Finding your Website on Google
This is a guide intended for bloggers, but can also be used by website owners. Bloggers and website managers alike should both possess a minimal knowledge of Search Engine Optimization (SEO), so that their website or post appears when being searched for. This is critical to gaining viewers to your site.
Search engine results make up around 40%-50% of my regular daily organic traffic. Traffic can also be gained via viral means, but those are most likely temporal spikes that will eventually die down. If you don’t build up your organic search , there is no true growth in the long run.
Pre-qualifying conditions: Use a good Content Management System, like WordPress which makes it easy to modify content. WordPress has far surpassed Blogger/blogspot in ease of interface. If you are using free wordpress.com instead of wordpress.org, it is extremely inefficient in optimizing SEO. The latter takes more time to setup, but is infinitely more flexible.
The first major issue of wordpress.com is the lack of plugins. You also can’t tweak various CSS or HTML codes to make changes necessary for say Google analytics. If you are truly serious about blogging, get a domain and a server, then install wordpress.org. Bluehost for example, is a shared hosting server and will cost you as little as $4.95 USD/month. Note this is for low volume traffic. When you have thousands of visitors visiting at the same time, you have to upgrade to a dedicated server or VPN.
On to our quick tips to improve SEO.
1) Install an SEO plugin
I would recommend All-in-one SEO or Yoast’s WordPress SEO. These plugins will provide you guidelines on how to structure your content posts and what to take note of. Extremely crucial. I find Yoast’s especially useful, as it gives a checklist per post on which factors affect SEO more compared to others. Stuff covered includes placing Headline tags, meta descriptions, titles, keyword density etc.
2) Think about what the searcher would type (SEO Keyword selection)
Select your SEO focus keyword adequately, every bit of order and spelling counts. Is it Bedrock, bed rock or Bed-rock? What do people actually type when they search? Avoid using industry jargon as keywords, as normal users won’t type that, unless you are targeting specific users. It is important to do some keyword research on the common terms that people type.
3) Use Long Tail Keywords
You don’t want to just choose short, common keywords like ‘Food’ or ‘restaurant’. These are highly competitive and very unlikely for your site to appear on search as too many other websites are using generic terms. Be more specific, while still paying attention to the longer common terms people use- these are called Long Tail keywords. For my article, I focused on the keyword ‘Famous Local foods to eat in Singapore’, which would yield much better results rather than just using ‘Singapore foods’.
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4) Title your Post Appropriately
Choosing a keyword and a title should go hand in hand. You want an engaging title, yet be rich in your SEO keyword focus. ‘How to..’ or ‘Secrets of..’ are popular choices of interest. In each page or post, focus on only one topic or SEO keyword, so Google knows precisely what your page is relevant about. Naming your page link is also very important- put in the SEO keywords into your permalink as well for best results.
5) Viral Content people will want to share
Content has been widely covered, and is definitely important. The more people view and share your content, the better Google ranks it. Content not only has to have the correct format with sufficient SEO keywords, it also has to be interesting and useful. Think about what your mass audience would want to read about. How does your article benefit them or help alleviate some pain?
6) Create Backlinks
Viral content not only brings you massive views, but also creates organic back links, which is very critical to being ranked on Google. What this means is that other websites are linking to your content/website, and the Google search algorithm ranks sites with inbound links better. Some people also term this as ‘link juice’. Having great content creates natural backlinks, or the hard way is to try and publish your links on other relevant websites. This is probably the most important and hardest step to achieving good SEO.
7) Internal Links
You want to link your own post content to one another within your website. This shares the link juice amongst your posts, and boost page rankings as well. Make a habit of linking from one content to another with a good long-tail keyword as well, not just a 1 word term.
So what did you think of this guide? There are a lot more little tweaks out there to boost your SEO in Google, what do you guys use?