What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is basically everything you do to make sure your site shows up on Google, Bing, and whatever search engines people are using nowadays. SEO is part-science and part-art. The ideal SEO strategy for you and your site is going to be personalized for you. There is no one-size-fits-all SEO strategy, and this is not a winner-take-all game. Let’s get started.
Why Care About SEO?
Let’s start with a few statistics:
- 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.
- 75% of people never scroll past the first page of search engines
Most of the traffic on searches goes to the top 3 results. Don’t believe me? Next time you are with someone who Googles something, watch them. See what options they click on. Watch how they scroll and read the options. Do they even get past the first few options? Probably not. Do they go to the second page? Absolutely not. If it’s not on the first page, it doesn’t get seen. Period.
Therefore, we need to get as close to the top of the search results as possible. It is key to get into the top 3, as that is where most of the clicks happen!
To Start, Some Nuts and Bolts
On your website, you need to get a SEO plugin. This is going to help you optimize your site for a search engine, and is going to help you through the process. We use Yoast, which integrates extremely well with WordPress. We highly recommend Yoast, but if you have a preferred plugin, go ahead and use that.
Tell Google and Bing who you are. This is a necessary step for search engines to understand that you are a legitimate website. You will verify using the links below that you are owners of your site. Once you confirm your ownership of the site, you will get a verification code from Google and Bing, which you will give to Yoast to help with the SEO improvement (on Yoast this is under Settings → Webmaster Tools).
Note, as a part of this, you will probably have to insert some code into the header of your site. To do this in WordPress, first download the ‘Insert Header and Footer’ plugin. Once the plugin is installed and activated, go to Settings → Insert Header and Footer, and paste in the correct code into the Header section. If you don’t want to follow the ‘Insert Header and Footer’ option, then you can insert the code directly into the code of your theme.
Keywords and Keyphrases
What is a Keyword?
A Keyword is the word or phrase that a user will search, for which you want your page to show up in the search results as high as possible. For instance, if you are writing about your new dentistry business, a good Keyword for you to use could be ‘new dentists in my area’. That way, when someone searches ‘new dentists in my area’ your page is going to be shown more prominently on Google.
Note: Keyword and Keyphrase are going to be used interchangeably for our purposes. Essentially, a Keyphrase is just a longer version of a Keyword, however Yoast or any other SEO plugin won’t limit your Keyword to one word. And in many cases, limiting a Keyword to one word would be a big mistake, which we will see.
Keyword Selection is a KEY part of SEO, and outside of content creation is the number 1 SEO skill to sharpen. Keyword Selection could be the reason your blog post gets 10 views or 10,000 views. It seems like a small exercise, but the implications are profound!
What we will call the ‘Tail’ Concept is going to be CRITICAL as we move forward. This beautiful graph explains it very well.
Short Tail keywords are words that are searched often. Think ‘restaurants near me’ or ‘how to cook chicken’.
Medium Tail keywords are searched less often. Things like ‘vegan thai restaurants near me’ or ‘how to bake parmesan chicken’
Long Tail keywords are searched very rarely. Things like ‘vegan thai restaurants near me that cater for large groups’ or ‘how to bake parmesan chicken with panko bread crumbs for 10 people’
When choosing keywords, we will strategically choose whether to use Short-, Medium-, or Long-Tail keywords based on your specific site and content!
We have so much more to tell you about including
- Identifying the correct Keyword for a post or page
- Creating a Keyword Map that will help guide your content creation strategy!
- Optimizing your website for SEO – both for speed and performance
- Choosing the correct slugs and meta descriptions (and what the heck those even are!)
- And More!
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