I wish your website’s success was based only on your creative and strategically considered keywords. But, there are a few other factors to consider. Thankfully just about all of them can be mastered with practice.
Even though the keywords you have chosen for your website may be a perfect match for the searches of millions of users, it is still entirely possible no one will know you exist. Well almost no one, I am sure the love of your mother and a few close friends will keep an eye on how things are going.
For your keywords to matter, you will need love from search engines as well. For this to happen, your website will need to be Search Engine Optimized.
Though there are many ways of improving this aspect of digital success, this article will focus on those on-page techniques that closely relate to how search engines feel about the keywords that represent your brand. I will also include a suggestion of tools that make your desired adjustments as seamless as possible.
Time to be discovered!
1. YOUR COMPETITION
The performance of your competition has a lot to do with your success in the world of Search Engine Optimization. Pay attention to them.
I wouldn’t so much stress on the presentation of your competitors’ website. Instead, you ought to keep an eye on the substance of their web pages. From the keyword perspective, what they are doing right that can help you perform better.
You do not have to optimize blindly. You should build on the work of competitors as opposed to starting from scratch. Sometimes they will present you with keyword goals you did not know to aim for.
Besides, Google will help you sort out the most cost-effective keywords you stumble on while offering an overview of just how much competition you are going to face. For free. If only every industry would be like the internet.
TO TAKE A PEEK AT WHAT GOOGLE THINKS ABOUT YOUR POTENTIAL KEYWORD: The Google Keyword Planner
TO TAKE A PEEK AT THE KEYWORD STRUCTURE OF YOUR COMPETITOR (CHROME EXTENSION): The SEO & Website Analysis
ANOTHER USEFUL CHROME EXTENSION FOR PEEKING AT COMPETITORS: Mozbar
2. SITE SPEED
Google is all about user experience, for a good reason. If they began sending people to sluggish or irrelevant sites, then they’d risk a blemish on their brand. And on a more technical note, Google web crawlers are not equipped with the patience of waiting around for your site. If things start to take too long, they just might move on, leaving your content stranded.
In the age of super-instant gratification, waiting for more than a second of load time feels like a weekend in Dante’s Inferno. How fast does your site load?
GOOGLE CHROME PLUGIN: Page Load Time
Right from your toolbar, you can measure the page load times of your site, as well as your competitor’s.
TOOL: Google Analytics
Not only will this tool help you understand exactly where your users are coming from, how they are using your website and how to grow your success. It also alerts you to both the speed of your site and individual pages.
WORDPRESS PLUGIN: WPSuperCache
Just let it run and it optimizes the speed of your web pages, in addition to all the work you have already done.
3. SERVER TYPE
Do you know if your website is hosted on a shared server? Are you growing too fast and can you afford a dedicated server? These things matter.
Your website will tend to be slower on a shared server, but you aren’t only sharing cost and speed with unknown sites. You may be sharing a terrible reputation, something that makes it much more difficult for your keyword to thrive.
I know, and you know, that you are trying to do everything by the book. You really care and are willing to work hard to deliver value to your users/customers. But not everyone is like you. Some people are into Black Hat tricks, viruses, and scams.
Google wants to trust you, but it tends not to take any chances. If you are sharing a server with one of these ‘bad guys,’ Google may penalize you.
Think about it, would you open up a restaurant without a sign that has your name in front? With your keyword in mind, make sure to update your HTML TITLES relevantly.
Search engines have learned how to read, but they won’t focus on every word of every paragraph. Can’t blame it either, there is just way too much online. Thus the question I ask is, are you helping yourself stand out by adequately formatting your content with relevant H1 and H2 headers?
6. PAGE DESCRIPTIONS
Are you describing individual pages to google or did you focus only on your landing page? You need to know every nook and cranny of your website like the back of your hand. Then briefly describe what your pages are about to the search bots.
7. DOMAIN NAME
If you haven’t chosen a name yet, you just may be able to assist your business by selecting a domain name that relates to the product/service you offer.
If you want to be ultra creative with your domain name, that’s understandable. Depending on the focus page, be sure to still include related keywords in the respective path section of your URL.
TOOL: Paying for a domain name has nothing to do with hosting it. It shouldn’t cost you an arm and a leg. So far NameCheap is one of the more affordable ways of registering your catchy moniker.
8. VIDEOS AND IMAGES
I like to think about videos and images on your website like this, anyone can type up something and wait for online traffic. But to go above and beyond shows effort.
Show you care! You do don’t you?
Google is like your favourite high school teacher, always giving you a little bit more because you took an extra step further than the rest of your classmates. Time to start considering Google IMAGES (post .JPG or .PNG). Plus, all the new directories you can submit your site to for links if you start creating infographics.
Also, do not be overwhelmed by the challenge of hosting videos on your website. Google owns Youtube. You may improve your Google rankings by linking videos on your page from Youtube. TAG your relevant videos on youtube, embed them to a page on your website, and you have just proven to google to be serious about your work.
WORDPRESS PLUGIN TOOL: With WP SMUSH, you can compress the size of your images without jeopardizing quality.
This right here is the key to keeping your website fresh while connecting with the dynamic needs of potential customers.
You keep hearing that content is king, well then, the blog section of your website is your castle. Make it the most up to date possible. This is your opportunity to show personality, insight, and expertise as it pertains to those keywords you love so much.
Pay attention to the HTML details of each page. Focus on the title, description, tags, images, readability and overall quality of your content. The more engaging you are, the more likely you are of being successful. I don’t mean this in an empty-feel-good way. Seriously, if people show up on your website and quickly leave, this looks bad to google. You are going to affect your bounce rate which is an indicator that people don’t like what they are seeing. It won’t matter how clever your keyword is. The more users bounce, the less business Google wants to send your way.
Get to work, no shortcuts.
Write in your keyword, and this tool will give you related examples of articles that have been successful online.
WORDPRESS PLUGIN: Yoast SEO.
Takes care of your SEO checklist behind the scenes (Meta descriptions, sitemaps, crawler optimization, etc.). You may manage not only the SEO Keyword for your articles but also the way it is presented on Google, how you share it, and how readable your content is.
Are you indexed? Have you taken the step to let Google know that you exist? Can’t just figure the rest of us will know what you have to offer if you remain a mystery to the largest search engines. Make sure you have a sitemap and that your page is pinged every time you make an update. This is one of those things you rarely have to worry about if your site is based on a Content Management System like WordPress.
WORDPRESS TOOL: Google XML Sitemaps.
Use this on your website if you want Google to be aware of your content the moment it is posted.
Well, that is pretty much it for now. Of course, there are other aspects of your website that you can work on but those would largely be categorized as off-page SEO optimizations. We can’t tackle every challenge in one article. So until the next time, enjoy building your website. It’s probably the most fun you will ever have on a computer.
SEE YOU SOON AND GOOD LUCK!