So are you ready to take advantage of this ultimate SEO guide? I hope you are because this is an information-filled, actionable guide that you will start to see results from almost immediately. While SEO might not be the sexiest thing in the world, it is vital to the success of your business website and your blog. So let’s jump right in.
First, we’re going to talk about having an SEO-friendly blog design. What does that mean? It means you want to pay attention to your blog design, and what goes into it so that you can have the best possible design for SEO. And the bonus of it? It also makes the user experience better for your readers and customers.
Keep your best content above the fold.
Now we’re going to pretend that this is for a complete beginner so let me explain to you what the fold is. The fold is any content that people see immediately landing on your site. That means they don’t have to scroll at all. Above the fold is exactly what they see when they arrive.
While many website visitors will scroll, as much as 80% of them will stay above the fold.
Set up Your Cornerstone content as pages
We talked in a previous article about cornerstone content and its importance. And while you might think that it naturally goes into a post rather than a page, the thinking on that has changed over the recent years. Since pages are more static, you want to make sure that that Cornerstone piece is on a static page so that it will help your website’s SEO. It will help your users experience and it will also help you resurface content they might be older but still relevant.
Make sure your site loads quickly
Why is this important?
Back in July of 2018, Google released a new update that incorporated page speed in mobile search ranking. And now, Google is moving to a mobile-first search. Which means the speed in which your website loads has a large effect and where you show up in search engine rankings.
If your site is slow, you want to ideally be under 2 seconds, there are a number of things you can do to speed up your site.
- Use a tool like Imagify to compress your images to make them load faster.
- Imagify limits the number of compressions per month, but you can always pay to upgrade the first time, to do everything already existing on your site and then continue with the free access moving forward. (That’s how I did it)
- Use a caching tool like WP Rocket it’s so easy to set up – and they’ll even help you if you run into issues!
These are the two tools that I use and love. I got my site down to loading in 1.6 seconds.
Pay attention to user experience
I know that I’ve mentioned it already a few times in this article, but it is so, so important. Google only wants what’s best for its users. It wants to deliver the best content based on a search query that a user types in, or in the case of voice search, records in.
And because so many users are on their mobile devices, it is so important that your site work not only on desktops but that they’re extremely mobile-friendly when people are using their mobile device or tablet. This way you have a unified presence no matter what device someone is on.
If you want to check how mobile-friendly your site is, click here and enter your website URL.
Make sure you’re using Google Search Console
If you aren’t already using Google search console, this is something that you shouldn’t wait for, you need to do it now. So head on over here, And get yourself set up.
This is the best way to help Google find your site and all of its awesome content.
Simply go through the steps, add your URL, verify your domain, and submit your sitemaps, which we’ll get to a little later on.
One of the great things about SEO is that you can work it into your content in a thoughtful way that doesn’t annoy a reader and doesn’t raise any red flags to Google and other search engines. In fact, you’re probably doing a lot of on-page SEO already. So let’s take a look at the different ways that you can optimize your on-page SEO.
Before you even start writing, you want to have in mind one or two long-tail keywords to incorporate throughout your post.
Now, what is the difference between long-tail keywords and regular keywords?
Well, the name kind of says it all. A regular keyword would be something broad like blogging. And the long-tail version of that would be blogging for beginners or how to get started blogging.
You can see it’s more specific, but it will give you the type of traffic that is truly interested in your content rather than more of a broad audience that may not necessarily be interested in that specific article. Using long-tail keywords that are more specific helps Google rank you for those long-tail keywords.
Think about what your ideal reader would want to get from the content you’re about to write and your long-tail keywords should come pretty naturally.
Make sure the long-tail keywords that you’ve chosen are incorporated into your Title, headers, body text, URL and meta description.
The title tells everyone, both potential readers and search engines, what your article is about. So it only makes sense to add that long-tail keyword phrase into the title. Try to keep your chosen keywords towards the front of the Title, or at least in the first 60 characters.
These are your H2, H3, H4… tags. This should be fairly easy to incorporate your keyword into since these headers are often used to break up content into sections. Since you’re focusing on what matters to your audience, you can use the keyword as a talking point to ensure relevancy.
The URL should also include your long-tail keyword. In fact, you might consider making it the entire URL. To give you an example, this article, “The Ultimate SEO Guide For Bloggers” has a URL of “SEO Guide Bloggers” which is exactly what it is. Although I’ve taken out the smaller, irrelevant words like “for”.
You can edit the meta if you have a plugin like Yoast (which I highly recommend). When editing the meta description, make sure that you use the entire area of about 300 characters and incorporate your long-tail keyword into it. You’ll also want to make it enticing enough to get clicks as this is what will show up in Google search.
You might think that images don’t play a part in Optimizing SEO, but you’d be mistaken. They actually hold quite a bit of weight and are just another of many ways that people can find entrances to your site.
For images, outside of minimizing the size of the file as we discussed above, you’ll want to pay attention to the alt tags you give your images. The alt tags are read by both Google and Pinterest and can help people find your content far more easily than they could without.
When writing content, links are super important. Well as links to external websites, as well as links to your internal content. And my guess is that’s probably not something you think about very often. One of the reasons that internal links are so important, is that you’re taking a reader on a journey. You’re taking them from one article on a particular topic to another article that is on a similar topic or one that is related in some way. And that journey benefits your reader, but it will also help search engines discover that your content is relevant to that topic. Think of that internal link as a recommendation.