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You don’t have to be an SEO expert to boost your site ranking with search engines.
In this article, I’m going to walk you through some basic SEO tips to help you improve your website and increase your search ranking.
I’m not an SEO professional but I’ve learned all of these tips through years of research and practice. This list is by no means exhaustive, but these are all things that are easy to D.I.Y. without the help of a tech wizard.
Follow these tips and you will improve your chances of ranking highly on Google.
Optimize your site for SEO
Add the Yoast Plugin
If you haven’t already installed this plugin — do it now! The Yoast plugin makes it easy to optimize your site. The best part is that it is FREE. It takes awhile to learn how to navigate all the features, but the Yoast Website has plenty of posts and videos to show you the ropes.
Add Keywords to Your Sitename
When you search for your site in google, what do the search results look like? Do you get an informative site description or is it totally bare bones? You can use the Yoast Plugin or your WordPress Customizer to add keywords to your sitename. Here is how my food blog looks when it comes up in search. Nice right?
I’ve created a quick Youtube video to show you how it is done, with or without the Yoast plugin.
Make Your Site Easy to Navigate
Make sure your site is easy to navigate. User-friendliness is super important. Is it easy to find the important information? Is it clear what your site is about? Simple is often best.
Make Your Site Fast Loading
Does your site load quickly E-commerce and other content rich sites like food blogs are often slow to load, but that can be detrimental to your business. There are many things you can do to improve including optimizing images (more about that later) and using a cache plugin.
Make Your Mobile Friendly
If you aren’t prioritizing mobile viewers, you are making a huge mistake. Your site MUST be mobile friendly or you will be penalized by google. You can run a Google mobile friendly test here.
Optimize your photos for SEO
Name Your Photos with Descriptive Titles
When you upload your photos, are they titled with a random string of numbers and letters like DC4679.jpg? Stop it! Before you upload your media files, be sure to name them with descriptive titles. This helps you add additional keywords to your site and increases the likelihood that you will appear in google image search. For example, if you are posting a photo of a gluten-free chocolate cake, change the file name to something descriptive like gluten-free-chocolate-cake.jpg. Google will read those keywords when it is searching for relevant content.
Add Alt Tags and Descriptions to Your Photos
Take things even further by adding alt text and descriptions to your media when you add it to your library. If you look at the example below, you can see how I’ve added additional details to the alt text field and the description. Not only is this good for your SEO, adding alt text is important for making your page accessible. If a vision-impaired person is visiting your site using text-to-speech software, they will know what the photos are about because the alt text will be read to them.
Resize Photos for Speed
If your site is slow, photos might be the culprit. Resize your photos before you upload them so they are the appropriate size for your site. Do your best to keep the file size down below 200kb. If you already have a bunch of photos uploaded to your site, consider using a plugin like WPSmush to scan and compress all your old images.
Optimize Your Posts for SEO
Create Shareable Content
Content is key to boosting your site’s SEO. Creating useful, shareable and targeted content will put you in Google’s good graces. Write about topics that are relevant to your ideal clientele. The more people share and link to your content, the better…so make it good.
Your posts should be at least 300 words long and they should be written using proper spelling and grammar. You can make them even better by including links to other relevant content from other websites or other posts you have written.
Be sure to include keywords in your blog posts. If you run a gluten-free bakery, write posts that include searchable keywords such as: gluten-free, wheat-free, celiac, allergen-free, grain-free. To learn how to do keyword research, check out this post from Yoast. https://yoast.com/keyword-research-ultimate-guide/
Write Better Headlines
Use a headline analyzer to help you craft clickable, shareable and searchable blog titles. I like this free one from CoSchedule.
Use Header Tags
Header tags help search engines and readers determine the hierarchy of information in your post. They have an added benefit of making your site easy to read. Learn how to use them in this basic guide.
Specify Custom SEO Title and Meta Description
If you install the Yoast plugin I mentioned early, you will find it really easy to customize your SEO title and meta description for each post. This will improve your appearance in search results. It will even show you a preview snippet so you can see what it will look like.
SEO is a bit like brushing your teeth. It’s not much fun, but the results are priceless. Make a habit of practicing good SEO “hygiene” by following the basic SEO tips listed above. To make it easy, I’ve created a handy little blog post SEO checklist to help you get started. Download it below!