Today I’m going to answer the question “How Important is SEO?”, provide you with the factors you need to consider implementing SEO, and leaving you with a free SEO checklist.
My post will be broken down as follows:
- The importance of SEO
- On page SEO factors
- Off page SEO factors
- What is going to replace Google+ posts
- Free SEO Checklist
Before I continue, I’d like to acknowledge that what I cover here I have learnt over the time I have been a part of Wealthy Affiliate, and it was all brought together in live training seminar I attended on 24 March 2019. I try to participate in weekly live training to keep myself up to date with the latest marketing tools and techniques, and this one had so much great content I felt the need to share it with you.
The importance of SEO
Wikipedia defines SEO as “the process of affecting the online visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as “natural”, “organic”, or “earned” results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a website appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these visitors can then be converted into customers.”
SEO is the thing that helps your website get ranked in search engines such as google, yahoo and bing. You want this! Not only do you want it, you need it if people are going to find you. In order for your website to earn revenue, people need to be able to find you in search engines.
If you’re new SEO it may be overwhelming. But the truth is it isn’t difficult, and there are plenty of resources that will simplify it for you, and make it easy for you to do yourself.
You do not need special software to do it other than a plugin, and you do not need to hire a SEO professional to do it for you.
The plugin that I use is “All in one SEO”. This is for WordPress sites and with over 30 million downloads it’s a popular one. It really does simplify SEO so if you have a WordPress website I would highly recommend All in One SEO as your plugin. Another popular one is Yoast.
SEO is a long term investment that translates into long term profits. It takes time, and it doesn’t happen overnight, especially if you have a new site. It’s important to follow these methods so you rank.
It’s the art of optimising your site so the search engines can read your site, understand what you’re talking about, and index your pages and posts accordingly.
If you have done SEO well, your sites will continue to rank, continue to have traffic, and continue to profit even if you have a break from your site for a while.
When a site ranks in Google, chances are they stay that way … so long as you carry on with the ethical practices of SEO.
The ‘On Page’ SEO Factors You Need to Do for EVERY Post
On page SEO factors refers to the optimisation actions that are done on your website. Here’s a list:
- Proper keyword research – we are looking for high volume and low competition. You need to use keywords that you can rank for. You’re looking for keywords with over 100 search and under 100 QSR (Quoted Search Results). The keyword research tool I use is Jaaxy. If you’re using Jaaxy and the KQI (Keyword Quality Indicator is green – go for it!. There is a free version of Jaaxy that is integrated within Wealthy Affiliate. In my view, it is the best keyword research tool available. Jaaxy also has a paid version that can be used as a standalone keyword research tool that makes the life of a marketer more streamlined and simple, and is appropriate for more advanced marketers.
- Keyword in the post title. This needs to be precise. If my keyword is “top 5 dog breeds for apartment living”, then my title should be “top 5 dog breeds for apartment living” and not “which dog breeds are the best for an apartment”
- Keyword in the meta title. (This is what shows up in the search title). Sometimes your blog post title will be greater than 60 characters. The meta title gets cut off at 60 characters, so it won’t always be the same as your post title. If it is the same as the post title, still put it in the meta title. It is important to capitalise the first letter of each word in your meta title, because it makes it stand out more.
- Keyword in the meta description. This is an abstract of what your post is about. Capitalise the first letter of each word again, just like in the meta title. Get the keyword as close to the start of the description as possible. This field has a maximum of 160 characters.
- Have at least one internal link within the post. Link your post to another post within your site, using words within the content (anchor text). This helps the search engines to crawl your site and read your content. Avoid using ‘click here’ ‘go here’.
- One external link to an authority source within the post. An example is Wikipedia. This shows you are not trying to hoard all of your links. This shows link diversity.
- Alt tags within your images with relevant keywords. When you hover your mouse over an image and you see text, that is alt text.
- Comments within the post along with engagement – get comments on your posts, and reply to comments. Comments represent awesome engagement on your site, and comments add additional content on your posts, and give you the opportunity to respond with even more comments.
- Mobile friendly theme. A plugin called AMP can help with this (although it may only be around for about another year according to Jay!). Thrive themes (link) have mobile friendly themes.
- Fast loading site – this has everything to do with where you host your site, and the plugins you have on your site. Some plugins will really slow down your site and they bottleneck your traffic. So beware! If you’re hosting with Wealthy Affiliate, you don’t need to be concerned with site speed.
- SSL – you need to have a site with https:// Wealthy Affiliate provide SSL as part of their offering.
The ‘Off Page’ SEO factors that are crucial
This is everything you do to optimise your site, that is not actually on your site. Think of this as being done after you post, and after you post.
- Social sharing – Building an audience of friends, and posting when you have a new post. It’s important to share your posts on your social networks. Be social about it! Don’t just post your links though, write about it, be friendly, try to create engagement. Use the social networks that use for your audiences. Use what works for you and your audiences. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Webtalk. Jay gives Webtalk about 8 months!! I use Webtalk and my golly gosh and I am spammed left, right and centre. Interact with your audience. Build your brand. Share other people’s content. Reach out to influencers and let them know you mentioned them, they might then mention you.
- YouTube discussion post – this is replacing Google+ posts.
- Naturally occurring back links pointing back to your posts. You don’t need to buy them, but writing good content that ranks will lead others to link to you.
- URL Inspection in Google Search Console (formerly Google Webmaster Tools. URL Inspection is the new Fetch as Google.
- Submit URLs in Bing Webmaster Tools. When you submit your URLs to Bing Webmaster Tools, you are submitting to Bing and Yahoo.
- Creating videos and linking back to your posts. Post the full URL in the video description so it is linkable. Then take your video and embed it on your page. This will increase time on your page.
Any other ways you can get your URL out there! If you’re on a laptop and you work from your laptop, put your URL on a sticker on the back of your laptop and people will see it! They might even ask you about. Think outside of the box about how you can get your URL out there.
Follow this same procedure of on and off page SEO for reviews!
Things to remember about SEO and site rankings
- For new sites, it will take time before you are ranking consistently highly. Domain age and site age play a role. Search engines want to trust your site. They won’t trust you automatically.
- Trust flow – as your site keeps getting populated with regular content, is getting comments and responses, and is getting shared on social media, the search engines will gain trust in your site and this helps with rankings
- Frequency of content improves speed of ranking – the more you post the faster you will rank
- Volume of content improves speed of ranking (but don’t forego quality for quantity)
- Content engagement improves speed of ranking – so getting lots of questions and comments, and providing responses to those comments
If you have any questions please leave them below and I'm always happy to help. Please also share any other SEO tips you use!