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SEO Part 2 – Optimizing Your Articles

Once you’ve laid that solid SEO foundation for your site, it’s time to start building optimized content that will appear in the top search results. If you’ve already written content, it’s not too late to optimize it using this guideline.

Below I’ve outlined 14 steps, from preliminary research to content promotion, that will build your page rank. I’ve outlined them in chronological order, but if I were to organize it by importance, item number one would be QUALITY CONTENT! As we covered in SEO Part 1, search engines are in the business of providing your readers with accurate, quality information, and they’re getting smarter at it each year. While they used to rely on keywords to match up the user’s query with the content, machine learning algorithms like RankBrain are forcing writers to rely more on topical relevance than keyword relevance. So again, that means quality is your first and best shot at ranking in search engines like Google.

Content that doesn’t earn links, shares, email forwards, word-of-mouth, press, etc. probably won’t stand out, won’t rank, and won’t be worth your energy to build.

-Rand Fishkin

Keyword Research

Keywords are the words end users type into the search bar. Every new rabbit hole an internet user goes down, every new trail, will pivot on keywords. They are the joints that connect sites to one another, including the search engine results page. So to be part of that trail that the user is on, you need to be connected to those keywords. Ideally, you want to become the most relevant website offering solutions to users who search for your market offerings.

There are many costly tools on the internet that offer keyword strategies. Before you fork out the money, here’s the free strategy that I’m using to build up this site and others. Prepare to get very comfortable with spreadsheets and formulas for a few days.

  1. Sign in and access the Google Keyword Planner
    1. Watch this video for a brief introduction on how to use the Keyword Planner tool
    2. Go to Google AdWords – Keyword Planner, and log in with a Google account.
    3. Skip the guided setup. If you fill in your information and click “Continue,” you will not be able to access the Keyword Planner without paying for an ad campaign. There is no option to go back once you’ve clicked “Continue”.

      Keyword Planner setup
      Skip the guided setup!
    4. Navigate to the Keyword Planner start page as you saw in the video, and “Search for new keywords using a phrase” to get to the results page.
  2. Pick 5-10 keywords that you would search for if you were a consumer looking for the products or services in your company’s market. Try to think like your customer to come up with these keywords.
  3. Compile Keyword Ideas. On the Keyword Planner results page, use the “Your Company’s Product or Service” box to gather keyword ideas on each of your 5-10 keywords. Download the historical statistics on each of those keywords individually, and combine them into a single spreadsheet.
  4. Prepare your spreadsheet. Using columns B, D, E and F, calculate the approximate value ranking of the keywords in your collection. Feel free to delete the other columns to declutter your visual work space.
    1. Find and Replace each of the text strings in the “Avg. Monthly Searches” column (D) with a number representing that range. You can pick the lowest number, the highest number, or the median, it’s up to you. The point is to transform the text strings that won’t fit into a numerical formula into a general number field. So if the Average Monthly Searches is written as 1K – 10K, Find and Replace all instances of “1K – 10K” with, say, “10,000”. Then Find and Replace all instances where the Average Monthly Searches is written as “100 – 1K” with “1,000,” and so on until the entire column is formatted with numbers instead of text strings.
    2. Multiply the Average Monthly Searches by the Suggested Bid in each row into a new column which we can call, “Estimated Value”.
    3. Sort the Estimated Value from Largest to Smallest.
  5. Competition Analysis Using MozBar
    1. Install the MozBar Chrome extension, and turn it on by clicking the new “M” icon in the top right corner of your Chrome window so that it turns blue.
    2. Navigate to the Google search page, and search for the first keyword in your spreadsheet. Your search engine results page will now include information from Moz about each result’s Page Authority and Domain Authority.
    3. Try to find keywords where the Page Authority of the Google results is comparable to yours. If your site is new, your authority will be 0. If that’s the case, try to find keywords where the results are in the 20s and 30s.
    4. Go down your list of keywords until you find 10-20 eligible keywords. These become your new target keywords
  6. Compile New Keyword Ideas using your new set of 10-20 eligible keywords in the Keyword Planner tool. This time instead of compiling all of the results into a single list, keep them grouped together with their original seed keywords. Prepare each of the spreadsheets the same way you did with the original list, editing the text string into a number, multiplying the average searches by the suggested bid, and sorting the new  value from largest to smallest.
  7. Competition Analysis for each list of Keyword Ideas. Follow the same process of searching down the list of keywords in Google to find the “low hanging fruit,” or keywords that your page authority would allow you to compete with. Find about 10 keywords on each of those lists.
  8. Create Blog Posts or Articles using the highest-value keywords in each list as the topic for that post, and using the 10 other sister keywords in your meta content and headers.

