Absolute Beginners: Quick Wins With SEO

Search-engine optimisation (SEO) has some negative connotations and is a complex area to fully understand. However, since most of your visitors search using the Google search engine, you need to ensure your website has every chance of ranking highly in its search results – having good content is a great help, but is not enough on its own.

Your content needs to be well optimised, so search engines can better match the keywords and phrases in your articles to the keywords and phrases people are searching for and as a result, display your content higher up the rankings. At this point, on-page SEO comes into play. The following measures can help optimise your site for Google and help to quickly attract new visitors:

YOU’LL LEARN:

  • How to approach basic SEO optimisation
  • Five on-page areas to look at
  • About analysis tools

What Is On-page SEO?

On-page SEO is optimisation of your site’s individual pages and articles. On-page SEO has become increasingly important in recent years, because Google no longer attaches such great importance to backlinks and other, older SEO strategies. Google is also becoming more and more successful in assessing and understanding the content of websites – so prepare and optimise your content in the right way, and you’’ll enjoy greater success with Google.

Is Quick Success Possible?

A new site won’t magically rank highly in the search engines within a few days or weeks. The engines are designed to operate with inbuilt ‘skepticism’, so that it often takes several months, even a year for a site to achieve high rankings, even in target-keyword searches. Try these five on-page SEO measures to make your website appear in search-engine results as quickly as possible.

1. Original Content

If content, and especially text, but also photos, videos, etc. is as unique as possible, then the likes of Google will recognise it as such. But if you foreground content which is also available on many other sites, Google sees no reason to show this highly in its search results. Also pay attention to the formatting and spelling of the text for readability and an improved user experience. Ensure pictures, headlines, etc. are optimised for search engines.

Usually, only one subject (keyword or keyword phrase) should be treated per article. The more specific a text is in an article, the more relevant Google believes it to be – meaning you will have a better chance of ranking higher in the search results for that keyword phrase. You should not, however, write with search engines in mind. Always write your articles for your human readers.

2. Meta Information

The meta tags of a page are visible only to search-engine robots, but are very important, as the information is used to improve relevance and also display information elsewhere online. This is especially true for the ‘Title’ tag, which is often displayed as a headline in the search results. There is also the meta description, which appears as a descriptive text in search-engine listings. Both should be written to arouse interest and curiosity among searchers.

Also interesting are Open Graph meta tags, which provide important information for Facebook and some of the other social networks. WordPress plugins can help you integrate this information.

3. Internal Links

Good internal links exist primarily to help readers navigate through your site. But they also help engines recognise particularly important sub-pages on the basis of linking. So you should make navigation clear to encourage its use. Also, it’s useful to occasionally link outwards to important and relevant content.

One should link the text thematically where possible and also use the sidebar to include lists of the most popular or the most recent articles. Make your categories clear and easy to find by adding a widget to the sidebar of your website.

4. Technological Optimisation

Engines places great emphasis on an error-free site and short loading times. This contributes to a positive user experience for visitors, too. Optimise your own website performance for speed. Caching Plugins such as WP Super Cache can help reduce loading times.

5. Usability

This fifth point is not so easily measured. Usability, that is how easy it is for visitors to use your website, depends on many factors. At its most basic, though, ensure navigation is clear, logical and easy to find and that your website is easy to read, and has good legibility. Make social-media linking and sharing easy and prominent. Good usability ensures a positive user experience and has an indirect impact on your Google ranking.

Analysis Tools

To get in the habit of on-page optimisation, you can use a number of analysis tools on a regular basis:

W3C Markup Validation Service

https://validator.w3.org/

This provides analysis of a website’s HTML code and tips on troubleshooting any errors.

Google Page Speed Insights

https://developers.google.com/speed/pagespeed/insights/

Helps analyse the performance of your website, with useful advice to improve it which you should implement.

OnPage.org

https://en.onpage.org/product/free/

A free way to analyse a website thoroughly to find problems and to optimise it for successful search.

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