10 Tips & Tricks for Better SEO

Amanda Olson - Designer behind Anchor ‹A› Digital Design Co. and the Zag Blog

Hi, there!
I’m Amanda – a designer, WordPress guru, and dreamer.

Zag is the Anchor ‹A› blog dedicated to helping you reach your biggest business goals.

SEO has become a popular topic, and for good reason. It can be an extremely helpful strategy for growing one’s business. Today, I want to demystify the whole subject by providing you with 10 simple tips & tricks for better SEO.

We’ll start with the strategy and dive into how you can put it into action. Ready?

“It’s about figuring out what you want, and then optimizing for keywords that bring in visitors who want the same things.”

The Strategy

1. Establish Keywords

What are people searching for that might lead them to your site?

2. Develop Content

Create a site with content that gives them what they’re searching for.

3. Optimize Your Website

Optimize for search engines so people can find you.

4. Track Your Site’s Performance

Check analytics and do a Google search to track your performance.

5. Repeat

Go back through steps 1-4 to continually optimize your SEO game.

Putting the Strategy into Action

1. Establish Keywords

Make a list of all relevant keywords you want to be ranked for. One thing to keep in mind is that these keywords or phrases need to match what people are actually searching for. If your website says that you sell ‘specialty baked goods’ but people are actually searching ‘custom sugar cookies’ or ‘vegan breads’ or ‘gluten-free pastries’, then you should consider making adjustments, given that you actually do offer those things.

2. Develop Content

Create content around the keywords you listed in the previous step. This looks like informational web pages, blog articles, case studies, etc. It could also be videos and audio clips, PLUS transcripts.

Shoot for at least 300 words per page. This is where blogging becomes a really great asset for SEO. Plus, fun, fresh content will keep past visitors coming back for more and encourage new visitors to stop on by.

3. Optimize Your Website

Here’s the important part. Now that you’ve created all that awesome content centered around your keywords, you want to make sure that Google can find it.

Here are 10 tips to help you get started:

  • Install Google Analytics
    Have you heard the phrase, “You can’t improve what you’re not tracking”? To be able to track how your SEO is doing, it’s important to have Google Analytics installed. 
  • Use those keywords!
    Use those keywords from step one in your page URLs, page titles, page descriptions, and headings. Yoast SEO is a great plugin to help you with this right from within WordPress. If you haven’t already installed it, I recommend doing so!
  • Links
    If you mention another site (and it’s quality), link to it. Also link to other pages within your site. These are called “inbound links” and search engines love them! They also enhance your authority with your readers and keep them on your site longer.
  • Images
    Use descriptive ‘alt tags’ and file names. Search engines ‘see’ images by reading their alt tags and file names. It’s important to be descriptive with alt tags and file names. You’ll notice these when uploading images in your WordPress Media Library on the far right.
  • Contact Information
    Contact and location information help search engines determine that your business is legitimate. List those details on your website and make sure your contact information is consistent across every instance on the web.
  • Site Speed and Performance
    The faster your site, the better! Search engines want to lead users to sites that give them a good experience, and fast load times are part of that good website experience. Aim for 4 seconds or less as a load time score. Here are a few different speed test tools you can try:

  • Mobile Friendly / Responsiveness
    Search engines prioritize mobile friendly / responsive websites. If your site isn’t responsive yet, this is an absolute MUST.
  • Security – SSL Certificate
    Search engines like secure websites and rank them higher. If you are collecting any sort of information through a contact form, login, etc, you need an SSL certificate. Starting in July of this year (2018), Chrome is actually going to start marking any site without an SSL as ‘not secure’. 
  • Your Google My Business Page
    If you have a physical location, be sure to set up your Google My Business page and make sure your profile is fully completed and the information listed is accurate. 

    Bonus: Get Google reviews! 
    Having a high number of great Google reviews will be a huge asset for you.

  • Utilize Google Search Console

    • Submit Your Sitemap
      An XML sitemap should be submitted in Google Search Console. This helps Google understand the structure of the site and all the pages that should be indexed.
    • Submit a Robots.txt File
      Your robots.txt file tells search engines what to crawl and what not to crawl. It’s important that this file exists and is submitted in Google Search Console.
    • Request Indexing
      To request indexing, go to your Google Search Console dashboard > Crawl > Fetch as Google > click Fetch and Render > then click Request Indexing.

4. Track Your Site’s Performance

Check on your site’s performance every week or so, or at least every 30 days.

Has your ranking on Google improved? This is as simple as Googling those keywords you want to be ranked for. Are you ranking higher than you were before?

Take a look at your Google Analytics. Have ‘organic search’ visits increased since you made optimization changes? These are both signs that your optimizations are having positive impacts.

4. Repeat

From time to time, go back through steps 1-4 to make sure your site is always optimized.

  • Request Re-Indexing
    Anytime you make major changes to your website, request that Google re-indexes your site.

Signing Off

Within no time, you’ll naturally start to develop an SEO-first mindset. I know, because it happened to me! I started thinking strategy first, trading clever titles for keyword-rich ones and becoming religious about alt tags and naming image files descriptively.

Not sure where to start? If you have 30 minutes today to focus on your SEO, start by adding ‘alt tags’ to your website images. You’ve got this!

And if you need more help with any of the above, get in touch!

With you on this crazy journey,

Share Your Thoughts

Which of these tips will you try first?