This topic of 'SEO optimisation' has been covered a few times on my blog, but usually in a fairly general context. You can review articles such as: "What is positioning" or "Positioning - how to choose an SEO agency". Today, in a few words of introduction, I will remind you of the basic elements of optimisation, and later in the article I will show you how to make your life easier by installing the very useful Yoast SEO plugin.
Let's start with what it is in general SEO optimisation. Many people equate these activities with positioning, and they are partly right, but SEO "Search Engine Optimization" itself, i.e. optimization of a website in terms of search engine guidelines is precisely this optimization, and thus an important, even very important element of broader activities called positioning.
SEO optimisation - some tips
What should we pay attention to when optimising our website for SEO. Here are some of the more important elements:
- Use unique titles This title will not only be displayed in search results, but the search engine will treat it as an important indicator of what an internet user can find on a particular page or subpage. Therefore, it is worth placing in it a phrase on which high positions of a given page/subpage we care the most.
- Use a unique meta description that reflects the content of the page/subpage. This description is also very important. Often website owners ignore it, leaving it "alone", i.e. not entering any information. As a result, the search engine will automatically insert a chosen fragment of content from the page. However, it is good to be able to decide what a person viewing search results will see. Here, as in the case of the title, it is worth placing the phrase on which we care about positioning, and the description should be edited so that it is short, informative and encouraging to click.
- The content on a given sub-page should be sufficiently long. Try to keep the content to no less than 600 words, and the longer the text, e.g. 1000 - 2000 words or more, the better. Google currently attaches great importance to the content of pages. If there is only so much content, you cannot count on good positions, unless the topic is very niche.
- Apply the relevant phrase to the content of the subpage or phrases for which you want to position it. If you give these phrases only in the title or meta description, and in the content itself Google robots will not detect them, then automatically the chances of standing out will be smaller. Of course, do not overdo it, because if you forcefully and artificially pack in too many of these phrases, the effect may be the opposite of the intended one.
- Use friendly links. Working on WordPress, you can easily enable them by going to "Settings > Direct Links":
- Try to enrich the content with graphicsThe website can also be enhanced with images, photos and, if possible, videos that can strongly engage your visitors.
- When adding graphics and photos, don't forget to include their alternative descriptions which means that the ALT attributes should have content. Here you can also add the phrases you care about, but without overdoing it.
- Check in Google Search Console which search engine registers errors during indexing and try to eliminate them. For example, if you change the address of an article because you want to optimise it better, then be sure to set up a 301 redirect from the old address, which is in Google's index, to the new one.
There are several other elements of optimisation that you can read about in the article: "SEO WordPress guide for beginners"which I warmly encourage you to read.
This is roughly the whole of SEO optimisation. If you take care of all the elements mentioned above, your chances for better positions will definitely increase. Of course this does not guarantee success, but I know of cases when a good optimisation of a subpage was enough to soon make it jump up a few dozen positions or even to the TOP10 of search results. So it is worth doing.
SEO optimisation of a website based on WordPress
OK. We already know what to pay attention to when optimising SEO, but there is still the question of how to implement it? It depends mainly on the engine on the basis of which the website is run. Each has its own, different mechanisms for this type of optimisation, therefore I am not able to present them all. Today we will focus on SEO optimization of a website based on WordPress using the plugin Yoast SEO.
WordPress natively does not have any meaningful tool allowing to make changes such as custom titles and meta descriptions. Therefore, to cope with this we need to install an additional extension that will help in this task. Personally, I often use the plugin Yoast SEOand its fast-growing competitor Rank Math.
Installing the SEO optimisation plug-in
Installing a plugin in WordPress is a simple task, you may know how to do it, or maybe you're just starting out and don't quite feel what it entails. Here's a hint. Log in to your site's admin panel, then select "Plugins > Add New" from the left menu. This will take you to the repository of free WordPress extensions. On the right you will find a search box. Type in "Yoast SEO." You should find the plugin in the search results:
In the above screenshot, I marked the button with a red frame, which in this particular case indicates that the plug-in is already installed. If you do not have it yet on the button will be the inscription "Install now" you click, wait a moment until the button changes colour and appears on it "Enable". Click on this button, wait a moment and the plug-in is installed.
If you need more information on this topic take a look at the article "How to install the plug-in“.
Basic SEO optimisation with Yoast SEO
Now go into edit any sub-page or home page - whatever you want to optimise. Scroll down below the content entry window, where you should see a section that allows you to optimise. See what this looks like in the example of this article.
What we have here. Tab "Key phrase: SEO optimization". You have to inform the plugin for which phrase you want to optimize a particular page/subpage. In the middle you have the "Key phrase" section where you should enter your phrase. In my example it is the phrase "SEO optimisation". Only when you enter a phrase will the plugin be able to analyse the content of that particular subpage in terms of that phrase - in my case, it's the blog article you're reading right now 🙂 Go to the Analysis section and check what needs to be improved. In our example, the plugin suggests that there are two problems to be solved, while 9 optimization elements are OK. I'll show them all in a moment, but for now let's focus on the problems.
- The frequency of appearance of the key phrase is 0.4%, which is a bit too low. The key phrase occurs 4 times.
