Are You Struggling? Easily Create Or Improve Your Own SEO Strategy

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SEO is never a one-and-done idea, more it’s a type of philosophy that you must adapt to be successful in your endeavors. Everything you do, every sentence you write, every graphic you create and every content marketing plan you follow should ALL start with SEO.

  1. What exactly is SEO?
  2. What does SEO optimization mean for you?
  3. Why is SEO so important?
  4. Being SEO Flexible.
  5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.
  6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working.
  7. Your Own SEO Planner.

1. What Is SEO? 

Search Engine Optimization is the science of making your content rank high in the search engines of today.

The official definition is this:

According to this piece of MOZ SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.

What goes into SEO?

To understand the true meaning of SEO, let’s break that definition down and look at the parts:

Quality of traffic. You can attract all the visitors in the world, but if they’re coming to your site because Google tells them you’re a resource for Apple computers when really you’re a farmer selling apples, that is not quality traffic. Instead, you want to attract visitors who are genuinely interested in the products that you offer.

Quantity of traffic. Once you have the right people clicking through from those search engine results pages (SERPs), more traffic is better.

Organic results. Ads make up a significant portion of many SERPs. Organic traffic is any traffic that you don’t have to pay for.

2. What Does SEO Optimization Mean For You?

It’s a strategy or plan that you create that will continue to build on SEO as you go along, by using:

  • Title
  • keywords
  • headlines
  • image titles
  • image descriptions
  • categories
  • tags
  • Cornerstone Content
  • social media posts

to consistently rank higher in search engines. This strategy works best when created at the very beginning, but can be improved along any step in the process.

3. Why Is SEO So Important?

SEO is important because it keeps the search results fair. It reduces the ability to manipulate these results as much as possible so that the sites appearing for each search are there because they deserve to be there. Hard work and a website that appeals to visitors correlate with high search engine rankings, so if your site meets these criteria, you’ll have a better chance of showing up in the results.

Users trust search engines and achieving a top spot in search engine rankings signals to searchers that your site is a credible source. The higher you rank in results pages, the more clicks and traffic your site will generate. SEO also improves user experience, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. According to this piece on WEBFX.

4. Being SEO Flexible

What does being SEO flexible mean? It means that you take several key factors into consideration when making your SEO plan. Such as:

  • Current Events
  • Special Dates
  • Longtail keywords
  • Pivoting when things aren’t working.

No one ever sits down and creates the “perfect SEO plan” because honestly, it doesn’t exist. Being SEO optimized is an ongoing strategy and taking in these other key factors will only improve your rankings.

Taking into account the keywords you have chosen for your brand messaging you should also find ways to create with these four ideas in mind.

EXAMPLE:

Ellen is a food blogger and she uses these 4 keywords as her foundation.

  • Baking
  • Desserts
  • Organic
  • Gluten-free

Now using the previous considerations she might use these sentences or keywords.

  1. How To Keep Your Holiday Desserts Gluten-Free
  2. How to Bake The Ultimate Organic Holiday Meal.
  3. Baking Thanksgiving Desserts For The Dietary Challenged.
  4. Your Christmas Baking Taking To The Next Level With These Organic Recipes.
  5. Ten Things That You Could Be Doing To Completely Ruin Your Easter Baked Goods.

5. How To Create Your Own SEO Strategy.

Now comes the easy part, because I’ve actually done the hard work for you. I created the FREE SEO PLANNER STRATEGY PLANNER and it’s a step by step guide to build a strong SEO foundation and to scale that plan as you grow.

