily. These internet marketeers are relying on how scary Search engines can seem. in hope that they are able to spook you into using their service. You then are taking a gamble of their tactics. These folks could be completely on honest guys. They will use all the guidelines put forth by Google and Bing to get you found. Or, you may get a group that is just out for the money. They are not out to ensure your personal reputation and will use strategies that might work for a while. Yes, you will get you ranked at the top of your keyword. Only after a month or two you might suddenly see your site pulled from the google results.
All because you don’t understand SEO or Search Engine Optimisation. First off Search Engine Optimisation is not hard or even mysterious. My philosophy when it comes to SEO is Write for your customer, not the Web crawler. If you do this you will not have to worry about getting penalized by Google. This also helps you find your true customers. It also helps your True Customers find you. So relax and don’t stress over SEO so much.
You do want to think about Search Engine Optimisation. When you are writing a new blog post you do want to keep asking yourself these two questions as you write.
- Who am I writing this post for?
- What is this post suppose to do?
Those two questions will cover 90% of your SEO. Now to cover the other 10% that is there the devil is in the details.
Key points to know
Heading into the world of Search Engine Optimization know that you are playing the long game. If you have anybody tell you that they can get your site highly ranked in a very short time. They are using unethical tactics. They aren’t lying to you but you run the chance of getting your site penalized or even unindexed from Google. That basically means your business does not exist.
Often if you talk to successful bloggers and they happen to mention getting 100,000 visits a day. That took a while. Listen to their story. You will see that the blogger n question didn’t really start to see any traction until around year 2. That is if the person starting out is completely unknown. obviously, if they start out with an audience they will have a faster response.
Don’t rush it. That is where the Internet Marketeers will be able to draw you in. You are fighting with your own impatience and you might not actually be ready for that high traffic. Your business may need to grow and a bit more before you can handle the influx of traffic. You also might be just starting out on a shared hosting account. If you are instantly thrown into a high-ranking position. You could face website interruptions. Or, worse your hosting service might drop your account. Because your site is taking down other sites with it.
So as you grow you can adjust and mature with your website. That way you can progress from shared hosting to Virtual hosting. To eventually owning more servers than Facebook. Your business can also mature. Look at many people who have been on Sharktank. The sudden attention caused supply issues and unhappy customers. Because of their orders were not being fulfilled. There is a reason to take it slow.
If you feel you have to get customers rolling in quickly. Don’t submit to black hat SEO Strategies. but know there is a choice you have to make. That choice is You can get your site up Quick, Cheap, and Good but you can only choose two. Now let me explain. If you want your site to grow fast then you will have to spend money or give up on quality. If you want to your site to be good then you will have to go slowly or spend money. And then if you don’t want to spend much in the way of money. Your website will have to either take a long time to get up and going or sacrifice on the quality.
So what do you need to know about Search engine Optimization?
Just because SEO shouldn’t be a top priority. That doesn’t mean to forget your objective. There are a few key items you should think of as you are bashing out your amazing thought invoking post.
Out of everything you are about to read there is one tip you want to do if you want high ranking. Be consistent in your blog posts. Whether you are once a month or performing the herculean task of twice daily. Try to keep that pace. You readers and Google come to expect new updates and regularity.
For Google, regular posts are a sign that there is fresh new content always available. So it is going to check your site at a faster pace than someone who posts twice in a week. Then they don’t post anything for a month.
300 words for SEO
Google is looking for quality. When it comes to the length of a blog. post some folks think that Google has found out that the minimum length a post should be is 300 words. My thoughts are 300 words is a good round length for a short post. It offers enough meat for your readers and looks good at the same time. I don’t think there is a minimum limit to the length of your post.
Now does that mean you have to always post a 300-word thought? No, again write for your audience. If all you have is a 200-word idea you want to put out. Then write a 200-word post. if you are going on a 2500 word diatribe about why Brussel sprouts are being discriminated. Then spill your vegan love out to the lovely brussel sprout. Your audience will listen. They will take the ideas and thoughts you have to heart.
You will find that people say don’t write longer than 700 words. Again expel your knowledge about your topic. If it is an epic post then just title it “The Epic post about Brussel sprouts”. If your topic engages your readers they will gather the needed information.
Keywords for Search Engine Optimization
This is the meat of SEO your keywords. How do you choose keywords? Are keywords even important? There are several different types of keywords. The two that I want to focus on for this post is Long Tail Keywords and Short Tail Keywords. There is a difference but not much.
