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There are over 100 Google ranking factors and over the years have constantly been changed or dropped. But there are ranking factors that have stood the test of time… And that’s having a search engine optimized website. Whether you have keyword optimized blog posts or backlinks, if you don’t have an SEO friendly Website, your blog posts will struggle to stay at the top page.
That’s why in this post I’ll be showing you how to optimize your website for search easilg. You won’t need any coding experience or prior SEO skills to be able to optimize your website.
Lets get into it.
10 Easy to do tips to an SEO friendly Website
Now when it comes to creating an SEO friendly website, you’re mainly looking to appeal to:
Google bots so that they can be able to understand what your website is about.
Your audience so that they can easily interact with your website. The easier they’re able to interact with your website, the more they’ll stick around. And when they stick around that will let the Google algorithm that your content is great. Hence, rewarding your content by ranking it to the top.
So the tips in this post are going to mainly focus on those two aspects to ensure your content can easily rank.
Let’s do it.
Categories simply put all related content in one area. In SEO language, it’s called silos.
Now you can manually create categories and put each piece of blog post into it’s respective category or you can do it virtually.
What do I mean when I say create virtual categories?
Well, virtual categories / silos are created by interlinking your content to each other.
Thats why a lot of the SEO experts will always tell you to interlink content.
When you interlink related content, the Google bots automatically group together all those pieces of content.
So lets say you have a small website like this one of mine with around 40 blog posts and you talk about different topics just like I do.
Now because you don’t want to categorize the topics because of how little they are, you leave them on one page that’s titled blog.
You can check out my blog section to understand what I mean.
So instead of creating categories, you’ll interlink all those blog posts to each other. In the end, your interlinking structure will look like this.
This will tell Google bots that all those blog posts are in one virtual silo. Not only that, if one of the blog posts begins to rank, all your other blog posts in that category will have a massive increase in traffic and ranking.
But how do you manually create categories?
How to Manually Create Categories on WordPress.
Head over to your WordPress dashboard and click on posts. You’ll get a drop down menu.
In that drop down menu, you’ll find the categories section.
Click on it and create a category. Do not put any parent category. I’ll show you how to do that in just a minute.
Now head over to your website when you’re logged into WordPress. This is how it will look.
On your left hand corner, choose edit website.
This is what will pop up.
Head over to the menu section and add pages.
Select the name of the category you created.
Then move it up so that it’s close to the Blog page.
Then move the category to your right.
You’ll realize that it will stop showing on the menu bar but will show up under the blog section. It will look like this.
That means that the parent category is the blog section.
Why do you need a manual category
This is mainly necessary for user experience and if you’re having a hard time creating a virtual silo.
When a user can easily access content on your website, they tend to stay longer.
A secured website basically protects your audience’s information. It’s highly relevant to have one especially if you have an E-commerce store where people out in their credit card info. People want to know if their information is safe on your site.
And even if you dont have an ecommerce store, you still need a secure website. Apart from the fact that you’ll build your audiences trust in the information you’re sharing, they will be able to see it.
When you have an unsecure website and someone tries to access it, they will normally get this error.
This is a warning from Google that your website is not a safe place.
Now you can best believe if Google thinks your website is not a safe space that it will definitely not be ranking any content on your website.
How to secure a website.
You will need an SSL certificate to secure your website.
I use Namecheap to secure my website and they have an offer where if you buy a domain name they give you a free SSL certificate for a year.
Thats a great deal. If you already have a domain name and want to get an SSL certificate, you can get affordable certificates here for as low as $29.95 for 5 years. There’s an offer that is currently running that will give you 40% off. So instead of paying $34.95, you pay $29.
It’s a limited time offer. So hurry before the price goes back up.
Easy to Navigate
An easy to navigate website is one where the menu is functioning properly and is in a position where it is seen.
I have previously interacted with websites where the menu disappears when I go to read a blog post. That shouldn’t be the case because how is the user meant to go back to your homepage or another blog post if they wish to do so.
Also, dont hide your menu at your footer. Most internet users are accustomed to the fact that menus are always at the top of a website. So if you’re trying to help your website stand out, that shouldn’t be the way to do it.
And finally have a responsive menu. One that can adapt to the mobile screen. So when you’re purchasing your website theme, ensure it is mobile friendly… Otherwise you’ll have a website that looks like this on mobile.
Speaking of being mobile friendly… Let’s talk about how that makes an SEO friendly website.
Mobile-Friendly / Adaptive
This is an extension of what I was just speaking about in the previous point.
Now when a website is not mobile friendly, Google considers it not an SEO friendly website.
The reason is that Google algorithm is centered on user experience. And since 96% of Google searches are done via mobile you can be certain that Google wants all those people to find what they’re looking for with ease.
If you find out that you don’t have a mobile responsive website, you can either buy a mobile responsive theme or get an AMP generator/plugin. It will make your mobile website easy to use and super fast.
Use Google Search Console
GSC is Google’s way of telling you why your website is not ranking and how you can optimize it to rank.
Google search console allows you to request indexing of a page on your website. That means that you want Google to know the existence of that specific page. So once your page is indexed, it stands a higher chance to rank faster on Google than when you just write your content and leave it on your website.
Requesting indexing does not guarantee the ranking of your website. It is just a way that fastens the process of Google knowing that your website has new content.