On-Page SEO Tips

  1. Make sure that your URLs are clean:
    1. Think ahead
    2. Be consistent
    3. Use keywords
    4. Avoid any special characters. As they show up as “%20” which is unattractive.
    5. Length should be 50-60 characters
  2. Make sure your title is attractive:
    1. Start with keywords.
    2. Mind the length.
    3. Make it sell.
  3. Meta Descriptions:
    1. 150-160 characters.
    2. Don’t overstuff with keywords.
  4. Schema Markup: Structured data can do wonders for your SEO strategy.
    1. Use a Schema Markup Plugin
    2. You can also use Google’s, Markup Helper.
    3. How to check- use Rich Result Test.
  5. Optimized headings (h1-h6)
    1. H1 headings- Technically each of your pages has 2 titles.
      1. The title tag is displayed in search snippets.
      2. H1 tag benefit: Unlike title tag no character limitation. Use more keywords.
    2. H2 headings- Split page into high-level section mini titles within your content.
    3. H3-H6 headings- Used to mark further subsections within the content. Don’t overload keywords.

A.Keyword Saturation:

  • Use keywords earlier in the copy. You should be using keywords within the first 100 words.
  • Go beyond “exact matches” add more related keywords.

B.Content Length:

  • Content length changes from year to year and is currently around 2,000-word posts do best.
  • Want to make your content more compelling? Check out this piece from MostlyBlogging.com

C. Visual Aids:

  • Fill in your “alt” tags.
  • Compress your files.
  • Use descriptive filenames.

D. Above The Fold Content:

The top part of the page visual when it’s first loaded.

  • Remove distractions.
  • Optimize For Core Web Values
    • How fast it loads
    • How stable it is while loading.
    • How soon it becomes interactive

E. Mobile Friendliness:

You should check your site on all mobile search engines and make changes based on your results.

F. Internal Links:

  • Should flow from one link to another.
  • Pass authority from popular pages to less popular ones.
  • Move users down a funnel.
  • You need to always consider this: Whenever you create a piece of content you should always consider where the reader should go next.

G. Outgoing Links:

  • Link to larger, more established sites.
  • Each piece of content should have relevant links.

H. The Comment Section:

Make sure that your comments are set up as “no follow”. If you use popular comment plugins they take care of this for you.

6. How To See If You’re Strategy Is Working:

If you see that your backlinks are on the rise, your SEO efforts are working properly. If you see that the number of organic keywords on your website are also increasing, it’s safe to assume that you are targeting the correct keywords for your industry and using them successfully in your content. WebFX

7. Your Own SEO Planner:

 I’ve created your very own SEO Planner to help you keep your brand message on point. Sign up for my weekly newsletter (Sunday mornings) to get a copy for your very own, plus you’ll get full access to the Resource Library, deep discounts, and amazing tips to help you succeed in your online business or blog.

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It’s Coming, Are You Ready For Google Web Core Vitals?

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Google is making a major update to the way they rank websites.

 

It’s a new set of website performance metrics that will affect your SEO rankings

 

I’m sure you’ve seen that term floating around the internet. If it’s new to you, you may in for a big shock come May of this year when your rankings tank and your SEO plan go down the tubes!

 

You do have an SEO plan, don’t you?. If you don’t have a successful SEO plan in place I suggest subscribing and you will receive your very own SEO Strategy Planner for FREE!

 

Google uses 3 tests (Web Vitals)

  • Largest Content Paint (LCP)
  • First Input Delay (FID)
  • Cumulative Layout Shift (CLS)

LCP

This metric measures how quickly the main content becomes visible to the user.

This can be an image, article, or description, etc.

EX: You may have a fast load speed, but the larger content takes longer.

 

SPEED TESTS TOOLS WILL GIVE YOU A HIGH SCHOOL BUT PROVIDING A POOR USER EXPERIENCE MAY BE WORSE.

These tests are meant to give you a clearer picture of your website’s performance.

 

FID

Measures the time it takes a user’s browser to actually be able to begin processing event handlers in response to a user’s interaction. 

Are you sensing a theme here?

This can be as contact form, comment, share button, opt-ins, etc.. How long does it take when they are able to click that link?

CLS

Measures the time it takes for a website to become visibly stable.

As a website loads, some elements take more time to load than others.

During this time, your website’s content may keep moving on the screen.

EX: A reader is reading a paragraph on a mobile phone and a video embedded loads above it, this makes the entire content move down.

