“Do I need it for my website?”
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process adding changes to your website to maximize the number of visitors. The goal is to have your website appear high on the list of websites in a Google or Bing search engine.
Say, for example, that your company sells wedding cakes in Nome, Alaska, and that there are six companies selling wedding cakes in Nome. When the engaged couple is searching for a company to make them a wedding cake, they will likely turn to Google Search, and they may type in the search bar: “wedding cake nome”. Because you sell wedding cakes in Nome, you want to make sure that your company comes to the top of the list in that search. The way you do that is through Search Engine Optimization of your website. To make it a bit more of a challenge, the other five companies selling wedding cakes in Nome may also be working on Search Engine Optimization, so you are competing with those other wedding cake bakeries.
The Era of SEO Tricks
When the Internet was young, the various SEO experts came into the market, and with a series of tricks could easily make their clients websites come to the top of the search. One of the most used tricks was to have a lot of links TO your website, and so SEO experts would come up with very creative ways to set up a lot of links.
However, as the SEO experts developed new tricks, the search engines, like Google Search, found ways to look beyond the tricks. What this means is that the SEO tricks no longer work. In order to come to the top of the Search Results, what you must do is have a better website than your competitors. But how do you make a better website?
High Ranking SEO = Quality Writing
On the World Wide Web today, the best approach to Search Engine Optimization is to have excellent writing and thoughtful links on your website. The good news is that rather than a bunch of tricks, the goal is to make the website better for your customers! The more your customers love your website, the better your SEO will be. It’s a Win-Win!
Key Phrase for Each Web Page
The hardest part about SEO writing is to figure out the key phrase for each page of your website. What you want to do is try to learn what words your potential customers will put into search bar when they are looking for you. The key to improving a website’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is through the words on the page. So the real answer to making your website found on the internet is through quality writing with a good key phrase–the phrase that you customer would put in to find you. Choosing the key phrase is the hardest part, which is why your marketing background would be especially useful.
Most of the time, for your home page, your brand name will be the key phrase. That way, if anyone has already heard of you and is putting your brand name into the search bar, you will be at the top of the list. But after that, it can be more challenging to pick out the words that customers would use. One trick to find the right words is to go to Google Search, start typing in words you think they may use, and then see what pops up. Those are search terms used by website visitors in the past.
Yoast for WordPress SEO
For WordPress website, the most used plugin for SEO at the present time is Yoast. The tagline for Yoast is “SEO for everyone.” Yoast has a very robust free WordPress plugin, and it may be that the free plugin is enough for your work. They also have a paid subscription which is $79 per year, and with that you can have multiple key phrases and other premium features. As you write your website content, Yoast provides a you with feedback on:
- How to write your website title and description for the search results
- How to write your website content for your key phrase
- Overall readability of your website
- Preparing your website for sharing on Social Media.
The Bottom Line
If your business depends on having your website appear at the top of search results, you no longer need to spend thousands of dollars a month on SEO services. With the Yoast plugin, either the free or premium version, you can improve your appearance and ranking in the search results. It truly is SEO for everyone!
At White Buffalo Websites, we install the Yoast plugin on all of the WordPress websites that we make for our clients. If you are interested in improving the SEO of your website, we can help you with our SEO Writing Service or train you on how to do your own SEO writing.