You’ve got a website. You’ve got content. But you still aren’t getting any traffic. Maybe you need to look at how to improve SEO for a website. And in order to do that, you need to understand exactly what SEO is.
It isn’t as cut-and-dry as it used to be. You can no longer pick a keyword and find a way to stuff it into every other sentence. Search engines are getting smarter, and they really don’t like it when you try to trick them.
So let’s take a look at how you can build a website that the search engines will love.
First things first…
What Is SEO?
SEO stands for “search engine optimization”.
That’s pretty straight-forward, right? It means you want to optimize your site for the search engines. Easy!
Well, not exactly.
There was a time when getting ranked high in the search engines meant giving the search engines what they wanted. That included your keyword in almost every paragraph. Your keyword wanted to be in multiple heading tags (H1, H2, and H3). All of your pictures wanted alt text and meta tags that matched your keyword, even if the picture didn’t!
Long story short, the search engines were really only looking for keywords and rewarded people who found the most ways to stuff their keywords into their sites.
Search engines have come a long way since then, and the rules of SEO have changed to keep up with it. Search engine optimization doesn’t mean giving the search engines what they want anymore. At least, not directly.
As search engines have advanced, so has the way they look at your content. Now they aren’t searching specifically for keywords. They are reading your content, and checking to see if it offers readers quality material.
Search Engines READ Your Content!
You read that right. Search engines don’t just scan for random keyword fragments anymore. They actually read your content.
Yes… READ IT!
You know, like a visitor to your site would do. So search engine optimization is really visitor optimization.
Do you think a visitor would come to your site and read your content just because you packed the keyword they were looking for into it 150 times?
Of course they wouldn’t!
They’ll stay and read your content if it is useful information related to your keyword. When they perform a search, they are typing a keyword into the search bar. Not because they want to see a site that repeats that phrase, but because they want information about that phrase.
Take this article, for example. You probably searched for something along the lines of “How to improve SEO”, right? Well how many times do you see that phrase? Yes, I mention SEO multiple times, and will mention it more before the end, because that’s what I’m talking about.
But I don’t cram the full search phrase in every time.
Because it would make this article nearly impossible to read!
Try it out. Go back through this article, and every time I write “SEO”, read it like your whole search term was there.
That would get very annoying, really fast!
And what would happen then?
You’d stop reading, and leave!
Search engines know that, too. They aren’t looking for keywords. They’re looking for useful content ABOUT keywords.
So your first step to improving SEO is finding the right keyword. There are some guidelines to follow when choosing a good keyword. You want to make sure there are a good number of monthly searches, and not a ridiculous amount of competition. I will go into more detail on how to choose a good keyword in a future article.
Once you have your keyword, the real work begins, and the question becomes…
How Do I Improve SEO For A Website?
I know I said not to stuff your keyword into your site on every other line, but that keyword is still very important.
Because it defines the theme of your content. So you definitely want to include it in your article. Just don’t overdo it.
So where do you include it?
There are really only three places that you want to make sure you use your whole keyword:
- The article title
- The first paragraph – As early as possible without it sounding weird
- Near the end – Ideally as your last heading tag, but not necessary
And that’s it!
Those are the only places you need to put your full keyword. Other keywords will naturally occur as you write. Again, go back through this article and look for “SEO”. You’ll find:
- …what SEO is
- SEO stands for…
- What is SEO
- …rules of SEO
- …improve SEO
These are all keywords, because they are terms that people could potentially search for, and this article could rank for. And when I started out, I had absolutely no intention of targeting “rules of SEO” as a keyword. But I could still end up ranking for it, and getting traffic because of it!
How did that happen?
Because I set out to write a useful article that would answer a question and help people. These other, natural keywords occur as part of the process, and will help my page rank, not just for the keyword I targeted, but several others as well.
SEO Isn’t Just About The Search Engines
If you can remember that the purpose of your site is to provide useful, readable content for the people who will visit, you will be making great strides in the SEO world.
Your keyword isn’t your content. Your keyword is the IDEA behind your content. When you explain that idea thoroughly, and provide people with answers to questions or information that they need, you will make the search engines happy.
Make sure to put your full keyword in three places:
- First paragraph
- Near the end
Other than those places, just keep the keyword in the back of your mind as a guide to what you are writing about. Write naturally. Get your point across. Create content that people will want to read. If people will like reading it, the search engines will love it.
This is how to improve SEO for a website, the right way!
Talk TO your audience, not AT them.
If you write in a conversational tone, like you were explaining something to a friend or family member, not only is the writing easier, it’s easier to read. People will feel like they are having a conversation with you. They will engage with your content, and keep coming back when they see you have the answer to another question they have.
Pick your keyword, and let more, natural keywords grow from it as you write. You might be surprised to find that sometimes you don’t rank for your targeted keyword, but get number-one rankings for the same page for several other keywords you’d never even thought of!
Optimize for people, and the search engines will follow!
If you want to learn more about about SEO, there is a training platform that can teach you all you need to know about SEO and then some! Take a look at the SEO section of my Wealthy Affiliate Review to learn more.
It would be great if you could rate this article, and let me know what you thought in the comments below. Ask questions. Tell me what you would like to see added to the site!
As always, thanks for reading, and the best of luck on your journey to financial independence,
If you ever have any questions, you can contact me here.