You’ve heard the buzz before, “You need SEO – Search Engine Optimization!” Most don’t know what that means – and that is OK. Today’s post is for you.
When you publish a new page or post, Google “spiders” (automated software) scan the page for “keywords”. These spiders are analyzing everything about that page to determine where to index that page within the billions of pages in the Google search engine. Once you’re in the habit of optimizing your blog posts (and pages), you will see major benefits and a dramatic increase in website traffic.
If you go to Google and search under the keyword phrase “personal development”, you will notice 100,000,000+ pages are indexed in Google. Google will rank a page based on over 200 sets of criteria which can include design elements, programming style, etc.
Since Google is scanning your content, you can see the value of trying to give Google as much “help” as possible. SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is all about suggesting to Google where to index your content in their search engine. If you try to get indexed on the 1st page of search results for the phrase “personal development”, consider that you are competing with entire websites that have dozens (or hundreds) of pages which collectively try and rank (get indexed highly) for that phrase. It would be nearly impossible for one article to compete with those websites.
It will be much easier to rank well for a “long-tailed keyword phrase”. Instead of personal development (a broad phrase), a long-tailed version would be “personal development techniques for young children”. The more specific your keyword phrase, the more likely you will rank highly on Google’s search engine for that phrase. The higher you rank (the best spot is page 1 in the top 5 results), the more people will click on your page/post. The more people that click on your article, the more exposure you get, etc. This will be really fun for you once you’ve optimized a few articles and have seen results!
Every time you write a blog post (4-8+ per month – the more you do it the more traffic and sales you’ll get), I’d like to suggest you implement this SEO Optimization Checklist I’ve developed: (print this off and keep by computer)
- Pick 1 primary keyword phrase and base your article around it (use your findings from Google’s Keyword Tool which I will discuss on my next post)
- Pick a few secondary keyword phrases to support your primary keyword phrase. Write your blog post naturally around these keywords.
- Add your primary keyword within the title of your post
- Add your primary keyword within the first 150 words AND last 150 words (ideally once or twice in the middle if it flows)
- Bold your primary keyword and secondary keywords at least once
- Create a link once in your content, using the text of your primary keyword (to other pages or posts within your website ideally)
- Add 3-5 Tags in the right sidebar (these are your main keywords in the post)
- Fill in the “All In One SEO” plugin title, description and keyword fields at the bottom of the post
With the “All In One SEO” section, you’re suggesting to Google what your title and description should be, which will show up in their search engine results – plus keywords (which don’t show up anywhere – just tells Google which keywords your article should be indexed under). Look at this example:
- The title to enter into the All In One SEO section, tells Google the title of your article (It CAN be the same as your article title, or it can be altered and packed with more keywords – this is up to you).
- The description is for you to summarize your article in one sentence (ideally under 160 characters).
- The keywords field is where you can add up to 20 keywords that must be included in your article. This will have your primary keyword phrase, secondary phrases and some variations of each that you’ve used. Your tags can be entered into this section. You will separate keywords with a comma. Again, no one will see this except for Google.
You have now learned one of the most important pieces to optimizing a page or post (even outside of WordPress!). Programmers and developers all over know about this technique. The “meta” title, “meta” description and keywords should be filled out on every page and post of your website if you want a chance of showing up in search engine results.
Using this technique will give your posts (and pages) much more power than it ever had before. You are welcome to go back into your previous pages/posts to optimize them. I would suggest you write your blog post or page content first as you normally would, then go back and implement some of these tactics. It is not required to do all every time, but each additional step you take does make a difference.
- Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide: http://static.googleusercontent.com/external_content/untrusted_dlcp/www.google.com/en/us/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf
So be honest, was this post helpful? or painfully technical? 😉