SEO can be incredibly aggravating for just about any “normal” person. In fact, many business owners using blogs and websites to build their client base simply put up an article and leave it at that. But not taking the extra time to follow some basic SEO guidelines is a big mistake!
Simple SEO can increase your traffic and visibility in giant, HUGE ways. It is absolutely worth the extra effort and should be done before writing any additional content.
So, what steps should you try to take?
1. Double check that Google sees your site. Simply go to the Google Search Console and put in your URL.
Google can’t show your content if it doesn’t know it’s there. Make sure your site is being indexed. And follow Google’s tutorials if you find it isn’t. Writing an article that isn’t even being picked up by Google isn’t usually useful.
2. Create content that answers questions and gives readers the information they seek.
Google AND your readers want to feel like you can deliver the answer they are looking for. EVERYTHING typed into the search bar is a question. Be sure to answer the question as thoroughly as possible so that Google appreciates you helping them build their business and your client appreciates you not making them go back and find more.
3. Optimize your keywords to attract your client AND Google
Think about what your client/reader is going to search for when they find your article. In fact, do some searching of your own and see what comes up with various terms. Name your article clearly, use questions Google shows they are asking, don’t be clever with your wording...give Google and your client what they are looking for clearly and concisely. Your job is to serve your client. So serve them what they want.
4. A user friendly website on all devices.
Although it is tempting to design a site based on appearance, that would be a mistake. User experience should be our first priority and then, hopefully, we can make it pretty. Google gives user experience on your website fairly high importance. It doesn’t like someone clicking to get their questions answered and then not being able to navigate your site. Make sure your website works well on mobile, too.
5. Content that gets shared and talked about.
Creating content that gets shared, linked to, quoted, and otherwise loved not only builds your business, your visibility, and your sales, but it also is the quickest way to get your content ranking higher in search results. Google loves to show what will answer searchers questions. Include shareable photos, lots of information, lists, additional resource links, quotes, ways to share, and everything you can think of to HELP the reader of your article want to share, and do so easily.
6. Do everything you can to get more clicks on your article in search results.
CTR means Click Thru Rate. Basically, when your article comes up in Google as an option amongst many you need to be sure that YOURS is the one the searcher clicks on. Your title, the URL you use, and the descriptions are all part of what makes a person click on your article versus another. Tip: usually your website (especially on Wordpress) will have a way to tell Google what the title and description will be. Sometimes you can even have that title for Google be different than what appears on your site (a great option for people that like to be clever with words).
7. Add markup for SERP.
Whoa. Hold up here until you have mastered the other 6. But, when you get those mastered this is the little part that helps you get those stand out rankings in Google.
Schema markup Testing Tool: https://search.google.com/structured-data/testing-tool
Follow this link to see if your site already has structured data in place.
If not: https://www.searchenginejournal.com/use-googles-structured-data-markup-helper/
Again, this can be the very last step. And by the time you get to this you’ll have a bit more SEO experience under your belt and it won’t feel so tricky.
And, most importantly…deliver quality content that isn’t short on words or help. 1000-1500 words, links to other of your content (and others) that applies, lists, questions, images, video…as much as you possibly can!