When I first start out, SEO was super scary for me. What to write, where, how much? Was killing my inspiration before even started. And the meaning of SEO, Search engine optimization, doesn’t help either. It’s so serious and cold, as an unforgiving robot. I was back in school, traumatized to pass tests.
When searching for SEO tips, all I could see was algorithms and checklists and I was like … “I will never make it”. Algorithms? Really? Don’t want an algorithm to write! I wanted a blog to be free to write whatever crosses my mind. For a moment there, I thought to quit all this SEO stuff.
If you feel like SEO is too difficult to follow, and want to give up, don’t do it! SEO is the heart of blogging. What’s the point in blogging, or post something on the internet if nobody finds it? Like our heart pumps blood to our body and keeps us alive, SEO pumps traffic to our blog and business.
In the old days, SEO was a cold robot, would analyze your page to see how many times you used a specific keyword. But let’s say a lot of people abuse and manipulate his trust with unnecessary articles pack up with a lot of keywords only to get traffic. And he raised his standards. So, if you think SEO is just about keywords, a lot of keywords, you are very wrong. Because you can even be penalized if you use aggressive SEO optimization. Meaning keywords in excess.
HOW SEO WORKS?
Remember the old days, when you weren’t interested in blog traffic? Open Google, write a word or a sentence in the search bar and hit enter. And in a few seconds, magically, you received a list of sites. Ever wondered what happened in the seconds between the time you press enter and the list of websites appears?
WHAT DO PEOPLE REALLY THINK OF GOOGLE
Well, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Pinterest, or whatever you use, would visit the whole amount of web pages in the world to check if are relevant for your search. Actually, it’s not how it’s happening. 😀 To be honest, it is google super-mega-smart, and all of the good things, but no chance in the world it can be that fast to make all that scanning and searching in real time.
See what happens when you start writing something in the search bar? Google gives you suggestions. What does he say with this? ” I have this for you. ” Why would Google have content? I mean all the sites are on the internet. Yes, they are, but this doesn’t mean Google will give them attention, a lot of sites are not indexed by Google( doesn’t appear in the google search).
WHAT GOOGLE IS ACTUALLY DOING?
Their first job is to show the user the BEST result.
So, Google searches the web and creates what’s called a cache of your site (screenshot, copy) and keeps on its servers. I think is like a matrix, complicated mathematics involved. Anyway, Google has a big list, just like Santa, with good sites and topics.
When you type in some word in the google search bar, Google will print the list from his server. But the web is large, very large and Google have to decide which sites go in that list. And here comes the SEO. The set of things search engines check to arrange the sites in what order to be displayed.
SEO LIST – WHAT GOOGLE LIKES
Don’t be disappointed. I will not give you an algorithm or a list to check. It’s more like on a date, knowing search engines and what they like. And I hope it will be a big spark and chemistry.
Everyone has a list of things they like. Mine is travels, books, sunrise, flowers, perfumes, and many other things. What do Google and other search engines like?
A link is a way of letting Google know that a page exists. And is no secret that the more links you have the more authoritative your site becomes in Google’s eyes. Why? Because a lot of links means your website is big and valuable since others want to share your content. Even better when the websites that are linking to you are high quality as well.
I know social media is exhausting, but imagine this, you share your link on social media and others share your link, and others share your links from the others and so will be a lot of links back to your site. The more social you are on the net, the more it will boost your website. Even if you are not interested to run a Google+ account or a business Facebook page. Or share your posts on sites like Bloglovin’, Mix or Tumblr. If you want to increase your domain authority, share your posts everywhere!
Other important backlinks are the ones coming from the websites that are well ranked and have authority. That’s why many bloggers leave the URL of the site in their comments. But there are other options than putting your URL in comments such as roundup posts or guest posts.
And that includes internal links by the way. Another way to let Google know that your blog is valuable is to create a “web” around. Create links between all your content with long-lists posts, blog series or infographics posts. Always add links to other pages and posts from your blog.
When you’re using affiliate links or you’re doing a sponsored post for a business. Google will penalize you in terms of search rankings if you’re directly linking to websites where you are or could be making money from that link. To resolve this, you need to make these types of links “no-follow”.
PRO TIP – set your permalinks to post name (WordPress Dashboard >Settings >Permalinks). In this way, your links will contain keywords. WARNING: Only for the new blogs! IF you change your permalinks you will lose the traffic, the old links will respond with a 404page.