 

Quality Content

Quality content is good information that’s easy to absorb.

Your first thought regarding content creation needs to be: What did my end user open their browser to find? Depending on the type of site you’re running, that could be anything from daily comics to medical equipment that ships to Ecuador. Whatever it is, you must be able to put yourself in the head-space of the user who is looking for your content.

When you imagine searching for comics, for example, which are the comics that strike you as the funniest, cleverest, most enjoyable? What kind of drawing style stands out to you? What kind of joke delivery makes you laugh the hardest? When was the last time you thought something was so good that you just had to text it, Tweet it, share it on any or all of your social media sites? The answers to these questions define the level of quality that you should be striving for in your own work. That’s not to say that you should be copying content or style, but that you should be making sure that your unique content is at least as good as the things you yourself enjoy.

 

Readability

As I mentioned above, quality content is easy to absorb. Readability is that layer of UX that you apply to your content to accommodate your reader’s cognitive tendencies such as short attention span, facial orientation, tool orientation, etc. Conveying a message is only partly about the words that you type. Communication is distorted by your reader’s ability to focus on sentences that are greater than 20 words long, paragraphs that are greater than 150 words long, etc. Your content could be the most brilliant, unique, informative information on the internet, but that doesn’t matter if people can’t read it. Search engines like Google are aware of this, and have come up with smart ways to measure readability:

Header Tags

In print, we’re pretty familiar with headers as the big, bold text that announces what that section of the page is about. Your article has a title which indicates the overall topic, and can be further organized into sub-topics using headers. In a newspaper like the one in this image, headers are created with larger letter blocks to stamp the page with.

In the digital world, this is done with an HTML “header tag”. The biggest header is created using the <h1> tag, followed by <h2> through the smallest header, <h6>. For our purposes (and Google’s) we’re only concerned with header tags 1 through 3.

Google recognizes the existence of these HTML tags as an indicator of a well-organized (readable) page, and also assigns relevance to the keywords found in those tags.

Sentence and Paragraph Size

When you can, keep your run-on sentences (20+ words) to a minimum, and your paragraphs at 3-5 lines. Try to anticipate the attention span of your average user. If your site is on a rigorous topic such as the Brisker method of Talmud mitzvah, or the theory of relativity, then your readers might have an attention span that could easily devour long, complicated sentences and paragraphs. If, however, your topic is just about anything else, then the safest bet is to Keep It Simple.

Images

Images speak louder than words, and are the best tool for conveying your message in a clear and memorable way. Keep in mind that image files are byte-heavy and can slow down your page speed, especially if you don’t compress them. But adding a few high-quality images that support your text makes your message clearer, which can lead to more links and shares.

 

Title

The title of your post informs a search engine of what type of content your page provides. It helps the search engine index your page for accurate retrieval by the end user, so it should accurately represent what your page or article is about. But it’s not merely informative; the title of your page should also be catchy to readers.

