Last week we talked about starting and monetizing a blog by using the things that you are passionate about. This week, let’s talk about getting those SEOs going! If it seems like I’m repeating some things in this post it’s because I am and those are very important things you need to remember.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is the method by which you improve or “optimize” your website. The content on your website as well as the content you create off of your website for your ideal audience is also important for SEO purposes.
To do SEO well, you need to know your audience, understand your competition, be able to describe the problems you solve for your ideal target audience member and know your value all the while using the terms (keywords) that your audience is likely to use to find your information.
On-Page Search Engine Optimization
– On Page SEO includes anything you do on your page to improve the ability of search engines (and your audience who is using a search engine) to find you. All the following is included in on page SEO. More information about these twelve are at the end of the blog post if you need more clarification on them.
– Title Tags
– Headings & Subheadings
– Optimized Images
– Body Text
– Responsive Design
– Outbound Links
– Internal Linking
– Site Speed
– Keyword Synonyms
– Social Sharing
– Long Form Content
Off-Page Search Engine Optimization
Off-Page SEO includes link building and social media marketing. In fact, even TV ads, Radio Ads, Google Ads, Facebook Ads and so forth can also be considered off-page SEO. Essentially any traffic generating activities that you do not on your website or blog is considered off-page SEO since the idea is to show the search engines that your site is authoritative with good content and information for your audience.
Sometimes the traffic comes from pulling them into your site with the right keywords that your audience will use search engines to find, and sometimes it means creating more links to your site via guest posting, directory listings, and social media activities.
Using good search engine practices will help you get more traffic because you’ll design a site perfect for your audience that sticks to your niche. Using SEO practices is one of the best evergreen sources of traffic that you’ll ever find and should not be ignored.
What Are Keywords and Key Phrases
When talking about keywords try to understand that there are keywords and key phrases. The technical terms are short and long tail keywords. A long tail keyword is long, includes modifiers and more information, while a short tail keyword is short and often consists of only one word without modifiers.
What a Search Engine Does
When people search for information online they rarely actually put just one word. Most people ask a question or put more than one word called a keyword phrase. Keyword phrases are super important to your SEO plan as they help your audience find you. If you use the phrases that people are searching for, your website will show up when someone searches for them. The search engine’s job is to serve the search engine’s clients with relevant content per their search.
Use Keywords and Keyword Phrases Throughout the Content
Keywords and key phrases should appear throughout your content. They should appear normal though, and not contrived. Don’t purposely misspell words just because other people do, and don’t drop keywords in that affect the flow of the content you’ve created.
The keywords that you use should fit seamlessly into the content and expand on the meaning of the content. This can take some thought and planning. Some like myself will write a post out then go back and pick out words already in the post to be the keywords or phrases.
The best thing to do is to write normally. Write how you talk. Don’t try to sound like someone else. You have your own unique voice that your audience wants to hear. Keep the keyword phrases you’ve chosen in mind, but just write normally.
Then when you edit the content go back and add the keyword phrases that work best and make most sense without altering the meaning of the content. It’s best not to include any keywords if it makes the content look weird or lose its meaning. Your first job is to write for your audience, not the search engines.
Before using keywords, you want to use the tools available to you to find out how in demand they are and how many people are searching for this information using these words? If you don’t know that a phrase is in high demand you could be wasting your time adding them to the content. Some good tools to use are Google AdWords Keyword Planner Tool, Moz.com, Spyfu.com, SEMrush.com, and others.
If you employ the write first, pick keywords later technique, do a search on the words you’ve chosen. You may have to experiment with different words and phrases. If nothing is working out, you may have to sit back and chose a keyword or phrase and work it in.
Once you’ve found keywords or phrases
Use keywords for titles, alt text for images, headings, subheadings, bullet points and so forth but use keyword phrases sprinkled throughout the content to enhance understanding as well as help search engines find your information. Don’t forget to use synonyms too, but always check with tools to ensure that the keyword or keyword phrase produces results or not. If you don’t check you don’t know.
