Hey guys, Noah here!
Something Morgan started teaching me, while I was still in prison and writing for her blog, was SEO. She would print out and send me articles ranging from SEO to Social Media Marketing. She helped educate me on writing topics, creating the right titles, the importance of referencing back to other blog posts, and how to improve website traffic using social handles.
It wasn’t until my release from prison that I could see the full extent of what she was teaching me. I dove deep and started to learn everything there is to know about WordPress, a free and open-source content management system that is commonly used in blogging, and I started to put my education to use. I now assist Jamie and Morgan here at c2s and resilience2reform with SEO.
If you’re currently using WordPress and looking to take some steps forward into DIY’ing your SEO game, I wanted to share what I’ve learned that has impacted our SEO and teach you to do the same. Once you know how to do it, it only takes about 10-15 minutes per blog post to get a score worthy of promoting your content.
What is SEO?
SEO – Search Engine Optimization – is a commonly used word in the online industry. It’s a formula that improves unpaid traffic to your webpage by a score. That score in WordPress is displayed on the right-hand side in the “Publish” section.
Maximizing your SEO is a process that will pay off if you take the time to do it correctly. This post will walk you through the steps to obtain your highest score possible. I’m going to shoot for 100/100, I’m not entirely sure if it’s possible, but anything over 81/100 is acceptable and will improve traffic.
Everything you need to improve your score is found below in the “Rank Math SEO” section. It’s broken up into four categories, which I’ll walk you through now.
Category 1: Basic SEO
First, you must start with a focus keyword in mind. For this post, it’s pretty simple. It’s going to be SEO.
I entered it in the “Focus Keyword” section. I also made sure it’s not only in the title but also in the first 10% of the body. If I hadn’t done this, I would have lost those points.
In the same section, you will see the post’s title, accompanied by the URL, and the web address. Regarding the URL, make sure to have the focus keyword present.
You can do this by clicking “Edit Snippet” and then update the permalink section. For this post I chose, search-engine-optimization-SEO, and remember once you’ve used it, you can’t use it again.
Before you move on, there’s one more thing you need to do. Below the permalink section, you will find a description and write one that uses your focus keyword. I wrote, “Noah’s quest to write the perfect SEO post.”
This section’s last requirement is writing over 600 words, but I always recommend aiming for 1,000. I will have accomplished this by the end of the post.
Category 2: Title Readability
Let’s go back to the title. I was going to name it “SEO – Search Engine Optimization.”
However, they only credited me for using my keyword in the title. But my title didn’t contain a “power” word or a positive or negative sentiment.
I renamed it using the word “free,” which worked for both. When choosing a title, it’s crucial to provoke an emotion from the reader, use it to describe what you’re writing. If it’s about bread, use “soft,” or addiction, use “terrible.”
Category 3: Content Readability
Subheadings boost your score, but they don’t always fit with the content you are creating. If you can make it work, great, but don’t force it because you still want your post to flow. For this post and most tutorials, it’s easy because there’s usually a step by step process, so start each step with a bold title.
Also, limit paragraphs to a max of three sentences. But try to keep them to two sentences if possible.
We cannot stress enough how important the use of rich media is to a post. It will boost your score, and for two, it will give you plenty of options regarding images when you are promoting the post on your various social media accounts.
Don’t be afraid to splurge on this section and hire a professional photographer because these images will be an investment that will keep paying you back post after post. Minneapolis Photographer Stephanie Bloom took the photos throughout this post.
Category 4: Additional
It is recommended to add the focus keyword as part of one or more subheadings in the content. If you are struggling to get your focus keyword throughout the post’s body, this is an easy way to add it several times without sounding repetitive.
Next, add an image with your Focus Keyword as the alt text. When you initially add a picture, there will be an alt text section; I recommend merely copying and pasting your post’s title to each image.
If you are updating an old post, click on each image, select the edit button, and update the image’s alt text. It recommends you do this to one or more, but I suggest you do it for all of them.
Keyword density is enormous, and that’s why I have said the word, SEO, so many times. However, there is also a penalty for being too dense. I had to go back through the post and remove several of my focus keywords.
Earlier, we mentioned the URL and the importance of having the focus keyword present. There’s a second criterion, making sure that the URL is under 75 characters. Including our web address, www.construction2style.com, I only added search-engine-optimization-SEO, making it 62 characters long, which earned me SEO points.
Next are internal and external links, which are a way to bring in collaborators and promote some of your other content that may be similar. This will be easy for internal links because this post will most likely become a tutorial, and Morgan has a ton of them.
She has helped people grow their social media accounts. If you’re looking for something a little more specific, there’s no better advice to seek from Morgan than how to optimize your Pinterest profile.
These collaborations form backlinks, which is when you link to a site that then links back to you. This is one of the most powerful ways to move up that SEO ranking as fast as possible.
Finally, please don’t use the same focus keyword multiple times. You will lose SEO points for it. Finding a way to make it unique is essential; add a second word or third word if needed, but make them count.
As I’m wrapping up this post, I realize reaching 100/100 is more complicated than I thought it would be. I have all the categories checked off and highlighted in “Green,” but I’m stuck at 95/100. But as I said, anything over 81 is good, and anything over 90 is excellent.
I hope you’ve learned something, and my guide helps you to beef up your SEO. If you’ve been blogging for a while and you haven’t been using it, then you have a lot of work to do! As for me, I’m going to keep learning everything my sister has to offer.