WordPress SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is a powerful way to increase your online presence. In its simplest form WordPress SEO is a way to improve your rankings in Google, kind of like circling your content with a beautiful pink highlighter. While it can seem intimidating, WordPress has numerous ways to make this a simple process, even for beginners. I could write an entire book on SEO, but for this post we’re going to focus on quick wins.
Before we get started, it’s worth noting that high-quality content matters. You can do all of the behind-the-scenes trips and tricks to send readers to your content, but it only works if the content you’re putting out is relevant, interesting, and valuable.
Install Yoast WordPress SEO
Okay, humor me. I know starting off with installing a plug-in might seem intimidating, but this one is super simple and has tons of helpful guides. Yoast SEO allows you to customize how your site looks in search results and across social media. It also gives you suggestions to improve your content (like using the key words efficiently, including more internal links, changing your links before publishing, and tons more). I personally use the free version. This plug-in alone is going to give you TONS of guidance before you hit ‘publish’ on your posts so I won’t duplicate their tips.
Think About Site Structure
I wrote a post last week about site structure, but it’s worth noting here. Many new bloggers skip using “categories” and dump all of their posts into “uncategorized” instead. Spend some time thinking of your site goals and how your content fits together, kind of like writing an outline to a speech or chapters in a book. As an example, when I think of “branding” on my site, it has subcategories of Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
Write Lengthy Content
Many new bloggers fall into the trap of quick, short blurbs instead of lengthy, helpful articles. Your website content should be more in-depth than what you’d share on Facebook or Instagram. I try to strike a balance; most people aren’t here to read a novel. This guide is an example. I joked that I could write a book about SEO, but to be most efficient I’ll break it up into several different tutorials. At the same time, posting just one tip at a time would be too short.
In addition to your content, include photographs, videos, and social media widgets. Don’t just pull content off of a Google search; you must have permission and rights to every image you post on your site. This is also a good time to think about your branding and how the images you’re using fit into your overall feel. Think about images like mine above that are great for pinning! Also edit the “alt tag” on your images to describe the image in relevant terms.
Share Internal + Outbound Links
This is another easy one. Think of your website as part of a busy community and not an island. Your goal is to get traffic to your site and make connections. You can help Google and other search engines “crawl” your site by providing internal links from one page/post of your website to another. Then you can further expand your connections by linking to other similar high-quality sites across the web.
Use Social Sharing
Provide your visitors a way to share your content easily. I personally recommend Social Pug or Shareaholic plug-ins. When you make it easy for readers to share your content with a click right under their noses, they’re more likely to hit that button. I also recommend providing a Pinterest-quality graphic for them. Remember: easy, easy, easy!
I’ll provide ‘next level’ SEO tricks in an upcoming post, but for now give these easy wins a try. Let me know how they go!