There are so many articles online now that claim to teach you the best way to do SEO, how SEO can change your website, why SEO is important, and some even claim to have the ‘secret formula’ to getting your website to rank in five minutes.
Are they all true?
Well, the answer is: kind of.
Why SEO Is So Complicated
It’s often joked that if you get 100 different SEO experts in a room and ask each of them ‘how do I do SEO?’ you’ll probably come out with 100 different answers and a whole lot of confusion.
That’s not to say that SEO experts don’t know their stuff; many of the experts out there have got to where they are because they are truly following every single change and update and doing a good job of implementing the changes.
Some SEO ‘experts’, on the other hand, are still relying on old school techniques of keyword stuffing and just building backlinks to get themselves noticed, and there’s only so long that approach is going to last for.
SEO Is Changing. FAST.
The world of search engine optimization changes rapidly. Every time Google decides to do an ‘update’, website owners watch their analytics with bated breath to see if they will rise in the ranks, stay the same, or fall down hard.
It doesn’t have to be that way though. There are ways of approaching content creation that mean you can be pretty confident that no update is going to have a major effect on your content and that your content is pretty robust and future proof as you go.
Here are six SEO hacks that are easy to implement by anyone with even a basic understanding of WordPress. They don’t need any special tools or complicated, expensive plugins, just your brain and a bit of patience.
Learn SEO First
So, this one is a pretty tough one to start with, but you really need to understand what SEO is, how it works, and why it’s important BEFORE you go changing anything on your website.
Many people have wasted many hours creating content that is just not useful and not SEO friendly when they could have sped half that time getting a good understanding of the SEO world and implementing the steps they’ve learned beforehand.
Invest some time in learning from the beginning; for example, a top SEO company – ALT Agency – have created a great guide to get you started on your journey, detailing their process for getting better rankings in Google.
Write In Google Docs
As much as the Guttenberg editor in WordPress is really nice, much better than the old-style editor, it doesn’t actually lend itself very well to creating written articles.
Many people find it ok, but for anyone who writes articles over a few hundred words (hint: you should be writing articles over a few hundred words), it’s not very inspiring.
Switch to Google Docs or your favorite writing program to get the articles written nicely. You can use things like Grammarly to help check your spelling and grammar as you go, and it’s easier to see the finished product.
Add your H2 and H3 tags easily in Google Docs and add your images later when you copy and paste it into Guttenberg. Simple!
Always Include An Answer Target
An answer target is a simple way to answer your question almost straight away in the article.
A lot of content writers will bury the information far down in an article when actually your visitors want the answer straight away, so you can then entice them to read more by dropping a few ‘crumbs’ in the next paragraph or two.
For example, if your question is ‘why does my goldfish swim upside down?’ you’ll need to spend your first short paragraph introducing your knowledge and your next paragraph literally answering the question:
“There are a number of reasons why goldfish will swim upside down, these are….” etc.
It’s All In The Formatting
This is an easy win, especially in WordPress. Make your article easy to scan!
This means using lots of relevant heading tags (H2/H3/H4), some bold type, italics, bullet points, and short sharp sentences.
Nothing turns readers (and Google) off more than a wall of text staring at them, especially in long articles!
Write an About Page
Google isn’t looking for keyword stuffing anymore, Google is after your knowledge, but it’s not quite clever enough to figure out you personally, so it relies on a few pointers to do that.
You need to convince Google (and your readers) that you are an expert authority in your niche and that your experience and skills are the reason you’re the best person providing the best possible answer to the question that has been asked.
An about page is your first step on that journey. If you have qualifications, list them here, if you have the experience, mention it here. It’s good for your readers, and good for Google to get an understanding of who you are and why you should be trusted.
From there, it’s a case of connecting with others in your niche or industry and doing a bit of personal branding to boost your authority score.
Do Some Original Research
This is the bit that so many bloggers miss out on. They spend hours creating the same old content that every other blogger writes on the given topic, and the user goes away feeling like they STILL don’t have an answer to the question (because everyone’s answers are the same).
You need to do the leg work with this one. Call up companies, get quotes, do surveys, test products, whatever you need to do to ensure that what you’re writing about is original and not just ripped off of someone else.
A few ways you can do this include:
- Call up experts in your niche for a quote
- Test and review products (and take original images)
- Do a survey of people in your niche
- Run experiments and report on your findings