Improve your SEO quickly with these simple DIY steps

There are a few simple ways to improve your SEO without the need to hire a seo specialist. WordPress makes it dead easy for anyone to become a content creator. It is however equally important to make sure people can find your awesome content and this is why it’s important to understand some SEO basics. Fear not though as it’s not rock in science. Here are a few simple DIY steps to boost your onsite SEO.

1. Optimise your permalinks

User friendly permalinks let your users know what the page is about. If your url address looks like www.yourdomain.com/?p=123 then it doesn’t really say much about the content your visitor is about to see. Your url should be descriptive and consist of the most popular keywords that represent that particular page.

Permalink settings in WordPress
WordPress permalink settings screen.

2. Optimise images

Poorly optimised images can slow your website down big time. There is no need to upload a full resolution image onto your blog post. Use graphic software like Photoshop to save your images in a lightweight web friendly format. You can also use online tools like tinypng.com to quickly optimise your images for the web.

Describe your images the moment you save them. Don’t just upload a file that looks like this DSC_1234.jpg to your blog. Use descriptive file naming instead for example:

wordpress-permalink-settings.jpg

Once uploaded give your image a correct Alt description. Alternative descriptions go back to the beginning of the internet when the connections were slower to let the users know what the image was about in case it didn’t load with the page. These days Alts and filenames help the search engines ‘read’ images and understand what they are about.

alt=”Permalink settings in WordPress”

Describe images to tell the search engines what they are about

3. Link internally

Good internal linking can improve the overall navigation of your site directing visitors to more relevant content. It also sends important signals to the search engines that these posts or pages are important. A common mistake is only linking to your old posts from newly created articles or not linking internally at all.

Clever internal linking can let Google know what your website is about and it’s a way of helping your individual posts rank higher. While creating new content, see if there are any older posts on your blog already that you can link to from the new post. Don’t just link anywhere within your site. Make sure there is a real purpose for that link to be there. Try to be helpful suggesting or directing users to relevant posts only.

It also pays to go through some old posts you’ve forgotten about and see if you can link them to the new content you’ve just created. Sometimes you will have to rewrite some paragraphs of the old content to make sure you can incorporate a link there in a natural way.

I kind of touched on this topic in my other article about what is SEO. What you’ve just read was an example of how to link internally.

4. Create awesome content

Content is King
Bill Gates

Quality content wins and who knows more about the things you preach then you yourself?

Spend the time creating quality and informative content. Focus on keywords but don’t stuff your copy with them. Write for humans and keywords will flow naturally. While creating new content avoid duplicates. Does your new post sound similar to the one you already have? Consider merging them together creating even stronger piece of content.

5. Hide any content that’s not relevant

Chances are that not all of your content is valuable in Google’s eyes. You want the search engines to focus on the most important parts of your website. This sort of pages hardly bring anything when it comes to building authority of your website:

  • cart
  • privacy policy
  • legal disclaimers
  • tags or categories you’re not using

They are important and you want to keep them on your website for users to find them but you can choose for the search engines not to index them. Some of these will simply be off topic if your blog is about pets or cars. Some of these are often empty pages like category or tag pages which is considered thin content.

Tags and categories can of course be used on your website to improve the overall user experience sorting your content into relevant groups. Often though these are forgotten and when clicked on we are directed to empty pages with arvives for that particular given tag or category.

Yoast settings allowing search engines to index content
Disallowing search engines to show your post in Yoast

This is a very simple process you can follow yourself thanks to well known SEO plugins like Yoast SEO or All in One SEO Pack. You’ll have to determine first which parts of your website you want the search engines to see.

Conclusions on DIY steps to improve SEO

Bill Gates predicted it back in 1996 when he published his essay called ‘Content is King’. Thin content won’t get you far but creating awesome content won’t get you to the top of Google without the help of SEO. The good thing is that it’s not that difficult and you can do all the basics yourself. Good luck!

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