There are two types of search engine optimization (SEO) you have to consider and they are on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The following SEO Tips will deal with the on-site SEO basics that are very easy to do and will take no time at all, indeed must be done, as it will improve your sites rankings thus gain more visitors to your site.
Off-page SEO is about the domain age, linking and quality of the links coming into your site. We will look at that at a later stage as indeed it does not come until later, when your site is up and running.
On page SEO is all about using your keyword effectively in various important places throughout your site. Once you have done the keyword research and chosen the keyword phrases for which you want rankings then buy a domain that contains your keyword if you are self hosting. These are the other areas where you should include your primary keyword phrase… Title Tags – Meta Descriptions – Header Tags – Alt text for images.
Keyword in the Domain
A keyword rich domain has SEO advantages for the following reasons – when the search engines see your keywords in your domain name it will automatically be assumed your domain is relevant for that keyword. Also whenever another site links to you they will typically use your domain name as the anchor text, strengthening your rankings for that term.
Ideally your domain name exactly matches your chosen keywords and is a .com because when people type in a URL they often by habit type in the .com. However the chances of getting this are slight indeed so we have to make some compromises such as adding a suffix or prefix to the keyword.
If you cannot get ‘mybeautifulblog.com’ then opt for ‘mybeautifulblog.org’ or ‘mybeautifulblog.net’. A caveat here – your readers type in your domain and mistakenly type in the .com you might lose those visitors, however to get the right domain name I would still opt for .org or .net if the .com is not available. It really depends on how badly you want the keyword in the domain name. You can still brand around a short catchy name but remember it will not help your rankings – but that is not to say your site will not rank well just look at the many high ranking sites with branded names rather than keyword rich domains for proof of that… For example Wikipedia.com
Further thoughts about the keyword phrase as part of the domain. It is not entirely essential, particularly if you want to establish an authority site that encompasses various parts of a niche like maybe gardening, where you might want to provide information about all gardening aspects – gardening hints and tips as well as a section on vegetable gardening such as how to construct and maintain a vegetable garden within the whole landscape. Under these circumstances having a laser targeted keyword such as ‘vegetablegardeningeasy.com’ would be restrictive and you would be limited to an area pertaining to vegetable gardening and if you wanted to move into other gardening areas it would not sit right.
The next few SEO Tips deal with the importance of using your keywords effectively in the titles, the description of your site and the content and images added to your pages and posts.
This is the title that shows in the search results
For SEO purposes this is the most important place in which to put your keywords, in here the <title> tag. The importance of this cannot be emphasized enough because this is the area that will tell the search engines what your site is all about. You should use about 60 characters, no more, because the search engines will truncate any above that number, so craft your title for that amount or under. Try to use your primary keyword first and other related keywords next and try to avoid common words that do nothing for your rankings but take up valuable space, words like – the, and, is, etc
The snippet of text that describes your site and shows in the search results
Again this is an important area so add your primary keyword here. You can include more keywords that are relate, these are called secondary keywords, but don’t just stuff it with keywords, Google doesn’t like this, nor will the readers. When crafting your description make it readable and natural looking and human friendly as this is for humans more than the search engine spiders. Also you are limited with your space and your work- around is about 160 characters for your description.
The plugin called All-in-One SEO Pack is an essential plugin that will help tremendously with your on page SEO; for one thing you will be able to edit your title tags and meta descriptions easily. I will add some details about this in the plugin section.
This is the next most important place for good SEO practices after the title tags, and that is putting your keywords in the header. Your headline should be keyword rich and in H1 format as it is large and considered important. Your keyword phrase should be in the correct order but make sure you write for humans in that it looks natural and appealing. Most themes will make the headlines H1 by default.
Also one good SEO tip is to put your keyword in the first 50 words of the first paragraph of the body text of your article if you cannot get it there, then re-write, manipulate your words until you can and bold it within your webpage source code.
(In the HTML tab you will find the style tags are <b> and </b> or <strong> … which simply means <b> starts boldface and </b> ends it and the text between the two will be bold)
You do not need to learn this although it can be handy to know a little HTML at times, but WordPress will handle this for you anyway, in normal design mode you just select the text that you want to show bold and hit the B key on the fonts bar, or the keys Ctrl+B.
Keywords in the content
Then – add sprinklings of the keyword phrase and related words throughout your body text thus making it very relevant to your topic, however a caveat here; limit your keywords to two or three related keywords about the same as you have in your page’s tag title any more than that and the focus of your page is weakened… if you want to rank for more keywords add more pages.
With regard to keyword density, really don’t bother too much about this, content is really king when it comes to ranking well and getting inbound links. At one stage it was considered essential to have a certain percent of your keywords spaced throughout your article, however it often looked forced which is not good SEO practice and times have changed. Nowadays it is not essential as Google is clever enough to determine what your article is about and as long as you have your keyword in the first paragraph, somewhere in the article and at the end that will be fine.
Also consider this, apart from the fact that unique content is important for your SEO by its very nature it will help your rankings because not only does Google dismiss duplicate content, so do readers, so write for human interest with unique content using terms closely related to your keyword which is called Latent Semantic Index (LSI) rather than keyword stuffing your article.
This means if you are writing about a topic on which you have knowledge you would write naturally and with some authority using words very related to the primary keyword phrase… it is really a process of natural language where you would automatically use words closely related or have a relationship and would naturally be used together to describe an event, or to instruct.
As an example writing here about search engine optimization I would of course include terms such as… SEO, alt, tags, title, headings, h1, h2, topic, content, visitor, keywords, domain and so on… It might be that an art teacher instructing students on drawing the human form so the article might use such terms as: 3 dimensional, form, bold, fluid, composition, Proportion, technique, etc… It will be obvious to Google what the page is about.
Alt Text for Images
While we are on pages, if you use images don’t forget to turn them into assets, not only from a visitor viewpoint but from a search engine optimization perspective. If you put images on your pages or posts you must add an alt tag and the reason for this is that search engines only read text…they cannot ‘read’ images so you tell them what the image is about by giving it an alt tag, this is also useful for visitors. When you tell the search engines via a keyword rich alt tag you are helping your ranking and design efforts … in wordpress when you add images you will get the opportunity to add an alt text, if you forget just go edit the image and then add the alt text where appropriate using a targeted keyword.
You might have noted that the content of SEO Tips did not include the ‘keyword meta tag’. Many people use tags and I am not saying not to use them, but the Google technical spokesperson Matt Cutts stated this is the part that Google does not index as it does not trust it. However, you probably should add some keyword tags when posting, because as far as I know Yahoo and Bing still look at the keyword tags so it cannot hurt to pop keywords in there.
These SEO Tips are all important aspect of search engine optimization that adds up to an efficient and successful web site for the purposes of ranking your site well. I hope this article was useful and I welcome feedback or comments.