Before we get started with Simple Page SEO, you might ask, “What is website SEO or search engine optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of optimizing the content on a website to make it more visible to search engines. Increased visibility in a search engine translates to a higher ranking in the search engine results. A website that appears in the first page of search results receives significantly more traffic, than one that appears on a later page. Think about it, how often do you go to the second page of search results? It is even better if your site is ranked within the top few listings. At one time, the top three Google listings received over 70% of the the user traffic. Higher traffic to your website means that your product or service is seen by more viewers and thus may lead to higher sales. Sounds good, right?
Overtime, the algorithms that look at your website and determine how it should rank have become extremely complex. These algorithms encompass everything from site performance (i.e., how quickly do pages load?), to how the site is designed and coded (e.g., Is it viewable on a phone?) to the page content within the site (Is it readable?). In fact, in doing a little research for this post, I came across an article that listed over 200 different factors to consider for website SEO.
Simple Page SEO
With so many factors to consider, where do we start our Website SEO? Let’s start by looking at one critical piece, the page content. I’ll look at explaining the pieces and simplifying it. We’ll call it Simple Page SEO, and I’ll use this post as my example.
First and most important, when you decide to write a post you need to determine your key message. Can you summarize this message in one word or a short phrase? This would be your keyword and you want to make sure it is integrated throughout the page. For example, for this post, the key phrase is “Simple Page SEO“.
Simple SEO Steps
Now let’s look at the how we use this phrase throughout our page or post. We want to include it in:
- The page title
- The page URL
- A least one heading and / or subheading
- In the text of the first paragraph
- In the caption of an image on the page (also insure it is in the alternative text on the image)
- If you include links, try to include the keyword or phrase as part of the link
- Include the key word in the last paragraph
Now, check out this article against the list. How did I do?
Because of the importance of Search Engine Optimization, there are numerous tools available to assist. Everything from identifying keywords, to keyword density, to optimizing content. But let’s not make this more complex than it needs to be, after all the focus here is “Simple Page SEO”.
For WordPress, there is an amazing plugin, Yoast SEO which is one of the top plugins that analyses your webpage and provides a guide to “optimize” your page for both Readability and for SEO.
Here’s a snapshot of this page’s analysis by Yoast SEO. Notice all the guidelines and the color code of green against each item:
SEO Links and Resources
If you looked at the list in “Simple SEO Steps”, you will see I have only one external link so far. Internal and external links, especially those that contain your keyword or phrase, will improve your page SEO.
SEO optimization on a post is all about the content and the structure of that content. My series of posts on Blogging Best Practices highlights the key elements in writing a good blog post that will also help your post rank high for SEO. Be sure to review:
Blogging Best Practices: Why Blog?: Discusses how blogging can increase site traffic, and if the blog post is structured properly, how it can improve page and website SEO.
Blogging Best Practices: Where to Start? Provides ideas on blogs topics for your audience.
Blogging Best Practices: Form & Content? Discusses the best post structure for readers and for the search engines.
For additional reading, be sure to also check out the Yoast blog on Content SEO.
Search Engine Optimization takes a some time and effort. With tools like Yoast SEO and some guidance on Best Blogging Practices, it is possible to use simple page SEO steps and be successful on your next post.