There is so much information available on the subject of Search Engine Optimization, and if you are new to the idea, the words can become quite overwhelming.
You are probably feeling slightly pressured to have your website in front of more people, so you delve into the deluge with great hope, and perhaps you emerge less confident.
I did some research so fear not!
These top tips can help you get on your way, with some renewed belief in your abilities.
Top Tip 1 — Make your images SEO friendly
The words “a picture says a thousand words” is so true, and it goes without saying that an image helps your article or blog post immensely. Using your own images is first prize, but there are resources where you can download free images.
That being said, those images must be SEO friendly. Although Google has become increasingly aware of what the image might represent, search engines cannot “read” images. It is a recommendation, therefore, that every image should have “Alternative Text” and “Title” identifying the image.
I post a bit on my walks to the ancient city of Santiago de Compostela, and I always refer to the images that I use, referencing what the image describes. “Arriving-in-santiago-de-compostela” is my all-time favorite image description so far.
Top Tip 2 — Using your meta description effectively
This, in a nutshell, tells the search engine what your website is all about. It should be naturally worded, and be no more than 155 words.
Throughout your post, and also in the meta description, the use of keywords must be “natural” and not overused to the extent that it is seen as “stuffing”.
If I used the keywords “Camino de Santiago” in a sentence, for example, I would use it as naturally as I would use it, if I were speaking to a fellow pilgrim. Giving the benefit of the doubt to the listener or reader that since I used it once in a sentence, that it would be sufficient enough for them to understand what I was referring to.
Short, sweet, to the point, and obviously relevant to your webpage is the recommendation here. But make it pop with some action words!
Dreaming of…Get motivated about…Make sure to…Be the person you want… for example.
Top Tip 3 — SEO Plugins
For a new user, and a user that doesn’t know the intricate code of developing, the SEO plugin can help with functionality on your website. While robots crawl search engines, people actually have to read the search result, so a plugin can make a real difference to your site’s user-friendliness too.
Generally speaking, your web host will have these as standard to your new website. It is really a “plug and play” install, with your plugin optimizing your website according to it’s features.
There are so many varieties of SEO plugins too, all of which will do a great job to provide you with a framework to optimize your website. Like a fill-in form guiding you through the complexities of optimization.
Top Tip 4 — Keyword Placement
Definitely use your keywords in your post’s title or heading, subheadings, and first and last paragraphs of your content. Overuse is not recommended, and doing so could actually have the opposite effect to what you were looking to achieve.
Content is important, and quality content is paramount. The focus must always be on your reader and aimed at adding value or solving a problem that they might be having.
As search engines progress into daily use and the user’s become more refined, search engines are prone to understanding the intent of the user’s question, and so will direct their question to the most appropriate website.