How to Optimize Your Website's Content

Since the algorithms used by search engines change constantly, SEO seems like an elusive, ever-evolving mystery, and that's partly true. It's still important to keep in mind that search engine optimization rules are the same, and we'll use them to guide you through the process of creating and optimizing content.

1. Quality Content

Create authentic content

There’s a reason we listed this first. Write articles and posts that are authentic, unique, and informative (Google's artificial learning algorithms prefer useful, natural content). Search engines want to promote content that is useful to your audience, so that’s why you should do it. A lot of content on the Internet these days is just rehash content, which isn’t very useful. Write for yourself.

Titles and headlines for pages, posts, and articles should be clear

When writing these, the most important thing is to tell people what they're about to read (enticing them to read more is a bonus). Consider keywords, however, but only as they sound natural and help to describe what you're writing.

Make sure your headings tell a story

As you can see from the bolded headlines throughout this article, headings are section headlines. After you write an article, go back and take a look at the headlines and headings again. Do they drive and highlight the story? They help your audience skim a longer article and help search engines discover major themes on your website.

Make sure your image titles, captions, and alt texts are specific

Your visitors will be able to understand what an image is if it does not load or if they use a site reader if it does not load. Alt text is used by search engines for understanding what an image is (so they can display it in image search results). Keep descriptions short, natural, and accurate, and use keywords only if they help explain.

Organize content by categorizing and tagging it

Tags and categories are used by WordPress to organize content for your audience. Both provide a way for readers to browse through the topics they are interested in. Categories create broad groups of posts, while tags describe the specific details within those posts.

2. Relevant Keywords

Take a natural approach

Find out what people are actually saying about your topic and use those words—the ones that work for you, your audience, and your writing style. You can find trending words online by looking on forums or using online tools (Google Trends, Rank Tracker, KWFinder, and Free Keyword Tool) if you aren't sure what people are using.

Avoid keyword stuffing. If your words sound unnatural, your readers will turn off and search engines won't like it either.

Taglines and website names should be descriptive

The name and tagline of your website are searchable, so adding keywords here can help.

3. Quality Links

Create custom permalinks

Your permalinks can be generated in a variety of ways in WordPress. Under Settings > Permalinks you can set up how you want URLs to include details such as your post name. By customizing the URLs in this way (using your post name), your URLs become more searchable, and if you want to completely customize them, you can do so as well. You can see below that “Post name” has been selected, which uses your post name as the URL, while “Custom Structure” below that lets you completely customize it.

Establish strategic internal links

People can move from one page to another within your website through internal links (like a secret passage from the lounge to the conservatory). Your internal links can be added within an article or post, or on the bottom or side. It is common to include links within an article, but you should use them only if they are relevant and intentional. Anchor text (visible clickable text, usually blue) should be used.

Identify credible external links and start building them

As long as you are linking to and being linked from good, relevant websites, external links can be inbound (links from other websites to your site) or outbound (links from your site to other websites).

As long as the websites that link to you have high quality content, inbound links are a good thing to have. Consider where your content might be valuable, and contact those websites, bloggers, and brands. Write a personal, well-thought-out message, not a form letter, if you want to grow your inbound links.

You should use outbound links to provide more information and references about your content, while avoiding undisclosed paid ad links.

4. Mobile Responsiveness

Make sure your theme is responsive

Using a responsive theme, your website will be reorganized for different screen sizes so visitors will be able to view your full content on their phone or tablet. Your visitors will also be able to identify your content regardless of their device, whether it’s a laptop or a phone.

If it is difficult for visitors to navigate through your website on their phone, they are more likely to leave and return to their search results. It can also hurt your website's ranking if visitors bounce from your website quickly back to their search, since search engines want to promote helpful websites.

Here are some other tips

Crawlers should be enabled

There is a line under Settings > Reading called "Search Engine Visibility". We know the wording around this can be confusing, but checking that box actually stops search engines from indexing your site by checking "Discourage search engines from indexing this site".

Make use of SEO plugins

There are quite a few WordPress SEO plugins out there that make it easier to optimize your website content. The two most popular ones are Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. (Yes, you have to choose one–don't use more than one SEO plugin at a time.) Both of these plugins cover all your SEO needs. Yoast SEO does a content analysis within a post and gives suggestions on how to improve it. Furthermore, Yoast SEO licenses are cheaper if you only need them for one site, while All in One SEO licenses can be used for multiple sites.

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Friday, February 17, 2023
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