Learn SEO For Dummies – A Simple Guide
Learn SEO For Dummies is a post that is going to make everything about SEO seem simple. There is so much information out there about it and how important it is but boy do they make it confusing.
1. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. What this means is that whilst you have a blog or a website intended for your readers you also have to impress the search engines too. Why? Because it is the search engines that will give you lots of organic traffic to your site. This means less time promoting yourself on social media and less money on ads. Organic traffic is free traffic.
2. Make sure the search engines can find you. If they cannot find you they cannot index you or your posts and if they cannot do that they cannot rank or show you in their search results. Making sure they know you exist is simple. Read my post on Google analytics and Webmaster tools for a Step By Step Guide. If you don’t do this then the rest of what I have to tell you is irrelevant.
3. First step is that Google will index your site. You should get a notification that this is done. Don’t panic if you are new it can sometimes take a while.
4. Now you need to ensure that each of your posts are indexed. If you have Google Analytics and Webmaster tools installed then your site along with millions of others will be crawled by Google every day and eventually they will start to index or recognise that you have new and relevant posts to index.
Not every post will get indexed, especially if your site is new or you have only just told them you exist. Google the master of SEO likes to take its time with these things…. groan ! I now have all of my posts indexed within 24 hours, sometimes less but it has not always this way.
Right back when I started this site a year ago. I would get some posts indexed and some ignored. Then at around the 3 month mark and because I was applying the techniques I’m going to show you they started to get indexed within a couple of days. At about 6 months ago Google indexed 22 of my posts in one day…. I had arrived in Google World. Since then my posts all get consistently indexed, however I still have a few posts from when I started that they still ignore despite my going back and updating those posts with the SEO techniques I’m about to show you. Google is a cruel master !
SEO Techniques You Need To Apply To All Of Your Posts And Pages
1. Find And Use Great Keywords
A Keyword is what you and I put in a search engine to find an answer to our questions. Google gives us a list of the most appropriate sites it thinks will help us. If you put SEO For Dummies in the search box chances are it sent you here and to other sites it thought could help you.
A Keyword can be one word or several. Several words are called Long tailed Keywords. Because the Internet is quite full of what we might call authority sites we are often better to try and rank for long tailed keywords. So If you just put in SEO you probably wouldn’t have ended up here.
The Keyword is a vital ingredient for SEO and you should invest some time, if not money in finding the good ones that you could rank for. Read my post on Keyword tools to give yourself a heads up on how to find them. I know many bloggers suggest using enticing, funny or engaging titles for your post but you are highly unlikely to search for “ My Rewarding Journey to SEO Success” It might get you Social media visits but Google won’t rank you for titles like this. So please don’t use a title like this for your posts. You need to be an authority site in your niche to get ranked for titles like that.
The Keyword should be in your title ( you can add an extra incentive to read like I have ) but the Keywords need to come first. You should use your keyword in your first and last pararagraph and where it fits again in the natural flow of your actual post. 3 times is the general consensus. I personally only use it again if it naturally fits in. One of your keywords should be put in bold.
2. Use images Within Your Posts
Images and a video if you can are vital components of any post. It helps the reader by breaking up the text and they give information to the search engines to determine what your content is about. Please make sure you give the images a title that reflects the image and more importantly an Alt tag. I always use the title of my post for this.
3. Make Sure Your Post Is A Reasonable Length
I always aim for at least a 1000 words as a bare minimum. The search engines recognise longer posts as being more useful to the reader.
4. Use Headings
Google will not like a sea of text. It will recognise that you have used headings and therefore are responding to different areas of the subject you are talking about.
5. Always Add A Meta Tag
With WordPress you will find the meta tag at the end of your written post. The Meta tag is what will be shown in the snippet alongside title in the search engines. I personally use All in One SEO on my website and it fills in my title and Meta tag for me from the first paragraph. I sometimes change it to make the post more enticing to the potential reader but it should always contain your keywords.
6. Make One Of Your Keywords Bold
I don’t really have much else to say about this except that it is another clear message to the search engines that your post is about the subject someone is searching for.
7. Include Links
All of your posts should include internal links to other relevant posts on your site. If you are just beginning you may not have too many posts to link back to but as you progress and the more you write then the easier this will become. You should also include an external link to an authority site. I generally take the subject of my post like SEO and link it to Wikipedia’s page about it.
What To Do After You Have published Your Post
You will probably want to promote it on social media to gain traffic but you should do three other things that will help with your SEO.
1. Promote Your Post On Google +
This belongs to Google so it makes sense to have an account with them and promote it there. The Google algorithm will recognise this when ranking your post.
2. Tell Google You Have A New Post
Go to your Google Console and click on the Crawl button on the left menu and then choose Fetch. You then enter your post url but remember to remove your domain name and then press fetch. This will bring up the option to request Indexing. I always request indexing on desktop and Smartphone.
You should really have installed Bing Webmaster tools as well as Google and you should also submit your url there too.
3. Get Comments
The more comments you have on your posts the more the search engines realise it is helping people and getting engagement. This will help with your rankings in the search engines.
Getting comments can be quite difficult. Within Wealthy Affiliate where I host my websites we have a comments system where we leave two comments and then request one. This works really well for all of the members. There is also a thread where we can leave our post and request comments. We then return the favour to those who comment.
If you are not in Wealthy Affiliate my Advice is to join Facebook Groups and make use of the threads there where you can request and leave comments. You can get my list of Fabulous Facebook Groups here.
A backlink is another website linking back to your website or a specific post on your site.
I couldn’t leave this one out as despite the fact that backlinks cause some controversy, having them linking to your website are useful and tell Google that others are taking notice of your posts and site.
There was a time when Google ranked posts with lots of backlinks quite heavily but they got wise to the black hat techniques people were using and that the post was not always about what the title said and it usually ended up at a sales page of some sort. Today their algorithm doesn’t rank backlinks so highly but they are still in their ranking system.
Getting backlinks is not that easy. If you leave a comment on someone’s post and put your website in the box, this will be a backlink unless they decide to remove the website from your comment. Many people do, especially authority sites.
You can buy them but please go through a reputable company like FatJoe Publsishing. It’s not cheap but they will get your links on the right and reputable websites. Buying them cheaply is just a waste of money as the sites they link to are not ranked highly by Google. It is the DA or domain authority of the site that is important.
You could also do a guest post on websites though people will charge for this too.You will find lots of people advertising this service on Fiverr or you could do a guest post on my site.You can find the details here. Alternatively you could find another blogger or website owner and have a reciprocal arrangement.
SEO is a big subject and is worth learning. The longer you have your website and the more consistently you put out posts following my SEO rules above, the more your SEO will increase and the more often your posts will turn up in searches. There are million of people searching online every day and you want Google to give your post a high ranking position in relevant searches. This can lead to thousands of daily visits to your posts.
Learn SEO For Dummies should be a post that gives you all of the basics you need to get ranked in the search engines. Sometimes you need to be patient but just keep putting out posts and apply my SEO techniques and you will find your traffic increasing.
I hope you have found Learn SEO For Dummies useful and that you can now improve your SEO. If you have found it useful please give it a share on your favourite social media platform.
As ever if you have any questions or just want to leave your thoughts, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.
With Grace and Gratitude
Please be aware that this post contains affiliate links which means if you click on one and then make a purchase, I will earn a commission but it won’t cost you anymore.