WordPress Free Plan Tutorial 1: On-Page SEO

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On page SEO is one of the most tricky (yet rewarding) SEO fundamentals. Without a base in On-Page work, your site won’t get very far. So, before you go off ready to conquer unknown places and acquire “backlink juice”, slow down and pour yourself a cup of coffee, because this is going to be fun.

Now, because this is a WordPress Free Plan tutorial, there will only be so much we can do. If you haven’t paid for the business plan, certain options will be locked by WordPress, unusable and useless. However, there are still some awesome things we can do to help our sites rank higher on Google. Let’s dive in.

What is On-Page SEO?

On-Page SEO is the category of SEO that directly to the changes you can make to your site’s pages. In other words, On-Page SEO is just that- on your page. This is the category of SEO that we have direct control over as we make little changes to our sites. When you make one of these changes for the better, Google will begin to rank your page (and site, hopefully) as higher quality, boosting you higher in the rankings. The higher your On-Page SEO quality gets, the higher your rankings will go.

“The higher your On-Page SEO quality gets, the higher your rankings will go.” —Elisha McFarland

Why is On-Page SEO Important?

On-Page SEO makes up 50% of all the SEO factors that Google uses. The other 50%, to be discussed next week, is called “Off-Page SEO”, and includes things such as link building and guest posting. If you chose to only work on one of these, you’re not building your site to its full potential. And choosing to only use one may leave your site rather lopsided. If you only work on Off-Page SEO, you’ll get a lot of visitors to your site, but it won’t look as great in the Google rankings and may not be as aesthetically pleasing. If you only do On-Page SEO, you may have a beautiful and well-organized site, but no visitors. Obviously, these rules aren’t set in stone. I tend to rely slightly more on On-Page SEO since the Off-Page SEO options are slightly limited. Nevertheless, you should do your absolute best to focus on both factors to receive optimal results.

Now that you understand why On-Page SEO is so important, you are ready to begin optimizing your site pages. Do this the right way and you’ll begin to see immediate results in your traffic and rankings. Keep in mind, however: I am not a professional website owner. I am simply a freelancer and a relatively new one at that. If you have any problems with your site, contact Neil Patel here. Alright, ready? Here are nine areas that, if worked on, will help boost your rankings.

1: E.A.T

Anna Crowe from Search Engine Journal describes this area perfectly.

E-A-T, which stands for Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness, is the framework that Google raters use to assess content creators, webpages, and websites as a whole.

Google has always put a premium on high-quality content. It wants to make sure that sites producing high-quality content are rewarded with better rankings and sites that create low-quality content get less visibility.

There is a clear relationship between what Google considers high-quality content and what appears in the search results.

Call it correlation or causation – whatever it is, E-A-T is somehow playing a role in Google’s organic search results. Which means E-A-T must be a consideration in your SEO strategy.

Anne Crowe

If your site is considered “trustworthy” by Google, you won’t have much difficulty getting your site to rank. A major way to increase your E.A.T is removing ALL spam comments. Better yet, block them altogether or risk Google’s wrath.

2: Image Optimization

When they say that an image is worth a thousand words, they aren’t joking. You should have a relevant picture in every single post you release, complete with alt tags and the correct image size. WordPress images should be around 1200×800, with alt tags including your blog name and a two to three word description of the image itself. Doing this correctly can actually result in your picture showing up in Google Images, helping you receive clicks if people are interested in your site.

3: URL Optimization

Have you ever clicked on a website, only to find that the URL had about fifty words and three hundred different characters? Yeah, me too. This goes beyond the annoyance of a long link. Google has stated quite clearly that they penalize sites with spammy or long URLs. Be sure to keep your URL under 10 words, and replace any numbers with words (so, instead of 5, you would write “five”).

4: Title Tags

Title tags, as opposed to header tags, are tags found within your post title and URL. Inserting title tags into your post can be a very beneficial thing to do. For example, if your post is titled “3 Great Ways to Roast Coffee”, and your URL is “www.coffee.blog/three-great-ways-to-roast-coffee”, you might include title tags such as “Coffee Roasting”, or “Three ways to roast coffee”. Keep them short and make sure that they match the words within your URL and Title.

5: Title Optimization

I could (and will) write an entire post on optimizing your titles. This goes far beyond length and tags, although those are helpful too. The key to crafting titles is being creative in what you title your post. Going back to the coffee illustration: would you want to read a post called “Why coffee roasting is fun”? I wouldn’t. But if an email popped up in my inbox titled “Three GREAT Ways to Roast Coffee At Home”, I’d already be sold. In fact, I’d be ready to share that post, without having read it, with my coffee-loving dad. See what that crafty title did? It won me over with it’s professionality (the capitalized letters) and intrigue. Now I suddenly want to know: can I roast coffee at home? Creating a fantastic title is key to increasing your traffic, especially on the WordPress free plan.

