SEO can be compared to playing in a huge field full of competitors. There is a huge audience made up of fans whom you need to please. Only that, depending on your goal, this time, you may actually need them to convert.
Despite the fact that the field is big enough for the competitors to play and appeal to their audiences, success is not assured for everyone. Success, which in this case should be achieving your SEO goals is only achieved by those who play according to the rules of the game.
In SEO, the rules may not be stipulated, but like principles, their effect can be felt. Violating these rules is akin to disqualification from the game.
You will not have set the rules since you are only a player, but you need to ensure that you play by the rules. Below we look at some of the mistakes that will result in your SEO efforts going down the drain:
A long time ago, when the digital world had not yet evolved, submitting your website to search engines was not only standard practice but also a competitive advantage. In today’s more advanced world, search engines are more complex. You need not directly inform them that you have created a new website or page.
As a small one man or woman agency, you should not bill your clients for submission of their sites to Google or any other search engine. In essence, this service is unnecessary, it is simply a waste of time and money. A site will show up in search engine result pages if, among others, it is well optimized, has good quality backlinks and relevant, fresh, and authoritative content. If you have a domain name, and it is more than a week old, your audience will find your site, no worries.
Another mistake that will turn your S.E.O. outreach into a nightmare is leaving Google to choose your title tags for you.
Title tags define document titles. On search engines, they allow users to see a part of the page, depending on what they keyed in on the user query. Title tags are supposed to be accurate descriptions of the content on the page.
On Google, title tags are usually 50 to 60 characters long. Sometimes they are longer, as the measure is usually a 512-pixel display. The best move is to keep your title tags below 55 characters. This way, at least 95% of the title will appear in search results.
If a different title tag is displayed by the search engine, you need to change it to reflect your brand or anything else that you feel will communicate best to your intended audience while helping you rank higher.
Using a title emulator tool is allows you to see what your title tags would look like on search results. You will enter your full title text, and a possible search query or keyword. The tool will then generate your probable title tag on search engines.
For instance, if your company’s name is “Colorado Advocates LLC” and your intended description is “we are a family owned law firm that is now in its third generation. Throughout the years, we have become better at our craft…” you will enter your company name, followed by a dash and your intended description. You could enter a keyword or user query like “law firms in Colorado”.
The tool will give you the following result in your title tag: “Colorado Advocates LLC – we are a family owned law firm that i…”
Webmasters and SEO experts are always striving to find out what Google’s latest algorithms are and to ensure that their sites and web pages meet the requirements of the latest algorithms. Unfortunately, by the time you come to understand the algorithm and try to tailor your content to meet its demands, it is already quite late.
A better approach is to actually be ahead of Google. But how do you do this yet you do not work for Google? Well, it is easier than it actually seems. Below are some strategies that you could go for:
Base your SEO efforts on Google’s mission statement. After all, isn’t this the best way to know what any company or brand intends to achieve? Just like in any other company, Google’s algorithms will have to be in line with their mission statement. So, their mission statement is actually to organize information in the world, making it useful and accessible universally (paraphrased).
– Organize information
– Make it more accessible
– Make it more useful (universally)
So, as you plan your SEO strategy, you need to include the other stakeholders’ wins, if you want a win-win with regards to SEO. When creating content, for instance, you will aim at making it useful. You could, for instance, bring several experts together and publish their views on a high-quality blog post, or record a YouTube video.
So, if Google releases an algorithm that prioritizes websites with useful content, do you see that you will already be on the safe side?
Another way to get ahead of Google is to again, based on their mission statement, dig deeper. If Google aims at making information useful, and relevant, then the consumers of the information are internet users. The implication is that we must study user behavior. Doing this will lead to conclusions like less robotic content full of keywords to try and rank higher in search results.