If you have a difficult time coming up with keywords, write your article then look at it. What are you talking about? What phrases are you using throughout your article? Sometimes it helps to write first, look for keywords or phrases afterwards.
What’s Your Target Market Searching For?
The key to using the right keywords and keyword phrases is to know what your target audience is searching for. When you know this, you can design your content around what they’re searching for and what you are promoting simultaneously.
Define Your Target Market
Everything starts with knowing exactly who your audience is. If you already have an audience, you can look at your analytics to find out who they are. But, if you’re just getting started you may need to look to your competition to find out who their audience is so that you can start creating relevant content for them.
What Questions Do They Have?
When you find your audience note the questions they ask. The question itself is a keyword phrase or long-tail keyword that can be expanded or broken down to help you discover even more keywords and more information for your audience. Each question can become fodder for content whether it’s a product or a blog post, plus you can use that question as the start for more keyword research.
What Are Their Problems?
Knowing your audience well means knowing what their problems are. When you know their problems, you can come up with a list of keywords and keyword phrases based on those problems and finding solutions to those problems.
Use Predictive Search
Once you have a short list of keywords and keyword phrases you can plug them into Google Search, as you’re writing, notice the predictive text that starts appearing. Write down those phrases and keywords too and repeat the process.
As you gather more search terms you want to perform more keyword research. Using Google AdWords Keyword Tool, you can get more information about the keywords and keyword phrases that you want to learn more about. You can find out which keywords are worth it to use to attract your audience?
Join Groups Your Audience Loves
Another way to find out keywords that you can use in your content and products is to join groups that your audience takes part in. When you join groups that your audience participates in, it helps you to get to know the audience better. Pay attention to the questions they ask because they are the key to finding keywords and knowing which are important to use.
Keep Your Emails Open for Responses
Another way to find out secret information about your audience is to keep your email open for responses in much the same way you keep your blog posts open for comments. This information will be so important for you moving forward so that you know what your target market is searching for. Be careful about dropping your email into any part of your blog site. This is a great way to set your self up for spam. Instead utilize a ‘Send Email’ form that people can use to email you.
Why this is important
When you focus on what your audience is searching for and what they need you’ll automatically create content that the search engines find and send your audience to. The reason is that the search engine’s job is to send their users to relevant content. The relevancy of the content is totally dependent on what your audience wants and needs. When you put your focus there, you’ll find it a lot easier to create keyword rich SEO content that gets results.
One of the first thing your target audience will see prior to even clicking through to read the content is your blog post and page titles. Writing catchy headlines that help your audience click through to read what you published is an art that you can learn.
It starts with using the right keywords within the first three words, creating a great title URL, using appropriate header (H1) tags, and then continues with the focus on the content that you want them to read.
Don’t Be Clever
Titles are a bad place to use puns and be too clever unless you know for sure your audience will get it. You’ve probably clicked through a title that promised one thing and delivered another and weren’t happy about it. Don’t do that to your audience. The title should describe what the content will cover.
Hook Them In
The title needs to be interesting enough to hook them in to make them want to click through and read. But, it also must be honest. Honesty in titles is very much needed because it trains your audience to trust you. If they click through and read what they thought they’d read they’re going to be more likely to click through again.
Remember the Keywords
Add keywords into the title toward the beginning of the title within the first three words so that the search engines notice it. Plus, it’ll make it clear to your audience what the article or blog post is about and not just the search engines.
The Right Topic
Naturally, you must pick a topic that is relevant to your audience. It doesn’t matter how optimized the title is if your audience is not interested in the information that you want to provide. That’s why you need to know who your audience is so intimately.
Let Them Know Why Read It?
Within the title, you can let your readers know why they need to read the content. Tell them what they’ll learn, tell them something compelling so that they realize there is an important reason to read the information.
