The importance of SEO is undebatable when it comes to ranking your content higher in SERP. Without optimizing your content it is not possible to be in the higher ranks in Google.
Suppose you have written a great piece of content, but without optimizing it, it is highly impossible that it will rank in the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Once your content rank in the search engines, it will continue to drive traffic to your site organically. It is the beauty of content optimization. Content optimization need not be difficult, once you know how to optimize your content for search engines, it will benefit you for a very long time. Because SEO gives you long term profit.
So here is a checklist for Content Optimization, it can be divided into two parts:
On Page SEO & Off Page SEO, let’s start with On Page SEO.
On Page SEO
What is On-Page SEO?
In simple terms On Page, SEO is the optimization actions done on your website. What are the most important tips and tweaks you should apply to each piece of your content so that it will help you rank higher in the SERP?
1.Proper Keyword Research
Keyword research is the most important thing that you should do before writing a single word of your content. As you all must be knowing, Keyword Research is finding what people are searching on the internet, or what exact phrase they are using to find their results. Once you know what is in demand on the Internet in your niche, it becomes easy to write useful and quality content targeting that keyword.
You should take into account average searches per month and competition for that particular phrase, for deciding a keyword. It is also important to always choose a low hanging fruit. Low Hanging fruit means a keyword phrase which has low competition on the Internet.
So here we are searching the phrase “What is a Keyword”, and here if you see the first result it shows the average monthly searches of 6608,
Traffic: it shows approximately traffic this keyword pulls if the page ranks on tops positions, it shows 1124
QSR: Quotent Search Result, means competition, in short, how many webpages are competing for this keyword on the Intenet: 43
KQI: keyword quality indicator: if it is Green it’s great to choose this keyword.
so you can see it’s a good keyword that is having a low hanging fruit, keyword which has competition only of 43. It also means there are only 43 webpages having the same keyword. So here you are having a great possibility of ranking higher in Google.
Once you understand the process of choosing the right keyword for your content, now you can use this keyword for optimizing your content.
Keyword in Post Title
Now you have chosen your keyword, and written the content about it while optimizing your content it is important to use your keyword in your post title, close to the start. Your keyword should form the few first words of your post title.
For e.g here, our keyword is what is a keyword research, so you can write your post title something like “What is a keyword research – let’s do it with Google Instant”. It is important to have your keyword at the beginning of the post title.
Keyword in Meta Title
You should also use keyword in the meta title. Your post title and meta title are two different things.
The Post title can be as long as you wish, but meta title is limited to only 60 characters. If you write bigger meta title, it will get cut off in the Google Results.
If you have installed any of the SEO plugins like All in One or Yoast, you will find that below the content area, there is proper space allocated to fill in your meta tags.
You need to add your keyword in meta title, close to the start.
Tip: Always Camel Case Your Meta Title. It means to type the first letter of each word in capital. Like I have done in the above sentence. It will help to stand out your result in all search results.
Keyword in Meta Description
You need to use the keyword in the meta description also. The limit for the meta description is 160 words. It is also important to write keyword as close to start as possible. Also, Camel Case your meta description.
It is important to take out some time and write your meta description neatly. It should be enticing so that readers click on your links, and will bring good traffic to you.
Internal Link Within the Post
The internal link means linking a post to another post on your website. Like in the above paragraph, if you click the above link 10 tips on how to write a good meta description? it will open up a different page but on the same domain.
Internal links are one of the ways, Google bots find out all your content. If one of your piece of content is not linked to one another, it is difficult for Google Bots to find it. it is termed as an orphange page on your site.
So always Internal Link each of your page.
External links are those links which reside outside of your domain, on some other domain. for e.g, if you click the above link, it will open on another site, it is a Wikipedia link.
It is important to have at least one external link, directing to some authority site like Wikipedia. You can also use external links to guide your audience to some other useful resource.
Alt tags within Images
After Google introduces Image Search, it is possible to rank through your images. Google shows related images in the SERP, related to any query.
It is absolutely possible to get traffic through your images if they are properly optimized. Always fill up the alt-text area within images
Use your keyword in the description and let Google know what the image is all about. It also helps readers who cannot read.
If you are doing product reviews, you should add a plugin WP Product lite, which will then create a code for your site, so that whenever your post appears in search result it will show star rating before it.
You must have seen on google many results showing star results in the SERP, it certainly catches your eyes and helps to get more CTR.
