What to do when Google robots come to claim what is theirs?
Now, don’t be frightened by the title that usually implies boredom often found in programming articles such as this. They are mostly overloaded with the silly amount of programming, coding and details you don’t wanna know about when starting your own web business. Because – it’s simple, right? You purchase your hosting plan, a domain, our team moves your already existing website or installs a new WordPress platform awaiting merely your inspiration to be transformed into a birthplace of readable and tasteful content.
This article also represents an introduction into the next one that will, unlike this one, have much more tangible and specific actions that you should take in order for your website to be optimized with the help of instructions suitable even for beginners in science called SEO.
The (to some extent) harder part, but only until you get the hang of it, comes with the first knowing of something called SEO – Search Engine Optimization. Luckily, WordPress is very user-friendly regarding the search machinery, so you can take a breath of relief right now and peacefully move on. It should be clear, of course, that we come to the rescue with this article and the base of knowledge that does not stop growing, stimulated by your experiences.
Never forget that our AdriaHost knowledge database is always at your disposal. There you will find the most frequently asked question our user support encounters:
Why can’t I find my website through search engines?
What is SEO?
Simple English words Search Engine Optimization can lead to pretty complex headaches if you understand their rules badly or if you have them abused. Do you want to keep reading about this? Forget the frauds, loopholes, something called Black Hat SEO, tricks and raising your search index over night. Such things do not exist in real life and among people who would rather advance using their knowledge and toil. Another thing to never forget is that Google search can be your best and most faithful friend on web, but only if you speak the same language.
SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a language that Google expects to find on your website while it crawls it. Optimization is the way of understanding. It is an action you take by influencing your site’s code making it friendly towards robots, easily readable and transparent in parts Google seeks and grades.
First attempts to harmonize SEO
The biggest problem occurs when you start Google-ing for SEO solutions and settings. One by one, each result implies just enough for you to realize that it would be for the best for you to hire an expensive expert that will do the job for you and place you on the entry page of search results. Only, you are determined to get the job done yourself and you wonder where to start. Quickly enough you come to the conclusion that where need for paid solutions ends, a bunch of codes and lines to be added or retailored begins. During that time, your inspiration hates the pause button. I only know this because I went through this at the beginning – the searching, writing and deleting, thousands of results and “good” advice that you may spend hours on, until it hits you that the setting you are trying to figure out is few years obsolete. SEO is a daily changing fashion and you must know this. Why? How? Who is a “trend setter”? Read on.
What do search engines want from you?
Robots are crawling through your website and seeking for clearly specified items based on which they rate and rank your website or a blog. They look for honesty, truthfulness and relevance of content. Simply put, they expect you to write in your article what you already announced in the title of it, or of a web page. They look for content that have a clear connection with titles, they seek simplicity, conciseness and arrangement. There were cases in which people were using buzzwords to get the people to go to their websites that has nothing to do with said words. If someone who looks for nudity, chat rooms or entertainment ends up on your website whose subject is selling frozen chicken, they won’t be very happy about it. Google won’t be happy either, because it notices that thousands of visitors are landing on your home page looking for something, only to leave it within a second.
What to take notice of regarding WordPress SEO?
1. General SEO overview
This is a complete insight into the state of your website, its actions and visitors. Generally, it boils down to the following:
- How search engines rank you
- Research of your position on market and harmonizing
- Research of behavior of users who reach (or leave) your website through search queries
2. Searching for new ideas for keywords that people use in their search queries
Take heed that these are not ordinary “key words” or “search terms”, but words that people use to find what they need. Let’s assume that you offer exactly what they need and can find on your website through search. All you need to do is to use the right key words that will bring the consumers to you. Here’s what could help you with that:
- Google trends (web tool) make it possible for you to follow trends easily. How does Google create trends? Simple. Trends are based on people’s interests. If millions of people type words “statue of liberty”, that means they are forming a trend, or fashion, but it also means that for some reason Statue of Liberty is hot topic. The form of this tool is also simple. You can choose a specific country that you research, as well as years. There is a subscription option that will notify you on new trends. You can also subscribe for certain search terms that are interesting to you and you will be notified on the “state” of the said term.
- Google ads have a great tool that makes searching the keywords in Planner tool very easy. Why? Google offers the advertising option, which are the ads that we often see in search queries. In order to use the power of searching to the fullest, Google offers a tool which you can use to do some research of the market before you actually start advertising, with the help of the words you consider to be crucial for your product or service. But what does that have to do with website? Everything, because Keyword Planner can be used to explore the market and keywords that you’ll use on website without being committed to advertising on Google. Planner manual.
3. Website structure
The structure of the website itself has a huge impact on Google ranking. Structure is clear if you imagine it as links pointing out to the content on your website. Structure is also comprised of links leading from your website, pointing to outer content. Here’s how it looks on a badly organized website:
The same pattern, but a different direction, can be seen on well organized website that will be ranked and graded better by Google:
4. HTML elements
Important HTML elements can make all the difference:
- Title Tag – the most important element. It is advisable to make it unique. It speaks a lot without spamming.
- Meta Description – also a vital element. It is advisable to make it unique.
- H1 – the title of the highest priority, not to be used more than once per page. Never to be used to emphasize and styling of the article. Use all the advantages of “the loudest” title on page in SEO purpose.
- H2 – title of lesser priority than previous one. Will often make “noise” on a page when SEO is concerned. Do not overdo it.
- Bold, H3 titles, italic text, links…
5. Website visibility
To make website usable and properly loaded by search engines, it is necessary to be easily spotted when search robots look your way. Here are some more things needed for good visibility:
- Sitemaps – a protocol that makes it possible for user (yourself) to properly inform search engines on URLs on website. Sitemap is a XML database with list off all URLs on a website. Many useful informations can be added to these URLs: when was it last updated, how often is it refreshed and what are its relations with site structure.
- Google Webmaster Tools – made for webmasters and administrators. It makes it easy to follow the state of indexing of your website. Besides, it helps with the general optimization of website.
Perhaps a tiny bit of programming abilities
I did say that you will not gaze upon the horror that are programming codes in this article nor will I demand you to learn them. However, there are certain minimums that you will need to know for a start, at least only slightly. WordPress has this cool virtue of cosy addons and plugins that help make website into a thing of quality. The basic conditions about this work is communicating with Google. As in everyday life, you have to work on your communication on internet, too. Whether it’s the invisible one going on between you and search robots, or the more vivid one, clear and defined, that you make visible to your visitors – the presence of communication is unavoidable.
The cosiness of WordPress plugins will help you satisfy both of these conversations via plugin called WordPress SEO by Yoast – a plugin for quick and easy optimization of WordPress websites.