With billions of Google searches every single day, if your site isn’t on the first page of results and, more specifically, among the top five or so results, well, your site might just be lost in the shuffle. Time to hunt for SEO tips, right?
The fact of life is that most Google clicks are made among the top 5 or so results.
Beyond that, your cool site gets overlooked. Search engine optimization, therefore, needs to be a critical component in your site and blog post design. That being said, there are a few ideas you may want to consider when building your pages and posts. Let’s get to it, shall we?
SEO tips to boost website search rankings
These SEO tips might not be a surprise, but they're worth a reminder. Whether it's your own site or one you're dialing in for a client, there are a few things, SEO-wise, you should always have in your workflow.
While your site might not be one where you can always tailor your posts to the latest trends, the best thing you can do, if applicable, is to do some keyword research to uncover the latest trending keywords.
Look for what people are searching for and write your posts to meet those searches.
Tools like Semrush and Google Keyword Planner are just a couple good places to start your research. This will start you off with what keywords you can include in your post, as well as what topics you might want to write about.
Also, don’t forget to include related keywords throughout your content, too. To find some examples of related keywords, simply enter a search term that someone might use to find your post into Google.
Scroll to the bottom of the results page and you will see related searches. This will give you an idea of what to include in your content.
It is also important to mention that you are best to have a good keyphrase for your post(s). A keyphrase is not just a word that people are searching for.
It is just that, a phrase.
Let’s face it, when you search for something, in Google, for instance, do you just type “animal” or do you enter in something like, “top 5 deadliest animals” into your search?
Just typing “animal” will not narrow down what you’re really looking for the way “top 5 deadliest animals” would. That is a keyphrase, and it will benefit your post(s) to have a good one in place.
When deciding on what keyphrase you’d like to incorporate, keep in mind that you want one that will yield the best search results, with the lowest competition.
Once you have a good keyphrase, be sure to include it in the title, meta description, URL, and somewhere in the opening paragraph.
“I am still confused as to what keyphrase to use. What do I do now?”
Good question. There are SEO plugins on the market, like Yoast, All In One SEO Pack, Google XML Sitemaps, Squirrly SEO, SEOPress, and Rank Math that can assist you with creating keyphrases.
These are free plugins that are available from the WordPress repository and that have upgradable options to include other pro features, for a fee.
How long is long enough?
According to research, the length of your headline and body copy plays a significant role in the success of your post. For example, only the first and last three words of your headline are read.
Brevity is key.
Get to the point with your headline. Secondly, you have to know how much content to write. A large majority of average readers will read a 3-minute-long post. And even more readers will consume a post that takes six minutes to read.
Write according to your audience. Too short of a post, and you risk not getting the placement you want as well as not conveying your message. Plus, Google tends to like longer posts... within reason. Too long and you risk scaring readers away.
Finding that happy medium is all a matter of practice. I tend to write posts on my site that take an average of three to five minutes to read. On occasions, though, I get writer-happy and end up with a marathon of text — it happens.
In case you were wondering, in my mind 2,100 – 2,400 words is the ideal amount, but that is subject to change at any time. But don’t do what you did in grade school and just add words to meet that quota. If you do, you risk losing the reader, due to unnecessary words and sentences that end up meaning nothing.
For example, it’s OK to abbreviate. Don’t try to add words like do not when don’t will suffice. You want to sound human, not robotic or Vulcan. (That would be illogical.)
One cool feature of the plugin All in One SEO (AIOSEO) is that it has a sentence length calculator. It will actually make suggestions too on the optimum sentence length and word count. This will aid you in writing as well, so you don’t overdo it.
Writing your title
Be creative when writing your headline. Creativity can yield a headline that really grabs the potential reader’s attention and results in a click on your site. For example... Top Five Foods
Sounds a little boring, right? How about this instead... Top Five Foods That Could Save Your Life!
The second example has a call to the reader that causes urgency: “Whoa! I better read this, quick!”
My top-ten current power words are: you, free, because, risk free, secrets, instantly, limited, easy, don't miss, new, save, discover, only for, exclusive.
These are always changing, but, as of writing this article, these are among my top favorites. These words evoke an emotional response, called an emotional marketing value (EMV).
A neat feature of the plugin AIOSEO is that it comes equipped with a headline analyzer that makes suggestions as to how to improve your headlines. The MonsterInsights plugin has a similar feature.
Another good practice is to jot down a few potential headlines and get them peer-reviewed by friends, coworkers or family to see which one gets the best response.
A great practice to get into is internal and external linking. When linking internally, you can just link to the alternate page or post, as the reader will still be on your site.
When linking externally, always open that site in a new browser tab. That way your site is still on the reader’s radar and your site isn’t forgotten.
Another good practice is when you link to an older article, be sure to edit that article to include a link back to the newer article. This will aid the reader in being able to hop back to the first article to continue reading.
Considering that the vast majority of the information sent to our brain is visual, included in our SEO tips is a reminder to add images to your posts. Plus, it needs to be mentioned that posts with images receive way, way more clicks!
Also, your image or images will also be indexed.
That’s double the exposure! Not sure where to find images for your post? Try these sites: Pexels, Canva, and Pixabay. Just be careful not to use images that have a copyright — less ye be getting hit with a cease and desist.
Another crucial step to take is to make sure your images are optimized and include alt text. The last thing you need is to do all that arduous work, only to lose a visitor because you uploaded a 10MB file as your header image (aka hero shot), thus causing a huge delay in page load time.
Organize your site
A best practice in WordPress is to utilize categories to sort out the different topics on your site. Instead of just having a menu item called “blog,” break that down into a drop-down menu that sorts out all your posts into various categories.
This can be done first in the categories section, then those categories added as menu items under Appearance > Menu. This makes your site easier to navigate and helps your ranking too.
Don’t just rely on Google to get visitors to your site. Social media is out there and free. In fact, you will receive more visitors to your site if you’ve also shared the post(s) on a social media platform.
A plugin I use to push my posts out to social media is called Blog2Social. You can set up your social media accounts through this plugin, giving it access to post your post(s).
Then, when you publish your post, you click a couple of buttons — and boom!
Your post is published across multiple social platforms in seconds. This saves you the time and effort of having to manually go to each social site and post your content.
I calculated once that it saves me up to 30 minutes a week. This plugin also has a pro upgrade that allows you to post to even more social sites — the default is seven.
I hope these SEO tips help
While this to-do list of SEO tips isn’t all inclusive, it is a good starting point. I advise you to do your research and always look for new ways to market your site.
Whether it be on social media, search engines, advertising via print, TV, or just word of mouth... Keep spreading the word about your hard work. It will pay off in the end. Don’t be shy. You’ve got a wonderful thing going. It’s OK to brag about it.