Show Them the Value
When you can express a value related to the information within the content of the blog post or other content and can express it some way within the title that is going to help ensure that more people click through the title to gain that value. For example, if you have a process that can save time, qualify that and mention it.
Back Up Claims Made Within the Content
If you can use a source of some kind within the titles that can help a lot. For example, “SEO research reveals this secret increases open rates by 70%.” This type of information makes your audience more likely to read.
Use Numbers Within the Title –
Quantifying anything always helps. It can be a list, it can be a percentage or another number that clarifies what’s going to be inside the content. Studies show that numbers increase open rates by more than 30 percent.
Deliver the Goods
The biggest key to ensure that you do good making titles is to create awesome content. The content is just as important as the title. If people click on the title and don’t read what they thought they would they’ll lose trust for you.
One way to help yourself with keyword rich titles is to write your title first. The title can help you define the focus of the article, blog post, or page on your site. That will help you focus the content so that you don’t get too unfocused during content creation.
You’ve probably heard of header tags, but you may not realize why they are so important for proper SEO. Basically header tags are codes that are used to define particular parts of an article. SEO is about the words you use but it’s also about how you use them. Tags help the search engines relaize what words are most important and
What Are Heading Tags?
The number beside the header tag such as H1, H2, H3, H4 defines the importance of the word. H1 is the largest and most important phrases. Usually saved for titles. H2 is not as large as H1 and doesn’t carry the same weight.
H3, H4, H5 and so on are each smaller than the previous and have less weight. In WordPress, you can choose the header tags via a drop-down menu after highlighting the word that you want to add tags to.
Using Them in Your Blog Post
When you use header tags in your blog post and other content it’s important to understand why you’re using them. Is the word you’re assigning this tag important enough for it? If it’s not an important keyword term you may be better off using “bold” or other types of tags instead. Using the tags signals to the search engines the importance of the keyword or phrase to the rest of the information on the page.
Header Tags Enhance Readability
Aside from being great for search engine optimization header tags are also great for enhancing readability. Since the tag defines the word visually it can help readers get the meaning of the words easier because it stands out to the reader just like it would if it was “bold” or “italics”.
Makes Your Content Easy to Scan
Most people read online in an F pattern. They scan across, then down, and across. They don’t always read every word unless they find the information interesting upon scanning. When you put important words, questions, phrases, and information in headers or subheaders it makes it easy to scan and understand.
Using header tags signifies to the search engine that the word or phrase that is using the tag is important. The search engine now knows that the content should also include words like the tagged one and will serve people who search for that phrase those results.
Formatting Your Fonts
You can take control over your fonts by editing the CSS file. Creating a single CSS file means that every blog post you make will have the same attributes. All the H1 tags will be bold, or all the H5 tags will be the color red. Instead of going through this every single blog post, you have this one file that will apply all the wanted styles in the right place.
Using Heading tags is very important for search engine optimization. That’s how search engines know something is important, and helps people read the content easier and understand it more as the design assists with understanding.
Learn some new things
If you are curious about HTML and CSS used in all websites, w3schools is a wonderful place to start. There is information and ‘Try it Yourself’ sections all over the site. While most blogging sites are the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) style, most don’t even think about the coding.
If you want to play with coding a good writing program is Notepad ++. When you save a document as an html, the tags are easy to find and change. You can select to run a page in any of the major browsers to see how it looks before making it a live page.
When you start learning about SEOs it’s very easy to get confused. You start focusing only on search engines and forget about your audience. But, that would be a huge mistake. SEOs needs to be done so that your audience can find you. It shouldn’t be done instead of providing excellent, valuable, and usable content.
Avoid Keyword Stuffing
You found a good deal on a new i8 Processor or you are part of an affiliate program. You decide to write an article about the gadget that demonstrates features that you believe your audience would find useful.Your keyword is i8 Processor so you put that in the title, the headings, and within the first 100 words of body content. It’s important to use the term i8 Processor but you don’t want to use that term more than 2 percent of the total content.