Comments are now a part of matrics, which will help you to rank better in search engines. So always welcome comments on the blog and also answer all comments in a timely manner.
It shows Google that your blog is highly engaging and people are liking your blog, it serves as a good ranking matric.
read More: Comments important Matrix for Rankings
Mobile compliant theme
Nowadays, the majority of people search the Internet through their smartphones, and so Google also to give preference to mobile-friendly websites.
According to Google, around 50% of queries come through mobile, so FGoogle has made it mandatory, to have your site mobile friendly.
Fast Loading Site
Always test the site speed, if your site takes more than 4 seconds, people tend to go away. It is a proven fact that if a website takes more than 3/4 seconds to load, visitor closes the tab directly without waiting to load your site fully.
Image compression can help a lot to increase your site speed, also a lite weight theme like Generatrpess, which is only 30 kb in total, can greatly help to increase your site speed.
You can also use a plugin EWWW, which helps to compress all your images on the site.
SSL – Https for your site
SSL Secure Sockets Layer, the certificate gives credibility to your site. Once you have an SSL certificate, you will get a green padlock for your website address, which indicates that it is a secure site.
Google now made it compulsory to have https vs HTTP, and those sites which do not have https, have very little to no chances to rank on Google.
Off page SEO
After on-page SEO, let’s see some off page SEO techniques which you should apply besides on page SEO.
What is Off Page SEO?
As the name indicates, Off Page SEO, are the practices which we should after we publish the content. After publishing the content, following SEO practices is essential.
Once you complete your content with on page SEO, now share it through all the social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.
When you share your content on social media, it gets you many clicks and followers if you are writing quality content.
It also helps to get backlinks when you share your content on Social media platform.
Youtube Discussion Post
After G+ shuts down, Youtube discussion can serve the best to have a platform where you can share your links with your group.
You can also have a community in Youtube if you have 1000+ subscriber to your Youtube channel, then you can able to do group discussions, video sharing and all kind of stuff, which will help your community to grow together.
Backlinks can improve your rankings if the backlinks are from authority sites. But it is important to have these backlinks naturally occur, and you should never try to buy backlinks, You will get a penalty from Google if you found guilty.
URL Inspection in Search Console
According to Google, The URL inspection tool allows you to check a specific URL on your website to see the status of how Google search sees that URL. This tool “provides detailed crawl, index, and serving information about your pages, directly from the Google index,”
Submit URL to URL Inspection in Search Console, it will let Google know of your new blog post which needs to be crawled and indexed. It certainly helps to rank instantly in Google.
Submit URL in Bing Webmaster Tools
Though Google is the main search engine with almost 90% searches from desktop and mobile, Bing also holds a good % of people who uses it.
Microsoft has Bing as a default browser and therefore has a substantial audience with Bing. So, to get ranking in Bing, submit URL to Bing also.
Creating Videos & Linking Back to your Posts
We all know that Videos is the next big thing, and creating your own videos has many benefits like you create your brand with your videos, more trust in your audience, apart from it you can monetize your videos and create an income source for you.
Also, you should embed your own videos on your blog post. Even if a reader plays the video for 3 to 4 minutes, it is a matric for Google ranking. Google looks at it as a good engagement with the reader and gives you good rankings.
Showing Your URL from a window
With all these on page & off page techniques, you can also spread a word about your site by printing your logo on t-shirts, hats, and stationary. It helps to create a buzz for your brand and for yourself.
Optimizing your content is most important to get higher rankings in the search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
On page and off page SEO techniques must be applied to get higher rankings, though it seems a big list, once you get familiar with it, it will not take more than 15 minutes per post. When your post gets good ranking, you realized that it is worth it!
Though the major techniques remain the same, with changing Google Algorithm, you need to tweak your SEO. Like Google made it compulsory to have a Mobile friendly website and SSL certificate is a must now, we need to keep an eye on our SEO practices.
In off page SEO, social sharing and URL Inspection plays a major role along with other practices. I hope you will find this post useful.
Pl share which of the above SEO Practices you follow, also let me know if you want some more SEO Practices to this list. Which is your best SEO Practices, let me know.
If you have any question or suggestion pl comment below and I will be more than happy to answer your query.
Jivita is the founder of Advantage Affiliates and a full time online marketing consultant who helps people get started in the world of affiliate marketing. Read more about how Jivita helps people get started online.