The Definitive Guide to SEO-friendly Content CreationLet’s face it, not everyone out there is an SEO expert. It takes a lot of technical work to rank a site in Google and Bing. But there are several things you can do yourself to help your content rank well. Today I am going to give you seven basic steps to improve your ranking without getting too technical. You’ll need to install one plugin into WordPress. That’s as technical as we’re going to get today. Everything else is just related to how you format stuff when you are writing. So let’s get started writing some killer content to help grow your business.
SEO Friendly Content | Step 1: Getting the right word-countConventional wisdom in SEO circles tells us that 300 words is a minimum for each and every page on your website. If you don’t have that much content, Google is going to have trouble figuring out exactly what the page is all about. Don’t confuse Google! In fact, I’m going to suggest that you make 500 words the bare minimum before you publish any pages or blog posts. Why? Because you need to make sure your text to HTML ratio is good. In non-nerdy terms, that means you don’t want more code than written text on the site. If you don’t want to go into the site files and compare text word-count versus code, I suggest you just shoot for 500 words per page. It’s only going to help you rank, and it really doesn’t take a long time to write 500 words. Heck, I’m already at 157! One fifty eight…
Keyword Density | Step 2: Avoid the appearance of Keyword StuffingKeyword density used to be a big thing in SEO. That’s the number of times your targeted keywords appear in relation to other text. However, Google has obviously evolved beyond those metrics.
Heading Tags | Step 3: Proper Use of HeadingsIf you’re familiar with WordPress, you probably know how to set H1-H6 headings. If you’re not familiar, check out the screenshots below. The title of this section is an H2 heading that reads “Heading Tags | Step 3: Proper Use of Headings” I chose this title because it conveys the subject of this section to the reader. It also helps tell Google more about the subject of this part of the article. It’s not really a big ranking factor, but headings send a signal to the search engines that says “these words are important!”. So, don’t use headings simply to make text appear larger. You can bold text or change the formatting to a larger font, but if you make irrelevant words have a heading tag, you’re asking for trouble. Here’s an example of good and bad uses of headings: Good: Birmingham, Alabama SEO Agency | Webology SEO LLC Bad: Who We Are In the first example we’re telling readers who we are with descriptive text that’s related to actual phrases someone might enter into search. If someone is looking for an SEO agency, company, firm, or business in Birmingham, they would probably type in something directly related to the H1 heading used in the above example. However, no one is going to type “Who we are” into Google and expect to find the best SEO agency located in Birmingham, Alabama! So, don’t just use headings that only give an overview of the paragraph below. Describe your paragraph, but also use terms real people would type into a Google search box to look for your business.
Use the drop-down arrow to change text from paragraph formatting to one of the heading options
SEO Title and Description | Step 4: What People See in the SERPThe SERP stands for Search Engine Results Page. It’s the list of websites that show up in Google when you search for something. You can actually tell Google what to display here by adding an SEO title and description to your page. Use a tool like the Yoast SEO plugin to set your title and description within WordPress. Here’s what you’ll be editing:
Image Optimization | Step 5: Adding Google-Friendly ImagesAt this point in the article, it’s time to add an image and break the monotony! Images help convey a message to your readers while making your content more interesting. But there are a few things you should do so that your images improve your search ranking.
Rename your ImageProper image optimization begins on your local computer. Google crawls every inch of your website from code to content. They want to know what the page is all about. So, if you upload a picture with the file name img8675309.jpg, you’re missing an opportunity to tell Google more about your page. Rename that thing! It’s only going to take a few seconds to right-click on img8675309.jpg and rename it to birminghams-best-home-inspector.jpg. Then you can make sure your file size is appropriate before uploading.
Scale Your Image
This is an important step because it helps with server load times. Google wants your page to load in 2 seconds or less. If you fill it up with 5MB photos straight off your phone, you’re going to slow everything down. You have a few basic options for scaling images down. You can download photo editing apps right onto your phone, purchase Photoshop, or install GIMP. GIMP is an open-source alternative to Photoshop that’s completely free to use. It’s a bit confusing at first if you are accustomed to Photoshop, but here’s a good guide on scaling your images down. It’s ideal if you can get your images down to 70kb. If you need a larger image than that, just keep it under 1MB, and you will be fine.
Set Your Alt Descriptions
Alt tags are another place where you can tell Google what your image is all about. If you don’t want to dig into the code, you can set your Alts in WordPress with one of the free SEO plugins available for install. You want to describe what the picture is about without going overboard. If you write the next great American novel in your Alt tags, Google is going to think you’re stuffing keywords in there to game the system. So, keep these to 4-8 words that include some keywords you want to rank for. Here’s a good example of some image optimization work we did recently:
Current: <img class=”mk-desktop-logo dark-logo” title=”Professional Background Checks” alt=”NAPS Background Check” src=”https://napsbgc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/NAPS-Logo-v3.png”> Optimize as: <img class=”mk-desktop-logo dark-logo” title=”Professional Background Checks” alt=”Professional Background Checks & Screening Services Alabama” src=”https://napsbgc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/professional-background-checks-screening-birmingham-alabama.png”>
Using Videos | Step 6: Google LOVES pages with VideoI’ll keep this section real brief. Google likes pages that have videos on them. Another thing to remember is that Google (or more to the point, Alphabet) owns YouTube. So, feel free to embed relevant videos into your page like this Moz tutorial on video optimization.
URL Optimization | Step 7: Keywords in the URLA lot of people I run into think that buying an SEO friendly domain name is some sort of secret sauce that’s going to rank their homepage without any technical SEO. While that might still work in some niche search terms, the fact is that most businesses will need more than just a good homepage URL to compete. I’m not knocking SEO-friendly domain names, and they absolutely do help with ranking. If you had a choice between purchasing bobsplumbing.com and birminghamplumbing.com, I would hope that you would choose the latter! But if you want to rank well, there’s no avoiding the technical SEO, content creation, and backlinks that go into proper SEO work. One of those technical changes is URL optimization. This is where we optimize the name of all the other pages aside from your homepage. URL optimization is yet another area that’s easy to DIY. If you can manage WordPress blogging you can do this. Here’s a few common page titles that are ripe for URL optimization:
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