SEO To-Do List: A Recipe For SEO Success

You know, SEO is a lot like weight loss. Both can be temporarily improved with quick fixes like paid ads or extreme diets, but the key to real, lasting success is putting in the effort to form good habits.

If you took the time to do just a few simple things to optimise each of your pages, posts, products, or portfolio items before you publish them on your website, you are setting yourself up for SEO success - not to mention, saving yourself a whole lot of time down the road if you were to optimise your entire site in one go or engage an agency's SEO services. Every little bit helps, so invest in your website's health!

BEFORE YOU START: Did you choose your SEO keywords and analyse your competitors?

Once you've got your keywords, you're ready to start forming new habits for SEO success! Here is Captivate Digital's SEO To-Do List for you to embrace and start checking off:

Optimise Images

There are a couple things you can do to optimize images so that your website shows up on Google for your keyword phrases:

    • Save the image file with a name containing your keyword phrase. If the phrase contains more than one word, put a hyphen between them rather than an underscore or mashing them together (e.g. keyword “wordpress plugins” would be wordpress-plugins.jpg in an image filename, NOT wordpressplugins.jpg or wordpress_plugins.jpg).
      WordPress site images

 

  • Use your keyword phrase within the image alt tag. WordPress gives you an option to fill in the box for Alt Text upon inserting an image. Instead of leaving it blank or with the default filename saved in there, type in your keyword. (alternatively, if you're viewing the HTML code for your page or post, the img tag should have an alt text component - in the snippet below, it's alt="seo competitor analysis").
    seo success

Optimise URLs

Did you know that you can set the URLs yourself for each of your web pages? If you're using WordPress it will automatically set the URL for you, but you can change it by clicking the Edit button next to the permalink (right below the page or post title) and type your new URL in the box. As you do with your images, be sure to separate each word in the URL with a hyphen.

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How do you optimise your URL? In general: keep it short, eliminate any 'stop' words (e.g. a, the, an, to, by), and try to incorporate a keyword phrase preferably near the beginning. Make it easy for Google to ascertain the topic of your web page by providing a short, optimised URL.

Optimise Page Headers

Header tags should absolutely be a part of your SEO strategy. Page headers dictate a hierarchy for a given web page, which helps Google understand how your page information is organized. In HTML, header tags are called h1, h2, h3, etc... with the top-most header being your page name, which should be contained within h1 tags. Subheaders can then live inside h2 tags and so on.

WordPress and most other CMS make it easy for you to work with headers without using the HTML header tags - instead, you can just highlight your header or subheader and select the appropriate heading size. If you were to look at your HTML code you'd see that, for example, text you styled as Heading 3 will be contained within h3 tags.

seo page headers

To fully optimise your headers, incorporate your keyword phrases whenever possible (and again, preferably near the beginning of the header). If your overall website keywords don't quite sound right for it, think of what someone might Google to find this particular page of your site and try using that term in the header.

Optimise Page Titles and Meta Descriptions

But wait, your optimising doesn't stop there! You should also optimise your meta tags - that is, the title and description of your page. These generally aren't visible on your website, but they are what is displayed when your site pops up on Google. The title also appears on your browser tab when you hover over it.

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What a site well-optimised for Melbourne SEO Services looks like on Google.

As usual, aim to incorporate SEO keywords into your title and meta description. If you download and activate the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, there will be an SEO box that appears below the standard text box where you can easily add the title and description without tampering with HTML code.

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Link to Related Content

Another healthy SEO practise is to add links that are closely related to the topic of your page. Both internal and external links are encouraged here. Internal links help build a stronger web of interconnected pages within your website, which helps Google better understand what your site is about and how to rank it. External links are links to websites other than yours, which also help to inform Google.

Work Keywords Into Text Naturally

As you write copy for your website or blog, you should always keep your most important keywords in the back of your mind. Whenever it seems relevant, work those keywords into the text. You don't want to just randomly drop keywords into your copy, otherwise it'll be obvious that's what you're doing and it'll sound awkward.

It also helps to go back and re-read a page or post after you've written it and see if you can incorporate more keyword phrases. Sometimes you'll quickly pick up on a phrase that could be easily reworded to fit a keyword.

Use a Variety of Keywords

Lastly, you'll want to use a variety of keyword phrases on each page of your website. Using the same one too many times can look like keyword stuffing, which Google deems to be a Black Hat SEO practise. Plus, if you use a few different keywords, you are diversifying and giving your site a better chance at ranking for several keywords, rather than just one.

We recommend using keywords related to the specific page or post as well as keywords you want your overall website to rank for. For example, if your website is selling school furniture and you are trying to optimise a page advertising your teacher desk, use keywords related to both your website AND the product showcased on this page. In this case, you might use keywords "school furniture", "school desk", and "teacher desk" throughout this particular web page. By doing this, you're giving Google more terms for which to rank your website, which gives people more ways to find your site via search.

Need help forming good SEO habits? Contact us to learn more about the Melbourne SEO services we offer at Captivate Digital!

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