Short Tail Keywords
These keywords are just as it sounds short or single words. You might do a list of short tail keywords to find your topic. For example Amarillo Texas plastic surgeon. Will show you results for many of the cosmetic surgeons in the Amarillo area. but will also show you articles about the doctor that is being tried for murder. Many times when you hear keywords most people are thinking of short tail Keywords. These keywords are easy for Bloggers to understand. Because they are key points or targets writers can aim at.
Long Tail Keywords
Think of these keywords as sentences. What is a good shampoo for a Texas Beehive Hairstyle? This is how many people actually search in google these days. They are closer to asking Google a question and getting a more relative result back. The trick that is perceived is, you have to hope you can nail this long tail search. Yet this is not really the case. If you are thinking of a long tail search and write about it. You will get close to filling that need. All thanks to Google’s Hummingbird Algorithm.
Placement of Keywords
When it comes to keywords placement is important. Google does check a few areas. So When it comes to Keyword placement You want to look at this these places. But don’t spam or keyword stuff these places. Google is already wise to this tactic and will actually penalize you for doing so. So make sure your keyword is relevant to your topic. It also helps if yo place your keyword in sentences. Don’t just use a title and then place a string of keywords after it.
Your Articles Title
If you are able to have the keyword you are aiming to use in your title Place it there. Make sure the placement in the Title flows well. Google is looking for quality of the post. So if a there is a title such as, “Running down the Road Brussel Sprouts banana’s kiwi”. Google will take that as being spammy and low quality. Not to mention it the person doing the search sees that. They will likely not choose it either because it looks like spam to them.
Place the Keyword in the URL
It also does well to have the Desired keyword in your WordPress URL or stub. Often this will be automatic if you place the keyword in the title. But you can change the URL stub and enter other keywords.
Again don’t stuff your URL with irrelevant keywords. This will prove to be bad for your site.
In WordPress, you can use different plugins to edit the results snippets that show up in Google. A common one is An SEO by Yoast. The ability to edit the snippet allows for you to customize the results. That way you are able to provide a better summary of what the post is about. Instead of the first few lines from the post. Which is what is seen when you don’t edit the snippet. Again use this responsibly.
Put the Keywords in your pictures.
Yes, images are the big thing to use in Social Media. Yet, what is being talked about here, is actually behind the scenes. Google can’t actually see words on the images. All the google bots see is that there is a picture. You want to help Google out and realize that this picture contains good information. Place your keywords in a few different spots. If you ever are curious on what the background of a web page, or the Page Source, looks like. You can go to any site and right click the white space of the page and you will see View Source. Select that option and you will see a whole bunch of gobblty Gook. This is what Google and the other search engine bots see.
In the image Alt tag
The ALT tag or ALT Text is actually for the blind. Their text readers are able to read out what the picture is showing. Google and the other search engines can read what is in the ALT tag. So as a means to help out your blind visitors by connecting them to good information. Add your keywords naturally in the ALT text. Don’t stuff. because you then just become annoying to those who are listening to everything. You are not providing any value.
Keywords in the Title Tag
The Title Tag is also found in the page source. It is a good spot for you to add a keyword or two that pertains to the topic of your blog post. If you want to get artsy on the title or just label it Jeep. That is up to you but you do have an opportunity to add a few keywords without over stuffing. Again make it relevant.
This is the actual text from my Finding Bryan Blog post
<a href=”http://i1.wp.com/findingbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/13269452_1642323906091348_1886551203_n.jpg?fit=640%2C640” title=”Storm incoming #amarillo #amarillotx #Texas”><img width=”640″ height=”640″ src=”http://i1.wp.com/findingbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/13269452_1642323906091348_1886551203_n.jpg?resize=640%2C640” class=”attachment-receptar-featured size-receptar-featured wp-post-image” alt=”Storm incoming #amarillo #amarillotx #Texas” srcset=”http://i1.wp.com/findingbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/13269452_1642323906091348_1886551203_n.jpg?w=640 640w, http://i1.wp.com/findingbryan.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/13269452_1642323906091348_1886551203_n.jpg?resize=595%2C595 595w” sizes=”(max-width: 640px) 100vw, 640px” />
This post is actually just a picture post. I imported over from Instagram. There are a few small edits I normally have to make to this image text to practice what I am talking about here. You see that the Title tag and the ALT tags are both pretty easy to read.
Caption that Keyword
The captions of images on your site are not only beneficial to you giving and linking credit. You can also place Keywords into the caption space. Keep the spammy look down by placing your keywords in context to what is being said.
