Your website includes pages and in many cases, a blog. The text and content on your website is analysed by Google and other search engines that people typically use, this is ‘SEO’. This is so that they can display local, relevant and quality results. Anytime you do a search, Google has done its work and prepared the most useful results. The providers of content you’re looking for have done their part too by making content available and relevant. So the question remains, how can you make your website content relevant for potential customers?
Finding ways to make relevant, quality content for your visitors
Though a company blog isn’t the only way to practice good SEO it’s what this how-to guide focusses on. There are many other ways you can structure and develop your website to be better optimised for SEO. If you’re wondering what SEO is then check out this article: Basic SEO (Search Engine Optimisation).
There are some basic rules to play by that make content SEO friendly
When you take ownership of your Shane Bunting developed website you’ll have all your content already SEO prepared. Everything will be set up to already be scratch. This is thanks in part to the Yoast SEO plugin that will be active and configured for your website and content. If you decide to actively create new content for visitors then Yoast will be your best friend in staying within the SEO guidelines.
In short, I will summarise the SEO principles that I stick to in every Editorial and Learn article I publish here on my site:
1. Keep articles 1,000 words where possible
Unless your website has a need to post more in-depth long from content, stick to approximately 1,000 words. This is the sweet spot of an article that delivers value. But importantly does not require a higher level of focus or attention from the ready that risks putting them off. People expect answers fast online, too much wording deters them from your site.
2. Keep sentences to 20 words or less
Building on the first point, short and concise sentences convey your points more effectively. Long winded sentences risk the reader losing focus in what you’re trying to say. For complicated points, why not add a diagram or image in place of long descriptions?
3. Include links to other parts of your website
This helps from a technical standpoint and from a marketing standpoint. For example, maybe you sell cooking utensils. Therefore you know your customers are interested in new baking recipes. At each point of your blog post why not hyperlink a link to some of the products used that you sell? This gives customers an easy way to shop as well as learn – that is truly adding value.
4. Link to relevant external resources
With SEO, relevance and credibility is super important. Search engines crawling your website and its content like to see that you link to relevant and trustworthy external sources. Let’s say you run a travel planning business and publish travel guides on your blog. When explaining the beauty of visiting Paris, why not link to some relevant resources? For example, the bus / train companies, the tourist board and other useful need-to-know helpful information. Search engines are smart enough to know your blog post relates to what these sites are for and this helps your site find customer eyes faster.
5. Tag your articles with relevant and just a few key words
Tagging is an important process that is a topic on its own, just like SEO. What you need to know in short is this: tag 15-20 key words integral to your post. Try to avoid generic words, the more focussed the better. Never put words like ‘the’ or ‘a’. Avoid using words like ‘love’ just because they are highly searched words if it isn’t related to what your post is about. Search engines will penalise you by deeming your content not relevant. Think “if I was looking for this article, what kind of words would I search for on Google” as a starting point.
6. Categorise articles on your website
In order to help people on your site find relevant content use categories. Not only does this help customers on your site, but it helps search engines categorise your content for potential readers. As an example, my website has two main categories: Learn and Editorials. These are two distinct categories of blog posts, which make articles appear in the correct place. As a result, you know where to go for Learn posts and for general interest website articles.
7. Include a Featured Image with alternative text
A features image catches the eye of readers and gets their attention in search engine results, or from a page on your website. Alternative text is a description of what is on the image. This helps users with difficulty seeing understand and enjoy content. Websites that take the time to pay attention to accessibility might be rare, but they currently get massive brownie points in SEO for doing this.
8. Find a focus keyphrase
If you could pick one key word from your article, what would it be? Think of one. Decide on it and ensure it features regularly on your site. But don’t over-do it or allow this to make reading the content dull.
9. Use heading types
Structuring your text and using larger heading styles for titles and subtitles in a hierarchical fashion makes your content easier to read. This also helps search engines cut right to the correct section for your readers helping them get right to what they want to know sooner.
10. Tailor the meta text
Yoast allows you to enter what you want search engine users to see under your website as it appear in the results page on Google or Bing. Think of a few sentences, including your key word, that entice a click from people searching.
How to make these changes with Yoast
When writing an article, you’ll see a sidebar on the right hand side of the screen. Here you’ll find Yoast SEO – with all of the sections needed to keep the above rules in check. Browse through each tab to find all of the SEO settings that you can add and edit. Below Yoast, you’ll find controls to publish, save drafts or schedule your article. As well as categorisation and tag options. As you adjust these, think of the points above to try and optimise your content.
How to know when your content is optimised
Yoast and WordPress have made it really easy. Simply check that you’re seeing a green smiley face beside the ‘Readability’ and ‘SEO’ part of the Yoast panel on the right of the screen. If you can follow the principles above you’ll almost certainly have content that is SEO friendly and ranking well in search engine result pages.
Need more help with SEO?
This article summarises many big concepts of SEO. Think of these as the tip of the iceberg. You might not have the time to get too bogged down in making SEO friendly content – but it’s still important for your websites success. If you need to work with Shane or have your staff work with Shane to get a very good basic understanding, why not get in touch? You can arrange One-to-One Training Sessions to learn how to make the best use of the powerful tools that came with your new business website.