SEO for Beginners
Building or Maintaining Your Own Website
Begin with writing your content like you’re having a conversation.
In 2014 Google changed their algorithms once again and they will continue to do so. This time the fine line between keyword stuffing and actual blogging has disappeared. Google and most other prominent search engines are interested in real conversational content or as they call it “copy”. Basic rule of thumb is to have a minimum of 300 words, use an image, add a link and keep it simple. Here’s an explanation to all that.
What is a Keyword?
A keyword is a word that best describes the content. People uses keywords to search for what they want. If you’re a hair stylist, your keywords could be hair salon, stylist, hair cut, colorist, barber, etc.. When you are creating your website you will want to focus on one main keyword for each page/post.
Be Yourself When Writing
Let your personality show through your text. Write as if you’re talking with a client or customer that has never heard of you. Best practice is to write at a 6th grade reading level. Understand that not everyone who reads your content knows about you or your content. You’re not insulting anyone. Your website should be a digital copy of you.
Write it like an essay
Remember back in school when you had to have an intro and three bullet points and a conclusion? You had a title, main points and wrapped it up at the end. Writing for SEO is the same way.
Using Wordpress is very much like Microsoft Word program. You have all the editing capabilities you would when typing a paper for class or a report for work. Make a few words throughout your copy bold. Underline what you want to emphasize to your readers. Search engines use these when indexing which also improves your SEO.
Link, Link, Link
There are three types of links.
- In-bound Link An in-bound link is one coming from a site outside of yours. In the beginning you can link back to your site in your social media profiles and directories. If you have the option to enter your URL and link back to your site or a specific page, consider it.
- Out-bound link [external link] This is a link in your content that links to something outside of your website. You can link to more evidence, a supplier, a vendor, a contributor, etc.
- Internal links This is when you link text in your blog to another place on your own website. The biggest benefit to internal links is that it keeps the visitor on your site.
Images are excellent and simple.
If you have an image that represents what you’re saying, here’s how you can use it to its fullest:
- Check the size that your theme suggests and stay to it. Bigger isn’t always better.
- Add the “alt text”. Write out a few words explaining the image. If it’s relevant, use your keyword for this post.
Categories and tags
Categories are larger topics. The big picture. Consider the sections of a store. Clothing, Shoes, Accessories… that is how you can look at categories. You want to create a few and don’t leave WordPress to dump all of your content into “uncategorized”.
Tags are all the main ideas or main points of the content. These are typically one word. Don’t force tags, it is not necessary. Finding five in your content should be easy. This isn’t a deal breaker so don’t spend time worrying over tags.
If you still feel frustrated, overwhelmed, or completely uninterested in SEO then you can simply hire someone to do that work for you or install a plugin that will help you.
Installing an SEO plugin
You can install an SEO plugin like Yoast, to help keep you on target. Their page analysis will remind you when you need to add an image, if your keyword is too small or too large, if you’ve used the keyword more than once, if you have inbound or outbound links, etc… It’s very simple to install and will show up on each page to help guide you through the process. You can add specific descriptions for Facebook, Twitter and Google+ or let the program use what you’re written as your meta description.