Okay, we have all heard of SEO. Unless you are in marketing, it is pretty difficult to really understand what exactly is going on. If you are a blogger or thinking of becoming one, this is a pretty important aspect to know. Although I have an educational background in marketing, this is still not an easy concept. Luckily, through years of using this has given me some pretty great insight. I compiled a pretty simple guide to help you understand SEO aspects, and utilize them to help you out!
What is SEO?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I know this sounds technical, and you may be thinking of just ignoring it altogether. Please don’t! Search engine optimization is vital to traffic for your website. The better your overall SEO is, the higher your ranking is on search engines. If you do not know how to do something, the first thing you do is Google it, right? I could not tell you how many things I have googled in my past, as Cady Heron would say, the limit does not exist. More traffic is more money in your pocket. The only true way to get to that point is to have the traffic, to get attention, and for your readers to choose you. If you are unsure about SEO, then install the Yoast SEO plugin, it really helps the beginners out there.
How to use Yoast SEO
So glad you asked! Get familiar with the post wizard. This has a great snippet preview so you can see what your audience will see in a search engine setting. You can see the post title, the link, and a short description of what you are offering them. The most important section of this is called a Focus Keyword. This is how your post is going to pop up someone’s search. Luckily, this little wizard is going to tell you if you have enough of the keyword in your post, which is also going to help search engines. If you are speaking on something more specific, then you can use something called a long tail keyword. This is usually three to four words that really specifies your blog topic. If you are unsure of what keywords to use, then there are different ways to find what keywords would be perfect for you to use. The smaller the pool, the less competition you have. Once again, that means more traffic to your post!
The important stuff
Seriously, keywords are important. You do not want to completely saturate your content with them, but you want to make them known. It can be difficult to use keywords in a way that seems natural or organic. It is pretty much essential to include them in the post, this helps search engines, and it also helps your readers find your post. Remember, having great SEO will help people find you, and you want to make sure they can find what they came to find. If you are writing a post about your favorite notebook, every other word should not be a notebook.
If you have been blogging, then you know the importance of headings in your content. This lets your reader know exactly what they will be finding in the text to follow. In case you did not know, you can choose from six different headings sizes through WordPress, and Google really likes H2, so this is the one I always choose. I am not sure why Google likes it so much, but I am not going to fight the internet. Your little magical SEO Wizard is also going to tell you that you do not have your keyword in a heading yet, so go ahead and put them in. Next, we have a meta description. This is going to be a short description of your post, and this is going to show up when your post does in a search. Imagine this as a tweet. Make it short, include your keywords, and draw attention!
Don’t forget about your pictures
We all love a good photo, and they are an important part of a blog. Even though it may not seem like these can impact your SEO, they are just as important. Once again, your keyword is coming into play. A title for a photo is important because this lets your search engine know what kind of content is associated with this. You can have a wonderful photo of a pumpkin pie, but if you do not include that keyword, no one is going to find it. There is a smaller section in your photo editing that is set aside for alt text. This is also a way of telling search engines what the photo deals with, and yes, your magic wizard from Yoast is going to tell you that you do not have any alt text associated with your images. So, let’s go back and say that you are making that pumpkin pie, put that in the tag so that it also shows up in an image search as well.
SEO AND LINKS
We all know that having links to a previous article, or a related article is going to allow your reader to stay on your site longer. If you are making a post about marketing, include previous posts that are related to that topic. The same can go for the future, it is important to always go back and make sure that your articles are constantly updated. If there is a post you make a year from now that can relate to a post you made last week, be sure to link it! This is great for SEO, and it is also great for maintaining traffic to old posts. Especially if they are evergreen content. Just like SEO titles are important, your permalink is also essential. If there is no preview or image to your post, a reader will choose to read your post based on the permalink. Make sure to use quality words, and remember to keep your keywords in mind! Good luck on your SEO journey!