What is SEO?
An online index such as Google, Safari, or Firefox, which directs you to websites
Making the best use of a resource
Simply put, SEO employs a variety of tools to make sure search engines notice your website, then suggest that their users check you out.
SEO can help your business by increasing organic leads
Organic leads are hits on your website that come from unpaid sources. The viewer didn’t know about the page before they happened upon it: hence the “organic” label.
SEO tools for everyone
Answering which SEO tool is best is difficult. All you have to do is search for “best SEO tools” to see how many there are. Any of the big names will do a good job for you – those are the ones at the top of any list, and they’ll be the same 5 or so.
WordPress sites use plugins for SEO. A plugin is a piece of software that adds functionality to a site. It gives you features that WordPress doesn’t offer on its own. You may choose one over another because you like features it has or because you like the interface better (the way it looks). If you’re building your own site, you’ll need to choose one based on features and interface.
I use the Yoast plugin
Yoast has a comprehensive toolkit for analyzing design and copy. It updates its analysis as I edit, giving real-time feedback. Together, my clients and I can tweak content to achieve the best possible SEO.
Basic SEO tools
Here is a rundown of just a few tools that are important for your website.
Making sure your content addresses the user’s needs might seem obvious, but it’s less common than you might think. You see sites that get it backwards, presenting information from the provider’s point of view. You want to make sure you’re presenting what the user needs. How is that done? So many ways, which are topics for posts to come.
Image optimization is the practice of sizing and labeling images so they’ll load quickly and be recognized by search engine crawlers via their descriptions.
Keywords are labels, strategically chosen and assigned to pages and posts. They categorize content so search engines can guide users accurately. See my library post on keywords here.
Both outbound and internal, links help search engines and site visitors add context to your content. When they know who you relate to, they can better understand who you are. Internal links also help search engines understand which pages and posts on your site are most important.
A meta description, or snippet, is a synopsis of a page or post’s content, similar to a movie blurb.
Half the people who look at my website do it on their phones. Making sure my pages and posts look good across platforms (desktop, tablet, and mobile) is hugely important, and is called “responsiveness”. In Elementor (my page builder) I can be very specific about how things paginate, no matter the device. See my post on responsiveness here.
How quickly your page loads is imperative to keeping visitors on your site. If it takes more than a few seconds to appear, viewers will leave no matter how interested they are in your content.
Concisely naming your page or post at the top of the page and in the URL helps visitors and search engines understand your content at a glance.
Are SEO services worth it?
If you rely on organic traffic for your website, they absolutely are. Should you pay someone to help you? Maybe – how complicated is your site? How much competition do you have? If you have built your own site and have a good idea of what you need, go with one of the big plugins and do your homework. Learn all of its tools, implement as many as you can, and measure the results. If you have a lot of competition or need a specific reach, hire a pro.
Organic traffic is website traffic that comes to your site from non-paid sources.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the practice of tailoring your website content and metadata to drive organic traffic to your site.
A keyword is a clue your website gives search engines so they can point viewers to your site. Keywords work by telling search engines a page’s focus.
A search engine is an internet search tool such as Google, Firefox, Safari, Ecosia, etc.
An SEO service is a company you hire to improve your website’s SEO.
A plugin is a piece of software that adds functionality to a site. It gives you features that WordPress doesn’t offer on its own.
Website responsiveness is how well a web page adjusts its appearance on different screen shapes and sizes like desktops, tablets, and phones.