1. Make Your Title Count
For your title page, create a “It was just another mundane title. What was written next left me in tears.” kind of title. My Facebook timeline is currently inundated with those types of titles. They’re effective as heck and people like me can’t stop clicking (click bait?) on them. Why? Because they tap into one of our most primal behaviors–curiosity. We have to know what happens next to those adorable kittens!
A catchy title is worthless if it’s not SEO friendly too. Remember, your title is the most important part of your page. Don’t mess it up by being too lazy to do some basic research. Start with Google’s Keyword Planner. Find out what keywords are being searched the most. If you’re a small business, for example, narrow your search down to your geographic location. Add some modifiers to your search such as “best” or “easiest” to see how long tail keywords rank. In Jeff Haden’s article, 8 Ways to Find the Best Long-Tail Keywords, it says, “For many, long-tail keywords (in aggregate) add up to the majority of their website’s search-driven traffic.”
Ultimately, before you settle on your page title, I suggest you front-load your title tag for two reasons. First, search engines put more weight on the first few words, so it will be more likely you’ll rank better. Second, because people are scanning for the information they need quickly, placing the keywords in front could result in more clicks.
Check out the competitive keyword results for “Best Exercises”. As you can see, the keywords are competitively placed at the beginning of the title tag.
2. What Are Permalinks?
In simple terms, a permalink is the address that links to your website. For example: www.simplecontentcreation.com/blog is the permalink that directs you to our blog page as evidenced by the /blog. Although the structure of your permalinks isn’t necessarily a deal breaker, I suggest you keep them clean from the start.
If you’re using WordPress, the default permalink structure is a visual car wreck. You should change it right away. You’ll find the permalink setting in the Dashboard under Settings–>Permalinks. Select the Post Name option and then Save Settings.
For more information about permalinks and how they affect your On-Page SEO, check out A Guide To WordPress Permalinks, And Why You Should Never Use The Default Settings.
It should come as no surprise that Google is a HUGE proponent of digital media. So it stands to reason that using content-rich, engaging media would positively impact your overall ranking. Whether you’re posting video tutorials or displaying your photography skills, follow the same guidelines as regular text. Carefully craft titles that depict what people are seeing and add alt Tags as necessary (more on that later). Need a little help with graphic design? Check out The Definitive Beginner’s Guide To Canva (Bye Bye Photoshop)
4. Outbound links
When you start a new website, you’re like the boy your 15 year old daughter brings home. Sound the alarm! It’s not that you disdain the young man (you’re not getting a kiss on my watch), he simply hasn’t gained your trust yet. And how do you gain the trust of a total stranger (in this case, Google)? Well, one way is to show off the people you associate with. Generating links that point your readers to credible, trustworthy sites with great content are outbound links.
Who should you link to? Start with reputable sites with a good following. If you come across an inspiring article and decide to write about it, link back to them. While you’re at it, if it’s a blogger, write them a quick note of gratitude for the inspiration and include a link back to your article. You never know, they might share it with their readers, increasing your traffic!
One word of caution: although it’s tempting, never pay a service to create links for you. You can easily pay someone $5 over at Fiverr.com with “guaranteed results”, but is it worth getting your website banned by Google? I don’t think so. I recommend reading