In WordPress when you upload a picture you also get a media page that is able to be viewed, often the default is to link to that attachment page. IF you go look at an attachment page. You will see that the description for that image is shown on the attachment page. This information is indexed by Google. So, it helps for your site to be found by both Long tail and Short tail searches. if you have a good detailed description of the image.
Keywords in Headings
Today’s blogging styles are set up for those folks who are scanners. They look through the page and then they may stop at one spot that might have some little nugget of information. Your reader will then proceed down the page looking for more information.
Headings markers or Tags have different strengths and show up differently. The size often depends on their importance. The biggest and most important is the H1 tag. This tag will often make your text in your blog post huge and very bold. While the smallest or H6 will at times even make your text smaller than your body text. Yet each of these different Heading tags is helpful to your reader.
Google is aware of this and adds some weight to the relevance if your post if you have keywords in these Heading tags. The more of the keyword you have in each of the Heading Tag causes your relevance to improving. You are showing Google that your post is separated into different sections. This is easier to read than someone who has just one huge block of text.
Where do you get your information from? Did you pull it from thin air or did you get it from another source? Google is wanting to know this. You are looked at as being more of an expert. When you reference different sources for your information. Google really likes it when you reference relevant pages.
The number of links to your page and the number of Links from your page is important. These links are often the biggest place for problems. This was, for a long time, the place that Black hat SEO would often be performed. I am sure it still is but not as blatant as it used to be.
Google Looks at the quality of the sites you are linking to. It uses to be that you could see what the quality of that page was by looking at the page rank. Google recently chose to Hide Page Ranks. It was the only clue to Google’s algorithm so it was often used to game the system. Yet, Page Ranks are not dead. are still used by Google as a means of scoring the quality of the pages linking to and from your site.
Page Ranks works in a very boiled down fashion like this. The more links to your site. Told Google that your site was important. The keywords that were being used to link to your site helped Google know what your site was about.
Your site was also judged as to what sites you linked to. If your blog post talked about a fishing pole you bought. You linked to a site that had a review of that pole. Then your site became a little more important. While the referring site became more important.
With that overly basic information. People who engage in Blackhat SEO would use bots to Link to High Page rank sites. These bots would go to Forums and Blog commenting systems and would post links back to the page. So a with a whole bunch of spam and junk links could skyrocket to the top of a search engine ranking. Even when they didn’t provide any value.
Yet Links are still important. As long as you are naturally linking to a page. There are normally no issues. When Google changes the rules for links. You are sending your readers to good Sites. You will not ever suffer from your site being downgraded.
To Follow or NoFollow
This means you do not want to send any Google credit to that affiliate site. Yeah, it robs that site of page ranks. That is why it is done. The Affiliate site may have thousands of links leading to their product. Thereby affecting the search results for that product.
Place a NoFollow link to sponsored Sites, affiliate links and the like. if not you can get hit with a penalty by Google. They will take your high ranking page and move it off of the first page.
You only really have to worry about that if you are using affiliate programs the like.
Link to yourself
Google also likes it when you link to other posts on your site. So if for instance you are talking about a topic the covers many posts. You can link them together and help your readers find other great information on your site. You can also do a very easy plugin that shows Related posts. This will help Google find quality self-links. Just make sure you have your WordPress tags in place. Because that is often, not always, how the related posts plugin’s find related posts.
Google Algorithm is Always Changing
Google’s algorithm is always being tweaked. Sometimes it is huge like the Penguin or Panda Updates. Where all of a sudden your site is Severe because you were using poor ethics to build up your search rankings. While Other times they are innovative like Hummingbird. and you have to start working on making your links more natural.
Many of these changes happen because of people gaming the system. Yes, Many people worry about these changes and for good reasons. While other people worry about these changes for no reason. Because they are just practicing their craft and are building their ranking naturally. Google is not going to penalize people who are writing for their audience.
There are things to know about the Google Algorithm
Google’s Search Console
Google and Bing both have Webmaster tools. Google recently changed their name to Search Console. These are a treasure trove of information that will build help give in site to how your site is doing. If you believe you are affected by a penalty then Webmaster tools will help you. If there are any messages about a problem you can usually find them in the webmaster tools
Errors give off a view of a low-quality site. Therefore, you want to find out if you have any links that set off a 404 Error. If you look under the Crawl Section you will be able to see what errors you’re are setting off . This section will also help you see what is Keywords are the most significant for you.
Check your Speed
You may head that a person attention span is not less than a goldfish. This could be true. because I am told that people only wait around for a website to load for about 5 seconds. I really don’t know if that is true or not. I often wait for a page to load when it has taken a very long time. so maybe I am just more patient than others.