In WordPress, the title is in the pretty obvious title box at the top of your New Post or Edit Post page. In a static HTML web page, the title is in the <head> section, as shown below in blue:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
    <title>This Is The Title</title>
</head>
<body></body>
</html>

 

Meta Description

It has such a weird name that you might think that the meta description is something on the back end where no user would come across it. On the contrary, the meta description is not only visible to the end user, but it plays a huge role in selling your page as the best option from the 30 pages they have to choose from on the search engine results page (SERP). The meta description should also include relevant keywords, which will be highlighted in the description. I typed, “What is a meta description” into Google, and found this result to use as an example.

meta description
The meta description shows up here on the SERP. Notice how the keywords I searched for are highlighted!

 

To add a meta description to a WordPress post, first you must install a plugin such as Yoast SEO. Once the plugin is activated, open your Edit Post page, and scroll down below the post entry. There should now be a Yoast SEO section that helps guide you through your page readability and keyword SEO. You can modify your SEO title, slug, and meta description all right there in one convenient spot.

In a static HTML site, this is where you would write your meta description:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
<title>This Is The Title</title>
    <meta name=”description” content=”This is a 160-character description of my page to make readers want to click on this link instead of the 29 other options on the search engine results page”>
</head>
<body></body>
</html>

 

Links

Once your post is written, and your title and meta SEO are all in place, it’s time to build links. Internal links, back links, and broken links all have different types of significance in search engine metrics, but all are critical steps in supporting your content and increasing your search engine ranking.

Internal Links

These links enhance the usability of your site by guiding your reader to additional information about the topic they’re already reading about. You can only have internal links if you have more than one article on your site, so this step may need to be completed after you write more posts. Each time you finish a post, find keywords or text that is related to other posts on your site, and hyperlink to those other posts. For best practice make sure that you set the hyperlink to open in a new tab, as it can be frustrating for readers to be taken away from what they were already reading.

Backlinks

Backlinks are the “links” that go “back” to your page from someone else’s page. These links generate traffic and brand recognition for you while also informing Google that you’re popular, trusted, relevant, maybe even an authority on that keyword. On the surface, when you link to another site’s page, or another site links to your page, that would be because the linked page provides additional information or substance to the content of the linking page. We all learned in middle school how to cite our sources, and links are an interactive, user friendly way to do just that.

Pay per click monetization made traffic from those backlinks potentially more valuable to the linked page than to the linking page or to the reader, which opened up an opportunity for gaming the system. People were buying and selling links to each other’s pages, often disregarding the quality of the content they were directing users to.

That’s why in the world of SEO, backlinks carry much greater significance while being far more complicated than one might expect. There are quality backlinks, as well as damaging backlinks.

What is a quality backlink?

The below criteria will help you discern good backlinks from negative ones:

  • from a quality source
  • produces traffic to your site
  • in-content (editorial links)
  • on a page with PageRank
  • next to backlinks to authority websites
  • (but not too many other competing backlinks on the page)
  • from a wide variety of domain names hosted on different IP addresses instead of just one
  • not easily acquired by competition or thousands of other low-quality pages
  • not paid for! Google will penalize your site.

How do I acquire backlinks?

  • Produce high quality content!
  • Get noticed on social media. Go viral!
  • Some businesses may have opportunity to acquire links from their customers via partnership badges or icons that link back to their site
  • email bloggers directly to request links
  • guest write articles on authoritative sites
  • DO NOT PAY FOR BACKLINKS

Broken Links

Dead links that lead to a “404 – Page Not Found” error negatively affect SEO by preventing engine spiders from crawling your site in order to index it. If your site isn’t indexed, the search engine won’t know to include it in a list of search results. They damage your reputation by creating poor user experience which 44% of users will talk about, and they increase your bounce rate (people leaving your site).

While it may be feasible for small site owners to check their site manually for broken links, large sites with hundreds of pages are far less likely to catch broken links this way. Google Analytics makes it easy to automate your broken link audit. Log into your Google Analytics account, then go to Content / Content by Title on the dashboard. Filter your content by Page Title that contains, “Sorry, there’s been an error and this page may not exist.” Or if you’re 404 savvy and have written your own 404 message, then use that in your filter.

Then you can redirect those dead links to live pages on your site.

