5 Basic SEO Tips You Can Implement in 5 Minutes or Less
We're all looking for ways we can rank higher on Google. Every good blogger and website owner knows the value of search traffic.
But is SEO as easy as we want it to be? Or, is SEO the magic box we all throw our sites into hoping we get lucky on the other side?
First, let's demystify SEO. Let's look at what it is and what it isn't. Then, we'll look at what we can do about it.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization, or SEO, is the effort to make a website rank higher on the list of search results. We say, “optimization” instead of “optimized” because it's a constant struggle to reach an ever-moving target.
For the mathematicians out there, SEO is like an asymptote; we can get closer and closer, but we never quite reach “optimized”.
There's more to it than that, but that's pretty much it. If you're focused on SEO, you're trying to get your page, your post, or your website, in general, in front of more eyeballs.
SEO is a technical process of making a page easier for a computer to read so the search engines can show that page to real people. While the specifics of the algorithm (the computer formula that filters search results) are unknown, we do know the steps we can take to make improvements.
Practically, this means making the titles and URLs of your pages and posts search-friendly. This means adding descriptive “alt” tags to your images and file names. And, it means using keywords on your pages.
What is Search Engine Optimization Not?
SEO is not a magical process that will fix your business or make your blog instantly famous.
It's also not an out-of-date piece of technology we can ignore. There is real science, math and technology behind optimizing for search.
As you can see, search engine traffic accounts for almost half of the traffic I see here on ellorywells.com. While you shouldn't write for search engines (you should write for people), optimizing my posts doesn't hurt.
If you want your blog, your podcast, or your business' website to show up in the search results when I search for you, you need to pay attention to SEO.
Want to grow your blog in ? Then check out my free 30 Day Blog Transformation email course!
5 Basic SEO Tips You Can Implement in 5 Minutes or Less
1: Yoast SEO for WordPress
As I mentioned here, (about 1/2 way down), this plugin is an essential, must-have plugin for any website I build.
Yoast SEO will review and grade every post and page on your site before you publish it. After you type up the content and specify a keyword, save your post as a draft. Then, based on a scan of the words, keywords and image alt tags, you'll get a score.
If you get a green light, you're ready to publish. If not, the plugin will even make suggestions for improvement. Yoast SEO also grades every post and page you've already published so you can make tweaks where necessary.
Pretty simple, pretty awesome.
2: Updating Your Username
Your username and your display name don't have to be the same. Here's how to optimize your settings for search.
- First, change your username to something more secure. Do this under Users > Your Profile.
- Second, type in your real first and last names. People want to know who they're reading.
- Third, change the “Display name publicly as…” to your First and Last name.
Once that's done, your name will show up as the author on every post and page. When people do a search for you, bingo. You're one step closer to optimization.
3: Consistency of Social Profiles
An easy way to get some added optimization is to make the URLs for all your social profiles the same. For example:
If you can't get them all the same, don't go overboard making changes to your name. Don't use asterisks (*) or your birthday, just add an underscore (_) or “the” in front of your name.
When one of your friends or fans searches on Twitter for you, you want to be in the results.
Another quick tip: use your name or what you go by, not your brand. Your brand or the subject matter could change, but your name won't. Plus, people are more likely to search for YOU, not what you talk about.
While the consistency of your social media profiles won't make the biggest difference in your on-page SEO, it will help people find and connect with you. And that's what we want, right?
4: Publish Regularly
After you've done the first three things on this list, the next priority to should be to publish new content on a frequent and regular basis.
Most search engines love “recent,” ie, recently updated information. That's why you'll rarely find content from 6+ years ago popping up in search results.
By publishing new content on a regular basis, you tell search engines there's someone behind the site making updates and keeping things alive.
If you have five posts saved and ready to go, don't publish them all at once. Schedule them out a week apart. 1 new post published regularly over 5 weeks is better for your SEO efforts than being active for a week, then 4 weeks of nothing.
Plus, by posting on a schedule, your readers know what to expect. They know they can visit your site every Tuesday for new tips.
Your readers and search engines will appreciate your reliability.
5: Comment on Relevant Content
By commenting on relevant blog posts and articles posted on other sites, you get two things.
Every time you leave a comment and there's a place to put your site's URL, add it. Not only will that be a link from a high-authority site back to yours, but it'll be a link from a relative topic back to your site.
If you're posting comments that add value to the author and to other readers, this will work in your favor.
Additionally, every time you post a comment, people can click back to your site. If you do what I just suggested, people will enjoy your comments and want to read more of what you have to say.
And there you have it! 5 basic SEO tips you can start using today, each taking only a small amount of your time. You should be able to do each of these things almost immediately and start seeing results almost as fast.
There's one more thing I'd like to share with you.
Want me to help you grow your blog in ? Then check out my free 30 Day Blog Transformation email course!
Below is a screen shot of my Google Analytics for organic search over the last 12 months. Notice that other than the month where I switched my URL and brand, my search traffic has increased over time and the bounce rate has stayed basically the same.
Want more resources for your SEO efforts? Try these:
Question: What's your best, easy-to-implement, basic SEO tip, trick or hack?