You probably read somewhere a post about SEO and what factors are the most important for the search engines to rank a website high in the organic search results. Despite the high ever-growing number of posts regarding SEO performance in articles, blogs, forums, and websites or even books and magazines, everything we know about is just theoretical.
The search engines keep secret essential information about SEO factors in order to “block” webmasters and spam owners from the misquotation and the manipulation of the search results. At the early stages of the internet, that kind of manipulation was a very easy task for unethical webmasters and they had almost total control over the organic results. These techniques were described as Black-Hat SEO.
The information we hold in our hands about SEO is a result of everlasting monitoring of the search engines results pages (SERPs). There are hundreds or thousands of marketers and internet techs that deal every day with such exercises and the only work they do is to closely collect and analyze statistical and mathematical data about the SERP’s.
When they publish that information on blogs, forums, and communities other marketers examine and compare their results. At the time of an informal unison about a certain SEO technique then we can speak of a general, commonly accepted SEO theory.
Moreover, the major search engines publish from time to time updates on the subject. In general, the engines use very complicated algorithms and patterns to rank the websites. But the most important factors that you should care always about as a webmaster is to
a) Provide quality content to your visitors, targeting your keywords, but in no case overemphasize on that keywords.
b) Manage to get the authority and high ranked websites with similar content to link to your website through ethical and helpful channels and approaches.
Universally your website should be relevant to the keywords you will be using in your future posts and pages, unique from other sites, multi-paged with a relevant theme, one that follows quality SEO techniques.
Search Engine Optimization for WordPress
Domain name – Website Title
Is the beginning of the SEO journey in order to get ranked in the search engines.If you can get a domain targeting some basic keywords regarding your niche that would be essential. Just by the domain name, you could bring online traffic to your website. But these days finding a domain name is not that really easy.
With millions of websites competing in every industry, the choice for the domain name would be a difficult task. In fact, it took me over 3 days to find and pick a domain name, and it was not what I wanted in the first place. But you won’t have to be disappointed, even if you cannot find any domain available for the keywords you are targeting you can always be creative and make a relevant domain using your name or other words inside.
You are in the diet niche – and you cannot find something very powerful as “howtoloseweight.com” (400,000 monthly searches), or even the “loseweightfast.com” (4 million monthly searches)…In such cases, you can use your name – like “yourrnamehealthydiets.com” or “yournamelosingweight.com” or use alternative unrelated words like “loseweightsleeping.com”…
In any case, you want to pick a domain extension in a) .com, b) .net, c).org as these are the most popular and authoritative and rank higher in the search engines.
Your website title can be different than your domain name if you wish to or you can include some extra words or phrases. In addition, you can offer more information to your visitors by using the tagline, that line will appear just below your Website title. You want to avoid using general terms like “welcome to this website” or “home page” or “hello, this is my new website”.
Instead, you have to catch the visitors’ attention and be descriptive at the same time. In my case I use the domain name as is “Web Market Support” and my tagline is “A Club for Modern Entrepreneurs” so that when someone visits my site will expect to find information about Businesses.
All-In-One SEO plugin
This is the most used plugin for WordPress websites and within the SiteRubix builder (the one I used to build this site) at Wealthy Affiliate community is pre-installed (along with 5 more necessary beginning plugins). If you want to install it manually in WordPress simply you follow the plugins – add new – search for “All in One SEO Pack”, install it, activate it and keep it updated.
This plugin can save you valuable time and will help you get ranked in the engines. Do not try to handle alone the SEO parameters of your website.
ALL-IN-ONE SEO Plugin Configuration
source: All-In-One SEO plugin settings
This title will appear in the search engines results. You can target keywords here and you have a maximum of 60 characters to use. In my case is “Web Market Support – Digital Advertising Services”
Examples – a) Healthy Diet With Tasos – Daily News And Advice
or b) Marketing Trends By Chloe – Discover Top Networks
In that section, you can target keywords as well and the available number of characters to be used is 160. Try to be as descriptive as you can. Try to catch the attention of your visitors. My description is also displayed in a small graphic banner I made in the top area of my website next to the logo.
For me is something I do not worry about at all and I have left it blank. The keywords that you will be using when posting and publishing are the ones that matter. If you want to fill that section too, it’s OK, just do not exceed the 3 keywords and separate them with commas.
Content is the Master Key to gain SEO authority and respect from search engines and online visitors as well. The content gets rankings in the engines and will lead to engagement and will be shared if it’s unique and valuable. Then the opportunity for money begins.