There is cutthroat competition in the online space. After all, everybody’s goals are almost the same: ranking high in search results, increasing your site’s traffic, or even conversion. However, remember that you only get to win if you play according to the rules of the game. Avoid the 3 above discussed mistakes and you will be on your way to achieving your SEO goals.
Most of Google’s algorithms are built around links. In fact, Google themselves confessed that linking to high-quality sites is a smart way to increase your rank in search results. What this means is that you should never overlook link building. Search engines are able to tell a site’s authority and credibility just from the sites it links to. Below we look at link building, important factors in link building and how to achieve effective link building:
It is a process that involves the acquisition of links from other sites to yours. It is very challenging. You need to be very creative, and sometimes even assign a budget towards link building. There are different ways to acquire links. Let’s look at that below:
In this case, the sites that are interested in linking to your site will approach you and give you links to their sites. Of course, to attract such partnerships, you need to be creating great content and know how to distribute it (check our previous article on distribution).
This time, you are the one to reach out. You can, for instance, email bloggers or submit content to directories. You need to prove that linking to your site will add value to the other party.
You need to get links from popular, informative sites. Such sites have credibility and authority, two factors that are vital in search results. A good example is Wikipedia.
This is where a particular word or phrase is actually a link to another site. For instance, “click here” could be anchor text to an article with more information about a particular topic. If for instance, you have a video talking about “the best outside catering services in Ohio”, you could include anchor text like “read more” which is actually a link to an article that talks about “what to look for when hiring an outside catering service in Ohio”.
You need to keep earning new links. This is because link signals decay and become stale as time passes by. Fresh links are deemed more relevant by search engines thus rank higher in search results.
Links from sites within your niche are more important than those that are not from your niche. In our example, for instance, a link from a site that has recipes will be more valuable than one that talks about bow hunting.
Algorithms are able to determine how trustworthy a site is. You need to get links from trusted sites especially educational, government, and not for profit organizations. Search engines categorize these as trusted sites. It is, therefore, a smart move to have links to these sites.
You need to set the goals that you intend to achieve with your link building efforts. You then need to lay out some strategies to help you to achieve those goals. The last step should be measurability. Have the goals been achieved? A good example of a goal is “increase site traffic by 30%, in one month’s time”. Another goal could be higher ranking in search results. Note that the goals need to be SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely. Below is how to effectively achieve link building in your SEO efforts:
Note that unlike keyword density, we do not have something like “link density”. This means that you need not focus on acquiring a particular number of links to link back to your site. In fact, a link’s value decreases when there are other links on the page. This stands true even when looking for sites to link to your page or site. It is best to go for pages with few links.
With a blog, you need to constantly create fresh content. It is also a good way to help you to actively participate in conversations, and get links from other blogs. In creating your blog content, you need to create a balance. Your content needs to be relevant, valuable, have some sense of humor. Sometimes, newsworthy content is the way to go. This could be achieved by a product release, controversial topics or statements, and giving away something for free.
One of the best tools to determine whether your goals were achieved is your site’s analytics. One of our goals was “increasing traffic by 30%”. At the end of one month, your website analytics need to show you how much traffic has increased. They may not do the percentage calculation for you, but you should be able to see the increase and maybe calculate it yourself. If your site uses WordPress, you can also install plugins that will give you even more relevant information with regards to your traffic and where traffic on your site comes from. It could show you the referrer link too. This way, you will be able to focus on getting more links with those characteristics.
For instance, if you are in the outside catering niche, and most of your traffic seems to come from a recipes site, then you will need to focus more on getting more links from recipe sites of the same caliber.
An example of a plugin that you can install is Visitors Real Time Statistics https://wordpress.org/plugins/visitors-traffic-real-time-statistics/.
If you do not achieve your goals, you need to either get better quality links or change some aspects of your link building strategy.
It should help you to even build relationships with experts in your niche and influencers. This becomes very important. It becomes easier to get links and the influencer becomes your brand’s advocate too. Links will help to improve your site’s rankings, increasing your site’s authority and credibility. You, however, have to link to high quality, reputable sites. You must continually put efforts in link acquisition to ensure that your links stay fresh throughout.