Either way, Google is concerned about the speed it takes to load pages. They rank your site in relation to how fast your site loads. Make sure your site runs as fast as possible. One way to do this is, keep your Plugins to a functioning minimum. Each plugin has it own set of requests it makes on your server. Each request takes some time to process and render. In other words, if you can get away with 5 plugins Super! If your site will not work without 85 plugins. Then keep those plugins going. but know that your site will not be as snappy.
Speaking of plugins. You can also use a plugin to speed up your site. Use a Caching plugin. There are several in the WordPress repository. The big ones that have been used are W3 Total Cache and Wp Super Cache.
Just a little heads up on caching programs. They are easy to forget about. If you are making changes to your site. For instance, you are messing with your Theme and you want to review the changes. If you do not disable your caching plugin you will not instantly see the changes. and your will then proceed to spend an hour or more trying to figure out why your changes are not taking effect. This I speak from experience. and I didn’t learn the first three times.
Respond to your reader’s needs
When choosing a theme for your WordPress site. Make sure it is responsive. As of the posting of the behemoth post, most WordPress themes are responsive. Yet you want to test and see.
There is an easy way to check. Go to the Live preview and adjust the size of your browser window. If you choose the Restore down button on the top right-hand side of your browser. You can then click on the edges of your browser and drag to a more narrow size. If the theme is responsive the text and website layout shift to accommodate the smaller size.
Google looks for a site to be responsive. if your site is responsive then Google will rank your site higher than your competitor’s. As long as they do not have a responsive site.
You can also have your site be AMP ready.
Accelerated Mobile Pages AMP is a special layout. Its has most of the background stuff stripped away from it. That way the page loads lightning quick on mobile devices.
Whether you like him or not if you do a search on Google on your mobile phone for Donald Trump. You will see a carousel of Top New articles and at the bottom of this article will be marked AMPed Pages. All will be about the man with the hair as big as his ego. Click on one of these articles and instantly the post is displayed. The AMPed pages are shown at the top of the results. You then see other results listed below the carousel.
The Thing about AMPed pages is right now, not a big worry it is not a factor for ranking but it does get you to the top. The only time I see AMPed results are on Newsworthy items. Thus, you don’t have to scramble to get AMP installed on your WordPress site. But, when you do. You can check your Webmaster Tools or Search Console on the status of your AMPed pages.
Register that Domain for longer the year
This is one that when I came across it was a big DUH moment. and it makes sense because most low-quality sites are only around for a year. Therefore, if your site is registered for more several years at a time it good for SEO. It also makes it look like you are planning to hang around for a long time. So when it comes time to register that domain Don’t worry about the price. Go for the 5 years or more.
Google claims to not look at it. Yet they also don’t say that they don’t. Yahoo does and I am sure Bing does too.
Share, share and Share!
SEO is about how to get your information in front of people. Social networks do just that. You are followed by hundreds if not thousands of people. They want what you are presenting. So one share with your community what you write. When you do you also building links to your site. It may be your profile link that goes to your WordPress Author page, but it is your site.
You can build your Google reputation in several different channels. often if does need a little extra work because you will need to write for some other sites.
This can be the best or the worst place for you to expound your knowledge. If you are able to write for a reputable site that is in your niche then it is good. If it is a disreputable site and you are talking about your niche you will not do as good. So find blogs that are talking about your niche or Find a site that could use your nice and ASK. Yup, this is the scary part of blogging. Asking a gatekeeper if you can come in is Scary stuff. I have done it several times and have only succeeded once. So yeah it is a challenge. Yet if I can do it once. You are able to do it 10 times more.
Also, if you want to see what I write for on Curatti be my guest Jan would be thankful too.
You want some great interaction and get many people to talk about your post? Then use the Linked Pulse. You can write on any topic you choose. Recommended that you talk about what you know. If you’re in the Movie lighting industry. Then don’t try to talk post about medical advancements because you will at times get called out.
Most of the people who read your article will be nice there will be a couple of grammar police cruising the site. And as always those that are rude. but the rude folks really don’t have much weight on LinkedIn so don’t sweat them.
Google plus is not dead. Far from it. Google plus is one of the most important SEO related Social Media Sites on the net. The Main reason is when you post your article on Google plus it will be indexed. That indexing is far faster than waiting for a Google Bot to happen by. Often it seems to appear in a matter of hours.
