When I started out I had many questions regarding SEO. How to improve the SEO for my website? Is it even needed? What do you mean by SEO? In this post, I would be answering all these questions that any beginner would have along with a few tips that can get your niche website ahead of others.
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization is a way to make your website more search engine friendly which would in turn result in better rankings in Google. People stress a lot on SEO in order to get some genuine organic traffic. Once you have some organic traffic it is more probable that you will make some sales and ultimately money off your website. It is important to know that organic traffic is the target audience you build your website for!
So, when you have people interested in your niche and looking for some product reviews then it is obvious that when they come to your page they are definitely going to buy something from your site.One of the plugins which I generally use for this is the ‘All in One SEO’ plugin but your work does not end there. Here are a few important points you need to keep in mind in order to improve the SEO of your website.
Plugin for SEO
I use All in One SEO plugin to optimize my site, however, there are a few people who prefer Yoast over this. I think it is totally up to you on which plugin you would want to use, from my perspective both are equally good!
Once you have installed the All in One SEO plugin, you might want to go to General settings in that and then scroll down to the Home Page settings. You would need to fill in the Home title and Home description. This is something which is used by the search engines to rank your website and the Home Description is the website description which appears in searches soon after your site title. Remember to save these changes!
These two appear when your site is ranked in Google and it is important to make the description based on what the concept of your site really is, so that people could understand if your site has got what they are looking for. Let’s look into an example:
How it looks in the search engines:
Posting fresh content
It is very important that your website has relevant content which is useful and detailed. People have so many questions regarding a particular topic, if you can give them most of the answers regarding it then you have a site which will fetch you engaging visitors. It is really important that you post fresh content regularly so that the Search engines see that your site is updated all the time and rank you ahead of other websites.
I highly recommend that you follow a posting schedule. It is okay if you post once a week but make sure you post it on the same day without fail every week. If you have an irregular posting schedule, the Google Bots would not know when to crawl the website for fresh content. If you have a regular posting period the bots would know when the content is up and would crawl regularly on your site which would result in better rankings.
Try having posts which are at least a minimum of 800 words long and make sure you have enough information to write in those 800 words. It would be way better if you had posts which are about 1500-2500 words long because then the search engines would find some solid content on your website to rank.
If you have posts which are less than 800 words long then it won’t “hurt” your site but it would not do great when it comes to rankings. However, I have seen many sites having 500-600 words posts which are usually updates on a few trending topics. You can do that once your site has some authority and if you intend to put your views forward on a controversial topic within your niche.
This may not look important but trust me, internal linking can boost your SEO drastically. Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing love internal links and the more relevant internal links you have in your post the more likely you are going to get ranked for a particular keyword.
Make sure that when you use internal links, you do not just type the anchor text “click here” and rather make it more descriptive of where the link will take you to or what information does the page provide. It is really easy to put some internal links on your website and it would increase with an increase in the number of posts and pages on your website.
Internal linking is way better than linking to other sites which you should avoid as much as possible. The reason behind it is you want your visitors to stay on your site and not navigate to other websites for information. This will make the visitor leave your website which is not good for you site. So, start internal linking and make you site as informative as you can.
Keywords are very important when it comes to ranking your site and the whole basis of having a keyword in the title and the first 160 characters of your post can boost your SEO and help you rank better in various search engines. Always remember to choose low-hanging keywords or keywords which have less competition and an average traffic
Choose the right keywords and use them in the post title and the first 160 characters of your content so that while getting ranked in search engines you get ranked for that particular keyword. Can I use more than one keyword?
You can use more than one keyword but it is really not necessary as there are many pages and posts that get ranked on Google page 1 by just using the method which I discussed above and in case you use a keyword excessively then there is a possibility of being sandboxed, even though that is rare by why put in so much effort and use keywords all over the place just to get sandboxed! So strategically use your keywords.
These are a few simple ways which I use to keep my SEO in check, there are many other small techniques but if you keep these in mind then I think you have a pretty good site at your side and you could later work on the small tweaks here and there.
Must Read : How to choose the right Keywords
Social Media Shares
The more shares you get on Social media like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc , the more likely you are going to get ranked. Installing a plugin which would display social media buttons for sharing would actually help you get more likes and shares on the social media which would result in better rankings.
Many people who come to your website through these sites have a high chance of buying products from your website, so make sure that they have an awesome user experience on your site by making your site informative and useful. You could even have your own Youtube channel and link those videos to your website.
There have been many sites which have gained popularity from social media alone and are doing extremely well. So I think we should not end up ignoring this aspect for a great SEO boost. Try all the platforms initially and see what works best for you and then focus only on those platforms that seem to do pretty well for your site.
Since many people use their smartphones to browse the internet, it is important that your site is mobile friendly and as easy to navigate in mobile phones as it is on the laptop. Here, responsive themes come in the scene as they are designed to easily fit into the size of the screen they are viewed in.
I think it would be really annoying if a visitor comes to your site and is not able to understand where the menu of your website is and finds it way too annoying to navigate and ultimately leaves the site. To avoid such situations do check your site on your mobile phones and see if the theme is responsive or not.
Most of the FREE WordPress themes I have used are responsive, although there might be a few which can cause some trouble with image sizes, so it is better to go for a responsive theme in order to provide your visitors with a better user experience.
Site speed is important because no one wants to wait for a few minutes for a site to load. We have a tendency to click on the next search engine result if a page is taking a relatively longer time to load. When you have a better page speed to offer you will provide a much better user experience which would give great results in the search engine result page.
Now to ensure that your site speed is optimized make sure that the hosting server speed is not too slow. This happens in the case of cheap hostings where they dump too many sites on a single server. So make sure that you have some good quality hosting.
Another major factor which could have an effect on your site is the number of plugins. Make sure that you are not using more than 5 plugins because they lower the site speed drastically and can make your site very slow and result in a disappointing user experience.
Other factors which you can control to optimize site speed is use images which are optimized and have smaller file size, choose the plugins carefully and choose the right hosting.
Keep it Simple
This is the last but very important point as you want to keep a simple site with black font and plain white background. You want your visitors to focus on the content and read through what you have got to say about a particular topic. Do not make it look like a Bollywood movie with all the decorations and what not because believe it or not these decorations if not done wisely might again slow down your site speed.
Using banners might look wise but I usually avoid putting more than one , to the maximum I have out 2 banners, that is all. I do not let the banners distract my readers and I strongly believe that you should minimize the use of them on your site. You could earn way more by marketing things the right way rather than making way too less by using banners and Ads.
I hope that you try and keep all these points in mind to optimize your site for SEO and let me know if this post helped you or not!
In the case you have any further questions or comments, leave them in the comment section below and I would be happy to help!