There are a few simple ways to improve your SEO without the need to hire a seo specialist. WordPress makes it dead easy for anyone to become a content creator. It is however equally important to make sure people can find your awesome content and this is why it’s important to understand some SEO basics. Fear not though as it’s not rock in science. Here are a few simple DIY steps to boost your onsite SEO.
1. Research your keywords
Keywords are terms or phrases that describe the content of a website. When a user types a query into a search engine, the search engine uses keywords to match the query with relevant websites. If a website does not contain relevant keywords, it will be difficult for the search engine to understand what the website is about and where it should be ranked. This is why it is important to include relevant keywords in the website’s content, meta tags, and URLs.
Using keyword research tools can help identify the most relevant and high-traffic keywords for a particular niche, helping to improve the website’s visibility in search results.
2. Optimise your permalinks
User friendly permalinks let your users know what the page is about. If your url address looks like www.yourdomain.com/?p=123 then it doesn’t really say much about the content your visitor is about to see. Your url should be descriptive and consist of the most popular keywords that represent that particular page.
3. Optimise images
Poorly optimised images can slow your website down big time. There is no need to upload a full resolution image onto your blog post. Use graphic software like Photoshop to save your images in a lightweight web friendly format. You can also use online tools like tinypng.com to quickly optimise your images for the web.
Describe your images the moment you save them. Don’t just upload a file that looks like this DSC_1234.jpg to your blog. Use descriptive file naming instead for example:
Once uploaded give your image a correct Alt description. Alternative descriptions go back to the beginning of the internet when the connections were slower to let the users know what the image was about in case it didn’t load with the page. These days Alts and filenames help the search engines ‘read’ images and understand what they are about.
alt=”Permalink settings in WordPress”
4. Link internally
Good internal linking can improve the overall navigation of your site directing visitors to more relevant content. It also sends important signals to the search engines that these posts or pages are important. A common mistake is only linking to your old posts from newly created articles or not linking internally at all.
Clever internal linking can let Google know what your website is about and it’s a way of helping your individual posts rank higher. While creating new content, see if there are any older posts on your blog already that you can link to from the new post. Don’t just link anywhere within your site. Make sure there is a real purpose for that link to be there. Try to be helpful suggesting or directing users to relevant posts only.
It also pays to go through some old posts you’ve forgotten about and see if you can link them to the new content you’ve just created. Sometimes you will have to rewrite some paragraphs of the old content to make sure you can incorporate a link there in a natural way.
I kind of touched on this topic in my other article about what is SEO. What you’ve just read was an example of how to link internally.
5. Create awesome content
Quality content wins and who knows more about the things you preach then you yourself?
Content is KingBill Gates
Research some popular topics and spend the time creating quality and informative content. Focus on keywords but don’t stuff your copy with them. Write for humans and keywords will flow naturally. While creating new content avoid duplicates. Does your new post sound similar to the one you already have? Consider merging them together creating even stronger piece of content.
Google values high-quality content and rewards websites that provide useful and informative content to users. Low-quality content, on the other hand, can have a negative impact on a website’s search engine ranking. Low-quality content is defined as content that is thin, irrelevant, or duplicated from other sources. Google’s algorithm is designed to detect and penalize websites that engage in practices such as keyword stuffing, copying content from other websites, or publishing low-quality articles.
Additionally, Google also checks for the originality of the content, so if a website contains duplicate content, it may not rank as well. Google will only show one version of a page, and if it detects that many other websites have the same content, it will consider only the one which is the original source.
To improve a website’s search engine ranking, website owners should focus on creating high-quality, original content that is relevant to their target audience. This can include blog posts, articles, infographics, and videos. Additionally, updating the website regularly with fresh content can also improve the search engine ranking.
6. Hide any content that’s not relevant
Chances are that not all of your content is valuable in Google’s eyes. You want the search engines to focus on the most important parts of your website. This sort of pages hardly bring anything when it comes to building authority of your website:
- legal disclaimers
- tags or categories you’re not using
They are important and you want to keep them on your website for users to find them but you can choose for the search engines not to index them. Some of these will simply be off topic if your blog is about pets or cars. Some of these are often empty pages like category or tag pages which is considered thin content.
Tags and categories can of course be used on your website to improve the overall user experience sorting your content into relevant groups. Often though these are forgotten and when clicked on we are directed to empty pages with arvives for that particular given tag or category.
This is a very simple process you can follow yourself thanks to well known SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack. You’ll have to determine first which parts of your website you want the search engines to see.
7. Make it mobile friendly
With the increasing use of mobile devices to access the internet, it’s becoming increasingly important for websites to be optimized for mobile devices. A website that is not optimized for mobile devices can be difficult to navigate and may not display correctly on smaller screens. This can lead to a poor user experience, which can negatively impact a website’s search engine ranking.
Google has implemented a mobile-first index, which means that Google will rank your website based on its mobile version. If your website is not mobile-friendly, it may not rank as well as mobile-friendly websites.
To optimize a website for mobile devices, website owners can use a responsive design, which automatically adjusts the layout and size of a website’s elements to fit the screen of the device it’s being viewed on. Another option is to use a separate mobile version of the website, which can be accessed by mobile users. Additionally, minimizing the use of pop-ups and interstitials, using larger font sizes, and simplifying the navigation menu can also improve the mobile user experience.
8. Get backlinks
Backlinks are an important factor in determining a website’s ranking in search engines, particularly Google. Backlinks, also known as inbound links or incoming links, are links from other websites that point to a particular webpage. Search engines view backlinks as a way to measure the popularity and authority of a website. The more backlinks a website has, the higher it is likely to rank in search results.
A backlink from a reputable and high-authority website can be particularly valuable, as it indicates that the website is trustworthy and relevant. However, it’s not only the quantity of backlinks that matters but also the quality. Backlinks from low-quality or spammy websites can actually hurt the website’s ranking.
To improve a website’s backlink profile, one can reach out to other website owners and ask for a link back to their website, create valuable and shareable content that other websites will want to link to, and participate in online communities and forums related to their niche to build relationships and gain backlinks.
9. Improve your site structure
Improving website structure can improve the user experience and search engine rankings. Additionally, website owners can use tools such as Google Search Console to check if there are any crawling errors or issues that need to be addressed.
Here are some elements to consider when organizing your website structure:
- Use a clear and simple navigation menu
- Use clear and consistent URL structure
- Use headings (H1, H2, etc.) to indicate the hierarchy of the content
- Use internal linking to connect related pages
- Organize your content in a logical and easy-to-understand way
- Make sure your site is responsive and mobile friendly
Conclusions on DIY steps to improve SEO
Bill Gates predicted it back in 1996 when he published his essay called ‘Content is King’. Thin content won’t get you far but creating awesome content won’t get you to the top of Google without the help of SEO. The good thing is that it’s not that difficult and you can do all the basics yourself. Good luck!