WordPress SEO For Beginners With Our SEO Expert Team – Part 2!
Last week, the SEO expert team at Seek Social brought you the first part of our beginners’ guide to SEO on WordPress. That blog dealt with preparatory work, and laying a good foundation for on-page optimisation – so now in this week’s blog, we’re going to describe the actual tasks involved in page optimisation. These are the tasks that you want to do (or see your own SEO expert team doing if you’re outsourcing the work) in order to have your pages rise as far as they can in the Google rankings, and reap the rewards that a good ranking brings in terms of traffic and business!
As Seek Social’s SEO expert team mentioned above, this is the ‘bread and butter’ of getting a good ranking. Unless these next three items are as good as they can be, you’re literally missing out on free ranking places that could be yours…
Step 3.1: The written content
This is likely to be the biggest or most important single element on your page. As such it should receive the most attention when it comes to SEO too. Thankfully though – at least if you’ve been following the advice our SEO expert team gave last week – you will have been paying attention to certain SEO needs even as you were writing. The most important of these would be keyword density – an average measure of how often your keyword appears in your text. Get the right number of keyword repetitions into a text and it’s a big boost to your SEO score.
If you can find that sweet spot then great – but be careful… In addition to not using your keyword enough, our SEO expert team also know that it’s possible to use it too much – meaning that good SEO is about much more than simply cramming keywords in anywhere you can. Indeed, where you put those keywords is just as important as the overall number of keywords on the page. A good SEO expert team (like the one at Seek Social) will be aware of certain key locations where search engines look for keywords, and be able to put keywords there, making ‘what the page is about’ abundantly clear to that search engine straight away.
Step 3.2: The images
Text content isn’t everything though. Indeed, seeing too much text on its own can put a lot of people off of what would other be a great page containing exactly what they’re looking for. Our SEO expert team will all freely admit to clicking off a page in the past, simply because we didn’t have time to read all of the text on it. We bet you’ve done it as well, and here’s the kicker – Google and the other search engines know that this is what people do too.
As a result, putting together a page including a ‘textwall’ is REALLY bad for your SEO. Any long pieces of text content (like this very blog for example) need to be broken up with images, videos, or other multimedia elements. For one thing, adding in other elements will make it less boring for the reader to get through – but as any good SEO expert team should know, using images in particular also provides another opportunity to boost a page’s SEO score.
That opportunity comes in the form of ‘alternative texts’. Also known as ‘alt texts’ (after the ‘<alt>’ tag that identifies them in a web page’s code) these are short descriptions of whatever an image depicts, but given in text form, and they’re used by tools such as screen readers to help visually impaired people understand and navigate around a website.
You will receive a boost to your SEO score if you can use a page’s keyword in the alt text for an image on that page – but again, you must be careful. Intentionally misdescribing an image so that you can use your keyword is very much frowned upon by search engines – not to mention unethical for the SEO pro that does it – and as such could earn you a penalty from certain search engines too.
Step 3.3: The ‘Snippet’
Everyone who’s ever performed a web search has seen a ‘snippet’. It’s that familiar chunk of text including a big blue line, with a web address and a black description underneath it. Our SEO expert team know – and your SEO expert team should too – that just like in a text, there are certain key places in the snippet that will earn you an SEO boost if you can include your keyword there.
Though it’s only a few lines that will only be seen by people on search engine results pages, without a doubt the snippet is a key part of your page when it comes to SEO. Because they’re not part of the on-page content it’s all too easy for these to be overlooked – and yet, because they are what search engines themselves use to show your site to others, it’s also easy for poor snippets to do a lot of damage to the rankings of otherwise well-optimised pages.
How important are they in Seek Social’s estimation? Lets just say that the lead SEO writer on our SEO expert team always starts any page’s SEO work with the same two tasks: First, he finds an awesome keyword to use, and then – before even touching the main body text or images – he optimises the snippet. That’s how powerful they can be folks!
