1.) Research new keywords and themes
Now you’ll think, ah, keyword research, so an old hat, I just write blog articles for my readers and well it is. That’s right too, and in principle, the motto is: What’s good for the readers is also good for Google. But if you use words or word combinations on your website or blog that are rarely searched for, it’s still hard for Google, despite all the development towards semantic search engines, to put your site in the top positions.
Here’s an example: Anyone looking for a “Denver SEO expert” will quickly find what they are looking for because this keyword phrase is often found on relevant Denver SEO websites. But what if you’re looking for “termination without notice employee” because you first want to figure out what to do with termination without notice? Here one finds already substantially fewer websites, which rank for this Keyword. Why?
In this example, of course, it is often due to the fact that many law firms do not have a blog/news area and work on this topic with exactly this keyword phrase. However, a user might want to read something about the subject of “instant dismissal of employees” before deciding on a lawyer. Today, a user needs many so-called “touchpoints” before deciding on a product or service. That’s why it’s important, when it comes to keywords, not just to start from your own range of products and services, but to consider what kind of problem the user has. And then offer information accordingly.
Tip: Take a look at which keywords you already appear in places 11-20 with, because with these keywords you have the best chances to make progress by reworking your pages in line with these keywords. In addition, it makes sense to do detailed keyword research already during the topic search. Tools you can use to do this can be found in the master list of SEO tools.
The best thing to do is to ask your acquaintances which terms they would search for to find your offer. Often words or word combinations can be found in this way, which you would not have thought of at all. Think carefully about which search terms you want to be found with and remember that many users don’t just enter a word, but a combination of words. Just check with your competitors to see which terms they use. However, it is no longer the case that a keyword is clearly ranked at this or that position. It is rather a tendency, depending on the keyword variation, the website is ranked in different positions.
2.) The contents of your website and SEO
You can’t stress often enough how important the content of a website is, the content. Content does not necessarily have to be text, but this is the most relevant form of content when it comes to search engine optimization. By the way, this also applies to shops that can certainly still work on their product descriptions and could write creative and seductive texts beyond the manufacturer’s texts. In addition, there is a recommendable article by Karl Kratz, who says to it: we notice it if you do not love your topic!
If the users think the website is good and they find the relevant information, it’s also good for Google. Google also rates the “Time on Site” factor. So the more users jump off your site again, the worse that is for the rating of the websites. Write interesting texts for the target group and avoid duplicate content. Check whether you have “duplicate content” with the tool siteliner.com. Content that is repeated by footers or sidebars does not count as duplicate content.
Real duplicate content is repetition within your own website or because you simply copied text from somewhere. This also includes the same content that can be accessed via different URLs, i.e. web addresses. Offer new content every now and then that might be interesting for your visitors. After all, your website is not carved in stone.
An often-overlooked opportunity that can have an influence on the ranking is updating older blog posts. You’ve probably already written articles that went well, but could be polished up a bit by now. Be it because there have been changes and updates or because you see things from a different angle today. Often, many website owners focus only on the latest posts and their distribution, but the well-running articles are “evergreen content” and it’s worth updating them. Maybe you’ve also gained new SEO knowledge that you can bring to the articles.
3.) Don’t neglect the Onpage SEO
Onpage optimization serves to make it easier for search engines to find and browse the website. In order to get more visitors to your website, the search engines have to be able to find it first.
You should pay attention to the following points:
- Simple navigation: All pages should be accessible from the main page with a few clicks (e.g. via the navigation). Make sure that there are no pages that are not linked to any other page. Organize your website logically and ask your friends and customers how they find their way around the website. Avoid too many levels, usually, two to three are enough. Ensure clarity and also link within your own pages, especially to important pages. Also, here applies: do not exaggerate.
- Text in pictures: This text cannot be read by search engines. Do without it, if this text does not stand also elsewhere. On this page, the article picture is provided with a text, but of course, there is also a corresponding heading.
- URLs as short as possible: The URLs should not be too long. Especially if the layout of the page provides that the URL is also the main heading, this can be a bit problematic. If possible, the headline and the URL should not be linked to each other.
