SEO For Dummies
I did a post about two weeks ago called SEO For Dummies and I thought it would be beneficial because SEO stuff is hard to understand and if I could put it more simply I could help people who may not be the best at technology or computer stuff. It got really good results and I noticed that a lot of people found it helpful and asked for more tips. Since I have been researching SEO for quite a few months now- pretty much since the lockdown began I have picked up on some simple and quick tricks and tips. So, I decided to share some more with you guys. Hope you find these helpful as well.
I don’t know about you guys but when it comes to SEO and all things SEO I feel like kind of a dummy a lot of times and as someone who barely knows anything when it comes to technology I really did not even know what SEO was till like some months ago. I’m not going to lie- SEO stuff makes me feel like a dummy sometimes. Even though the majority of the stuff I read about SEO optimization and stuff like that is in English I feel like it’s written in a different language that I don’t know.
It took a lot of work for me to figure some stuff out and improve my site and I want to spare people the time and effort if I can in some way so I decided to write this article for people like me who may be a bit technologically challenged. I know a lot of you do struggle with SEO stuff because I do get a lot of comments/emails/DM’s asking about it and I also got some people asking about it in a poll I took some time ago asking what you guys want me to write about.
So basically, I have picked some basic stuff about SEO up over the last few months and noticed that certain small changes can make a huge difference so I decided to share these small ways through which you can improve your sites SEO.
What Is SEO?
“SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.”- moz.com
I think this sums up SEO and what is really well so I’m going to just leave it at that.
Why Is SEO Important?
As mentioned above SEO can help you not only increase your traffic from search engines but also help you increase your traffic to a more specific audience. It helps you get an audience that is specifically looking for sites like yours. WordPress is awesome and I love connecting with other bloggers but just having WP traffic isn’t always enough especially if you are looking to blog professionally at some point. SEO gets you this outside traffic from search engines and helps you build your blog and diversifies the audience. Here are some easy and simple ways through which you can improve your SEO:
I think keywords is something that most of us have heard of at some point or the other. It is usually the first thing that you read about when you try to do any sort of research on SEO and rightfully so because keywords are an extremely important part of your SEO. Using the correct SEO words can make or break your posts or your site. How you use them is also important.
You may be wondering, just like I was when I first started doing SEO research, what exactly are keywords. A keywords is a specific word that describes the topic of your post and it is the word you want to get traffic for on your site or post. For example, this post is called SEO For Dummies so my keyword would be SEO because that is the subject of this post.
Now you want to use the keyword multiple times throughout the post but you also don’t want to use it so often that search engines write your post off as spam because that will make you lose traffic instead of gain it. You should also try using more of the keyword in the first three paragraphs and fewer as your post progresses.
The circled part of the image above is the meta description. To explain it in a simple way it is the little writing that you first see when you search something that shows you the introduction of a site or a post by the site. Apparently it is super important and having problems with your meta description can mess up your sites SEO score.
One problem could be that you don’t have a meta description which means that for some reason the search engine is not picking up your description. If this is the case it must be fixed right away. I won’t list the ways you can fix this because I personally am not an expert at SEO stuff and the cause for this could be multiple things. I would recommend doing your own research or reaching out to an SEO expert or professional SEO help site like SEMrush.
Another problem could be that you have duplicate meta descriptions which happens when you have copy and pasted the introductions of your post or you have copied someone else’s introduction. That’s why it is important to make sure that every post you have has it’s own unique introduction. If you do have duplicate meta descriptions for some of your posts this can easily be solved by editing the starting five sentences or so for the post or posts.
Your post title is an important part of your post for multiple reasons. Firstly, it is what will make your reader decide whether to click on the post and read it or move on to a different post. It should also properly show what the post is about- clickbait is good for one time readers but having an honest title is the best way to go if you want loyal readers that return to your blog. Your title is also very important for SEO purposes.
Firstly, as mentioned above keywords are very essential for your post and therefore you need to make sure that your keyword is mentioned at least once in your title. For example, if you are writing a post about SEO the word “SEO” should be in your title at least once. If you are doing a post about blogging words like “blog”, “blogging“, “blogger” etc. should be in your title. You don’t need to use all of them but at least one of those words should be there.
Another thing you need to look out for when it comes to planning your title is that it should not be too long or too short. People sometimes disagree on the exact number of characters your post title should have but most SEO experts agree that it should have between 15-50 characters and anything more than that would mean your title is too long. If your title is too long or short the search engine may have a hard time finding your posts.
Self-hosting Vs Paid Plan
I’m not an expert at self-hosting or with paid plans but from the research I have done they both have their advantages and disadvantages as far as SEO is concerned.
Self-hosted sites tend to be a lot more easier to customise and offer a lot more options to customise your site in certain ways that a paid plan may not allow you to be able to do. Certain things need to be customised for SEO purposes and therefore this can come in handy. Self-hosted sites also offer very similar features and more for a lower price compared to paid WordPress plans.
The problems I saw with self-hosted though were that first of all you kind of need to do most of the work on your own unless you hire someone to do it for you (but if you’re going to pay someone to do it for you why not just get a slightly more expensive plan and not where you do not have to do a lot of the work). You also need a lot of time and at least some knowledge on how the process is done so if you’re not good with technology or you don’t have a lot of time this may not be for you. There is also a possibility that you will lose content, media or followers during the process of moving to a self-hosted site.
As I mentioned I am not expert when it comes to self-hosting as I have never had a self-hosted site. However, a fellow blogger Jirah Merizz has an awesome self- hosted site where I was able to find a bunch of information about self-hosting such as the benefits, the problems, why self hosting and more. She was also kind enough to give me more information when I reached out to her. She used Hostinger which I think is a pretty good platform to self-host through and if you are interested in more details about self-hosting check out her site as well as Hostinger for more information. Hostinger actually seems to have some kind of 90% off sale at the moment so if you have decided to self-host this might be the right time to go for it.
With a paid plan in my experience WordPress does tend to take care of everything but it is more expensive and at the end of the day you can’t customise to the same extent as you can with self-hosted sites and so certain SEO issues can not be addressed. Also there are certain things that could go wrong- it’s happened to me- that WP will simply tell you there is no way to fix so having WP do it for you is easier but does not guarantee that it will always works out.
I tried really hard to keep this post simple and to the point which I feel like a lot of posts about SEO aren’t because obviously a lot of technical terms and things are involved when it comes to SEO. However, this post is more for the average writer/blogger/site owner who may not always know much about SEO or technical terms. Basically I just didn’t want people to Google every five minutes before they understood what I was saying so I tried to keep it very basic.
I know some people may find that beneficial and if you enjoyed this kind of simple post about how to better your SEO scores I have a lot more simple tips like these that I can share with you so let me know in the comments below if you would be interested in similar posts.
Are you like me and have a hard time understanding SEO? What is something you have learnt about SEO that you have found beneficial? Did you know about the tips I mentioned above and do you use any of them? If so do you find them effective? Would you like to see more similar posts with easy/simple tips and tricks about SEO? As always I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments below and if you don’t have any thoughts about SEO feel free to just say hi!
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