Thus, we have slightly too little saturation of the article with the phrase we care about, i.e. the phrase "SEO optimisation". What should you do? Well, try to rephrase the content in such a way that the phrase "SEO optimisation" appears in it more often. Try to incorporate it into the content in such a way that it looks natural. Don't force it so it doesn't look too artificial. Remember that it's not only about Google robots, but first and foremost about the Reader, Client, etc. If the content is poor in perception, you will definitely not inspire trust.
- The meta description has not been entered. Search engines display a piece of content taken from the page.
This has already been mentioned above. By default, the description - if you don't enter it manually - will be generated automatically based on the subpage content. It is worth to change it. As you can see the plugin doesn't care about the page title because by default the meta title is the article title, and since it also contains the key phrase and the length is appropriate you can leave it that way. However, I often introduce modifications anyway.
Let's eliminate these two problems. I added the phrase a few more times in the content and this way our first problem disappeared. Here is one important thing. The plugin analyses according to its own algorithm a certain optimal level of saturation with the key phrase. However, it does not analyse your competition from this point of view, which means that even if you introduce a correction here, which will eliminate the information about the problem, it will not mean that in this way you will facilitate the fight for high positions with your competitors. To make it more effective it is worth conducting a more detailed audit comparing yourself with competitors from the top ten search results. However, this is a more complex issue, so if you have a lot of competition on the Internet, contact an SEO agency and order an audit that will compare you with your competitors. It is not cheap, but doing it yourself without the right tools and knowledge of how to interpret the results can be quite difficult.
I will eliminate the second problem by entering a meta description. To do this click on the button marked in the following screenshot:
Then enter the content in the Description field. In our example I put something like this:
Note that I have added our keyword phrase "SEO Optimisation" and the green bar below the description tells me that the text entered is neither too short nor too long. In other words, it is OK. If the text is short or too long, the bar will change its colour from green to orange. At this point, we can go to the Analysis section and check whether the changes have had any effect.
All in green, so it is as I wanted. Now let's look at some other factors that were correct on the day, but you may have situations where there are more than two errors to correct.
- The key phrase appears in the first paragraph
In fact it is, you can check.
- Key phrase density
This we corrected, there were 4 occurrences and now we have 9 which in relation to the length of the article is according to the plugin optimal.
- The meta description contains the key phrase
We didn't have a description, but I added one using a key phrase so it's good
- The meta description has an optimal length
- The next point is OK, but the plugin still suggests adding the keyword to at least one more lower-level header, e.g. H2, H3, etc... I'll polish that up
- Images on the page contain the alt attribute.
When adding each photo or screenshot, I immediately added an alternative description of the image.
- The text contains 1413 words, and now even more.
As you can see the plugin suggests the content should be at least 300 words. At the moment when I am at this point of the article I have 1566 words, so well above the suggested minimum
- There are no nofollow external links in the content and one normal link.
It's OK but ultimately I will change it so that the outbound link has the "rel" attribute set to nofollow. I will describe in another article what exactly this is about.
- The same applies to internal links, i.e. links to other sub-pages, articles.
We have two of them in the content in the first paragraph of the text. Here I do not set the attribute rel="nofollow"
- SEO title is the right length
- The key phrase appears in the URL of the page
- You have never used this phrase before
The plugin analyses whether there are any articles on the site that are trying to be positioned for the same phrase. It's good if we don't try to compete with ourselves 🙂 .
That is basically it. You can easily publish something like that. As you may have noticed, apart from the tab that allows you to optimise a particular phrase, the plugin also has a tab for readability and a tab for adding another phrase.
In the readability tab we have one problem that would be worth correcting. In two sub-headings of the page, the plugin has detected that there are more than 300 words and suggests to break them up with other sub-headings. It's an element I wouldn't particularly worry about, but if you really want to get everything green, it can be corrected.
The "Add key phrase" tab allows you to analyse further phrases on which you would like to position/optimise this particular article. However, this option is only available in the paid version of the plug-in, which costs 79 Euro for today. In most cases, the free plug-in is completely sufficient.
I hope that I explained the topic and SEO optimization of a website based on WordPress will be now much easier and clearer for you. Maybe in your case SEO optimisation alone will be enough and your website will soon rank high, but very often it is not enough and it should be complemented with additional activities such as link building, i.e. acquiring valuable links to the website/article.
In the case of this particular text, optimization alone will certainly not be enough because the phrase "SEO optimisation"It is a highly competitive phrase, so if I wanted to pull the article high enough I would still have to analyse the competition, make additional changes to the content and acquire some links to the article. In your case it might be a bit easier, which I wish with all my heart.
We have reached the end of the article. In total, I've tapped out over 2,000 words. If you manage to create content on your site of a similar length, and it's not duplicate content from other sites, Google may at some point fall in love with that content. What will be the effect of this? You can probably guess.
Soon I will prepare separate texts for other issues raised in this article. If I wanted to squeeze all this into one article it would probably have not 2046 characters but at least 10000. It is a nice length, but I suspect that if I exaggerated, the text would be much worse in the reception - moderation is advisable 🙂 .
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