SEO, SEO, SEO. You hear it all the time from industry professionals, marketing gurus, and random strangers on the street (just kidding on that last one). You know it’s a big deal, but all you really want to know is how you, yourself, can improve your SEO in WordPress without spending weeks learning tech jargon or spending a fortune on an SEO expert.
My name is Kelly Benton and I specialize in SEO for solopreneurs and small businesses. Lisamarie invited me here to help you see why SEO is so important for a small business like your own, along with some simple steps you can take to boost your SEO in WordPress today (or tomorrow… I know it’s been a long day).
Why SEO Matters
If you’ve done all the reading and research on why SEO is so important, you can skip ahead. A+ to you. If however, you’re skeptical about drinking the SEO Kool Aid, let me fill you in.
SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization,” wherein the “search engine” is referring to sites like Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc (but I’ll just say Google from now on, because who are we kidding?). SEO is the practice of improving your website and the words on it so Google can find, scan, and rank your website in it’s search results.
Everyone aspires to be on page 1 of Google, right? Without good overall SEO, you’ll be lucky to land on page 10.
How to Improve Your SEO in WordPress
Now that we’ve gone over the why, let’s discuss the how. Below, you’ll find a list of some of the exact things I do for clients when they hire me to overhaul their SEO. I’m sharing these because they’re no secret! The SEO world is out there on the internet for someone like you to discover and learn about. So what’s standing in your way? I’m guessing time. You’re a busy equine entrepreneur who has little free time, and no desire to learn the ins and outs of SEO. I get it.
Here’s my recommendation: If you don’t have time for all of this, that’s okay. Focus on keywords, page titles & descriptions, and image size. These will give you the most bang for your buck in my opinion.
1. Research High-Performing Keyword Phrases
Research can feel like the most daunting part, but it doesn’t have to be! Just put yourself in your ideal client’s shoes, and think about what they might type in the search bar in order to find your website. Ubersuggest is a wonderful resource for checking your keyword phrases. Be aware that you can only perform 3 free searches per day, so choose your search terms carefully.
2. Choose A Main Keyword Phrase
Once you’ve looked up your keyword phrases, it’s time to choose your main one. Ideally, each individual page on your website should have a different keyword phrase. You’re looking for phrases that have a high search volume and a low SEO difficulty on Ubersuggest. Keep in mind that it will be easier to implement your main keyword phrase if it’s conversational in tone. As an example, a phrase like “groom horse” would be harder to work into the copy than “horse grooming.”
3. Each Page Needs an H1 Header
An H1 Header is the main title of each page. There should be one (and only one) on every page and blog post on your site. Google uses it to determine what the page is talking about, so you want to use your exact main keyword phrase in the H1 when possible. If there’s a block of text under the header, use the exact main keyword phrase again in the first paragraph (even better if it’s in the first sentence!).
4. Use The Main Keyword Phrase Throughout Your Copy
I try to use the exact main keyword phrase at least 2-3 times in my copy. Use your judgment based on the total number of words in your post. You shouldn’t stuff 3 of the same keyword phrases into a block of text that only has 100 words.
5. Use Headlines Liberally
Use H2 and H3 headers to break up large blocks of text on your page or blog post. Work in other keyword phrases, or use synonyms for your main keyword phrase when coming up with header text.
6. Watch Your Image Size
Images and videos that are too large are an absolute killer for your page load speed (which is super important for search rankings!). In short, you don’t want your images or videos to be any larger than they absolutely have to be. Run your URL through GTMetrix or Google Page Speed Insights to see which files are causing the biggest slowdown. Resizeimages.net is a fast and free site for resizing and compressing your images.
7. Add Metadata To Your Images
Sadly, image metadata is often ignored by almost everyone (except for photographers and web designers, maybe). In a perfect world, your images would have keyword-rich file names, along with keyword tags, titles, and descriptions or alt text on what the image is about. If you’re serious about learning how to boost SEO, this part shouldn’t be ignored! Thankfully, WordPress allows you to add alt text even after the image has been placed in your site.
8. Use The Main Keyword Phrase In Your Page Title & Description
Your page title should basically be your H1 with your business name at the end. The page description should be a short summary of what the page is about with 1-2 keywords inserted in it. Keep the length to 2-3 sentences max.
9. Use The Yoast SEO Plugin
The Yoast SEO plugin is the gold standard for acing your SEO in WordPress. You can use it on blog posts or regular website pages. It will walk you through most of these tasks and give you a stoplight color rating so you know how you’re doing. If you do nothing else, download and install this awesome free plugin!
Are you feeling inspired or overwhelmed? It’s really not as hard as it seems, and a lot of things only need to be done once to see a benefit for your WordPress site. If you’d rather someone else handle all this for you, drop me a line to inquire about my custom SEO overhauls.