Social Media

After you complete your post, you’ll most likely want to link it on social media to generate traffic. Always accompany your social media shares with a captivating image. Your headlines should be interesting and informative. 80% of viewers don’t make it past the headline, so treat this as the most important part of your content.

SEO is a broad and deep practice with so many niches and regular changes to the rules. These two posts barely scratch the surface. However, they do create a foundation to build from while you’re growing your website. Please share this information with your friends, and join the discussion below if you have any questions or comments.

 

Thanks for Reading!

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Resources:

 

Congratulations! We got through SEO basic training! There’s a lot more to learn on this topic, so don’t stop here. Let me know if there’s anything specific that you’re curious about. Together we’ll find the answers!

-Vesper

Abstract Website Builder

SEO Part 1 – Optimizing Your Domain

Building a website these days is not just about choosing a cool WordPress theme and writing blog posts. Search engine providers are in the business of providing search engine users with quick access to the information they want. You are in the business of getting found and selling your wares to the end user. Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is how you’ll compete with millions of other content creators for the best seats on the Search Engine Results Page (SERP). According to SearchMetrics, only 11% of domains have an SEO relevance in Google, which renders 89% of the internet invisible. With all the time you spend writing valuable content, invisible is the last thing you want to be!

So while your primary goal may be to deliver quality information to the end user, your secondary goal is to help the search engines serve those same customers the search engine products of accuracy and accessibility. Before a human ever reads your article, a bot needs to read it, understand it, and approve of its relevance. In other words, you’re now selling your website to two different customers, each with very specific criteria.

If it sounds like you’re doing twice the work, you are. And to make matters more complicated, search engines are always creating new algorithms and tweaking old ones to better serve their users, which demands constant vigilance on the site owner’s part to stay current. This is the challenge we love, though, right? And if not, it’s easy to find someone to do it for you so you can stay focused on what’s most important to your role as a business owner.

Among search engines, Google earned its dominance on the user-friendly tenant that the Search Engine Results Page should provide the most relevant and accurate results possible, without clutter. It has a vested interest in obscuring some of its practices so that content creators like you and I can’t game the system, so to speak, and spam Google’s customers with irrelevant, inaccurate content. This means that the art and science of SEO requires a great deal of research and updates. It also means that you’ll often come across conflicting advice from various SEO expert sources as each one struggles to keep up with changes at varying speeds.

This is a nuanced, complex field, and if you leap before you look, oftentimes you’ll end up in a very tough situation.

-Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz

 

In this post, I’ve detailed three fundamentals of SEO for your website: domain selection, page speed, and site indexing. Some of it is specific to WordPress, but most of it applies whether you’re using a Content Management System (CMS) or managing a static HTML website. Also, this post offers detailed steps to boost your Domain Authority, but Page Authority will be addressed in another post. In my opinion, it’s important to make the vessel before you try to fill it with content. (That happens to be why this is the first post on this feed; I’m configuring this very site while writing out the steps). Let’s get started!

 

SEO-Friendly Domain

Light significance is placed on your domain name in Google search rankings. If you’ve already purchased your domain, don’t sweat it too much. Just make sure your content is as good as it can be, and your ranking should be fine. If you haven’t then consider some of these points to get the most out of your SEO opportunities.

What You Should Know About Keyword Domain Names

There was a time when putting relevant keywords into a domain name was a no-brainer. If you can predict the words a person might type into the search bar, and use that keyword phrase as your domain name, then obviously your site will be the most relevant search result. That’s called an Exact-Match-Domain, or “EMD”. An example would be something like, “www.howtofixalternator.com”, or, “www.cheapestbarsinlosangeles.com”.

Matt Cutts Tweets about EMDIt’s that no-brainer quality that has turned Exact-Match-Domains (EMD) into a bad idea. After people discovered this trick, they were able to create all sorts of EMD sites that offered less to the user, and were really designed mainly as click-bait so that site owners could rake in ad revenue. So in 2012, Google released an update that dropped the rankings of Exact-Match-Domains. Since search engines are trying to protect their own users (your potential readers) from spam, you should be mindful of making your site seem spammy.