2. CLEAN CODE & GOOD NAVIGATION
Clean code and a good navigation will help Google to read your site quickly and is more likely to index you. But if Google has to try to figure out your navigation, and deal with messy code, be sure that a lot of your pages will remain out of the index list. Messy code instead of leading the readers straight to a page or post will take a long road. And sometimes it doesn’t even get to the destination. And Obviously will slow down your site. Taking the long road always takes longer.
3. A SITEMAP
A sitemap is a great way of making sure Google can access all your content. WordPress XML sitemap also tells search engines which links on your website are more important than others and how frequently you update your website. While sitemaps do not boost your search rankings, it allows search engines to better crawl your website.
4. GOOD CONTENT
Have you ever wondered what it means good content? What kind of content search engine likes? Don’t imagine that Google actually read your posts and appreciate your skills in writing. For Google good content means:
- long and useful posts – Publish long post, 2000 word that covers in depth a topic
- well-organized content, easy to read – Break up the writing in your blog post by adding headings to show what you’re writing about. Search engines like headings!
- good images with alt text – Add your keyword in the ALT of the image.
- user-friendly permalinks ( the URL for that post) – To change your permalink on WordPress, you’ll see it right under your post title in the post editor with an ‘edit’ button.
- first paragraph – Google wants your first paragraph to be like a trailer for your post. Use your keyword and make the topic clear. Thus, readers will know what to expect.
- titles – must describe the page’s content accurately, be short, informative and unique for each page.
- meta-description – Google’s advice is to not focus too much on these, as many of the snippets Google chooses are dynamic and not pulled from your meta descriptions but still you can have a good meta-description. Summarize your content with unique descriptions for each page.
- keywords – the words and phrases that searchers enter into search engines, also called “search queries” or the google search bar 😀 As a website owner and content creator, you want the keywords on your page to be relevant to what people are searching for so they have a better chance of finding your content among the results.
HOW TO USE KEYWORDS
It’s no good just throwing keywords on your page. Creating compelling content is about providing real value for real people, not just sending hints to our robot friends at Google. Use keywords only as they are truly relevant to the subject matter and in a manner that makes sense to the average user. Over-optimization of keywords can affect your ranking.
WHERE TO USE KEYWORD
- DESCRIPTIONS, META-DESCRIPTION
- IMAGE ALT
- FIRST PARAGRAPH
5. NEED FOR SPEED
For search engines, better results and performance is a sign of a healthy site that pleases customers and therefore should be rewarded with a higher ranking. You should work on making your site as fast and accessible as possible.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR WEBSITE LOAD FASTER ?
- Choose your hosting provider carefully
- Optimize your images
- Reduce the number of plugins you use
- Delete spam comments
- Use a caching plugin
- Show 5 or less blog posts on a page
- Show the excerpt of posts
- Delete unused plugins and themes
6. MOBILE OPTIMIZATION
Here’s the thing: your site should be mobile-friendly. In fact, this might just be your number one priority. If you want to improve your SEO, you have to make sure that your website offers users an excellent mobile experience.
Since our world is increasingly mobile-oriented, the mobile-optimization is not an option anymore. If your site is not, or not properly, available for mobile users, you are going to miss out on a decent ranking in the search engines and thus miss income.
HOW SEARCH ENGINE WILL RANK YOUR CONTENT
Google simply measures how users interact with your content and rank it accordingly. The two things that search engine focus on are:
- How long someone spends on your page
- The percentage of people that click on your result
The thing is, is not enough to put your links everywhere and make other clicks on your site. Because if your content sucks and is not at the subject, the readers will leave your site and the Google will move your website down on the list even if you have a lot of links all over the internet.
To avoid this, not promote what you can not offer. It is better for a small number of people to click and stay until the end of the post because it is what they searched for than a lot of people to click and leave immediately. This way you will build your trust.
Keep in mind that it’s the cache of your site that’s searched, it’s also the cache that will affect your rankings. So, given it will take a while for any new content you add to show up in the Google rankings. To make sure your site is cached as often as possible, add more content. It’s good to have a routine when posting, this way Google will make a routine to update your cache and your site will be always up to date.
So my advice, don’t force anything. Don’t write your articles under pressure with a list to check. Search engine loves good and natural content and SEO checklist is logical if you think a bit. Take your time to understand your readers and search engine. Write your posts the way would like them to be written.