Calculate Keyword Density
It’s easy to calculate keyword density. Count the number of times you’ve used the keyword then count the number of words in the content. You do not have to sit there and count out each word. Many writing programs have a way to count total words as well as how many times a single word shows up. Use all the tools available to you!
Divide the number of times you used the keyword by the number of words in the content. Multiple the answer by 100 to get the percentage. If you used the keyword 10 times and you have a 600-word article that means you have a keyword density of 10 divided by 600 = .01666 x 100 = 1.67 keyword density. You don’t want more than 2 percent keyword density, so this is a good number.
Check Your Headlines
You want to use keywords in headlines. Ideally, you want the keyword to show up in the first three words. But, you want it to sound right too. Gadget; The Good, The Bad and What it’s Replacing. This lets you know that the article is going to be about. It show that the gadget has it’s pros and cons and what it is replacing. The keyword “name-of-gadget” is going to be part of the URL yoursite.com/name-of-gadget and not the entire title.
When you can, keyword density should avoid going over 2%. Use other words outside of your title tags, headers, and subheadings. Choosing synonyms is a great choice, then you can talk about the topic, without over stuffing the keywords. You might want to use words like device, tech, or words that mean the same thing as the word gadget does.
Know Your Audience
Your content is for your audience, not for search engines. You want to use the tools of the trade to get more eyes on your content. You don’t want to write or create any type of content only for search engines. You want every piece of content you create to be interesting, useful, and effective for your audience. Therefore, write for your audience first.
Your audience is the most important part of your business. These are the people you are writing for. And if your content is good, they are the ones who are going to pass the article along to others. When you put them first, the rest will be almost natural. This may sound like I’m repeating myself, and I am. This is something you always need to remember!
One way to create content if you’re stuck is to start with a good SEO optimized headline. Headlines need to inform readers about what the article is about. If you’re struggling for content, sometimes coming up with a good headline can help you in creating a good article.
Don’t get hung up on a keyword that you want to work into a headline or article. If you don’t come up with anything useful for that keyword, dump it and move on. You can come back to that keyword at another time or dump it altogether if you continue not to come up with content.
Studies show that people like when numbers are used in titles. Only use numbers to replace the word. Do not, for example write ‘Foods that are good 4 you.’ as for is not the same as four. ‘4 Foods That Are Good for You’ is a great title. As long as you give your readers four foods and can back up the claim with authoritative sites on the matter.
* Raw Food Health Benefits: 10 Experts Explain
* 10 Healthy Raw Food Tips
* 10 Raw Food Breakfast Recipes
* 10 Raw Food Banana Recipes You’ll Love
There are some formulas that work very well for headlines. However, be aware that these formulas can wear off if they’re used too often without delivering results. How many times have you clicked through “breaking” news to find out it was from two years ago? When you know your subject simply add these to the title in some way.
Know the Keyword or Keyword Phrases You Have Chosen
Before you even start to write your headline know the keyword you want the content to rank for. If you have chosen one. Automatically put them in your headline. Move the word around so that you can figure out the best place for it. Keywords work best in the first few words of the headline. The keywords can come last and remain the focus of the meaning of the sentence.
Keep it Shorter Than 69 Characters
You want the whole headline to show up in search results. But, if you use too many words in the URL or the title it might cut it off strangely. Plugins if you use WordPress like Yoast SEO can help you create your meta description better. That way you can see what shows up and adjust as necessary before you publish.
Choose Your Adjectives Wisely
Adding adjectives to your headlines can help get people thinking about your topic and being more curious. But it’s important to use them wisely and don’t overuse them either.
Headlines such as ‘Surprising Ways to Create Clickable Headlines’ but nothing inside is surprising, you’ve used the wrong adjective. Personally, I won’t go near any article that starts with the word surprising. Mainly because the articles I’ve read with that title have not been surprising at all.
