You have a website – either one you’ve built yourself or you’ve had a designer do the work for you but it’s not ranking on search engines. You can create content and share the links on Social Media accounts or you can engage in an expensive Google Ad Words campaign. The end result is the same…. once you stop sharing the links or stop paying for Ad Words your website falls back down the ranking and you just can’t work out why. 

The likelihood is your website content hasn’t been optimised for Search Engines to be able to find and index it properly. 

Here are 6 ways to optimise your website content: 

Make sure you’re using keywords and key phrases

What are they?

Keywords and key phrases make a big difference in getting your content seen. For a start it tells both, Google and your user what you’re actually writing about/selling etc. This then allows Google to sort out your content and display it in the appropriate search results. 

There are 2 types of keywords: short tail and long tail (also known as key phrases). Short tail keywords tend to be 1 – 3 keywords which describe your product/service. For example: 

silver band ring

Then you have a long tail keyword structure which describes it in more detail. For example: 

delicate silver band stacking ring for women

Obviously you can use either but if you want your product to be high on the searches you need to add the keywords that users are typing into search engines. 

In the earlier days of the internet it was enough to just type in a short tail keyword and plough through the search results. These days internet users are much more specific with their search terms otherwise there are just too many search results for them to wade through. 

Using a long-tail key phrase will help your product or service get picked up and ranked higher. The more specific the detail in your key phrase, the higher up the rankings for your product or service, you’ll be. 

Where to use them

In your body copy

‘Body copy’ refers to the text on your page which isn’t a title. You should try to work your keywords into at least one title but it’s not enough to just use it there. The more often you use the key phrase in your text, the more likely Google is to index it. However user experience is important here so make sure the text is readable and flows as well as having key phrases worked in. 

Image names

It’s tempting to just dump an image into your post or page directly from your computer but images need work to work for SEO (you can read more on this below). First things first, before you even add the image to the site make sure you’ve named it to include your key phrases so Google can find it. 

URLs

A URL is the link to your post/page. It will start with your domain name then / then the title of your post. WordPress will then automatically set a URL link with this information. Sometimes you may want your URL to say something slightly different to the title of the post. You can edit the URL below the post title in your page dashboard. Use your key phrase here. Make sure you separate the words with hyphens so it’s easy for Google to read and index. 

SEO Plugin

An SEO plugin is essential to know you’re doing all the right things when formatting key words and phrases. Yoast is perfect for beginners and experienced users. Pop your key phrase in, follow their traffic light system and you’re good to go. 

Know your target audience and write for them

You can write awesome copy and back it up with beautiful imagery but if your audience isn’t responding, it’s not going to get you the desired results. If this is happening with you I suggest you spend some time working on your ideal customer profile (also known as avatar). Try to be super specific with the following questions in mind: 

Who are they? Age/Gender/Lifestyle etc.

Where are they hanging out online? 

Look at the websites and Facebook/LinkedIn pages they’re engaging with and take note of the style of writing/language used. If your writing is in a similar style, you’re likely to appeal to them too. 

John Espirian has a brilliant article on his website about this, which you can access by clicking here. 

You may also find this article useful: How to tell your story on your website.

If in doubt, hire a copywriter. Their job is to write content that appeals to your ideal customer. 

Need a copywriter recommendation? Message me, I know some good ones!

Optimise your images

When search engines are crawling websites they pay attention to everything and for this reason it’s important your images are properly formatted. 

First of all, ensure your image is the right size for the container it’s being displayed in. This means resizing them before you add them to your website database. Once you’ve done this you’ll need to compress the image. This free online tool takes the hard work out of it. Simply upload your image, choose ‘best compression’ and wait for the compressed image to download. 

Once you’ve done this, name the image with the relevant key phrase and upload it to your WordPress database. 

Before saving it add the alt text. This is a short description of what the image is about. 

You can find more information about adding images to your website in this post. 

Use Headings correctly

Headings are the titles you use which are larger/bolder text than your body copy. We use these to make a statement or to speak directly to the user. There are 6 styles of Headings ranging from H1 – the largest, to H6 – the smallest. 

Search engines pay a lot of attention to the first 3 types (H1, H2 and H3). Only use H1 once on a page. You can use H2 and H3 multiple times. Where possible try to use key words in your Headings. 

You can read more about Headings here: How to use fonts on your website.

Have a strong call to action

Have you ever been on a website and thought ‘this is nice but I don’t really know what I’m meant to do now?’ This happens more often than you think, especially when the website is a service based site so it’s not directly selling a product. 

Users who don’t know what to do when on your website will leave it and ultimately end up engaging with a website which makes it clear what they want their user to do. 

A call to action such as ‘get in touch’ ‘message me’ ‘book here’ tells the user exactly what you’d like (and are expecting) them to do. It leaves no room for doubt and gives them confidence that in pressing the contact button, they’re doing the right thing. 

Call to actions are placed strategically throughout a page, not just at the end of a long section of text. Have a look through your site and see where you can guide your user into action. 

Include relevant links

Links play a big part in SEO. This is because search engines are looking at whether your content connects with other content that you, and websites you link to, are creating. The more your content flows and links to other content on the internet, the more likely Google is to include yours in results. 

For example, this post is about optimising your website content for search engines. It is part 2 of another post – How to optimise your website for search engines. Linking the posts together shows search engines that I am writing consistently about the same subject. By using links to each post in both of these search engine optimisation posts, I’m helping Google to index my content. If I then use an outbound link to another site, for example – wpbeginner which search engines consider to be an authority (through their own brilliant content and optimisation of it), Google will automatically raise my content through the ranking system. 

Conclusion

If you blog regularly (and for SEO reasons, you should) these steps will become second nature to you. 

Optimising your website content will go a long way into getting you noticed by search engines. It is only half the solution though. The other half is to ensure your website itself is optimised. You can read how to do that in this post: How to optimise your website for search engines.

TL;DR

Here’s an infographic I created as a Too Long;Didn’t Read version. Feel free to right click and save it to refer to later.

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