Nothing can improve your website reach more than you telling people to visit it, but there are things you can do to improve the ability of people to find your page when they are looking for your services using SEO.
SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization, which doesn’t really explain much. It is an umbrella term that explains how you leverage your website to be found naturally, or organically (without paid search).
Some of the items you can fix easily, without any programming knowledge. Other issues will have to be addressed with your website host or developer. We’ll start with the easy ones that you can control.
H1 is the HTML word for the most important heading on your page. You should have an H1 Heading on every page and it should be descriptive of the information on the page. It can be a phrase or short sentence and should be 50-65 characters long. There are many WordPress plugins to help you audit the SEO factors. Yoast SEO is a popular plugin, but I prefer SmartCrawl by WPMUDEV. WordPress will automatically assign the title of your page with an H1 tag.
Content is the Bread and Butter of your SEO 300
The minimum content length you should shoot for is 300 words per page. Without words, your pages and posts will have a hard time ranking for your keywords. As a base for any article best practice suggests a minimum of 300 words, with 1000 being a good benchmark and 1600 is optimal. Numerous studies have uncovered that longer content tends to perform better than shorter content, with pages having 1000 words or more performing best. Optimizing your content for search engines is what you’re going for, a proven bi-product is that high-quality long-form articles also tend to get shared more on social platforms.
Use of your keyword
- Make sure you use your keyword in at least one sub-heading. A sub-heading is H2 or below in HTML lingo. If you write a blog you probably know how to change a sentence into an H2 tag. If not, you can easily Google it.
- Make sure you use your keyword phrase in your page title (H1 tag).
- Use your keyword phrase in the first paragraph of your page.
- The use of your keyword should be between 1% – 3% of the words on your page. No keyword stuffing!!!
- Use your keyword phrase in your meta description
- Use your keyword phrase in at least one image on your page
The Meta description is a short description of the content on the page. It is shown on Google search results along with the title of the page. Your meta description should be 135 – 300 characters long.
Add Alt Text to your Images
Alt Text, or Alternate Text, are the words that go with your images to Google. Alt text was implemented to help people with sight impairments to navigate and “see” the images on a website. Google started to use that feature to help the search algorithms. You can add the “Alt Text” to an image when you upload it or later from the Media Library on your WordPress website.
Some of the things you can do, or ask your Webmaster to do:
Have an SSL Certificate
Google will punish a website without an SSL certificate. Not only will not having an SSL certificate mark you down in the search rankings. It will also negatively impact your trust rating with users.
Have your server use HTTP/2
HTTP/2 enables more efficient use of network resources and a reduced perception of latency by introducing header field compression and allowing multiple concurrent exchanges on the same connection.
Use WebP image formats
WebP compression uses predictive coding to encode an image. Predictive coding uses the values in neighboring blocks of pixels to predict the values in a block and then encodes only the difference. We use Smush Pro software to compress images and serve them in WebP format. “Serve images in the next-gen format” is a Google Page Speed recommendation.
Ensure your links have descriptive text
Descriptive links provide users with the proper context of where clicking on the link will take them. This helps search engines and people with sight impairment. Screen reader users often navigate websites using the tab key, so providing descriptive text on buttons and other links is necessary.
Add links to your page
Your goal should be to include external links as well as internal links. An external link is to another page on a different website. Standard practice is to set these links to open on a new tab. You should also include rel=”noopener” to the external links which will keep your website safe. An internal link is to content on your website. You should add these in your articles to point to other articles and pages on your website that would be helpful for your readers. We normally open these links in the same tab. Google likes it when people spend more time on your website and when you lead people to more content.
There are many more technical attributes that your webmaster can use to help improve the SEO of your website. We have specialized tools to dig deep into the website and server characteristics to make the most of your SEO efforts. But, the biggest bang for your buck will come from your efforts to make your content clear, readable, and interesting.