To effectively achieve link building, you need to set SMART goals and strategies. You then need to measure to ensure that you indeed achieved the set goals. Link building takes a lot of work, but it is undoubtedly the best SEO strategy that you could use.
Many people now have an idea of what SEO is all about. They understand that it is the use of the appropriate keywords, titles, meta tags and links to ensure that your content ranks high on search engine results. They also understand that high quality, relevant and fresh content that is useful to users is vital. Many brands have therefore invested heavily in content creation. However, there seems to be no strategy with regards to content distribution. Below we look at the importance of distribution in SEO, and how you can achieve it in your company:
If you write great content but have low domain authority, your site will not receive much traffic. Distribution is what will help your site rank high in search engine results.
At the core of distribution is link building. Link building is not always easy. If you link to low quality, spammy websites, you will get penalized by Google. Below we look at the various types of links and how best you can utilize them in your SEO distribution efforts:
These refer to the name of the brand. The trick in using these links is that your brand name is unique, so you will always rank high for it. It is advisable to use brand name links at least 40% of the time.
These links are the phrase of the keyword that you are looking to optimize for. If you want to rank for ‘best sports gear in Ohio’, you can use a link that exactly matches the keyword. Strive to use this type of link at least 20% of the time.
These refer to links like ‘learn more’ or ‘click here’. Use this 15 % of the time.
Backlinks help your site achieve authority and credibility, something that Google’s algorithms are really looking out for. When authoritative sites link back to your site, Google begins to view your site as authoritative too.
If you have a new site with barely any traffic, you need to reach out to larger external blogs in your niche. You can ask to contribute to the blogs. This way, you get insights and other perspectives that you can use to better your own content. The owner of the blog is a good source of these insights since he is much more experienced. His audience’s comments are also invaluable. Ensure that you have a topic or article that you will use to pitch. Review their guidelines first and understand them before pitching.
Reaching out to local newspapers and media outlets gives your site a chance to become a reference point, even if just for quotes in your niche (for a start).
A smart way to work with local businesses is to reach out to those that are related to your niche. You can then contribute to their site. For instance, if you sell sports gear, you can approach a local bar and request to contribute to their site by creating content around your favorite beer. This relationship is important: people talk about sports as they drink, and even more importantly, watch sports as they socialize in bars. A win-win.
Content distribution networks allow you access to bigger audiences that you cannot possibly reach on your own.
To succeed when using CDNs, you need to set specific goals. You need to know who your audience is, and whether they exist on these platforms. You also need to define your KPIs – key performance indices. What is success to you? Is it more traffic, retweets, more customers?
Note that different CDNs will meet different goals. Do your research and get to know the channel that will best suit your needs. Ask someone in your network what works for them. Get to know what content your audience loves sharing, and where they share it. After setting your goals, try different CDNs until you discover what works best for you.
Medium – you need to build a readership first
List.ly – good platform to build a community and audience
Daily by buffer – this increases Tweets and traffic to your site too
Hacker News – great place for startup stories, investment and raising rounds. Difficult to penetrate, but when you do so, traffic to your site increases massively.
Product hunt – only post real products
Reddit – Posts will do great here. Do however only choose relevant subreddits.
Growthhackers – you need to be active in this community, comment, ask questions, give advice and share valuable content.
When choosing CDNs, you need to go for those with audiences similar to your target audience. You also need to know the trending content on the forums your target audience is on, the keywords being used and referral sources in Google Analytics.
The prime lifetime of a Tweet is 18 minutes. You need to share one piece of content multiple times, two to 3 times a day after publishing it. For two weeks, you need to continue sharing it daily, 2 to 3 times. Better still, you need to re-share your most popular content even months later. This is the only way to gain traction, and become an authority on social media. When you have a lot of posts on social media channels, you build credibility, improve your rank on search engine results and increase traffic to your site.