But in order to create unique content that is engaging you better choose a niche that interests you and writing articles about it should be fun. This way you will be more productive and efficient.
If you feel stuck in the process of finding content ideas you can use the web for information and news. You can use Google Alerts to stay informed about your niche, changes, and updates. Having content according to the industry news is more likely to be written and then shared. The News of Google and Wiki How sites like this one are always a source of ideas that can be implemented to your blogroll.
Also, your content should be plagiarism free and readable for visitors. I mean your content should be original and a copy of someone else’s work. So if you have people producing content for you, you need to be careful.
There are many tools to check your content like Plagiarism Checker Online which is a free tool for content writing.
Another prosperous way to gain authority and enhance your writing quality and therefore to engage and understand your niche is to participate in relative forums and blogs and interact with others. Also, authority sites in your niche is a great deal. You can consider subscribing to magazines for their newsletters and get a ton of extra ideas for your content.
Now if you think that you can not write on your own you can always out-source that task to external partners. Test them and choose the most suitable for your niche. There are thousands of freelancers offering their services for a fee. Just do not change partners from post to post.
Using a keyword research tool is additionally a source for ideas like the one I am using in the Wealthy Affiliate community. Another option is to use a website like Ubbersuggest a tool providing keyword suggestions. There are way more tools free to use on the internet. These 2 are those I use mostly.
TOP SEO Ingredients for your Content
Page/Post Title Optimization – Keyword Placement
The title of a post or a page will appear in the search engines. You must target your “keyword” in your title. This will lead to more engagement and clicks through the search engines. Therefore you should repeat putting that same keyword somewhere in the first 2 paragraphs of the post/page content.
If you can use for the 2nd keyword a Headline it can lead to more engagement as online visitors tend to read the Headlines much more than the actual content. Then keep in mind to write naturally until the end of the post without aiming any keyword at all. Try to write naturally, for humans.
Every image that you upload on your site should contain the “alt-tags”.There you can put your keyword. Use only small letters separated with ( – ) Dashes. Also, rename your images appropriately in order to be found by all the image search engines and to be indexed and ranked accordingly. Try to insert your images in the right side of your content or in the center but try to stay away from the left side. The engines crawl websites from left to right and people are reading in the same way.
When you link internally to other posts or pages inside your website you can use keywords to the context of that links. You can also use this technique when you link to external websites when you want to refer your readers to relevant content and information that will help them understand better your topic (anchor text). For example, if you link to “Google” your anchor text could be “search engine” or if you link to “Wikipedia” you could use the phrase “online encyclopedia” and so on.
When you publish a new post always interlink to older content and vice versa.Use the search function on your site to find similar terms and then update your older posts with links to your new content and the opposite.
There are some free plugins for WordPress to let you display “Related Posts” at the end of every article, this way the search engines will re-crawl the old content increasing your overall SEO rankings and your visitors might choose to read more articles and stay on your website even longer which is an important ranking factor.
You can always manually link to any post or page on your website and a nice trick is to link to certain “categories” or “tags” within your site providing your visitors with more than one additional post content. More on “category” and “tag” see below.
Homepage – Sidebar Widgets
The Homepage and the Sidebar can be used as additional factors for your overall SEO process. Search engines love home pages with a lot of internal links. Having set your WordPress Site front page to the latest posts blogroll can increase the internal linking function. The sidebar also is a very powerful tool for your Home FrontPage.
You can add a “search” function, a “categories” section, latest comments, archives and whatever you think is useful.I use also a “twitter” deck that displays my twitter timeline posts as I am active in that network. A lot of marketers use such kind of social networks widgets. Google Plus, Pinterest, and so many others can be used for that function and increase your credibility and appearance.
Even if you write short posts you have to consider using headings ( I mostly use H3 & H4), breaking the text into paragraphs and leaving some white space between to produce a user-friendly outlook. In the modern internet world where we are bombarded with information from multiple sources, we choose to read (automatically with our subconscious) the most appealing contexts ignoring the distracting and the “intruding” ones.
Search engines take Headings very seriously and you have to be consistent in using them. You can always place keywords in the Headings, just do not use every Heading for keywords. Write naturally and balanced.
Comments – Engagement
At some point, visitors may contact you via the comment section. This is your chance to enter the conversation and interact with your visitors, and the search engines consider comments as added content to the original article.