Frustrating if a user is trying to accomplish an action such as adding a product to a cart.

These metrics should be

  • LCP     2.5 seconds
  • FID      <100 milliseconds
  • CLS     <.01

 

  • You can also access your Core Vitals report in your Google console. This allows you to see how many URLs need improvement, passed, or have a poor score.
  • You can also obtain this by using your Chrome browser by right-clicking on the page and choose Inspect Element, look at the top and you’ll see LIGHTHOUSE by clicking on the arrows where it says ELEMENT, CONSOLE SOURCE>> hit those arrows to see it. MUST BE IN THE INCOGNITO MODE FOR THIS TO WORK (in your Chrome Browser click those three dots and the very top right-hand side and click NEW INCOGNITO WINDOW.

Google has already announced that search algorithms update will include page experience as one of its ranking factors  5/21

HOW TO IMPROVE YOUR WEB CORE VITALS

  1. OPTIMIZE YOUR WEB HOSTING – Having good web hosting is becoming a necessity these days and the core web vitals are no different. This is an important part of your score. Bargain hosting is no longer adequate when you worried about rankings. Premium hosting can be a lifesaver. By providing security, SSLs and a CDN is the way that websites are being hosted these days. I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS
  2. IMPROVE LCP SCORE – Optimize your images! Make sure that you are using a caching plugin if possible that includes image optimization. You can also use tools like Imagify, Smush, etc. (I recommend WP Rocket (make sure it’s compatible with your theme). Also, I find a lot that clients are using several of these thinking perhaps the more the better when in fact the opposite is true. I prefer to use caching in my premium web hosting instead of adding a weighty plugin. An example of LCP would be the featured image in a blog post. If it exceptionally large that could cause problems.
  3. IMPROVE FID –  Again a caching plugin will help with this. Changing the way you load your Javascript and CSS can also be a big help. Always, minify your CSS.
  4. IMPROVE CLS – Fix layout shifts. Make sure all of your images have size attributes. Right-click on inspect tool to check these. Cache plugin.
  5. ELIMINATE RENDER BLOCKING ELEMENTS (Elements that are slower to load). These are usually: Javascript & CSS that is added by plugins like Google Analytics, Facebook Pixel, etc.
  6. PROPERLY SIZE IMAGES IN WP – Wrong size images can cause issues on mobile devices.
  7. USE A CDN – I HAVE THE ANSWER FOR THIS. A CDN allows you to serve static content on your website from multiple servers around the globe which drastically decreases load times.
  8. IMAGES – When you upload an image to your WordPress media library three copies are automatically created. These sizes are THUMBNAILS, MEDIUM, LARGE. You can set these under SETTINGS>>MEDIA. If you put a “0” in that box it will skip that size if you aren’t using them. Also, if you’d like your thumbnails to be rectangular you could change the thumbnail size to something like WIDTH: 450px  HEIGHT: 200px. such as for food blogs.Larger images provide a clearer image but take up more storage space. Check the “Organize my uploads by month and year.

NEED MORE HELP WITH RENDER BLOCKING TEXT?

As I said, this is inserted by your plugins. If you’re using

  • WP Rocket uses the FILE OPTIMIZATION TAB.
  • Minify & combine your Javascript and CSS ** Make sure to check because this can cause some minor design changes.
  • Javascript deferred – Save mode for JQuery.

 

.WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?

A 1-second delay in page load time can lead to:

  • a 7% loss in conversions
  • 11% fewer pageviews
  • 16% decrease in customer satisfaction.

