Search engine optimization sounds like a complicated, time consuming task which should only be carried out by professionals with heaps of experience – but that’s not always the case. While some aspects should be left to the experts, there are still a handful of things that you can do yourself, for free, with no coding knowledge required. In this article, we cover the 4 main ways to give your website a boost, while also offering tips that will ensure your SEO efforts are as effective as possible.
With over 52% of traffic coming from mobile devices, having a responsive website is more crucial than ever. Most themes are now responsive by default but make sure you check with the creator before making a purchase. If your website is established already, I would recommend using the official Google test to check how well your existing theme is optimized for mobile use. If rated poorly, picking a new theme or hiring someone to complete the necessary changes may prove to be a worthwhile investment in the long run.
When it comes to page speed, almost every element of your website is a factor. There are many tasks you can perform through your WordPress administration panel to decrease the load time, most of which can be done with a free plugin:
- Compress images featured on each page – Smush it is a particularly useful plugin that will do this at the press of a button.
- Cleaning up messy and unused code – We would recommend the Autooptimize plugin for this.
- Delete unused files – Free up as much space as possible on your database by deleting unused pictures, drafts and pages.
- Add the jQuery Image Lazy Load plugin to ensure that images are only loaded when visible to the website user.
Title and Meta Tags:
Title and meta tags are part of your websites HTML code that affects how your site is shown in search engine previews. The title is particularly important to the SEO of your website, with the meta tag primarily being used to entice potential visitors. You can easily edit them by installing the YOAST plugin – Simply insert your keyword for each page into the plugin and begin writing your content. YOAST will then let you know how well your page has been optimized by showing a red, orange or green light.
If you have been looking to boost the visibility of your website in search engines, there’s a good chance you’ve heard of the saying ‘Content is king’. This is still relevant to online marketing today, as Google continues to reward websites that showcase well written, unique content. Gone are the days of cramming keywords into your website at every opportunity – To take advantage of the latest Google algorithm updates, your pages should flow and be formatted in a way that makes reading as easy as possible. While YOAST does a good job of evaluating the readability of your content, there are other plugins and websites, such as WebFX, you can use to check the content before it is added to your website.
The results you see from the above practices will not be immediate, however you can speed up the process for new websites by manually submitting them to Google. We would also avoid link building unless you are confident in what you’re doing, due to that fact that it can end up doing more harm than good if not done by the book.