It will also tell you your current ranking. For instance, this website is currently ranking at 98.
That helps me figure out what my competitors are doing that I’m not doing.
So if I’m ranking 98 and I want to rank top 50. I’ll look at all the blog posts ranking from 40 – 50 and analyze their backlink profile, their content and their site structure.
That way I can be able to update my blog post to be able to beat my competition.
Now that will help my website start ranking higher on search within a month/two.
And finally, this is the place where you submit your sitemap.
If you have Yoast SEO, you can quickly generate your sitemap and submit it to Google search console.
If you don’t know how to do that, simply go to Yoast, then click on sitemaps and generate one.
Then copy that link of your sitemap and submit it to your Google search console account.
How to create a Google search console account.
- Use a Gmail account associated with your website.
- Youll be promoted to key in the domain of your website.
- Then youll be asked to verify if the domain belongs to you. I find that using your domain host is the easiest method especially if you’re a newbie.
- It should take anywhere between 1-2 hours to get verified.
- If you’re having problems with getting verified reach out to your domain provider. They will help you. I have always used Namecheap and their fast customer service always helps me get through this technical shabang.
Create Long Form Keyword Optimized Content
This point is not necessarily how your website.looks or feels but has everything to do with what is in your website.
You can either have long form content or thin content. Thin content is simply short content that does not give enough information about a topic.
For you to have an SEO friendly website, you must resist writing thin content.
Thin content is content that is less than 500 words.
More often than not, a 500 worded blog post does not have information that is not helpful to anyone. And I don’t mean it in a rude way. It’s hard to give in depth info with a 500 worded post than it is with a 1500 worded blog post.
Moreover, you’ll find tough competition where other sites have more content. Users will likely want to use those websites than they will want to go to yours. And that in itself will make ranking your website extremely hard.
Also, you need to focus on specific keywords.
There are many strategies to use to focus on keywords.
But i will not be diving into the keyword research strategies on this post.
If i do, the post will be longer than it needs to be.
The key thing to note though is that ranking on Google with content is highly determined by the quality, length and keywords you choose.
If those three aspects don’t align perfectly, your content will find it hard to rank on Google.
Speed of Website
Have you ever found a website that pops up at the first page when you search for anything that is slow?
Google will never allow it. And the second the algorithm notices that a website ranking on Googles first page is slow or users aren’t able to access it, it is immediately deranked.
Thats how serious Google is about website speed.
In short an SEO friendly website is fast. But how do you make a website fast?
How to make a website fast.
Choose a reputable hosting platform. One that can handle huge amount of people on you’re website and still have no problem loading the content.
I use Namecheap. I know you think I’m being… But it’s the truth. Here is the proof.
I actually set up my website with Namecheap at only $14 for a whole year. That’s a pretty sweet deal if you ask me.
I didn’t choose Namecheap solely because of the price but because of what I was getting in return. They have the fastest server on the internet. Faster than Siteground and Bluecheap. And those are the top dogs when it comes to website hosting.
On top of that, I get instant WordPress installation and Jetpack – which helps with site speed.
Use a Plugin
As you can see, the Jetpack plugin is one of the best site speed plugins available. It allows you to cache images, lazy load if you have large images such that the user can still use your site as it loads the pictures in the background.
It makes your WordPress dashboard fast this enabling you to write content faster.
You have not experienced frustration until you have experienced WordPress dashboard lagging.
You will never get to write 10 blog posts a month.
Though there are so many other plugins that you can use that will increase your site speed.
What to Avoid when trying to increase site speed.
Avoid image Flips/ Moving Carousels
These take so much of your space and if you’re on a sharing plan with your host provider, you’ll find your website is very slow.
Instead, stick to minified pictures and avoid carousels.
Use easy-to-Load Fonts
I know you want your website to look chic and represent your style as it should be.
But be mindful of the type of fonts you choose. Other fonts take a lot of memory and other don’t even if they look the same.
Calligraphy fonts are the ones that take the most time to load on websites.
But I found that these google Calligraphy fonts don’t vastly affect your site speed.
Blog Pages With Sidebars
The sidebar is meant to do 2 things:
Lower your bounce rate.
Increase pageviews per session.
All these will make Google think your website has quality content and boost your ranking.
If people spend more time on your website it means that your content was able to answer their query.
On the flip side, if a person clicks your website and immediately clicks off and clicks another result, it shows Google that your content isn’t satisfying your audiences queries.
How to Optimize your sidebars
Place related blog content on the sidebar. Make it more appealing by showing the hero image of the related blog posts.
That will increase the curiousity of your audience.
Add freebies/ content upgrades. But don’t do it if your website is about a bunch of topics. And because your sidebar is static in that you cant change what it shows based on the blog post, it will do you more harm than good.
Promote your course/ebook. This is a great way to capitalize on the laptop traffic your site is getting.
Presence of 404 Page
In the event that you delete a blog post, you want your website to have a 404 page. That way, if you’re doing a revamp of your website you can easily tell which posts have a 404 redirect/ have been deleted and then redirect those pages to related blog content/ similar content.
Otherwise you’ll get a ton of errors from Google search console like these ones.
And that will send bad signals to Google… That you have pages that do not exist deeming your website untrustworthy.
In short, what I’m saying is that the presence of 404 pages is only part of the riddle. It’s redirecting those 404 pages to pages with content like blog posts on your website.