Better still, you need to post some quotes from the article. Adding the share option in your posts makes it easier for readers to share quotes from the quotes.
Building relationships is the easiest part of distribution, but it is also quite hard. You have to prove that you can add value before anyone trusts you to occasionally or frequently write for their audience. Once you achieve this, you are able to easily get quality, authoritative links to your site.
The importance of distribution in SEO cannot be underestimated. If you are a one man or woman agency, it can be overwhelming to try and implement all the above strategies all at once. The best thing to do is research on one thing and implement it. It is all about a step at a time.
Of all the Internet marketing strategies in use today, search engine optimization is the battle-tested method of achieving top most rankings in the search engines. Many commercial websites engage in SEO strategies to further expand their website’s visibility.
These techniques can help them to rank high in search results and thus provide better chances to attract customers and generate higher sales of their products. However, to register high rankings in the organic search results, there are various both on-site and off-site SEO strategies that work to help build authority and trust with the search engines on selected keyword phrases. To enable you to get closer to your goal of being ranked in the top 10, here are several SEO tips that can help:
Social Media is the best platform for your website’s promotion. Social networking platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, etc. are the best way to gain traffic to your site. Through the sharing buttons like Facebook ads, twitter ads, and Bing ads, your readers or audience will be able to share your posts with others. I personally use GetSocial.io plugin, it’s simple and elegant, but there are others like Sumome, ShareThis plugins that other sites use.
As a WordPress user, using Yoast SEO Premium or All in One SEO Pack allows you to preview what your post will look like when shared on Facebook. We have a similar preview for Twitter. Both previews also have edit fields below them.
Adding a WP to Buffer plugin and having a Buffer account can help automate your sharing process as soon as you post an article from your site. By using Yoast or All in One SEO you can visually see what your post will look like. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to add hashtags if you want to automate your posts to social media sites. You would want to use Revive Network Plugin. Want to share just the titles of your posts? Or include a hashtag, or mention a @username, or some completely custom additional text? Revive Social plugins allows you to do that, along with custom sharing, and track every clicks.
This will boost your blog’s traffic. Not only social networking site but social bookmarking sites like Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc. are also very useful for your off page SEO. You will get immense traffic from these sites as well as a quality backlink which will increase your site’s Google page rank.
It is a practice to most SEO experts to first research on the best keywords which you can incorporate into your site to make them more optimized for local search. You must determine the most popular keywords being used by internet users when searching the products your website is also catering. You must also try to use those keywords and search for them using the popular search engines and then take note of the sites that will rank high in the search results. Get to know your competitors and determine the strategies that helped them to achieve high ranking in search results. All these can give you clearer ideas on what strategies will be most appropriate for you to use.
If you have a brick and mortar store, a good local SEO strategy is also to include local keywords in your website. This is to gain better chances for your site to appear in search results when a potential customer is using more specific keywords like a product with a corresponding location.
Dive deeper into local keyword strategy and use street names as well as social platforms like Yelp or Foursquare. Internet users who are interested in buying a particular product will use keywords pertaining to a product in a specific local area.
Yoast Plugin does an analysis of your article and provide helpful tips on how to optimize each article.
I believe that the last part of Yoast Analysis “You’ve never used this focus keyword before” is a great feature to have. You might write about the same topic in your niche, but understanding and discovering different keywords, both long and short tail keywords can help you maximize your SERP (Search engine results page).
While Yoast is an awesome tool to use, they do not provide keywords so you will need to use a different tool like SemRush.
You can type in your domain url down below (You will need to purchase SemRush to use this tool)
But you can add alt text to your images. This will increase your image search visibility when people use Google > Images:
The title or the image name is not enough. Make it a habit of adding alt text to each image you upload via WordPress.
