What’s holding your website back – let’s have a look.
This post includes practical examples of improving on-page SEO for WordPress users.
However all the SEO information is highly relevant to all websites.
You may need to download and install Screaming Frog
Search Engine Optimisation.
I’ve met hundreds of website owners in my time on the networking circuit, smart people who are experts in their fields – mention SEO to them and you can soon imagine them with lit touches descending on your house in the middle of the night…
…and can you blame them!
There is no denying it – SEO has a bad reputation. Countless horror stories of website owners being ripped of by the snake oil salesman.
Well things have changed and YOU can make gold out of your website.
There’s a formula but it’s not magic – it just requires a good deal for application.
On-Page SEO on its own is not going to bring you success but it can give you an edge over your competition and give the search engines a greater understanding of what your webpages are about. Sound Good?
This is not rocket science, it’s all common sense stuff mixed up with a little bit of tender loving care.
You just need to know what is required and how to put that in place.
You will need to go under the hood however WordPress will makes that a lot easier for us.
12 Key On-Page SEO factors
Firstly lets look at Brain Dean’s [ Backlinko.com ] fantastic infographic. Which lays it all out beautifully.
Then we will go through each item and show you how to implement them on your WordPress site! Sound Good?
Click Image to Enlarge
Source: On-Page SEO: Anatomy of a Perfectly Optimized Page – Infographic
When creating a new page or post in WordPress, before you hit the publish button (okay to save as draft) of your brand new webpage you need to decide what your keywords are.
Ideally you should know before you type a single word, however in the real world we don’t need another excuse not to start writing our next post, do we!
Clearly the keywords should include the subject matter but you are going to need a bit more than that.
Hopefully your post/page solves a problem, is actionable or educates so this needs to be pointed out in the keywords too.
The following information is meant to supplement the information giving on On-Page Seo: Anatomy of a perfectly optimized page for WordPress website owners.
When we create a Page or a Post in WordPress, the name we give it, will (hopefully) become part of the address of that page or post.
If your WordPress site behaves like the example above all you need to do is think about your keywords.
Short and Sweet(friendly) is the general rule.
The URL is what appears in the address bar of browsers.
If your copy of WordPress is not producing short and readable URLs then we need to change how WordPress is generating them.
On the dashboard of your WordPress site: Go to Settings > Permalinks
Now we can see the options that WordPress has.
With a new install of a WordPress site this should be one of the very first things that you do, certainly prior to creating any content.
Signup to my mailing list to receive a tutorial on what is required for those changing this setting after content has been published.
…they appear as the first line on the SERP (search engine results page).
WordPress out of the box will use the text that you enter into Site Title (your brand) and Tagline as the title for your home page. So choose these word carefully.
Google uses 60 characters so it is vital that you use all 60 to their optimum.
So looking at our 2 examples here the top one (home page) has used 59 characters and the
“writing good page titles” has only used 40 so I have 20 characters left to use.
This page has been published so I can add text to the title here without it changing the URL.
…but the main thing is it
Adding a video clip from YouTube will require the copying and pasting some code.
You need to click on Share > Embed
Now return to the page editor. However there is no handy button the helps us embed video, code needs to be pasted into the page using the Text mode.
For some readers pasting in the code in Text mode will not be a problem.
However I understand that some of you will be uncomfortable working in Text mode and finding the right spot, within all that code, to place the video link might be a problem.
So I will show you an alternative way which minimizes your time in Text mode.
Firstly you need to switch to Visual
Then scroll to where you wish to insert the link embed code.
Click the cursor at the location where you want the video – making sure you have a space above and below. This will help us identify our code.
Press Ctrl and V to paste the code.
Now switch to text mode and you should see the code – we just need to make a slight amendment to it.
We need to get rid of bits at each end of the code to make it work correctly.
The < at the front needs to be <
The > at the end needs to be >
Switching back to the Visual Mode should show you the video that we have just successfully embeded. If not leave the page/post without saving.
The much overlooked outgoing link.Most think the sole purpose of an outgoing link is to reciprocate an incoming link.
However what they are overlooking is that fact that an outgoing link can assist the search engines greatly.
By verifying exactly the contents subject. A link to a wikipedia page or a .edu site does this nicely.
So for those that don’t know how to insert a link into a WordPress page I will show you.
Firstly let’s go to Wikipedia and find a suitable page to use (for demonstration purposes only).
This is the wikipedia page I have selected, It’s subject matter is WordPress so it should make a good outgoing link from a page of this site relating to WordPress.
We do this by moving the cursor into the address bar and clicking. It should highlight the address to show that it has been selected.
Now we copy it pressing CTRL and C on the keyboard or right mouse click and selecting COPY.
Now we need to go back to the editor of the page that we wish to insert our link into.
You may wish to select the Visual option so you don’t have to deal with any code.
You will need to click into the space that you wish to insert the link.