Web pages that are being updated often tend to rank higher. You have to give your best in your answers. You do not want to leave unanswered questions, and you have to be polite creating future relationships. It is the starting point for links to your website.
Try to solve any problems in that area and people will enjoy a better experience. Do not forget to hold all comments for moderation as a lot of spam emails will be coming through, totally unrelated to your website. And that is normal, there are millions of bots searching the internet every day. Using an anti-spam plugin like Akismet is a must.
You also should consider asking people to leave their feedback and personal experiences when you write your posts. That action can lead to more engagement and people like when they are asked to give their insights. They have the chance to offer their opinion, you should grab that opportunity.
When you have a decent amount of posts and pages on your WordPress site then it will be the time to categorize them using the taxonomies section that comes with every post. Categories are hierarchical, tags are not. Categories is a broader term and help your readers understand how your blog is organized and what is about while tags are specific aspects of it.
For your further enlightenment on this subject, I refer you to the article “categories vs Tags – SEO best practices” by WPBeginner. Having a well-organized site is ideal for people and search engines and increases your credibility.
Meta Tags – Meta description
The Meta Tags are no longer provide value for your SEO performance as in the past sneaky webmasters were using that section filled with keywords. The search engines do not use any information written on the Meta Tags.
The Meta description is the summary of your post that will be displayed in the search engines results. If you leave this section empty the engines will present their own description based on your Title keyword and the rest of the page/post content. If you want to fill that part you have a maximum of 160 characters to use, however, no-one can guarantee that your description will be shown up in the search results. In some cases, the search engines will provide the information that they think represents better your content.
But having a meta-description can increase your click-through rate. You should include the main keyword while you try to make people click your URL as they read the description on the search engines page.
a) As long as you are working on a page or post and you save it as a draft, if you change your Title because you may be found a new one that sounds better or if you are not satisfied with the current that is OK, the permalink of your page/post will automatically change to the new one.
However, if you publish that page/post and at a later time, you are not satisfied with the title you chose, if you change your title and Hit Update (that is replacing the Publish button) the permalink won’t change. And that is normal. You should never change the permalink manually on your own. The permalink is the permanent link that the engines use to rank that specific page/post.If you want to change the Title, change it but do not touch the permalink.
b) Use images throughout your content to improve user experience, humans are visual by nature. Always remember – one image worth like 1000 words.
c) Infographics – A modern form of digital communication. As people are bombarded daily with thousands of new posts and material producing Infographics can make you stand out from the competition. It is not the easiest job in the world but gets shares and links. You can always outsource this task to professionals. Do not ignore to submit your Infographics to related blogs. Pinterest is a great source but not the only one. You should check the submitinfographics.com
d) Videos – this format is even more powerful than images and infographics. People can quickly digest information, ideal for tutorials and How-To Articles. If you can not produce a super quality video with software consider recording yourself speaking to your personal camera, it can lead to more engagement. Do not worry about accent or visual and audio quality, just be unique. Submit your videos to YouTube, Vimeo, DailyMotion or other video hosting services.
e) Podcasts – some people prefer listening to audio than video or reading. They do that when they walk, or while driving to town. You should consider adding a podcast to your services. It’s another tactic that can increase the time visitors spend on your site.
The Key is the quality content, content that is unique and offers value in the market by helping people.
b) Link Popularity – Inbound Links
The 2nd most important factor for SEO performance as we already discussed in the introduction of this post. Inbound links are those links pointing to your website from an external source. The engines evaluate this factor to determine a page/post overall rank that is related to a particular topic or keyword.
The Link popularity weights the quantity and the quality of the inbound links that returning to your page/post. It is not enough to have a large number of websites pointing to your website page, it is critical that these websites are considered relevant. If you manage to get links from authority sites that will mean a lot. But that can not just happen overnight.
You can also let other people or webmasters post their personal reviews or articles on your website. This tactic is called guest blogging, and you should consider guest blogging on other sites to increase your visibility in the market.
Social Bookmarking Sites
The submission of your articles in the popular bookmarking directories is a very ordinary method used by webmasters. If you submit your content on those sites you will get a ONE-WAY link back to your website, which is another SEO factor. One way links can boost your rankings and the engines treat them as a sign of authority. These bookmarking sites are High Page Ranked sites and having a one-way link back to yours can affect your rankings positively.
