This article was written to highlight the effectiveness of a simple Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy combined with the use of a WordPress plugin called All-in-One-SEO-Pack.
First, a quick note from my dealings with clients in regards to SEO and its true purpose…
When working with people, I often have to stop and ask them to explain to me what it is they think SEO is. From their definitions or explanations, I am convinced that they are expecting to increase their blog subscribers or sell more products and services by investing in a costly SEO campaign. Although it is true that in order to increase your blog subscribers and to sell more services or products through your website you need traffic to your site. What I am amazed by is how much people expect that by simply increasing their website traffic they are going to see their sales increase, and although findability is important, it isn’t the key.
The real key to getting people to subscribe to your blog or buy your product is to provide something of value and something that is influential to your target audience.
SEO will bring the traffic, the eyeballs, the visitors, the potential subscribers and buyers, but the rest is up to you to sell them with valuable content.
What is All-in-One-SEO-Pack?
All-in-One-SEO is a plugin that allows you to, “automatically optimizes your WordPress blog for Search Engines (Search Engine Optimization)”.
How much does it cost? Well there is a free version of this plugin which I have been using for years; and there is a Pro version that cost $70, but is on sale right now for $40.
No, you do not need the Pro version! The free version works GREAT!
Using this plugin is very simple. First you install it and activate it within your WordPress dashboard, then you setup the initial settings. Settings that determine what the homepage title, description, and keywords will be. You then have several additional options that will set the standard for the use of the plugin throughout your site. Settings such as, what the individual page titles will look like and display; will they show the page title and then be followed by the homepage title?
Most of the work involved with using this plugin will be done on an individual post/page bases. Every time you write a new post or page you will have the options to identify a title, description, and keywords for that page. The details used in this plugin will override any WordPress details. Which in my opinion is one of the best benefits of using this plugin. For example, if you title your post, “SEO for WordPress: There’s a plugin for that!”, because you have a long series of post that are all titled, “There’s a plugin for that!”, but maybe you think of a title that might catch more people’s attention or maybe provide better keywords and don’t want to change you post title, no problem. With this plugin, you can give the post a new title like, “Simple SEO for WordPress Sites: The best plugin for making your life easier!” and that is the title Google will use when listing your article.
Another great feature is the ability to give each page/post a description, this way Google isn’t just selecting the first 160 characters from your page which don’t usually explain anything about the post/page.
With All-In-One-SEO the ability to specify keywords for every post/page is so simple. This feature of the plugin means that you can do a better job of attracting search engines through the process of identifying the keywords for your individual post/page.
NOTE: do not get carried away with the number of keywords you try to add to this field. Remember that best practice is to use 1-2 keywords per post/page.
A Simple SEO Strategy: What does it consist of?
I will outline for you in this section what I consider to be a simple SEO strategy and how I would implement it for every post/page that I write for my website.
I don’t claim to be an SEO expert, but I have learned a thing or two over the years, and my practices might be considered amateur, but they have worked well for me!
First Step: Install, activate, and setup these plugins (all free);
Second Step: Use Google Keyword Search Tool to identify 10-25 keywords
- These are the 10-25 keywords you are going to use or test for your entire website, not one post/page. Remember that best practice is to use no more than 2 keywords per post/page.
- With the Google search tool you can enter your website URL and it will identify keywords that you are already listed for. Use this data to determine what keywords you should continue to focus on and to locate new keywords you might not have considered before.
- The Google search tool will allow you to search several keywords or terms that you might want to use. You will want to evaluate the competition, and the amount of searches performed each month for those keywords.
Third Step: Understand how to position your keywords throughout your post/page.
- Your post/page title should always contain one of your keywords. This is wear the SEO Plugin will come in handy. Sometime you can not always get one of your key terms or words to fit into your title, usually this is the case for pages, well with the SEO plugin you can create titles for your post/pages that are completely different then the actual title of the post/page (just keep it relevant). And the title you use in the SEO plugin, is the one that search engines use when listing your content.
- You should also place your key terms and words throughout the body of your post/page NATURALLY! That word, Naturally, is very important. If every 4th word in your article is your keyword, it is going to be hard to read. One key to ensuring that you are doing things naturally is to identify places where you could have used your key word or term, but did not.
- Make sure you are using all of the fields available for the SEO plugin and that you follow the character guidelines for each field. Title, Description, and keywords. Remember no more than 2 keywords or terms per post/page.
Fourth Step: Create a simple strategic plan for using your keywords
- It is important that you identify keywords or terms to fit into your content and not to fit your content into your keywords or terms. Now, what I mean by that is don’t write content to simple improve you ranking. Write content to provide value and influence. When you write quality content it is easy to add a good SEO strategy to it!
- You will need to determine which keywords or terms you will use on which pages, and you will need to determine, for every post, which keywords or terms you will be focusing on and how they can naturally fit them into your content.
- You will want to determine whether you will use the SEO plugin on every post/page or just on specific ones.
Fifth Step: Implement your plan, write your content
- If you want people to read your content you need to write it and publish it! So create your articles, write your pages, and people will start to find it. Make sure that your content is relevant, valuable, and accurate.
Sixth Step: review your analytics daily
- When I say review these things daily, I am not suggesting that you obsess over them. You should be looking for a few key things. Also be aware that f you do not have good answer for the first question below, then you need to reevaluate your plan.
- How are you keywords or terms ranking? Are your articles being found and read?
- What other keywords or terms could you be using that you might not have thought of?
Seventh Step: add new keywords and write articles to solve people’s problems
- This is my Favorite part. Finding new ideas for articles that will help people solve problems and find the answers they need!
- To find the article ideas I simple review my analytics to see the terms people are searching for, which bring them to my site. If I do not have an article that adequately addresses a question or problem, I write one. If I do have an article I try to determine if there is any way that I can improve it.
- You will find from reviewing your analytics that there are some keywords that you may want to better target in your SEO campaign, and if you do, just work them into the plan you developed in step four.
- In the images below you will see my search results, and you can see that one of the search terms was, “first thing to think about when you have an idea to start a business” (on the left). Now I could write a new article to address that question. I am sure that the searcher was taken to one of my articles on starting a business, but I know that I have not addressed that question specifically.
The best advice I can offer:
Quoting from a statement made earlier in this article. “The real key to getting people to subscribe to your blog or buy your products is to provide something of value and something that is influential to your target audience.”
If you follow this simple outline and create content that has real value, your sales and subscriptions will rise up and to the right!!
There is one other option: It is not free, but it would even make this simple outline even more simple. It will also eliminate the need for a few of the steps…A plugin called Scribe (afflink) from Copyblogger Media.
==> SEO experts, please feel free to use the comments to add something that might help me and the readers improve our SEO strategies even more!