Don’t Use Clickbait
We’re all familiar with clickbait. That means that the headline is disingenuous about what’s inside the content. It might even tell you the opposite of what’s in the content. It may even use the wrong names, the wrong information completely, yet people will click it because it seems interesting. But, if you train your audience that you’re not honest by using clickbait you’ll really regret it. Better to avoid using clickbait titles completely.
Make the URL Pretty
Your title and your URL will be the same unless you manually fix it in self-hosted WordPress. The best thing to do is to use only the keywords in the URL instead of the whole long title. You want an easy to remember URL. It should also look attractive and gives some information to the search engines. Not to mention inform your users as to the topic that will be discussed.
The headline and title are so important. Without a good title or headline no one is going to open your emails, click through to read your articles or answer questions that you ask. A good headline leaves no mysteries about what’s inside.
Using keywords and keyword phrases properly within your content is really sort of an art. You want the content you create to contain the right keywords. You also want the content to be easily ingested by the user. You don’t want your audience tripping over words that are out of place, misspelled and even misused.
Keywords for the sake of search engines are not going to keep visitors on your site. I have always found it easier to write then go back and look for keywords in the material that’s already there. Sometimes I have to change a few things to get a good word or phrase.
Write Like You Talk
Many people get very nervous about writing content because they think it’s hard. But, if you can talk about your topic out loud then you can write. If you have chosen keywords then the first pass of the content should include an outline that includes those words. Then just write about each subheading as if you’re talking to a friend.
Edit and Add Keywords
Once you think you’re done just letting it all flow out of you, take the time to go through and add or find keywords. Ensure they are within the first 100 characters after any heading, and in the last paragraph. If you can work any into the title, or headings and subheadings even better!
Reread and Edit
Editing is very important. Editing twice is probably your best bet for ensuring that the keywords you use read correctly. Read it out loud to ensure that the words flow and make sense within the context you mean to use them in.
Write About Something Important to Your Audience
The content you publish should be important, valuable, and useful to your audience. If it’s not relevant it doesn’t matter how great your headline is. Or how many people click through to read it. If it’s not something they need to know they’re not going to take action on it. Once in a while these types of posts are okay, but do not make a habit of it. If you need to, create another blog and link back to this one.
Make Some of Your Content Long Content
Long-form content, epic content, or cornerstone content is very important for SEO purposes. The longer the content the more you can work the keywords you want to rank for into the content. Long content has more room for H1 tags, subheadings, and more.
Use Analytics Strategically
Your friend for making sure that your efforts are working are the analytics you have access to. Analytics are important to understand and view to ensure that you’re getting good results from your efforts.
Promote Everything You Write
Part of SEO is self-promotion. Use social media to push out the content you’ve created to help get it on people’s radar. It can take time for a search engine to crawl your website. They will start delivering the new content as a search result, you need to have patience. By promoting everything you write you will encourage this process to go faster.
Practice, Practice, Practice
It takes practice to get it right and the more you try the better you’ll get at it. A good way to learn is to create a swipe file of the effective titles that you have noticed on other sites that are optimized. Don’t copy them for your site but you can use the style for your own needs.
Creating SEO titles that include important keywords and key phrases into them takes practice so that they make sense. Learn how to form the titles and headlines in a way that shows what the reader will learn. DO NOT trick them or be clever or misleading. This leaves a bad taste in the visitor’s mouth and they will not visit your site again.
Using images is an important part of ensuring that your audience reads and understands your content. Videos and images help with understanding the content. It can also make the content even more compelling, useful, and valuable to your audience.
Include Images in Your Content
An image will make all the difference for your audience because it will get their attention. Pick a good image for your content. That image will often show up when people share the content which helps get more eyes on it.
Choose Relevant Images
It’s imperative that the images you choose add to your content or story and not detract from it. Think about who your audience is when choosing the images, especially if they show people. Speaking of that, images with people get more attention than images without people.