Step 4: Raise awareness
Having an informative, well optimised and visually appealing page is great, but if nobody knows about it, then what’s the point of doing all that work we just talked about? Once the on-page optimisation is done, you need to spread the word about this awesome new webpage you’ve created – and our SEO expert team detail how you go about doing that below…
Step 4.1: Submit your sitemap
This is a key action when it comes to raising awareness of your new content online. If you resubmit your sitemap when you have a new page well optimised and ready to go, the various search engines will come and crawl it then and there. If you don’t, your new page will remain ineligible to appear in search engine results until each individual search engine runs it’s next periodic check of your site, and realises that there’s new content to be indexed.
For more information on the impact of sitemaps on SEO as well as the crawling / indexing process pages undergo to become eligible to be returned in search engine results, our SEO expert team recommend that you take a look at Seek Social’s definitive guide to sitemaps once you’re done with this guide!
Step 4.2: Post on social media
Social media is another great way to get the word out there about your awesome new webpage – However, our SEO expert team know that again, you need to be prepared and go about things the right way.
You’re posting for business purposes, so above all keep your ‘business’ hat on and make sure your post stays true to your business’ brand and voice. You should also put some thought into when you post – follow what your analytics data tells you and post just before your audience’s hours of peak activity. That way, your post is ready and waiting towards the top of their feed when they check in on social media. And if you’re not sure what the analytics data is telling you, an SEO expert team like ours will be happy to translate for you!
Lastly, you might also want to post about it in social media groups relevant to your business, or the topic of your page. Groups like this are a ready-made source of people who are more likely to be interested in what your page has to say, so getting that page in front of them could well yield good returns in terms of engagement and backlinks that will help your ranking.
Step 5: Ongoing maintenance
One mistake that we see a lot of people make is thinking that once a page or site is optimised, it’s optimised forever. Far from it folks – as our SEO expert team can tell you, SEO is an ongoing task and saying well up in the rankings takes regular monitoring, ideally by an SEO expert team like ours. Why is this though? Read on, and let Seek Social enlighten you…
Step 5.1: Stay on top of the algorithm
Any SEO expert team should know that all search engines are governed by algorithms. These algorithms determine what a search engine likes and what it doesn’t, and crucially, these algorithms change. Such changes are made to improve the chances that a user will find what they’re looking for at the first attempt (the ultimate goal of any search engine), or to remove exploits and underhanded tactics giving sites good rankings that they don’t deserve.
That’s great for everyone as a user, but unfortunately for anyone responsible for SEO work or carrying it out, it also means that search engines essentially ‘move the goalposts’ on a regular basis… What worked like a charm last week might be less effective (or even harmful) this week. As a result your SEO expert team needs to stay up to date with algorithm development. They need to know when these updates are coming, and if possible what’s in them, so they can optimise well for the new algorithm and mitigate against any negative impact it might bring to your site.
Step 5.2: Install useful plugins & keep them updated
There are a number of tools out there – both for WordPress itself and for browsers like Google Chrome – that can help your SEO expert team do good work on your site. From keyword analysis to how much search engines trust your site, there’s not much you can’t find out these days.
Exactly what tools and plugins work best for your SEO expert team and your site, we can’t tell you – but what is important is that you keep them all up to date. If you don’t do so then (especially with the WordPress ones) you could open yourself up to problems ranging from plugin conflicts to hacking…. Either way, it’s bad news for your site.
Step 5.3: Evaluation of performance
Finally for today, don’t forget that once you (or your SEO expert team) have done some SEO work, you need to go back to it afterwards and examine whether or not it actually worked. In order to do this effectively then you also need to have identified beforehand which KPI’s are important to you, and what results you would consider as ‘successful’ for each one.
If your work yields results meeting those expectations, then that’s great – keep on going! If not, then be honest with yourself – learn from the results that you do have, go back to the drawing board if necessary, and come up with a new SEO strategy based on your findings.
Our SEO expert team’s Final Word
If you’re really struggling to improve even after the advice presented in this guide, then why not call in the SEO expert team from Seek Social to help you? Our Google-certified SEO experts have years of experience under their belt, along with proven methods and tactics that will boost your ranking the right way, and yield real progress. Find out more about our SEO expertise, or any of the other digital marketing services we provide by calling 0161 761 1800, or reaching out to us on Facebook or LinkedIn today!