Welcome to Day 11 of Reboot Your Blog!
Yesterday you re-evaluated your sites’ main keyword phrases as well as established the most relevant, trafficked and low competition long tail keyword phrases to target.
Today you’ll use that fresh keyword research information to optimize your sites.
You’ll create Google bait.
DAY 11 OBJECTIVE
Optimize your site for the (new) keywords you’re targeting.
DAY 11 ASSIGNMENT
Home Page Optimization
Ensure that your sites’ title tag, meta keywords, meta description and H1 tags are all targeting your main keyword phrase.
As the trend has gone thus far, if you’re using WordPress, a popular plugin called WordPress SEO By Yoast makes this simple. Install it and use it on all of your WordPress sites.
There are enough specific SEO considerations for WordPress to fill a whole course – and you don’t have time to consume a whole WordPress SEO course in today’s Reboot Your Blog. You need action points – and I’ll cover the four crucial ones.
Your site’s title tag (part of the HTML) must include your main keyword phrase, and your site’s meta description (also part of the HTML) should as well:
These options are configured in the “Titles” tab of WordPress SEO By Yoast:
So when people are deciding which listing to visit after running a Google search, having a compelling description can encourage your site to get more clicks (and you can see the CTR in the Google Webmaster Tools reports you set up yesterday).
If the keyphrase the Googler searched for is in your title and description, they are bolded, as you can see in my screenshot above (I searched for “Michelle MacPhearson and they are bolded in the SERP). THat kind of bolding also helps your listing stand out and will increase your CTR.
You’ve also got to have the on-page title – that is, the name of your blog that people read at the top of your site – include your main keyphrase and be in an H1 tag (part of the HTML).
My site’s on-page title is the “Michelle MacPhearson” part of this:
In the HTML, that looks like this:
The site title is enclosed in the H1 tag. That indicates to the search engines what the page is about, and, ideally, contains your main keyphrase.
On your individual post pages, the title of your post should be in an H1 tag. And, course, that post title must include the keyhrase you want the individual post to rank for:
Most WordPress theme authors are aware of these very important SEO considerations and code their themes accordingly. However, some don’t. In that case, you have 3 options:
- Hire someone to edit the theme you’re using to comply
- Make the edits yourself
- Switch themes. I recommend several here.
Implementing WordPress SEO By Yoast
This plugin gives you granular control over the optimization of each of your posts.
Let’s take a look. This configuration box will appear beneath the “Write Post” box every time you’re “penning” a new WordPress post:
The “Snippet Preview” shows you exactly what this post’s title and description could look like in the Google search results.
In the “Focus Keyword” box, you enter in the keyword phrase you want this individual post to rank for. Right below, the plugin tells you if your post is optimized for that keyword by checking if the keyword is in the heading, title, URL, post body and meta description.
Your job, armed with that info, is to go back and edit the post until all those “no’s” turn to “yes’s”. That’s when your post is propery optimized!
You can use this plugin write a specific, enticing meta description for each and every post – a very under-the-radar way to increase your SERP CTR – one that 99% of the time, your competition won’t bother with.
The SEO Title can also be different than your post title. This is ideal for using a keyphrase you’re optimizing for in the “SEO Title” section in the plugin, and then a human-friendly, curiosity inducing title in the actual WordPress title box.
Once you’ve straightened out those settings, save your post in WordPress and then click the “Page Analysis” link in the WordPress SEO By Yoast configuration:
You’ll get a list of the ways in which your post can improve it’s SEO. You can see this post still has quite a bit of work to do before it’s ready for prime time! (Fortunately, since it’s member’s only content, the search engines will never see it).
Search Engine Bait
Your long tail keyword phrases, and the pages you’ll create targeting them, are the best search engine bait available. It’s not often a site launches and is immediately recognized for a higher competition main keyword phrase, but you *can* immediately get traction with long tail keyword phrases.
Not only do long tail keyword phrases allow you to draw traffic while you’re waiting for your main keyword phrase to rank, they also establish your sites authority in the search engines. A visitor has a much better browsing experience when they visit a site and are able to learn not only about the main topic, but other closely related topics that branch out from the main. Your long tail keyword phrases do just that for your visitors – and Google prefers to send visitors to sites where the user will have an informative and complete browsing experience.
The content should, again, focus on your long tail keyword phrase, and also use alternative ways of saying the same thing.
These pages will give your site more weight in the search engines, as well as pick up some traffic of their own.
- Check your theme for the 4 crucial SEO factors
- Switch themes / get yours fixed if need be!
- Install WordPress SEO by Yoast
- Ensure each long-tail keyphrase you want to taget has a post for it’s content
- Use WordPress SEO by Yoast to ensure that each long-tail keyphrase’s post is SEO’d to the max