Then there is the Google My Business part of Google plus. If you have a Brick and Morter site you can get your business to show up on Google Maps. You will also be able to respond to reviews and much more. Don’t knock Google Plus it has its place.
Google Plus allows fo you to curate your information. Along with other people by using Collections. Though people like to compare it to Pinterest it is far different. it is closer to a collection of bookmarks that is not picture-centric.
Old reliable. Visiting forums can help build that much needed Google juice. Not in the old fashion way of having a link in your signature. It is when you are able to provide value to the community. You can answer questions and reference posts by you. Each time you do that you get another link to your site.
This takes time. A lot of time. If you try to post a link too soon, you will get kicked and banned and all your information scrubbed nuked and obliterated. Some Forum moderators don’t mess around. Also, some forums post NoFollow tags on all links there for you don’t get as much benefit.
You can try it and when you succeed it will be great.
Twitter and Google have had a rocky past. Yet they are on the mend for now. So with your profile have a link to your site. Tweets also show up in google results so make sure to tweets your new blog posts several times in a week.
I don’t have time to do a video! I have heard it a few times but YouTube is the Second most active Search engine on the net. It is also part of Google and Google displays YouTube videos in their results. I can’t hurt to create a video from time to time about your company or what your business is doing. Give great information. Do a tutorial on your product. These are always helpful.
General SEO for WordPress
SEO by Yoast is one of the most popular SEO plugins on the WordPress Repository. I use it for all of my sites and love the helpfulness it provides. It relies on the short tail Keywords. If you place the keyword you are aiming for. You will get a RED YELLOW or GREEN light to tell you if your post is doing well for that particular keyword.
It also checks your word count and how easy is it to read. the easier to read the better on the SEO score you get. The fields that the Yoast helps you out far out cover what is in this blog post.
A list of what is covered
- is the Keyword in the Title of the Post
- is the Keyword in the Post URL
- is the keyword in the First Paragraph
- What is your Keyword density
- Whether your slug has s stop word or not
- How easy is your post to read
- is the keyword found in the Images Tags
- and more
You are also able to set special images, titles, and Description for Facebook, and Twitter.
Spelling and Grammar
Believe it or not, Google is a bit of a grammar nazi. If your page is full of miss spelled words and poor grammar. Then not only are you going to get a record number of comments. They are going to be pointing out your shortcomings. Google will not take your post as being good quality. So you want to check your spelling. A service I am using is Grammarly.
This Freemium product checks for grammar errors and spelling mistakes. You can get a plugin for Microsoft Word. And there is a Chrome Extension that will help you in all of your forms and social media posts.
If you have blogged for a little while. One thing you will notice is that you accumulate a lot of images. If you haven’t been doing proper SEO on your image tags that can seem a little daunting of a task.
Though you may have 300 pictures and graphics on your site. Many without no SEO to speak of. You can easily fix that in you off time.
There is a plugin for WordPress that will save your proverbial bacon. This plugin is called Little Hippo. It helps you to insert a title for your picture. You can also insert a description. Along with the other much-needed SEO areas. If your description is too short it will let you know. If you have a picture with a title too long. Again it will let you know. It is a life and time saver.
Want to learn more?
There are a few sites that can help to build your knowledge of Search Engine Optimisation
Unknown Secrets of Internet Marketing – This podcast is one of the better podcasts. that talks about how to get your search results up. They also talk a lot about Search Engine Marketing
Search Engine Land – Can give you lots of some of the Bleeding edge information on what is happening in Google Bing and the other search engines
When trying to figure out what keywords you should be talking about. You can use keyword tools to help find out what synonyms you should use to target under-reached searches. You might want to talk about Kitchen utensils. With a keyword search, you see that spatulas are underserved. So you can actually get more eyes on your page by addressing the benefits of Spatulas. Why spatulas are important in making a good hamburger.
Keywordtool.io – You can get some heads up with the free keyword search tool
Google Keyword Planner – The grandmaster Keyword Planner. You have to have AdWords account. It does require you to put your credit card info in but you don’t have to pay anything till you are ready to put up an AdWords Ad.
Holy smokes! We are at the closing. So let me just to a quick reiteration on what was all said and what I was actually trying to point out in over 5500 words.
SEO is important. Though not as important as serving your readers. Provide the best information you can and your readers will read your content. Write in your voice. Don’t try to be something that you are not. Your site will float to the top. It is not a good thing for it to spring to the top too fast. You want to be able to help all of your readers. If the rise too fast you might not be able to help them as efficient as you would like.
So use SEO but don’t obsess about it. If you do. You will come to the dark side and nobody wants that.
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