Partial-Match-Domains (PMD) are domains that contain a keyword string, but are not an exact match. There’s speculation and disagreement about whether Google penalizes partial-match domains, and if so, to what degree.

When you can, choose a quality brand name that’s easy to remember, and fits the type of business you’re running.

  • Best:  A short, punchy brand name that’s easy to remember and easy to spell, but still indicates what type of site it is
  • Better: A Partial-Match Domain (PMD) that contains a keyword
  • Not Catastrophic: If the quality of your content is good, and the rest of your site isn’t “overly optimized” with spammy keywords, then don’t sweat that Exact-Match Domain (EMD) that you’ve already purchased.

.COM Domain

.com has been the default domain since 1985. It’s embedded into our cultural lexicon. Many computers are already configured to auto-fill a URL with a www. —.com with the Ctrl + Enter keys. So if you type “vespertron” into your URL bar, then hit the Ctrl and Enter keys at the same time, the rest of the URL will auto-fill as www.vespertron.com, not vespertron.net, vespertron.org, or vespertron.info. And even if you weren’t hip with the hot keys, your fingers will want to type “. c o m” before you even think about it. Remember how important it is for your domain name to be easy to remember, easy to spell? Using anything other than .com is a hit to both of those criteria.

  • Best:  All of your pages link to a .com domain. If you’ve purchased other domain versions, such as .net, .info, .io, etc, make sure that those pages automatically re-direct to your .com domain.
  • Poor: Using a domain other than .com as your primary web domain.

HTTPS

Securing your site with an SSL certificate provides a minor boost in rankings with Google.

Purchase an SSL certificate (Secure Sockets Layer), which transports the data safely using a bit of code that encrypts communications to and from the web server. Encryption encodes and decodes information like browsing history and credit card information to keep it safe from prying eyes. The certificate proves the authenticity of the site to your users so they can confidently transmit their sensitive information. And data integrity is protected as the data cannot be corrupted without being detected. Hyper-Text Transfer Protocol + Secure Sockets Layer == Secure HTTP

Read Google’s Best Practices When Implementing HTTPS.

  • Good:  Securing your website with an SSL Certificate
  • Not Catastrophic: Skipping the SSL Certificate, and keeping the HTTP unsecured

TIP: We’re going to talk about the importance of quality hosting in the Site Speed section, but choosing the right hosting provider, such as StableHost, could also provide you with free SSL encryption.

 

URL Length

Now that we’ve talked about keywords in the domain name, let’s talk about keywords in the URLs. A URL length doesn’t make a difference for search engines like Google or Bing to parse; however, they do impact user experience. URLs that are around 50-60 characters are easier for people to highlight, copy, paste, and share, especially on mobile devices where they’re trying to capture the URL string with their thumbs. The easier you make it to copy and share a URL, the more traffic your page will enjoy.

  • Best:  A URL that’s less than 60 characters long
  • Not a Good Idea: A URL that’s 100+ characters long

Page Speed

Page speed is counted as the complete time that it takes for the entire visible area to finish loading. While the correlation factor has come down to 0 in Google’s rankings, it’s important to monitor as you can lose a large percentage of users in the seconds that it takes for your page to load. 40% of consumers abandon a page if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load. For page ranking, Google is even more demanding, setting the bar at 200ms for the server to render a response. For the best consumer engagement, you want your site to load in under 1 second. That’s not just for PC; mobile users are expecting a comparable experience as well.

Hosting:

Your first decision about page speed starts with hosting. Where your content is hosted matters! If you’re brand new to site ownership, chances are pretty good that you bought your domain and hosting together on an all-purpose content management system like WordPress.com, and never had to consider the reality that every image and article that you upload takes up the space that you’ve paid for, and is delivered back to you at the speed which you’ve also paid for. There is indeed quite a bit of variety available, and figuring out the best hosting solution for your needs can be held back by confusing technical jargon.

