SEO for Beginners: A Checklist To Increase Your Website Ranking
It can be discouraging when you've worked so hard to create a website for your business and hardly anyone is viewing it. You might start to question if your new idea or venture is even worth it. But do not fret! Sometimes all your business needs are the right people seeing your stuff and then bam! But how do you find those people?
Let me introduce you to SEO. Search Engine Optimization is where you work hard to increase the quantity and quality of traffic to your site through organic search engine results. The part of this definition that I like the most is the quality part. Not only do you want to have tons of viewers, you want them to be people who want to be there. Not just anybody. You want converts.
The first thing you gotta realize is that Google is your public relations. If you give it all the information you need to get the word out, it works to bring people to you. So become good friends. Google has a few requirements in order for it to post your website in the first 10 options when someone searches the web. You need to make sure you have these all figured out so that you don't end up on page 2 of the search.
Here is what Google looks for:
Key words strategically placed
There are certain words that people search for on the internet and Google takes that information and keeps track of how often and how many people search for these words. Google then searches through different webpages for these words. It looks at the web url, content, headers, image file names, and titles. You want to choose keywords that are popularly searched, yet haven't been overly used by websites. One way to figure out what words to use is by using the Keyword Planner.
Well ranked + mapped website
One fo the best ways to make sure that your website is mapped out and ranked well for Google is to use a host that does this all for you. Squarespace includes this in their packages. If you use Wordpress, you can import a plugin that can do this for you as well. Basically what this does is makes sure that the structure of your website is organized neatly so that Google can easily read it.
consistent blog posting
One way to add more keywords and to create new content for your website is to have a blog. If you decide to include a blog in your website, you want to make sure that you not only include those keywords, but be consistent in your writing. This doesn't mean that you have to write every day. Just choose a frequency and stick with it, whether it is once a week or 5 days a week.
Good speed + mobile readiness
Have you ever opened a webpage only to find that it takes too long to load? Annoying right? Well, Google thinks the same thing when it searches for keywords. If a website takes too long to load and isn't mobile friendly, it moves on to the next website for the information it is looking for. You either want to find a host that takes care of this for you, or make sure to import plugins or create code that will speed up load times and create mobile friendly pages.
Reliable back links with related content
So what exactly are back links? Just like when you have to go out and meet new people and make connections, your website needs to make connections as well. When someone shares your website on theirs with a link, viewers can then go to your website. The ideal way for your website to be back linked is from a website that is reliable (has high traffic) and has content that is related to yours. It will take less time for Google to find your website if other websites that back link yours have similar keywords and topics.
Internal + external Links
Not only is it important to have others back link to your site, it is important for you to have internal and external links. Internal links are the ones where you share a link to another page on your site. For example, if you refer to a past blog post in a current one, you can either insert a button or create a hyper link. External links are those that refer viewers to other webpages from your website.
When creating blog content for your site, it is important to have at least 400 words in each post so that Google sticks around to check out your content. Ideally, you should have around 700 words and no more so that you keep Google looking long enough but not too long so that it gets bogged down. For posts with in depth content or a tutorial it's ok to use 3000-4000 words.
Keywords in Image file name
I know that I mentioned this earlier, but it's something that can be easily missed or forgotten. It's important to rename your image files with keywords pertaining to what is in the images you will be sharing on your website. Google can't see what is in your images so you need to include words to describe them. This is very helpful for using on PInterest as well! I should also mention is that you should include keywords on the actual images as well. You don't have to do this for every one of them, but it does help Google and those searching for information on Pinterest.
These are just some of the things that I've learned over time about SEO and I hope they are helpful for you as well! One thing you should keep in mind is that it takes time to see results. The more consistent you are with applying these guidelines, the better your SEO will be over time. Google and your target audience will find you in time. I am currently researching more in depth ways to increase website ranking through search engine optimization, so I will be sure to share more in the future. If you have any questions or need clarification, please don't hesitate to leave me a message in the comment section below.