When you get an image you need to rename it to match the content you’re putting it with. Use the keywords that you’ve developed for that piece of content in the image title. It’ll help the image show up in searches which will then lead back to your content.
Alt tags or alt text is where you put the image description. The image description is important. Don’t just put “lady with blue shirt” as the description. Instead, you can add your keywords. The same image can have the alt tag “virtual assistant organizes her files.” Anyone looking for organization tips as a virtual assistant will be shown this image in a search engine.
You will need to make sure the image is the right size for the web and not for print. This means the image can be smaller than you would make it for printing and still look amazing. You may want to read more about compressing and image sizes at Washington University in St. Louis’s Arts & Sciences Computing web page.
Include Image Captions
Improve the SEO for an image by including a caption of some kind that will show up to the reader as well as the search engines. The caption can be the same or different from the description.
These tips will work for video as well as still images. Think about what information you can add to any image to make it clearer who the information is for, what it’s about, and who should read it and why.
Now this one is not for everyone. A very important aspect of your blog posts, website content, and any online content is how it is formatted. Proper formatting doesn’t just help visually, it also helps behind the scenes with search engine optimization. Let’s look at a few tips to help you use formatting to boost your SEO scores.
Know the Point of Your Message
It’s hard to write one word if you don’t know in advance what the message is. What do you want the reader to take away from reading the content? That’s the message and the point.
Create an Outline for Your Post
Know what you want to tell your audience. You should create an outline. An outline should consist of some bulleted points that consist of keywords. Each point becomes a subheading for the content.
Use Paragraphs, Bolding, Italics
As you work through the content write about each bullet point in paragraphs. Use heading tags, bolding, italics, and other ways to emphasize the important points of the article. Plus, this style of writing makes it easier to read. Look at this blog post. There is a lot of content, but it’s broken down so you could easily scroll through and find information.
Create Structure with Headings
Most blog sites automatically add tags when you do headings, titles and subheadings. If yours does not you may already be familiar with the tags. If not it’s a great idea to learn. Use H1, H2, and so forth tags to signify the start of a new paragraph.
Creating chunky content is easier on the eyes but also for search engines to find the keywords and rank your content. Notice how anything that could be a bullet point is instead turned into a H5 heading? Major point changes are in bold and use H4.
Create Subheadings & Bullet Points
When you’re developing the structure of the post, you will want to also create subheadings (h2, h3, h4). Also use bullet points and other features that make the content stand out, look good, and be easy to scan.
Link to Your Other Relevant Content
A great way to increase the SEO value of any content on your site is to include a link to your other content. Make sure that the reader of this content might find it interesting too. This also informs the search engine that you are an authority on that subject.
Link to Resources
Search engines value scholarly and authoritative information more than they do random information from just anyone. You can boost the authority of your information simply by linking to scholarly sources that prove your point.
Remember that anything in a list, headings, bolding, italics and so forth make everything easier to read. Easier for your audience to read, also means it’s easier for the bots to read.
The search engine then can categorize it due to your use of keywords, bullet points, headings, subheadings and so forth. SEO isn’t only for search engines, it’s also for your audience.
Improving SEO sounds complicated, and make no mistake, it is involved. With the right plugin, you can make it easier. Because it’s not hard to do, just time-consuming. Going through the process is very important and very fruitful. Why not have a plugin to make it very simple? These plugins work great. Most of the time you only want one plugin at a time. Check them out and find one that works for you. Be sure to uninstall one before adding the other.
The premium version of this plugin for WordPress does so much. It’s become one of the most popular plugins for WordPress ever. This plugin can guide you through making your website and blog more search engine friendly. It helps you manage keywords, submit sitemaps, and more.
All in One SEO Pack
Search engines are how you receive most of your traffic. It’s important to implement search engine optimization tactics, but it can be confusing to do. If you want to stay organized, you can do it with this plugin. It’s an all-inclusive plugin as the name implies that will set up your site best for SEO.