Criteria that allows for speed:

  • Do they use SSD spaces?
  • How much input / output bandwidth
  • Bandwidth speed
  • How many processors can you use or run simultaneously
  • Can you customize everything?

 

  • Best:  stablehost.com
  • Good: cloud VPS from VPS.net with Powerpack and at least 2 nodes and C Panel w/  2GB Ram, LiquidWeb Cloud Dedicated Hosting
  • Bad: Hosting that’s advertised as “WordPress optimized.”

Content Delivery Network

A Content Delivery Network, Content Distribution Network, or CDN, is a geographically distributed network of servers that is meant to accelerate the delivery of web objects, downloadable objects, live streaming, pretty much anything the end user will come across in their internet usage. In other words, it takes your content from your server, and points it to a server that’s closer to the end user to reduce the number of “network seconds” that it takes to transmit content.

The purposes of using a CDN service to deliver your content are these:

  • Faster page load speed
  • Better capacity for sudden high traffic loads
  • Blocking spammers and bad bots
  • Smaller bandwidth consumption
  • Protecting site from DDOS attacks

When you’re just starting out as a site owner, and you want to keep your costs to a minimum, here are your free CDN options:

  1. Jetpack is a feature-rich WordPress plugin which may already be installed if you’re using a premium WordPress subscription. If not, you can find it in the Plugins / Add New menu. After you install and activate it, just make sure that you deactivate all but the Performance setting, as this plugin uses a lot of JavaScript code which you likely won’t need.
  2. Cloudflare is more than just content distribution and delivery. It also offers website caching along with CSS, HTML, and JavaScript minimization to further enhance your page speed. To top that off, you can get free SSL certification. I highly recommend that you read through the services offered. It can be tricky to configure this service appropriately to avoid conflicts with your other page speed optimizers, and failing to test ‘https’ could cause you to not be able to access your website or dashboard. Please be very careful when setting this up.

Lightweight Style for Mobile, Tablet, and PC

Choosing an Optimized WordPress Theme

When choosing a theme from WordPress Repository, or a paid theme from Studiopress, DIY Themes, etc., make sure that the theme summary or documentation explicitly states that it’s SEO Optimized for desktop and mobile.

  • Best: Studiopress themes or free and minimal WordPress themes
  • Good: Divi theme or drag-and-drop based theme, combined with plugin
  • Bad: Poorly coded theme with no page speed optimization

JavaScript, CSS, and HTML minification

Make it easier for the browser to parse pages by loading any extra CSS and JavaScript last. If you’re managing your own code with a static HTML site or custom WordPress theme, it’s advisable to place your JavaScript at the bottom of the HTML code. If it’s at the top, it could slow down your page’s load time while the loader tries to read the script before it gets to the rest of the items in your page.

File Size

File size no longer appears to directly impact ranking; however, it does impact page speed. So to reduce your file sizes, make sure that your images are compressed using compression plugins, such as “Compress JPEG & PNG images”. There are free image compressors available, but you’ll want to read carefully to make sure that their monthly size limits will fit your needs.

Security Tip: “EWWW Image Optimizer” is a plugin that allows you to optimize on your own server instead of the cloud, which is great if image security is a concern for you.

Testing and Tweaking

As you implement these page speed techniques above, you can keep an eye on your progress by plugging your domain into the below testing tools.

Web Indexing

Web crawlers gather data from hundreds of billions of web pages, and organize it into an index using interdisciplinary concepts ranging from mathematics to cognitive psychology for fast and accurate information retrieval. This process is called, “indexing”.

Until your site has been indexed, search engines have no reference of your site’s content or value to the end user unless they’re directly searching for your domain. You can wait for web crawlers to happen upon your website out of the hundreds of billions of sites that it’s crawling, but as you can image that would take quite a bit of time.

So it’s up to you to put yourself on the map using a sitemap. A sitemap is an XML document that lists every single web page on your site, and includes instructions for the crawlers regarding how frequently they should check back for changes to your pages.

