A Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Cheat Sheet 

 

SEO 1

 


 

Primary keywords/phrases

Before starting an article, think about which keywords or phrases someone would type into Google to find it. For example, for an article about the best restaurants in Los Angeles: “Restaurants” and “Los Angeles” would be the primary keywords.

Include the primary keywords in the article title (known as h/1). For example, “The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” / “The Top 10 Restaurants in Los Angeles.”These can also be phrases. For example, someone who wants to learn Spanish in Peru might type “where to learn Spanish in Peru” into Google. Therefore, a good SEO title would be “The Best Language Schools/Cities to Learn Spanish in Peru.

Secondary keywords/phrases

These are usually synonyms of the primary keywords or closely related words. For example, secondary keywords for “The Best Restaurants in Los Angeles” might be:

– Food
– Cuisine
– Eat/eating
– Dine/dining
– Gastronomy

Try to include as many secondary keywords as possible at least once in the text, preferably in the introduction or subheadings (h/2), if practical. WordPress makes it easy to select different headings.

Keywords only need to be entered once. There is no longer any advantage to typing them multiple times, although you certainly can if necessary.

Keyword stuffing

This refers to putting as many primary and secondary keywords into an article as possible for the sake of SEO. Don’t do this. You’re better off writing nice flowing text with fewer keywords. Readability wins over keyword stuffing every time. Keyword stuffing used to be a neat SEO trick but is no longer viable.

 

 

 

Article Length

350 words is a bare minimum. Many SEO experts believe long-form articles over 2,000 words rank better than shorter pieces. However, writing concise, engaging, and shareable content is far more beneficial than any SEO “hack” out there. Therefore, don’t try and pad out your articles with “fluff” to reach a higher word count.

Having said that, if any article genuinely needs to be over 2,000 words, then go for it. Photos enhance SEO considerably, so try to include at least three in each post. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t add more if you want.

Instagram pics can look nice, but they don’t help SEO at all. For this reason, try to upload photos rather than relying on Instagram.

Adding keywords to photo metadata aids SEO. By metadata, we’re referring to the alternative text, the photo title, and the caption. Include an insightful and relevant caption with each picture, ideally containing a keyword. Studies have shown people read (scan) photo captions far more than the text itself.

 

 

Good caption: A craft beer at the Beef and Beer Café, Los Angeles, California

Bad caption: A beer

Smaller file size photos are better for SEO. Under 1MB is ideal, just be sure they have a high enough resolution to avoid becoming pixelated (1024 horizontal resolution is best). A 2MB file size is an absolute maximum.

Ensure all photos are relevant and add interest to your story.

Duplicate Content

Don’t copy/paste from other online sources, even in small amounts. Google penalizes duplicate content, and you could end up getting sued.

 

Social Media

Shares and likes are great for Google rankings. The more, the better.

 

Line Breaks

Avoid writing more than four sentences in one paragraph, as this effects both readability and SEO. Nobody – not even Google – wants to read a wall of text.

 

Internal links

If possible, link to other blogs or articles on your website to retain readership and improve SEO. Aim for three internal links per post and try to keep them as natural as possible.

 

External Links

Linking to an external site (i.e., Wikipedia) will tell Google what kind of a website you have. With that in mind, try to keep external links to websites that are related to your business.

 

Inbound links

When another site links to you, particularly an authority (popular) site, it dramatically improves your ranking. Some people even go as far as creating new websites specifically to link to their existing site. This is not always viable, however.

 

Content is king

It’s a cheesy industry saying, but true nonetheless. Keep the above SEO tips in mind, but always remember that high-quality content is what brings in traffic. Readability should take precedence over SEO techniques.

 


 

What are your challenges with SEO?

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s