I have been marketing for clients for years now. I wanted to create this article because there are too many people out there that are confused about SEO for their websites and what that entails. First of all, what I am going to tell you here today, I can’t take the credit. Everything I know, I learned from someone else over the years. That being said, Hi! My name is Max and I hope that you’ll learn a couple things here today and this might help you out.
First of all, there is a difference between website optimization and search engine optimization. Website optimization is a component of SEO but it is not the end all to be all. Now Most people hear the word “optimization” and assume it is all the same thing. There are some companies out there that try to do take advantage of that fact.
Website Optimization is creating good RELEVANT content, meta data, relevant keywords, internal link building and PageSpeed, which is the loading time of your website. now It does not include external link building or activity or even structured data. Search Engine Optimization combines website optimization with link building and activity as the main ingredients. SEO also includes authorship, structured data and schema markups. For local SEO it would include directory listings, places or map listings, gps navigation, et cetera.
I am going to focus on website optimization because one thing I have learned is that most websites are not optimized properly. Maybe you built your own website or maybe you hired a website design company that isn’t experienced in optimizing the websites they build. Let’s be honest, anyone can build a website but not everyone knows how to optimize a website. So if you are planning on hiring someone to design a website for you, that is a question you should ask. “Do you optimize the website or are you just building it?” If they say they do optimize the sites, then ask them what they do to optimize them. If they can’t answer the second part, don’t hire them.
Hopefully you will learn enough about website optimization in this article to understand what to look for. So If you are using WordPress for your website, there are some plug-ins that can assist you in optimizing your website. Especially when it comes to PageSpeed. Now For Meta Data, one of the best plug-ins out there is WordPress SEO by Yoast. They make it very simple for you to add your Title, Description and your focus keyword for that page.
What Meta data is the Title, Description, and keywords for that particular page. Now Google doesn’t use keyword meta data any more but there are many search engines out there that still do. So using keyword meta data can still be useful. Speaking of keywords though, I should point out that does not mean that you take a keyword and input it all over your website, that’s called keyword stuffing and it will have a negative impact on your rankings. Now Keep in mind that the most important thing in your website is the actual content that you put on your pages. So you Make sure that your content is relevant to the page you are building, so for example, if your page is about fixing cars, don’t put a bunch of content that talks about driving cars. If you your focused on making your content relevant, you just may have enough keywords and keyword phrases on that page. Now Your Title should immediately tell your visitor about the content on that page. So if the page is about Web Design, for example, the Title should include that. The description is a synopsis of the content of that page and is what will show under your website url in search engine results. Now Try to keep it around 150 characters. Of course, you can leave out the description, in which case what will happen Google will create their own synopsis based on the content of your page, but I suggest you create your own description as one marketing tactic you can utilize is putting your phone number in the description.
Internal link building, to put it simply, is creating links within your website to other areas or pages of your website. Try to avoid using Click here when creating these links. Now Building links within your site is a perfect opportunity for you to use a keyword or keyword phrase to link to the relevant content. Now you can say click here but just dont link those words. As an example, as an example you can say click here to learn about fixing cars. Then link “fixing cars” to the relevant page or area on your website that talks about fixing cars. so My suggestion to you is just avoid using phrases like click here. create a sentence with your relevant keyword and link it to the relevant content. Simple.
First, if you are using WordPress, you will want to install a caching plug-in. You will see a lot of people talk about W3 Total Cache or WP Super Cache, which are both good plug-ins but most of you won’t know how to set it up properly or you’re going to have to watch a tutorial just to set it up so that it doesn’t conflict with the scripts on your site. If you use one of those you can find many tutorials about them online. However, I have found a newer plug-in that is much easier for the average person to use and much less intrusive to your website. Its called WP Fast Cache. Simply install the plug in, activate it and then add your pages to it.
Second, if you don’t know how to optimize your images before uploading to your website, install a plug in called EWWW Image Optimizaer. Simply install, activate it, then you can bulk optimize your images and any new images you add will automatically be optimized. Speaking of images, when you put images on a page, make sure your image is the correct dimensions and don’t get resized after the fact. For example, if you have an about us page and the image dimensions of your headshot are 190 by 190, don’t upload a picture that is 250 by 250 and then it gets resized either by html or css on the page. When you input your image into that page, even though it is the correct size, make sure you put the width and height dimensions as well.
Now this next part is the technical and most difficult for the average person when it comes to optimizing your website for PageSpeed. There is some code that needs to be entered into your dot htaccess file where your website is hosted. When you go into your Cpanel, go to your file manager for your website. You should see your htaccess file underneath your wp-includes file. It would be too much to explain in this article what that code is so what I have done is made this code available for you. Just shoot me a message if you want the code.
Now Just doing those three things are going to dramatically improve your PageSpeed score. If you still don’t have an A rating, which is 90 or above on gtmetrix, then I suggest one of two things. First, you can run your site through Google PageSpeed Service. You will have to apply, but know that as long as you own your domain, you won’t be denied. Just google ‘Google PageSpeed Service’. Now It’s free. The second option is to use a content delivery network. Now I have been using bluehost for my websites and they make it very simple to use Cloudflare as your CDN. You just enter your email address and then it is a simple click of a couple of buttons. Then you will want to go to your advanced seconds and click rocket loader, its still in beta but it still helps the PageSpeed of your site. And again that’s free. You don’t need Unless you are running an e-commerce site, or are a large company with a network of people or if you have a membership site where people log in to access certain areas of the website, you don’t need to pay for a content delivery network to improve your PageSpeed.
All my websites are an A grade which is 90% or better. You do try to get as close to 100 as you can but many plug-ins that you use will affect your PageSpeed but some plug-ins are worth the couple points difference. if you like the functionality of a plugin even though it does affect PageSpeed, just keep it.
Well, I hope you learned a little about Website optimization today and if you have any questions feel free to put them in the comment box or message me. Well, I hope you did learn a little bit today and I appreciate you taking the time to read this article and have great day! Thanks.