Creating a Sitemap

If you’re using WordPress, various SEO and/or sitemap plugins you may use will generate the sitemap for you, but you’re also welcome to use external sitemap generators such as www.xml-sitemaps.com.

Submitting Sitemap to Search Engines

Google – With Google, you first need to verify your ownership of your site in the Google Search Console. Click “ADD A PROPERTY”, enter the URL of your website, then follow the instructions. If you’re using the Yoast SEO plugin, you’ll want to use the “Alternate methods / HTML Tag” in the Google Search Console. Copy the tag that it provides, and add it to the Webmaster Tools tab in your Yoast plugin dashboard.

Once that’s complete, go to the XML Sitemaps section in your Yoast plugin, and click on the little blue hyperlink, “XML Sitemap”. Copy the URL of the sitemap that it takes you to. Then in the Google Search Console, select the site that you’re adding the sitemap to. Click on “Crawl / Sitemaps” in the sidebar, and then “Add/Test Sitemaps”. Complete the URL with the “/sitemap_index.xml” that Yoast has provided for you. Test it for errors, and then add it once it comes back without errors such as 404 – Page Not Found errors.

Google also expects you to submit a “www.” version of your sitemap to the Google Search Console. You’ll start with the “Add a Property” button again. Instead of adding an HTML tag to Yoast this time, all you need to do is click the Verify button on the Console. But now you have two versions of the same content, so to avoid conflicts, go to the site settings, and select the Display URL as the domain that does not contain the “www”. Make sure that both sites have this display URL setting activated.

Bing – You can sign into Bing Webmaster Tools using your existing Microsoft account, or you can sign up. Click “Add a Site,” and enter the URL. You will need to fill out a form with the URL, sitemap URL, and some personal information. After you’ve clicked Save, it will take you to a page that includes your meta tag which you can then add to the Yoast SEO plugin.

Yandex – Create and account and sign in. The process is very similar to Google and Bing verification and sitemap creation. Add the HTML meta tag to the Yoast SEO plugin. I found this process to take several minutes, but in the end it was very straightforward.

 

Monitoring Your SEO Status

Domain SEO Visibility

SEO management doesn’t end with setup. Regularly plug your domain into suite.searchmetrics.com and Moz tools to monitor how well your page is ranking. These sites offer plenty of valuable information about what you can do to improve it!

 

 

In conclusion, before you even write your first article or post your first cat video, there’s quite a bit of optimizing that you’ll want to perform at the domain level. Now you understand the basics of domain naming, page speed, and site indexing. There’s a lot to it, definitely more than I’ve covered in this single post. Effective SEO strategies take time to develop, and the results – positive or negative – aren’t obvious right away. But the effort pays off!

First – don’t jump in and start doing things you think are helping your SEO until you’ve invested some serious time in learning, and hopefully have done some work with experienced professionals (even a little mentoring can go a long way). SEO seems straightforward, but is often anything but.

-Rand Fishkin, founder of Moz

When I first started researching SEO so that I could build this website for software and web development, I was hesitant to enjoy this process. Scrambling to get to the top of the search engine results page seemed kind of skeezy to me. But the more I learned about everyone’s role in transmitting information to the end user, the more I realized that SEO isn’t about tricking people into clicking on your site so you can bombard them with your own agenda. Sure, people have been known to take advantage of SEO tactics to do just that, but search engines are getting smarter so that those tactics are less rewarding than they used to be. Now it’s about learning what your readers really value, and providing them the best version of that value that you can. SEO is about service and excellence.

Now you’re prepared for that uphill climb to the top of the SERP summit! If you’re interested in saving yourself hours of work so you can keep building more great content, let me know how I can help.

Thanks for reading, and check back for updates to this post. After that, “SEO Part 2 – Optimizing Your Articles” is coming next. Also, don’t forget to share, subscribe, and leave a comment below with your feedback!

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Resources: