In previous posts, I talked about how to improve your website’s traffic. Among the recommendations was improving SEO and there I spoke quickly about this issue. However, when it comes to SEO there is a lot of ground to cover. If you want to improve website rankings you need to spend time on this. Don’t worry, it’s not as hard as it sounds. Here’s an extensive guide to improving your website’s SEO.
First things first: SEO means Search Engine Optimization. These are all the actions we take to make our site easy to find. The goal is for it to be the first choice Google throws out when doing a search that involves our topic. Because let’s be honest: who goes to the second page of results? Almost always people get the first search options and if it’s not what they need, they do a different search.
To achieve this, you have to know what Google evaluates on a website. So you can make sure that every post on your page meets all the criteria. Some of the things Google reviews have to do directly with the content on your page, others with programming, and others with who you are as a brand. Don’t panic, you can easily cover these areas with the right tools.
To improve your page’s SEO
1. SEO in your page code
When listening to the words code or programming, it is common to think that you need to be a web developer to understand what it is about. It’s not always like that. There are already plenty of tools for everyone to build their pages, plus helpful blogs (just like this one).
Personally, to add content to your page, I recommend using WordPress. It is the tool I use for this blog and has the great advantage that when you just write your post, it indicates your SEO score with a color system (when it turns green, it is already optimized). It’s an easy way to avoid being overlooked due to some basic SEO issues. While you are writing, at the end you will find a box in which indicates how readable your text is (readability) and whether it meets the SEO criteria.
This box will tell you what you need to score better. SEO WordPress criteria are valid for any post, so if you don’t use WordPress this information is still relevant to you.
Here you want to put the words that you want to be found with. Of course, you should choose something relevant to your topic, but you should also make sure that it is in the title of your text, in the metadata, in the first paragraph, in the ALT descriptions of the images, in some subtitle, as well as in the URL of your post. You can use Google Trends or Google Keyword Planner to know what are some of the most searched terms.
- SEO Title
This is the title you will appear with on the Google page. Again, it is recommended to include the keyword there. Keep it short but interesting. Also, make it compatible with the title of the publication itself. It is disconcerting to search engines that a publication (in the text) is titled: “The seven wonders of the ancient world” but that in the title SEO says something like: “Surprising curiosities that you should know”. Although in some ways they are related, they do not share the same words and that confuses the search engines. Remember that they are machines, they need everything to be clear and perfectly classified to understand what your page and your publications are about
- Meta description
This is the text that will appear just below your SEO title. It should say specifically what your post is about. Your page may be about cooking, but in the publication of a chocolate cake recipe it is not enough to say that it is a cooking recipe, stop to say what is special so that the search engines know how to position it, is it easy or difficult to do? Is it the best cake in the world? But first of all: be brief.
- Text length
No text less than 300 words is interesting to Google. While titles and descriptions should be brief, the text itself should be of some length. This is because Google suspects short posts as unreliable. Search engines are interested in offering their users truthful sources, so take care that your publications reach this minimum.
- Alternative description in pictures
These descriptions are the ones you only see if you have a bad internet connection and the images don’t charge. They also help blind people know what an image is (the accessibility tool reads the text instead of just saying there’s an image). Search engines like you to include them. Just as keywords, metadata, and title help search engines sort out what your page is about, so do ALT descriptions of photos. Thanks to them they can understand what the images are about and give them a better classification. I repeat: we are dealing with computer programs, robots, if you want to think about it that way, you have to make the sorting work easier. Help them help you.
- Internal links
These are the links within the publication that lead to other places on your same page. When you’re posting something, think about what content on your page to link it to. This will allow you to include links that take your visitors to learn more. This will make you a more reliable source to search engines. Why? Because it will make you stand out as an expert who has complete information on a topic.
- External links
But you can´t be your only source. In addition to linking your content with more of your content, look for other reputable pages to support you. If your posts include links to pages that are already well-positioned (that is, they are already considered reliable sources) they will give you a better positioning as a trusted site.
In addition to all these points that WordPress considers also make sure your URL is readable. That is, sometimes the page you are mounting your site on can provide some by default that is not very informative, for example, www.mypage.com/123456=qerrt22 Try to change it to something that includes your keywords or your title divided by dashes: www.mypage.com/an_interesting_article. In WordPress it is generated with the “slug” (is the text that will appear after the domain). Always try to change it to appear as simple as possible and with your keywords, otherwise, it will be confusing for search engines.
2. External SEO
All of the above happens within our site. It’s something we can control when writing our post or when editing it. However, other things are important to search engines that are not as easy to control as a programming code. I’m talking about the reputation of a website.
I explained how external and external links help make your page a reliable site, but that’s not enough. Work on your brand for Google to recommend you as a good option. You practically have to manage your website’s public relations.
Where do you start?
Your page must have a distinctive look. For better or for worse, much of the information that the brain assimilates comes from sight. Just as we judge someone by their clothes, we judge a site by how it looks. Depending on your needs it can be fun, grim, feminine… But in all cases, what gives professionalism is consistency. Be clear about the colors of your site, have a single logo, use images that have the same style and you will soon be recognized anywhere. You can find illustration resources for this here.
- Social networks
It is essential to have social networks for your website. In my post on 10 Ways to Generate Traffic to Your Website, I talked about how social networks can be your first contact with your audience. But the truth is that they are more than that, they are also an indicator for Google of who you are. Think of your website as a person who needs a good image to please the boss. Be clear about who your website is, who it is aimed at, and interact with your desired audience. Google will like this presentation and promote you in its ranking.
- Friendships IRL
Not everything is life online, also offline you have to look for contacts. Try to contact more people who have pages on topics like yours. What for? To collaborate. If they already have a reputable page and come to mention you, it will speak well of you in search engines. It’s all about winning more credits.
Although it is not easy to control, you have to strive to do external SEO. It’s all about giving a good image and also providing quality content. This brings me to my next point.
3. Content, content, content
Applying all these strategies is possible only if you have quality content. The dream is to have content so good that it gives us everything: visits, recognition of our audience, and a good place among the results. This is impossible. But, you still need to cover SEO (including external) requirements, still quality content is what will keep your page alive.
What is quality content like? First, it is truthful and meets an extension of more than 300 words. This according to Google’s parameters. Google can check if your content is duplicated from other pages, which makes you rank lower. Also, if you copied from pages that are not among the best reputable sites you will go down even more. Pages with scarce and copied content are heavily sanctioned, it is almost impossible for them to appear among Google’s results.
But if your content is original, if it’s helpful or entertaining for your audience, they can help you. Audience participation is most valuable. When they leave comments, participate in forums, or Q&A sessions, Google notices these interactions and recommends the site higher. Why? Because despite being algorithms and artificial intelligence, it still relies on human interactions. It’s like they’re saying: “well, humans like this, they come here often, I’ll recommend it to more people”.
So, don’t neglect your content by complying with the rest. Trust its quality, that it’s good and it will attract an audience that you can count on to keep you up.
SEO is crucial if you want to appear in searches. However, you shouldn’t break your head on this either. Think: first I take care of the quality of my content, then mechanically apply the SEO recommendations in your page code, finally share and participate in your social networks. These three actions seem a lot here because I explain them in-depth, but we can all optimize our pages to be the first options in search engines.
If you want to learn more about how to build your website and make it successful, keep reading: