Today you can read a lot about SEO tips on the internet. There are also a lot of companies offering SEO tips and services. But what is SEO exactly? Is it really that important? Is it worth paying a lot of money for SEO services or can you do it yourself?
What is SEO?
Okay, let’s begin with the beginning. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s the process of optimizing your website to end higher in the search results of search engines. I’m talking about a process because, in my opinion, Search Engine Optimization is not a set and forget option. You constantly have to tweak your website, pages and articles to get higher in the search results of search engines.
Why is SEO so important?
Today, most people visit Google or another search engine to find what they are looking for. Most of us only look at the results on the first page of the search results. So, if your website gets on the first page of these search results, you can be sure to have a lot of visitors.
But, how does your website gets on the first page of the search results? Well, that’s where SEO becomes important. It’s not enough to just write an article or page and wait for visitors. Unless you have a very popular blog or website, you will not get any visitors. So you’ll have to optimize your blog (or website) and content to get higher in the search results.
Do we have to use SEO?
In my opinion, YES! What’s the point of creating a blog or website and not getting any visitors? People have to find your website, and Google is one of the most used ways to look for information. So it’s important that your blog or website gets high in the search results.
Is SEO free?
Optimizing your website for the search engines is free, but it’s very time-consuming. You need knowledge of SEO. Luckily, there are a lot of websites on the internet giving you a lot of information. There are also some good books available.
Is it worth paying for SEO services?
Well, it depends. If you just have a personal blog, then it’s not worth paying for it. Read some articles about basic SEO tips and SEO plugins, and you’ll get pretty good results after a while. But good SEO is very time-consuming. Some companies are specialized in SEO services and can be very helpful. The problem is that there are a lot of scam companies. My advice: if you want to hire a company for SEO services, go for the real pro’s, otherwise it’s not worth paying for it.
Where can we find more information about SEO?
The internet is full of information and articles about SEO. In this article of Search Engine Optimization, you will get most of the important points too. So, keep reading until the end.
SEO Tips for Web designers
It’s amazing how many websites still have a bad SEO design today, that’s why I’m going to give some SEO tips. Although these SEO tips might seem “basic”, these are actually must-have SEO techniques every web developer should know!
This section of the article is for web designers, for people that develop websites or WordPress themes. If you are an editor or an article writer, then take a look at the “SEO tips for Authors” section from given below.
The “Title” (tag) is one of the most important indicators for Google to know what a page is about. So it’s very important to give a title for each page on a blog or a website. This title should be unique, don’t give every page on your site or blog the same title!
In WordPress, the page title will be the same as the title of a page or an article. When installing the SEO plugin All In One SEO Pack, you have some more control about how your titles will look like.
Header tags (especially H1, H2, and H3) are very important for Google. Still, a lot of web developers don’t use these tags the right way, some even don’t use them at all!
Let me explain common mistakes in this screenshot:
As you see, in this case, the H1 tag is used for the blog title, the H2 tag is used for the article title, and the H3 tags are used for the box titles on the left (or right). When Google crawls a page, one of the first things that are looked for, is the H1 tag. So it’s very important that the text between the H1 tags tells something more about the content of the page. It’s also very important that you use the H1 tags just ONCE on a page. So using the H1 tags for your blog title AND your page title is NOT OK.
H2 and H3 tags should be used for subtitles in the article. So don’t use the H3 tag for box titles in the right menu bar, Google won’t understand this.
As I said, a lot of web designers don’t use these header tags the right way. Even bigger companies don’t always use the header tags the right way. For example:
- Artisteer: I sometimes use this template generator to create simple themes. One of the first things I always do, after I created a new theme, is to change a little bit code to get the headers right.
- WooThemes: for some of my own sites I use WooThemes. I like it a lot because it’s ready to use out of the box and it’s easy to change. But some WooThemes themes also use the header tags the wrong way. This is easy to change with a little bit of coding.
So, let’s take a look at to the above image with the right use of the header tags:
- H1 headers for titles
- H2 and H3 headers for subtitles
If you’re a web or theme developer, it’s of great importance that you create your site with valid code (HTML, CSS, …). Websites with valid (X)HTML score much better in Google than websites with a lot of code errors because they are easier for Google to read.
Some WordPress Specific SEO tips
When installing WordPress, you should install some plugins for better SEO of your site:
- All In One SEO Pack, Yoast SEO or RankMath SEO
- Google Analyticator
- XML Sitemaps
SEO Tips for Authors
This Section of this article is for editors, for people that write articles.
Finding the right keyword(s)
The very first step of writing an article is finding the right keyword(s). But what is a keyword? A keyword is a word that other people will use in google to search for something. In other words, you have to guess the words that people will use in Google to find your article! This might seem difficult in the beginning, but it’s a very important first step in writing a good SEO-optimized article. A good help for finding the right keywords is the Google Keyword Tool. You may also like the UberSuggest by Neil Patel.
The title tag is one of the most important indicators for Google to know what a page is about. When using WordPress, you don’t have to care about this. You just have to choose a good title for your article. A good article title tells what your page is about AND also has your keyword(s) in it.
The H1 header
Especially the H1 header is a very important tag! One of the first things Google checks when crawling a page of your website is the title between the H1 tags. Normally, in WordPress, you don’t have to use this tag. When publishing an article, WordPress will use your article title as a title between the H1 tags.
The H2 header
Use this H2 header for titles inside your article. A lot of people just place the titles inside an article in bold. That’s ok, but a title between these H2 header tags tells Google that this is an important title.
The H3 Header
Use this H3 Header for subtitles inside your article.
Images and SEO
An image tells more than 1000 words. Images really add value to an article. That’s why it’s important to add relevant images to an article. However, keep in mind that you have to describe your images, you have to fill in the Alt and Title tags of images. If you’re using WordPress, you have to use the “Title” and “Alternate Text” fields when inserting an image:
Get some SEO tips from SEOPressor
A great tool to help you with writing SEO friendly articles is SEOPressor. While writing your article, SEOPressor analyses your page and gives some SEO tips where needed. SEOPressor is like an SEO consultant standing next to you, giving you some valuable SEO tips:
As you can see, SEOPressor gives your page a score and tells you what you have to do to make your SEO score better.
SEOPressor is not difficult to use, but it’s a commercial plugin.
Write to your visitors, not for search engines!
When writing articles for your blog or website, it’s always important to remember who your visitors are. Your visitors are human, and not search engines. What I want to say is that it’s important to optimize your pages for SEO, but in the end, your article must be nice readable for your (human) visitors.
Write unique content
One last SEO tip I want to give you is the following golden tip: write unique content. Write content that your readers will not find elsewhere. Or write better articles than the other blogs. Don’t just copy content from other blogs or websites. Duplicate content is very bad for SEO.
These SEO tips might seem simple, but if you’re a beginner these SEO tips are an important guide to write your first SEO friendly articles.