 

graphic showing losses in dollars amount

 

 

 

 

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Start 2021 With A Clean Slate By Organizing Your Website

There are several times a year when cleaning up and starting fresh seem to be at the top of everyone’s mind, but none more than a new year. This year, I think in particular, we want to start off 2021 on better footing and wipe 2020 completely off of the slate. This year as you see, I’ve taken that to a whole new level with the creation of Technology-Therapist.com. Formerly, The Blogging 911. As The Blogging 911, I was a web designer/maintainer/troubleshooter but it takes a lot more than a website to run a successful online business and I want to help with the whole picture from beginning to end.  My maintenance packages come in three different sizes depending on how much help you want or need. I hope you will check them out HERE! This year unlike any other we all need that fresh start don’t we? Last year was a shit show of the highest level and I for one am thrilled it is gone. One of the most important parts of running a successful business or blog is maintaining it and doing it in a way that doesn’t hurt your SEO strategy (you do have a plan don’t you? If not next week’s post is just for you!) or your analytics. There’s never a better time than a fresh new year!  The first thing I always do is study the numbers and ask myself several questions. What worked in 2020 & what didn’t. I track everything much like a company does inventory you should do the same thing. Some of the things I look at are:

  • Most successful post of 2020 & of all time.
  • Least successful post of 2020 & of all time.
  • Products that were the most successful.
  • Products there aren’t selling.
  • Which pages are getting the most attention?
  • Take stock of your sidebar, is it still relevant?
  • Do a site audit. Does your contact form work? Are your products set up correctly? Does your op-tin go to the right place?

Once you’ve taken stock of all of this study the numbers and see what was the most successful. Update those posts. Maybe add some new images, some newer data. This is very important for your SEO to keep your content relevant. It will also provide your readers with a better user experience. I’m going to use my The Diary of an Alzheimer’s Caregiver site as a case study so that you can get the full picture of what it means to clean up your website for 2021! A little background: This site was established in 2014 and posts new content weekly.  MOST SUCCESSFUL POSTS (TOP 5)

  1. Amazing Benefits of Massage For Alz Disease Patients.
  2. 6 Signs Of Dementia In Elderly Women
  3. Mom With Dementia – What To Gift Her On Mother’s Day
  4. 5 Tips For A Healthy Aging & A Active Lifestyle
  5. 6 Ways To Ease Your Parents’ Transition From Assisted Living To Memory Care

Make any updates to those posts. Add new graphics, check links, and update any research. LEAST SUCCESSFUL POSTS (TOP 5)

  1. Respite Care From Caregivers Is A Necessity.
  2. Why Should You Stay Physically Active As A Senior
  3. How To Survive Senior Caregiving.
  4. What It Looks Like To Be An Alzheimer’s Caregiver
  5. Keeping Our Seniors Safe From Scammers.

Since this isn’t an eCommerce product stats aren’t necessary. I also like to see what the numbers were the year before and compare them to this year to get a clear picture of how the site is doing. I have to admit I was surprised by the changes from 2019 to 2020. As you can see from the image below from one year to the next my pageviews increased by 67.84% (or 11,694). WEBSITE AUDIT SIDEBAR

  • Check your social media buttons to make sure they lead to the correct profile.
  • Check your search button to make sure it’s working.
  • Does your opt-in go to the right place?
  • Check any links

OTHER

  • Check to make sure that your copyright is up to date.
  • Check any links.
  • Check for widgets.
  • Check to make sure that your contact form is working properly and goes to the correct email address.

MENU

  • Check to make sure your menu makes sense.
  • Is easily navigated.
  • Provides the right information.

Read this post by Yoast about cleaning up your site structure. Does your site:

  • What’s my most important content according to my mission?
  • Is that the content my audience is looking for too? (What does the data say?)
  • Can my users find it in the menu or on the homepage?
  • If I look at my goals, is there anything essential missing on my site?
  • Do I have content in my menu or high up in the hierarchy that isn’t essential after all, or doesn’t perform well?

Once you’ve completed this you’ll have a better understanding of not only your website but also if you’re creating relevant content or maybe it needs a few tweaks. It will become clear through the data what it is your readers want from you & the best way for you to provide that information. CONCLUSION While this is a great way to start off 2021 on the right foot it’s also not a one & done process. It’s a strategy or plan that is a constant work in progress. Next week, we’re going to work on updating or deleting! That’s always the big question, isn’t it? Have more questions? Let me know in the comments below or head over to the Technology-Therapist Facebook page & ask your questions there!

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