It’s now easier than ever for small business owners to create their own website with minimal fuss and cost.
Many of the websites I have evaluated have an appealing design and are easy to use with stacks of interesting content. However, each one has overlooked a simple, yet important piece of SEO. It’s not common knowledge for beginners, which is why I see it missed time and time again.
WordPress is a great choice for your new website, but it’s not search engine optimised right out of the box.
This is going to sound technical, but it’s actually very straight forward, so stay with me. I made these simple adjustments for a client and within 2 weeks her website went from page 30-ish to page 2 on Google for 3 of her targeted keywords! We’re obviously aiming for page 1, but this was a great step forward.
HTML is the underlying code used to create web pages. Search engines pick up ranking signals from specific HTML elements. HTML is one small part of SEO ranking factors, and the below are the most important HTML elements.
HTML Title Tag
Create unique, descriptive titles for each of your pages. Rely on your keyword research to choose a title that simply describes what your page is about. Maximum 70 characters.
Meta Description Tag
Allows you to suggest how your page should be described in search listings. Think of it as a blurb on the back of a book. Meta descriptions can help your website stand out from the others, resulting in additional clicks. Incorporating specific keywords from your research is also another tip. If the keywords are used in the person’s search, that keyword will be bolded in your Meta description, further attracting attention. Maximum 150 characters.
To make it super easy, you can download a plugin that will help you set a proper page title, URL and Meta description – I use Yoast SEO for my website.
HTML Heading tags
Search engines use the headings to index the structure and content of your web pages. It’s easy to distinguish titles visually from paragraph text with formatting, however, if you don’t code it correctly with HTML, Google will read the entire page as plain text without a logical structure. Heading tags structure the page into what part of the text is the heading, the sub-heading and the paragraph text.
Heading tags are as much for making content easy to read for users as it is for search engines, so don’t stuff it with keywords or whole paragraphs.
- H1 is the text between <h1> and </h1> describes a heading. It’s the most important heading, and should only be used once per page. Also, make sure you use it on your homepage.
- H2 to H6 is the text describes sub-headings and can be used more than once on a page.
- P is the text between <p> and </p> describes a paragraph, there’s no limit on its use.
If your important keywords are in header tags, you have a slightly increased chance of appearing in searches for those words.
Alt Text is another simple HTML markup that describes what an image is for browsers and search engines that can’t view images.
For example: <img src=”smiley.gif” alt=”Smiley face”>
- Choose a specific topic and be hyper-relevant when creating your content
- Include the subject in the H1 title tag
- Include the subject in the URL
- Include the subject in the image alt text
- Specify the subject several times throughout your content
- Write unique content about the given subject
With some practice, it will become second nature when you’re creating new content. There are many tutorials online if you get stuck or want to learn more advanced HTML, but generally, it’s as easy as highlighting your text and selecting a format from the drop-down options.
Use a Free SEO Audit Tool
There are online tools that can do an SEO audit of your website for free, which will provide guidance on what areas you need to adjust. There are plenty of options, I usually use SEOPTIMER. Run the scan and then review the report it generates.
If you feel this is too technical for you to successfully implement, I’d be happy to assist you with an SEO audit of your website and make the necessary adjustments.