The SEO Framework
This plugin is currently free and offers broad control over your SEO. Helps you with keywords, taglines, title information and more. This is a pretty powerful plugin even though it’s free and not as popular as the others.
JetPack by WordPress.com
This plugin is easy to use and can help you create sitemaps. Jetpack automatically creates sitemaps for your website that will work with Google Webmaster Tools and that Google Search loves.
This plugin is being touted as SEO help for people who know nothing about SEO and don’t want to know. The technical stuff is out letting a novice set up their site with the right optimization including helping you avoid keyword stuffing. It also offers some pretty awesome analytics.
WP Meta SEO
WordPress is already SEO friendly due to the code, and how it’s set up. This plugin is worth a try due to the features it comes with. It has a powerful dashboard complete with permalink structure, meta titles, descriptions, HTML image resizing and so much more.
SEO Post Content Links
A plugin that automates your internal linking on your site. Keep the visitors there longer and giving you more page views and increase your optimization. Also tells search bots that you have an interesting site if visitors are staying on it longer. Always a good thing!
Smush Image Compression and Optimization
Large images slow down any site. This plugin seeks to help you by automatically compressing images using the information you give it.
Check out other tools on Hubspot.com, SEMrush.com, and other SEO oriented professional sites. The plugins mentioned work well and can really help you out.
Internal linking helps website navigation, defines website hierarchy, and distributes ranking power throughout the entire website. This provides a clear path for the search bots as well as keeps visitors on your site.
When you create internal links for your website you’ll be using what is called anchor text. This is just text that are now a hyperlink to another page of your site, or to one outside of it. An internal link never links to an outside site, only another page or part within your site.
Decreases Bounce Rates
When you have a good internal linking strategy, visitors to your site are less likely to bounce off. A visitor should be able to find information they are looking for quickly. No matter what page they land on . Because of this, they’re less likely to leave (bounce off) your site.
Increased Page Views
Everyone knows having a lot of page views is great. And of course a great way to get those views is to direct the readers already on your site to the other pages. Your site will rank higher in search engine results when they see you have a lot of page views and little to no bounces.
Improves Website Flow
Not only does it improve the flow of your site to your visitors but also to search engines. Internal linking will tell bots that your site is authoritative in your niche. The more authoritative the site, the more readers are going to be pointed to it.
Once a visitor reads what they came to your site to read, what will keep them on your site? Include more internal linking, both before and after the main information. A few links sprinkled in the content itself will give readers more content to read. And they stay longer on your site.
The best ways to handle internal linking are:
* Related Posts – Link to related blog posts under each blog post.
* Navigation Bar – Your navigation should be arranged in a way that makes sense to the newest reader. Use fewer categories to ensure that Google understands the nature of your site and that it’s an authoritative site.
* Use Keywords – When using anchor text use a keyword or phrase that describes what’s behind the link. Using the old ‘Click Here’ will not tell Google or readers that this is important.
Internal linking is an important aspect of creating a fully optimized website or blog. It helps readers find all your important content, and it helps the search bots crawl your site fully. At most Google will index between 150 and 250 pages of any site. A good internal linking strategy ensures that it works for both your visitors and search bots. The more authoritative your site, the more pages will get indexed.
Back in the old days of internet marketing, people worried about having outbound links taking away their link juice and sending people to other sites. But, today, this is not a problem. The more you can link out to authority sites the higher your own site will be ranked. And it is good information for your readers.
The benefits of linking to authority sites are:
* You Can Attract Valuable Eyes – Sending a lot of traffic to a source may put you on their radar. They may even link to your content as long as they find it good.
* They Make Your Site More Valuable – People already have a good idea of the major websites in their niche. Linking to them helps show both the bots and readers that you have great material and read the same websites they have already deemed authoritative.
* Search Engines Reward Your Efforts – The more you link out, the more the bots can figure out what your site is about. They already know that PC Gamer is about video games and if you link out to them and other websites with the same niche, they will assume your site is about the same thing.
