SEO is the search engine optimization of your website to make it appear first on a search. The most important thing about this is that people who are searching for what you offer will find your site and be interested in it. This means that when they come to your site, they’ll click through all the other sites on page 1, but only yours will be displayed on page 2 or 3 depending on how many listings there are.
This article contains basic tips about SEO for WordPress websites, with specific examples using popular blogging software such as WordPress, Joomla!, and Drupal. If you’re not sure what these terms mean, you can always visit the links at the end of this post.
1. Title Tag
The title tag is probably the easiest tip to follow regarding SEO. You should include your keywords (the ones you want people to use when searching) in the title tag of every page on your website, including those like the index page and homepage. There’s no need to try to get fancy here; just put a few relevant words in the title and make sure it’s descriptive enough. Remember that titles are shown above your pages in search results, so having good titles is very important!
2. Use Long Tail Keywords
If you think that “long tail” is some kind of newfangled internet term, don’t worry – it’s just an old phrase that refers to something that isn’t directly related to your topic, but has lots of interest nonetheless. For example, if you sell custom-made wedding dresses, you might have a keyword like “wedding dress,” which would bring up results for lots of other kinds of dresses, like prom dresses, evening gowns, etc., but your website wouldn’t show up. Instead, you’d be more likely to rank well for long tail keywords like “custom wedding dress” or “designer wedding dress.”
3. Include Your Website Address In All Your Content
You’ve got to do this one right: don’t forget to mention the URL of your site when posting articles and blog posts and comments. It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the first sentence or the last paragraph, the address has to be included somewhere. Google loves seeing fresh content from different sources, and it’s also helpful to visitors who may not know where your site is hosted.
4. Be Consistent With Your Meta Descriptions And Titles
Remember when we talked about making your titles descriptive enough? Well, the same goes for your meta descriptions and titles, although it’s a bit trickier. You want to keep them short but meaningful: Google loves short, meaningful text, and it’s much easier for searchers to scan than long lists of text. A general rule of thumb is to keep your meta description under 150 characters, and your title under 70.
5. Keep Links To Your Site Fresh
One of the best ways to ensure that your site appears high in search results is by constantly updating your links to it. Whenever possible, link to your own content rather than other sites’ content, because Google rewards freshness. That means linking to new posts you’ve written, images you’ve uploaded, videos you’ve made, and anything else you can think of that’s recent.
6. Maintain An Active Blog
Blogs are great places to add fresh content, and they’re easy for searchers to find. As we mentioned earlier, Google appreciates fresh content from different sources, and blogs are one of the best places for that. You should definitely maintain an active blog, even if it’s just to tell people about yourself and your business. Make sure that it’s updated regularly, too, and that you link back to it whenever you can.
7. Add Images And Videos
Images and videos are two of the most important factors in increasing the value of your site for both you and Google. Don’t forget to add images and videos wherever appropriate, and you’ll see a big increase in traffic coming to your site.
8. Get Linked From Other Sites
Another way to build up your ranking is to get linked from other credible sites. Getting linked from other sites gives you credibility and boosts your rankings, and it’s a lot easier than trying to build up your own reputation.
9. Create Good Backlinks
As we said earlier, getting links from other sites is important, but the best type of link is a link from someone who already is high up in the search results. So the next time you hear someone talking about “link building,” ask them which link is better: a link from a low-ranked site, or a link from a highly ranked site? The answer is obvious, isn’t it?
10. Optimize Your Site For Mobile Devices
There’s been a huge rise in mobile users over the past several years, and now nearly 50% of searches are being performed on phones and tablets instead of PCs. This means that it’s increasingly vital to optimize your site for mobile devices. That means adding smaller images, removing unnecessary graphics, and making sure everything works perfectly on smartphones and tablets.
11. Improve Your Page Loading Speed
Page loading speed is very important for SEO. Even though a lot of people don’t really care about how fast their sites load, Google does, and it uses this metric heavily in its algorithm. Make sure that your web pages load quickly, especially the main pages of your site, and make sure that all of your images are optimized for quick loading times.
12. Update Your Content Frequently
It’s important for SEO to update your content frequently, but not so often that you lose readers. A weekly ezine update is ideal, but if you’re running a small business, perhaps once per month is sufficient. Just make sure that you’re not repeating yourself or updating things that haven’t changed recently.
13. Use Social Media
Social media is another powerful tool for boosting your rankings. People share information online all the time, so if you’re actively engaging with your customers, you’re increasing the likelihood that they’ll pass along information about your company to others. Also, if you have a Facebook fan page, you can use that to drive traffic to your website via social media.
14. Submit Your Site To Search Engines
Google, Bing, Yahoo, and Ask.com are all major search engines, so you should submit your personal and professional sites to each of them. Each one of them has its own guidelines, but the basics are pretty simple: just fill out the form and wait for approval.
15. Monitor Your Rankings
Every few months, go check out your rankings and see how they’re doing. If you notice a drop in your rankings, then be sure to take steps to correct any mistakes you’ve made. Otherwise, if you continue to perform well, consider hiring a professional to help you with your SEO efforts.