Those sites get huge amounts of daily traffic and could even help your articles ranked higher in the engines. Sites like Digg, Blogger, Tumblr, Stumble Upon are only a few names. I enclose a catalog of the most used bookmarking sites here. It may sound overwhelming signing up on all of those sites but you can include this activity in your schedule. Add one network at a time. Do not forget to read the terms and conditions of each medium as they use different policies and tactics.
Participation in Related Blogs, Forums, and Communities
You can participate in related blogs and forums in your niche in order to gain popularity and to help people by providing valuable content. Posting helpful and insightful comments on them (not just for the sake of links) – offer value in these communities and generally in every community that you become a member.
Submit material for free in Article Directories, as another way to increase your site’s visibility. Article Directories get high rankings in the search engines because of their popularity.
Most of the directories will allow you to place a link or two inside your articles so that people will be able to follow you back to your base. Your URL signature is critical again if it is allowed. Street Articles, EzineArticles, or ArticlesBase are just a few names in the ocean of those directories.
Comment on other Websites
Taking action and posting useful comments with the intention to begin a productive dialogue is a great way to gain authority. Try to ask some questions and interact with webmasters and their visitors. Do not just post a comment for the sake of getting a back-link.
The construction of those inbound links back to your website is a very time-consuming process. Every network, forum, blog or community has different rules and terms, so make sure you read them before you publish anything. By participating and sharing useful content that attracts attention will lead to the much-desired online success. You have to dive deep in the mud. No empire was built in one day.
Some say …”if you can’t build something BIG today, keep building small great things … someone will notice…”The key to online success is quality. Write with the readers on your mind.
That’s it, another article has finished, here on Web Market Support. I am waiting for your comments and thoughts. Till next time.
I used to have a wordpress blog and I’ve been thinking about going back to one recently – I’ve bookmarked this article as I think I’m going to need the info here. I’ve heard about the all in one SEO plugin but I was a little scared it was going to be difficult – how difficult is it overall ( I think it’s free right? )
Hi Chris , this plugin is a very easy one , everything is automated.You won’t have to change a lot of options.And yes , it is free although there is a paid version as well.
Thank you for stopping by and participating.
This is an exceptionally thorough article on how search engine optimization works. In fact I do not remember seeing any similar to this. I can only thank you and congratulate for this text. I followed some of the links you gave and I see that your other articles are in the same thorough style. I have learned quite a number of new things here but above all I have realized that one should invest time and write a proper article. Many thanks.
Welcome back on my blog , Jovo.Yes , this is how I write.I do not care about the length of the posts.When I have to cover some important aspects , I proceed and do that.I don’t want to leave many unanswered questions.Of course , no article can be perfect as perfect does not exist.I am very glad you found true value on my articles.
I wanna thank you once again for your repeated visits , for your kind and beautiful comments
This is some really good information, i like that you have a visual of what the All- in One SEO should look like..
I’d say at the least for SEO, the title is the most important part, just having a relevant title can bring you in the google charts.
Yes , I agree Matt , just a relevant title and qood content can make a really big difference.No need for extreme keyword stuffing techniques or other methods that belong to the past.
Thank you for visiting my site and for leaving your lovely comments
Hey Tasos, Great article! Very detailed! I gotta tell you, I’m a beginner in this. Just started my first website and I’m having my hands full with writing content you know. Let alone I need to keep a close eye on the SEO aspect. Question on image optimization. I use WordPress and when I put a photo above or beneath a text, I choose “none” for alignment. Is it in this case also better to choose “centre”? Thanks in advance!
Hi there Jurgen and welcome.
It depends on the size of the image and the size of your text within the page.As you can see on my articles I use the full page option with no sidebar.I mostly use medium or large images.What I do is to finish with the writing of the text first.When I come back to add the images I choose a certain point.Most of the times I insert images between 2 paragraphs and I align them in the centre , by clicking on between those paragraphs and adding my image.My other option is to align them right , when I do that I click the cursor on the very beginning of a paragraph.Then I add the media image and align it right so that the text stays left and the image goes right.This way you can read while seeing the image.I do not align left , never and I had never use the no alignment option.
Keep in mind that the search engines read from left to right so this is why I do not align images on the left.This way you are helping the bots to read your content easier.If you are using the sidebar it might be a better option to align them in the centre because you have less page space.
I hope that can help you but if you have any further questions do not hesitate to ask anything.I wanna thank you for leaving your queries here and for your lovely comments.Additionally I wanna wish you good luck and strength for the future as you are now beginning on the online arena.