Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Getting Started with On-Page SEO for Beginners


Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is something new bloggers rarely consider, mainly because they don’t know about it. It’s what will ultimately make your blog noticeable. It’s why there are so many guides surrounding various SEO techniques. The better your SEO, the higher you will appear on the Google search engine rankings.

The SEO for blogging differs from a standard website. WordPress has made it easy for newbies to implement SEO. It’s why one in six blogs are now made using the platform.

So what is on-page SEO? On-page SEO is what falls within your control. You don’t just influence it. You actively control it. Off-page SEO applies mainly to the things which happen away from your website. This includes social media and links to your site. You can influence off-page SEO, but there are no guarantees.

Both types of SEO are crucial to growing into a popular blog. Start with on-page SEO. It’s the easiest form of SEO and anyone can do it. Additionally, it’s completely free and requires no previous experience. To help you on your way, here are a few handy tips for on-page blog SEO.

Keywords

Think of a keyword as a potential search term. It can be anything you think someone will search for. Pick a keyword relevant to your blog post and subject matter. You want a targeted audience to find you. Keywords range from a single word to whole phrases. Target no more than five main keywords and sprinkle them naturally throughout every post.

You should fit most keywords in naturally. A natural fitting doesn’t impact SEO. What it does influence is the way it reads, so if someone finds your website they won’t be impressed by a clunky sentence.

Beware of keyword stuffing. Spamming these keywords won’t work and Google will remove you from the search engine indexes. Unless it’s a huge blog, you should never use a single keyword more than three times. Look for a density no higher than 2 per cent.

Keyword Cloud

Tagged keywords list the keywords relevant to a specific blog post. These normally appear below a blog post. WordPress allows you to do this automatically, but there are a number of plugins you can install. If you can’t fit something in naturally, put them in the cloud and have them appear at the bottom of the page.

As already mentioned, there are a number of plugins available. These influence how the tagged keywords appear. Some are themed and others have little graphics, such as a literal cloud. Spend some time browsing through these add-ons to see which fits into your theme and color scheme.

Titles

Search engines use crawler bots to inspect a page and ascertain the sort of content published on the page. The first thing it reads is the title. Make the title descriptive and specific, such as the one used in this article. As a little test, read the title and see if you can work out the precise subject matter of the page without reading anything further. If you can’t, the title isn’t descriptive enough.

Add in a keyword or two where possible to increase the SEO value. Having a keyword at such an early point makes them more powerful than merely having one in the main text.

The same thing applies to any subtitles. The search engines read these after the title. They’re the second most important parts of a page. Use the divisions by adding a keyword, where possible. Never compromise quality and description in favor of forcing a keyword, though.

White Space

Usability is a very recent factor influencing SEO. If you have a poorly designed website which results in a poor user experience the search engines will penalize you. And even if they don’t none of your visitors will want to come back.

Add some ‘white space’ by breaking large paragraphs into small paragraphs to make them easier on the eye.

Write Well

Poor quality writing with spelling mistakes and bad word choices drive readers nuts. Who wants to read through a sentence which could have been written by someone who hasn’t yet reached the tender age of 10?

Google realized it was common practice to put any old garbage online in an attempt to gain an SEO boost. It’s why they introduced quality control rules.

It’s nothing to fret about if you aren’t an accomplished writer. Search engines can only automatically check these things to a certain extent. They won’t pick up on the occasional mistake (even if your readers will). They register things by repetition. It’s the glaring mistakes made frequently which they’ll discover and punish you for.

Spend some time editing your blogs before posting them and you shouldn’t have too many problems.

This post is written by Kate Funk. She coaches individuals in SEO and business networking skills at tutortop.com

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