The visual mode gives you tools to use. You are going to need the link tool.
Depending on which version of WordPress you have this small tool bar may appear or..
..or the full options box appears.
Note that you a list of site pages and post appears.
Meaning that this is also the place for creating internal links (link within the site).
Google is always very keen to establish subject matter of your pages.
As it’s reputation depends on delivering good search results.
So the keywords appearing early within the content should not be to difficult to archive.
And of course it would be re-assuring to the visitor to see that they have indeed been delivered to an appropriate page.
As your page should only have one subject this makes sense. Sub-heading can serve to broaden the scope of the scope whilst still remaining on topic.If you wish to highlight some text don’t use the heading functions – use the B (bold) or i(italic).Like all things website related the subject of headings can quickly become “tricky”, however if you are interested in learning about the heading structure of your blog this article covers headings for home pages, posts and categories and is well worth a read if you wish to extend your To Do list even further.
There’s something about computers that makes us all very impatient. We expect everything to be instant.
We don’t care that the site we are momentarily waiting for is hosted on the other side of the planet.
The most common issue is image size. As a website owner you are going to have to understand a little about images size.
It’s simple: images are most often measured by pixels the more pixels the bigger the image.
The screen you are looking at now is measured by pixels.My laptop screen is 1366 pixel wide and my smart phone, on it’s smallest camera setting takes a picture 1600 pixels wide. Bigger than my laptop screen therefore much wider than my website at max-width!
At most I insert images of 600 pixels wide so they fit nicely inside a normal size web page.
But your images are not bigger than your site.
Maybe they look the right size because WordPress is displaying oversized images at website proportions.
Big images made smaller doesn’t sound the most efficient way to do things does it.
Something has got to give.
Unfortunately it will be your visitors giving your site the cold shoulder.
If we want an image to fit into a space 600px wide ideally the image should be that exact size.
Fortunately WordPress can re-sample the images on your site already.
They belong in another place and serve a different purpose.
The top ranking sites have post of an average of 300 words and pages of 1900 words.
However it is a combination of factors that get them to that position.
Writing a post of great depth on a subject will easy take you past those marks.
Padding it out to make it longer is not a good idea – at the end of the day – visitor engagement will decide.
At the time of writing this posts’ word count stands at 2706.
Where do you find them?
So let’s assume:
that the definition of a successful website is one that
We all know that the amount of traffic to your site is important.
So what are your options:
- Pay Google to send traffic to you.
- Drive lots of traffic to your site through content marketing.
Let’s just imagine:
that one of the above options is in place and thousands of visitors descend on your site on a daily basis.
That’s great, well done.
So the next thing we are going to find out, pretty quickly too, is whether people think your website sucks or not.
If you are found guilty of having a site that sucks then it was the on-Page SEO that convicted you.
It’s Official – your website sucks!
Everything that appears on your site is an on-Page SEO element.
If it causes visitors to leave, which is recorded by Search Engines, because you haven’t made it to its optimum level then it is a Search Engine Optimisation issue.
Let’s go back to basics:
Search Engine Optimisation comes in 2 flavours:
- Textual Links, within the website text
- Menu (navigation) Links
- Outbound links to other sites
Keywords (to be found in)
- Page Titles
- Page Description
- Content that covers the subject matter comprehensively and naturally. No need to stuff keywords in artificially.
- Code Validation (correctly written code)
Utilising all SEO opportunities,
- Supplying Alt (alternative) text for images (written description of image)
- Video Transcripts (search engines and some visitors will require written version)
- Creating Downloadable PDF version of web pages
- Access for all – despite physical abilities
- Ease of Use, user experience (UX) – despite physical abilities
Off-Page SEO comprises:
- External (Back) Links
- Social Engagement
With the Off-Page SEO there are two roads that you can go down:
White Hat, legitimate techniques and practices that Search Engines approve of.
These will stand you in good stead.
Black Hat, techniques and practices that Search Engines don’t approve of.
Can give you short term benefits but may turn nasty at any moment leaving your site out in the wilderness.
Not to be recommended.
…that you are a Search Engine and you have to rank all the websites out there. Okay the ones that pay the most money to you go straight to the top.
Then the ones that are able to drive lots of traffic and hold on their visitors on their sites come in just behind.
Then its the best all the rest. That is going to be a big number.
So how do you sort them out.
You raise the bar.
Which solves two problems. It’s in your interest as a Search Engine that the general standard of websites improves.
Your product as a Search Engine is Search Results and the better the quality of your search results the longer you maintain your position in the Search Engine Sector.
So you raise and continue to raise standards.
Coding standards are set by W3C. However Google and Bing have much more control over standards as they have the biggest carrot and the biggest stick. They can control website traffic. So when they say jump…
Back in the 1990 you could get away with having website like a one page leaflet (stuffed with keywords). These days it has to be of university dissertation quality.”