If you are using WordPress, you can simplify your approach with automation using Yoast Plugin (picture above)
All in one SEO Pack, either free or pro version is not as automated like Yoast. However, habit of finding the right keyword, and writing the actual description can be helpful. If you are a control freak like me, you might want to add them manually versus automating the process. The difference between free and the pro version is the updates, the pro version is always one version higher than the free pack.
Practice changing the headings for each sub heading can help your reader visually consume your content, as well as help Google process it’s information and better read your content.
Video marketing is the trend nowadays. Bloggers are using videos to make their posts (especially tutorial) easier to understand; they promote their videos to grab some extra traffic to their blog. You can also use video marketing for off page optimization of your blogs; there are many sites like YouTube, Vimeo, Metacafe, etc. on which you can promote your video posts. By these sites, you can get massive traffic to your blog with a backlink.
The URLs of your website should also keep your targeted keywords in mind. Optimized search engine friendly URLs work to support your optimized web copy and meta tags by including the same targeted keyword phrases in the URL string. If your web page has the same targeted keywords in the Meta tags, in the body copy and in the URL, that all combines to make your web page highly relevant to the keyword phrase being targeted for your organic search campaign.
Google sees hyphens as word separators while underscores aren’t recognized. Consider using punctuation in your URLs. The URL http://www.example.com/green-dress.html is much more useful to us than http://www.example.com/greendress.html. We recommend that you use hyphens (-) instead of underscores (_) in your URLs.
Once your website is well-optimized for organic SEO, the next step you should take is starting a content marketing campaign that helps to build links to your website. Building links to your web pages help build authority for your web page on the particular topic it discusses. The best way to garner these links is by blogging and article writing, as well as distributing other content to other websites like videos and press releases that help to build your online footprint and to help build links back to your site. This off-site content marketing strategy is a crucial cog in achieving long-term organic SEO success.
Link bait is content on your website that other sites link to because they want to, not because you ask them to. It is also an effective off page SEO strategy. The key to link baiting is quality articles. Whenever you write a quality post, then people will love to talk about your content and probably provide a backlink for the particular post. The quality of article content matters most, hence you have to write interesting and valuable posts that attract others, this make them share your post with their readers. This will increase your website ranking.
Local SEO strategies can surely help you to compete with your local business rivals efficiently. Internet users who are searching for websites which are offering the products that they would like to purchase would definitely search for it locally. For sure, they would prefer to buy those products in websites which physical address is near their place. To be able to get indexed by popular search engines, it is a wise idea to incorporate your business’ physical address to your website, web page titles, headings or contents. In this way, your website will have greater chances to appear in the local search results.
If your primary focus in an online business, focus on specific-detailed-pinpoint keywords to target specific niche. If you plan on selling an “email marketing course”, instead of trying to rank that specific keyword, ask yourself why your course can help your prospect.
“Last chance to revive your email marketing”
“Email marketing using only facebook lead gen”
Play around with different keywords that you can easily rank for.
We’re one month in the New Year. If you run a blog or website on WordPress, you need a couple of S.E.O. tips, tricks, and tactics to make yourself more visible to your target market.
I’m going to publish an in-depth look into WordPress SEO very very very soon!
Although achieving a high rank on search engines is no easy feat, you should be able to find success especially when you count on the WordPress SEO and keyword tips listed below.
Read on to learn more:
The first step to optimizing your WordPress website/blog is to install the right SEO plugin. By so doing, you will have greater control over the optimization of what search engines see from your site.
In terms of popularity, the free All-In-One SEO Pack and the Yoast SEO plugins are the best. They come with end-to-end search engine optimization capabilities. More specifically, you might want to opt for Yoast because most of the tips and strategies provided below are related to this plugin.
With Yoast, you will be able to churn out higher quality content – complete with keyword and page analysis. The plugin will also generate XML sitemaps automatically, and allow you to add schema markup and social to your website.
