I was on a Google Hangout with a client who wanted tips on how to optimize the company’s blog posts. This is the SEO advice I gave to a WordPress client today.
The website uses the awesome Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, and with Yoast comes a dead simple SEO button that changes color based on how well optimized the page is. The button on the sample post we examined was a sickly yellow-green, signaling weak overall optimization.
After implementing the tips below, the button turned a solid green. Here are the actions taken to do this. Of course these aren’t end all be all must do’s just some basics. You should adjust as logic dictates and keep in mind that the overarching objective is to make it easier for search engines to index your content in ways that help them return relevant search results to their users.
Link titles and tags: all links should have meaningful “title tags”. Title tags are what shows when a user hovers over the link. Usually the page or thing they’re linking to has a title or caption rich in search terms. But just repeating the link text is boring and not helpful for readers. Better to use another phrase from the linked content that further describes it to the reader, while improving seo as well. Also use the same or similar term as a general tag to squeeze extra SEO juice.
Image Alt Tags: Every image should have an alt tag – and not just the generic tag WP assigns when you upload the image. Make it a search term that relates to the keywords of the post – the post title for example. Consider using alt tags as general tags also.
Page URL: The page URL is a strong SEO element and should contain the title. Just beneath the post title is a permalink that depending on how your permalinks are configured might look like this: Permalink: http://www.company.com/homeblog/buying-a-home/homebuyer-plan/
The green is the post category. The blue is the title. In the above example the blue differs from the title of the post Homebuyer plan – What NOT to do. Generally the post title and the blue part of the permalink should match. Don’t worry that WordPress converts it to all lower case and puts dashes in. Search engines will see them as the same.
Include Focus Keywords in subheadings whenever feasible: Incorporate the focus keywords the ones you define in the Yoast area of the post edit screen into those subheadings that are surrounded by h tags like h2, h3, h4.
Include Post Title in the first paragraph whenever feasible. The post title is a strong SEO element. Reiterating the title within the first paragraph strengthens it even more.
Further tips: Read the “Page Analysis” tab in the SEO by Yoast section of the post edit screen for other tips and analysis of post or page content.
Collaborate with your team: talk to your authors, social media managers and anyone else you can think of and ask them to offer their own pet SEO advice. Read everything you can about the subject.
So there you have it the advice I gave to a client in a Google Hangout today. Hope you’ve found it useful. Have some SEO tips to share? Post a comment below.