* Increases Engagement – Engage your niche community by reaching out to the authoritative sites. You may show a reader a site they didn’t know existed and will be very happy about. They may even go to your site to find more sites thus keeping the engagement going.
The trick is to link out in a natural way based on the interest of your audience. Let’s look at some ideas so that you can develop authority links that really help you and your audience.
Link to A Relevant Resource
Anyone you link to should not only be an authority site, but it should be relevant to your audience. Sending them to credible sites always make you more credible on your niche to readers.
Use In-Content Links
Expand on an idea that you’re proposing to your audience by using links in content that gives a little more information about the topic. Again, the link needs to be an authority site, such as a reference site, University, or another expert.
Link to Valuable Resources
Let’s say you have a site about depression. You can link to the suicide hotlines for every single country if you want to. Combining all the information in one place can be a valuable resource on it’s own.
Link to High-Value Content
Don’t link to other bloggers or your competition with one exception. Link to valuable content that is scholarly, relevant, and considered high value on its own. If a blogger is known as a high-value resource in your circle but isn’t your competition then linking to them can help build a powerful community.
When you find good information for your audience you should link to it and share it. You cannot be everything to everyone even within your own niche.
As promised here is more information on each of those twelve phrases from the beginning of the post:
– Title Tags – This is essentially the title of your page. It could be a blog post, a sales page or any page on your website. Remember the H1 tag makes the search engine aware that this is important.
– Headings & Subheadings – Likewise, headings and subheadings should also use H1, H2, H3 and so forth headers because this is what shows the search engines what is important. It also helps break up the white space and text for easier reading.
– URLs – Titles for any page or blog post on your site, ensure that they are made up of keywords that your audience will relate to but also that the search engine will recognize. For example, if you create a new post entitled: On Page SEO: Tips & Tricks to Getting It Right. The URL should be yoursite.com/onpageseotips but not the entire title. You want your page URLs to look good, have keywords, and be short.
– Optimized Images – When you create an image for your website name the image something with the keyword in it. A picture of a word cloud in your blog post about SEO, name the image SEOkeywordcloud.png. Or something relevant to your article. This helps the search engines as they combine all the information from your page know that the info relates.
– Body Text – The rule of thumb is that the keyword you want to rank for should appear in the first paragraph.
– Responsive Design – If you don’t have a website or page that works on any device you’re missing out on customers. Not only that, all the search engines penalize sites that aren’t responsive.
– Outbound Links – Good outbound links to credible sources shows that you’re more than likely a good site with good information. You don’t want to link out too much but linking to valuable sources helps your ranking.
– Internal Linking – Internal linking can increase how much of your site the search engines crawl. Plus, it can help your readers stay on your site longer. This is also a good sign to search engines that your content is relevant and high quality.
– Site Speed – Your site needs to load very fast, almost instantly. You know that you don’t wait when a site won’t load even if it says “loading please wait”. Try to optimize your site so that it loads very fast so that not only will the search engines rank it higher, your readers will enjoy it more.
– Keyword Synonyms – You must be careful not to over stuff each page with one keyword. A ranking word should be in the title, headers, body text and so forth. But, it should encompass no more than two percent density. That’s where keyword synonyms come in handy. Use those within the content too.
– Social Sharing – Include social sharing icons, that way people can share anything that they love easily. Plus, they can find you on social media and follow, friend, and like you. Speaking of social, open comments on your blog posts to attract user-generated content that can also help with your ranking.
– Long Form Content – You want to include both short and long form content on your website. Some people may call it epic content, authoritative content, or long form content. Basically, this is content that is very in-depth. Might have started with short blog posts in a series. Might want to turn into very long content that explains an important aspect of your niche to your audience.
I’ll finish up the week with some more things about SEOs you should keep in mind and work on. In the meantime, can you guess the keyword or phrase used for this post?