Remember, however, that this plugin will not do the SEO on your behalf. Rather, it will provide you with the recommendations needed to effect data-driven optimization on your WordPress website.
WordPress automatically creates weird URL structures (referred to as permalinks) by default. Since search engines are looking for more descriptive permalinks, you need to adopt new keyword tips to change these URLs.
To do this, edit your URLs so that they contain the right keywords and/or the title of your blog post. Remember, however, the shorter the URL, the higher you will rank.
One particular WordPress SEO strategy you should never forget revolves around the keywords you use. Google is a machine algorithm, meaning that keywords will continue being key to overall website optimization in 2017 and beyond.
Therefore, even as you focus on generating content that is targeted at your customers and visitors as recommended by search engines, remember to write smart. It is quite easy coming up with amazing, actionable content while keeping smart SEO optimizations in your text.
To this end, every time you post a page or write a post for your WordPress website, you should have a keyword in mind. Never publish content simply because you feel like adding to your collection of content. Instead, tailor your writing so that it attracts higher ranks for your website on different search engines.
The focus keyword you picked in (3) above should also go right into your title tag. In fact, this keyword should appear as close to the beginning of your title as possible because they will carry more weight with search engines.
To increase your click-through-rates (CTR), you should also perform A/B testing and split-testing on your titles. This is because it will help search engines rank your WordPress site/blog higher because your content will look more relevant.
Over and above everything else, Google relies on optimized title and H1 tags. Therefore, even the smallest of data driven changes that have been well researched will make a world of difference to your overall organic search performance.
Although meta descriptions will not affect your WordPress SEO with regards to website rank, they will improve your CTR. The better your write your meta descriptions, the easier it will be for your content to get users to click on the post you wrote instead of the ones below or above it in the search engine results.
Since a high CTR makes your authority seem more relevant to Google, the search engine will start ranking you higher. Therefore, well-written meta descriptions will help with your WordPress SEO albeit in an indirect manner.
Set the meta description to use in your Yoast plugin. As long as the description is in less than 156 characters, you should be able to observe a direct increase in the traffic coming to your website.
Of course, you should also include the focus keyword you picked out within the meta description. This way, Google will automatically highlight the relevant search terms in bold for users to see, further helping your post and website stand out even more.
Most websites on WordPress fail at S.E.O. because they get their image file names all wrong. To change this for your website, ensure you name your image correctly. A couple of these changes will go a long way in giving you a good boost both in Google Image Search and SERPs.
Before you upload your images, therefore, ensure that you name them with words that are related to the content the images will accompany. For instance, instead of uploading an image titled DC001.JPG, rename it to “fashion dresses for 2017” if the topic you are writing about is fashion.
If the image file name has more than 2 words, include hyphens in between the individual words. For instance, for the example above, the actual name of the image should be fashion-dresses-for-2017.JPG.
With regards to WordPress SEO, there are 2 main types of links: nofollow and dofollow links. Every link created on a WordPress website is an automatic dofollow link. These links are great for building authority and ranking higher on Google.
NoFollow links, on the other hand, contain the rel attribute of the nofollow hyperlink. As such, they inform Google that they ought to be ignored.
Your backlink profile, therefore, should have a good ratio of nofollow and dofollow links.
Most bloggers and businesses using WordPress add affiliate links to their blogs and websites. This is because affiliate marketing is a growing business, which promises attractive returns over the long haul.
However, Google does not generally like these types of links. To this end, your website might even end up getting penalized as a result of overusing affiliate links. The safest way to use the links, therefore, is to peg them as nofollow link. By so doing, you will still be able to track your commissions and referrals without attracting negative penalties from Google.
So, there you have it – top 8 actionable WordPress SEO and keyword tips to work on in 2017. There are many other tips out there, each of which will continue contributing to a higher rank for your website/blog this year. Search these tips out and combine them with the guide above for higher ranks, greater CTR, and increased earnings from your WordPress website/blog.