- Internal linking: Don’t forget to link older blog posts or pages to newer ones if the content fits, as described in this article about SEO with internal linking.
- XML Sitemap: This sitemap is a table of contents that is not immediately visible to users, making it easier for search engines to see and index the pages on your site. Tip: Use the Google Search Console to submit the XML sitemap and see how your site is positioned from a Google perspective.
4.) Revise Title Tags and Meta Description
Title tags (HTML tag <title>) are one of the most important SEO ranking factors. The title tag is the clickable link that appears as the title in search results. Of course, it is also important for the users, because if they have entered a keyword in the Google search field, it also appears in the title and the attention is drawn to it.
A few tips for the title tag:
- Stick to a pattern, e.g. main keyword | company name. The search engines are really smart, but they still need the keyword.
- Write something relevant for the users (see keyword research). Apply the KISS principle (keep it short and simple).
- If the title tag is generated automatically, ask your web programmer to change that. You shouldn’t just accept it, but create really individual suitable titles.
- Please do not write a collection of keywords in the title. This is of no use, neither for users nor for search engines.
- Write an individual title for each page.
The important information or keywords should be at the beginning of the title and the description, especially when trying to rank in competitive cities like Denver. If the meta-description is only short, it takes up only one line of space, i.e. the search result may not stand out. The meta-description has no direct influence on the ranking, but if the text and the call to action are so informative that the user clicks on the search result, this can be a positive ranking signal.
For WordPress pages, there is a plugin that provides the fields for the title and the meta-description under each page or post, such as Yoast or All in One SEO. Here I have described in more detail how to use SEO with the SEO plugin Yoast.
But beware: it is only a tool. The goal is not to get a green traffic light, but to optimize the page to a certain keyword or keyword phrase. Generic terms are rather pointless, you should rather try to find somewhat longer word combinations.
The question of how long titles and meta-descriptions can actually be is a matter of opinion, because not only the pure number of characters is taken into account, but also the pixel width of a letter. There are of course guideline values, such as a character length of about 65 characters for the title and about 150 characters for the meta-description. And then there is the fact that the search results are displayed differently on the desktop and on mobile devices. For mobile devices, the limit is rather lower. Therefore, you may have to take a middle course, because creating two different snippets for desktop and mobile devices would be too time-consuming.
On the desktop, it is interesting for the user if he already receives detailed information about what awaits him on the page in the search result. The best thing to do is to use your web analysis tool to check how many visitors your website receives via mobile devices and adjust the meta-description accordingly.
5.) Think about image SEO
With the pictures on your website, you are telling a story and therefore you are sure to use some on your website. These should be really good in quality. Photos from image databases often look very impersonal and stiff. There is no reason why you shouldn’t use your own photographs. But please don’t upload the pictures directly from your camera to the website. These images often have sizes of several MB. This is much too big and can slow down the website enormously. And page load time is also one of Google’s many ranking criteria.
When using images, pay attention to the following points:
- Edit the image BEFORE uploading it to WordPress, even if you have the possibility to change it here. This doesn’t change the original size, but only the display.
- Crop the image to the size you need. For images, there is not only the pure pixel size but also a compression. A trimmed image can also be very large. If you don’t have a program like Photoshop, you can work with online compression tools like tinypng.com.
- Change the file name before uploading, so not IMG3049.jpg, but ” ten-seo-tips.jpg”, which I could do for example for this article.
- When uploading to WordPress, you should name the title of the picture (= what can be seen in the picture or what is it about in the article) and above all the so-called alt tag (the alternative tag) with which Google can understand what the picture is about.
By the way, here I am often asked: “Do I have to upload all pictures again now”? Of course, it’s just a mosaic stone with the ranking factors, but you want to rank your website, don’t you? Just make sure you change a certain number of images per week or use a plugin like EWWW Image Optimizer.
By the way, neither your users nor Google Stockfotos likes it very much, especially if they have already been used a hundred times on the net. But there are many other image databases besides Fotolia or Pixabay where you can find the best images for your website.