6: Content Quality

With content quality, you can be certain of one thing: Google will always chose the website with the higher quality pages/posts. Let’s return to the coffee illustration again. Pretend you and your friend are both coffee gurus with coffee blogs. For some reason, you both posted on the exact same subject- roasting coffee. Your friend posted a 300 word post without pictures or tags. You, on the other hand, went the extra mile and posted a 2,000 word post with necessary pictures and tags. Which post would Google take? Obviously, your post would rank higher because it’s higher quality.

Now, for the most part, longer posts will be considered higher in quality. However, there are times in which a very long, very spammy post will be ranked under a short, to-the-point post with pictures and tags. Stuffing your post with unnecessary words isn’t going to get to you the top of Google. Going the extra mile and writing extensively on a subject, however, will. Try to make sure that each post is over 1,000 words. Double-check your spelling and grammar (I recommend Grammarly), and use bullet lists/headers where necessary.

7: Content Tags

Also known as “header tags”, I have renamed these to cover what tags are supposed to include. The average post should have between 3 and 12 tags. 1/4th of these should be title tags, as discussed above. The rest will be content tags, covering what you published in the body of your post. Once again, let’s return to the coffee illustration. Your 2,000-word post “Three GREAT Ways to Roast Coffee At Home” has been fully written, complete with title tags and pictures. The next step would be to add content tags related to the 2,000 words you wrote. To create correct content tags, think over what you wrote in your body and create one-word, two-word, or three-word phrases describing this content. In this situation, a few of your content tags might look like “Coffee roasting”, “Coffee”, “How to roast”, “learn about coffee”, etc.

Another way to create relevant content tags is to think about Google’s rankings. If you wanted this post to be seen, how would you want people to find it? You most certainly do not want them coming to your site from a random backlink. Instead, you want them Googling something to find you. What is that something? In this case, you might want them to Google “Coffee blogs”. Since you blog about coffee, this shouldn’t be too hard to rank for. Adding “coffee blog” into the content tags of your post can actually help you rank higher for that result, especially if you use those words in the body of the post itself.

For more information on crafting tags, click here.

8: Interlinking

Interlinking should be something of a second habit to you. If you don’t interlink in some form or the other, you can’t expect people to stay on your site. It’s that simple. If they don’t see links to your Homepage or other posts, they will likely click away from your site. Take a quick look around my site right now. If you’re on a computer, you should see links to several pages (ie. Contact, Home, Blog, etc.) at the top of this page, and links to my newest and most popular posts to the right. Try to do something like this, but balance it out. You shouldn’t have more than seven pages to the top or you risk being considered a retard (no joke). Using dropdown menus like the one I use for contacting me can be useful in this instance. You also shouldn’t have more than twenty posts on the sidebar.

Thankfully, there’s more to interlinking then the generic “Most Popular” and “Recent” posts on your site. You should also include at least three links to other posts within every single post you do. Every time you release a post, check to ensure that you have at least three different links to other posts included within your new post. A great way to do this is by emulating what I do at the bottom of every post: I include a link to my last post, my “Featured” post (which is basically the best post of the month), and a post similar to the one being published.

9: Site Audits

Site Audits are quite possibly the most overlooked SEO tactic in the blogging industry. Failing to run them can result in you overlooking crucial problems in your site and being penalized accordingly. If you blog regularly (at least once a week), be sure to do an audit in that same window of time- once a week. While there are a few great paid websites for site auditing, we are operating on a budget of $0, and so require a website that does these for free. Thankfully, one exists- Ubersuggest. Created by SEO Marketing guru Neil Patel, Ubersuggest crawls your site in a matter of minutes and will tell you if any major problems are found. It can also be helpful in tracking keywords, organic traffic, and search rankings. You can begin your site audit now by clicking here.

Ubersuggest will also tell you how to fix these problems, so don’t worry about technical know-how. The site explains in simple terms how to remove these problems, and if they can’t be fixed, you can always just delete the page entirely (I have had to do this three times so far).

On-Page SEO can be an absolute beast when it comes to ranking your website. Not only can it do the work for you, it can also make your site look pretty (and thus attract more traffic). Follow these steps and you should see an instant boost in your traffic.

Alright, that’s all for today. Thanks a ton for reading! I hope you learned a ton. If you have a lot of followers that you know would appreciate this information (or just don’t know anything about this at all), feel free to reblog this post! It’s a quick, easy process and it’ll save you having to write a post today. Also, if you haven’t already, be sure to click that Follow button below (or to the side), so as to not miss out on fun posts like this. Thanks again, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

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10 thoughts on “WordPress Free Plan Tutorial 1: On-Page SEO

  1. I was looking for information on SEO when I found your blog. I usually use woorank for SEO, this is a free tool that gives a better idea of organic search engine rankings. Btw I love your article but recommend against the use of stock photos as they will not get indexed by Google. In turn this means that you will miss out on clickthroughs and links from image searches. When adding your own photographs you will notice a strong boost in traffic. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Taking photographs in not always possible that why I usually use Photoshop, Gimp and Photoscape. The last two programs are completely free and will help you design an original image within 10 minutes. You can download backgrounds, mash them up, and then add PNG files on different layers. Photoscape is very easy to understand and it makes a world of difference for SEO and ranking high in the search engines.

        Liked by 1 person

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