Learn how to set up SEO!
Let’s look at how to set up SEO and some of the common mistakes people make every day that effects the success of their blogs or web pages online. Learn how to set up SEO so your website is found.
With the ever-shifting algorithm changes that Google make and the different information that’s available on the web, it’s no surprise that people struggle with how to set up SEO so that their website or blog is found. It’s so easy to lose sight of the original basic SEO and marketing strategies that should be applied when building any website.
In order to learn how to set up SEO correctly, there are 3 easy basic steps that anyone can follow using the various plugins available for free, such as Yoast – which is very easy to use and fail-safe or the All in one SEO plugin – which offers more keywords than Yoast, but doesn’t show live results as you fill in the title/descriptions/keyword areas. If you are building a website from scratch using HTML then your title, keyword and meta description will be added to the head of your HTML document.
Before we look at the 3 basic steps that explain how to set up SEO correctly, let’s look at the 5 common mistakes you may be making right now.
Whether you’re a blogger writing a simple blog or a business selling products online, then you’re going to need good keyword structure and optimisation in order for your website to rank well with Google. A good keyword plan before writing any content should be your focus. All content should be systematically linked to your title and keywords rather than simply delivering topics and waffle. Without keyword research, how will you ever know what customers are looking for on the web?
The biggest mistake people make when creating their blog or web page is not optimising their headers and titles correctly with the keyword or phrases they’ve chosen to use. Google crawls every webpage to determine the quality of content, structure, and information that is available based on the titles, keywords, and phrases within the content area, so if this isn’t optimised well, then how will Google rank you?
Use the correct keywords and phrases that relate directly to your content, but don’t overuse these because Google can penalise you for spam behaviour.
Internal linking is probably one of the most forgotten about practices when considering to learn how to set up SEO correctly for your website. Internal linking gives you the opportunity to create a path to the deepest parts of your website pages and posts that might not have usually been found organically. By simply inserting internal links on your pages will not only redirect visitors to other parts of your website, but this will also help Google work out the structure and hierarchy of your website pages and posts.
Don’t overlook the importance of a sitemap, either. This will ensure all web pages are properly crawled and indexed by Google, Bing or Yahoo, assuming that your URL structures are clean and keyword-optimized.
Correct internal linking
Here are some of the elements of proper internal linking for SEO:
- Creates a path for users to navigate your website.
- Opens up crawling to deep linked web pages and increases crawl rate.
- Defines site architecture and your most important web pages to search engines.
- Distributes “link juice,” or authority, throughout your website.
- Indexes linked-to web pages by the keywords used in the hyperlink anchor text.
Make sure that you use internal links when creating your web pages or posts for good SEO results.
Good copy is imperative for good results and can have a direct effect on your websites bounce rate and whether visitors will return in the future. When looking at how to set up SEO within your content, a good starting point would be to read the copy yourself and ask someone else to read it before publishing. Does it make sense? Does the copy flow? Do the keywords and phrases you’ve chosen relate to the copy or are they out of place – used for the sake of using?
Remember that your average reader’s attention span is roughly around 8 seconds! Make sure you capture their attention instantly, and that your copy directly helps them in some way. After all, the reason you usually write a blog or create a website is either to help someone else and impart your knowledge or to showcase what you do, so do that part right.
Use imagery, use headers to define different areas (headers are also good for SEO), limit your words as much as possible rather than waffling on, and double check your grammar.
This mistake is often overlooked and considered unimportant, out of the number of websites I have optimised over the years I always start with correcting image sizes, titles and alt tags.
This is one of the biggest contributing factors to poor website load times affecting SEO. An image size that is uploaded to your website isn’t necessarily the image size that is shown on the front end of your website. Why would you upload an image that is 800px x 800px for that image to present at 400px x 400px? A quick look at dev tools will give you the correct image size that your website is presenting so you can optimise better for the future.
To use developer tools on windows:
- Click f12 or right-click and choose to inspect – then click the arrow in the box to inspect any element or image size.
To use developer tools on mac:
- Click command + option + | or right-click and choose to inspect
It’s always important to include your image titles before uploading them to your website, too often I see images that are labeled ‘image 45602fgg’ for example which makes no sense to Google or other search engines. Always label your images the same as your alt tags to ensure good SEO practice.
Probably the most important mistake people make when uploading images is to ignore this very useful feature. Alt tags are used by search engines to determine what your image is about and what you’re using your image for in your web page or blog. Because search engines crawl web pages looking for text content it makes sense to label your images using the relevant keyword or phrases that you’ve already used within your web page or blog to inform the search engine as to what the image is about.
Lack of promo
What’s the point writing 2500 words of fantastic rich content filled with great keywords, phrases and well organised labeled images if the content isn’t going to be shared or pushed in the right directions? Web pages or blogs aren’t necessarily going to be found organically just because you’ve followed the correct measures and you’re keen to learn how to set up SEO correctly, it’s a common myth that if you follow the golden rules then you will automatically have the best success, this is not true!
You won’t gather backlinks or social shares without promotion, so it’s as equally important to complete 50% SEO optimisation and 50% self-promotion.
Promote content and allow it to compound over social media:
- Make sure members of your business/organization share and promote a piece of content.
- Contact influencers over social media to share content.
- Request a quote from an industry thought leader to place in your content; advertise this in your rich snippet on social media channels.
- Contact websites that have linked to similar content in the past.
- Submit your content to replace relevant broken links on authoritative sites.
- Run a paid advertisement campaign over social media to place content directly in front of targeted audience members.
Understand which pieces of content perform best over specific social media channels. The most viral content examples include:
- “How-to” tutorials
- “Why” articles
These 5 mistakes are easy to correct and can be done so with the help of Yoast SEO plugin because it guides you through every step until you have correct titles, keywords, content density, good phrases, internal links, external links and much more.
Now that we have looked at the 5 biggest mistakes people make when they learn how to set up SEO so their websites and content are found on the world wide web, let’s look at how you can put these mistakes into practice.
The most important 3 Steps you can take to succeed with SEO
Step 1 – Title
Your title of your web page/blog page can be seen in search results and should be included in your URL of your web page/blog page. This is the most important part of any SEO optimisation. The URL and title is often the first element used to position your web page in search engines. The title should always reflect the subject matter and include any keyword/phrases you are going to want to rank for.
Step 2 – Keyword/Phrases
The keywords you choose can also be seen in search results and need to be used within your title, meta description, and your content. This will influence your positioning and ranking in search engines. By choosing the right keyword this will ensure that your web page/blog page has the best chance of success for your chosen topic or niche. However, you will be in competition with many other websites, so it’s also important to use your keywords in the correct places and grammatically correct, not just for the sake of using keywords.
Step 3 – Meta description
The meta description is a 160 character snippet that summarises the content of the page. Search engines display this meta description in the search results so it’s a very important part of SEO optimisation.
The meta description is an HTML tag and is used to get your visitor from Google to your website. Although Google doesn’t use meta descriptions for ranking, they do take account of click-throughs. So, if your description is good enough to create a good level of click-throughs then Google will place you higher on their ranking list.
Always remember that Google may add characters to the description such as the date, so the rule of thumb for the amount to use is around 135 characters.
It doesn’t matter whether you’ve been building websites for years, you know how to set up SEO like a pro or whether you’ve already built your website and titles – keywords – meta descriptions are in place, any element can be tweaked and changed to make your web pages/blog pages climb higher up the Google ladder, and at any stage.
*Next article will cover 301 redirects so that you can change URL’s to match your newly optimised website.