If you are looking for traffic sources you need to start with your own website or blog first. By this, I mean that you need to have basic SEO in place first. Let’s look at how you can achieve this.
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s strategies, techniques and tactics to increase the number of visitors to a website by obtaining as high-ranking a placement in search results as possible. We’re going to talk only about the most basic SEO here because it’s something you not only CAN do, but SHOULD do at the time of creating your content. Basic SEO after the fact is difficult and could lead to a lot of rework of your content, and who has time for that? Let’s get it right from the start.
Here are the basic things you need to have in place on each piece of content on your website or blog:
- A focus keyword
- A good title
- A keyword-rich URL
- An informative page description
- Headings and sub-headings
Include your main keyword phrase in your title and ensure that it reflects two things:
- That the title identifies what your post or page is about.
- That your content is related to your blog.
These two things can really help make or break your traffic sources. If your title is misleading visitors will simply click away immediately. If your content is off topic all the time you will also lose visitors.
Make sure your main keyword phrase is the slug of your URL. The slug is the part that follows the domain name, so for example, this post’s slug is /basic-seo. Keep your slug as short as possible.
Your Page Description
You’ll need a plugin to give you access to the page description for your page or post. I recommend Yoast SEO. If you don’t fill in the page description, WordPress will use the first 160 characters of your content.
In most cases, you’ll want to fill in the description to ensure that your keyword phrase is included and it represents a short summary of your page or post. This is another opportunity to get readers interested in clicking the link and coming to your site to read your content, so make it enticing.
Headings and Sub-Headings
When you write content for you site you want to include headings and tags in your content. The headings you normally see include:
- Heading 1 – this should be your page or post title and you should really only have 1 H1 tag per page or post.
- Heading 2
- Heading 3 and so on…
The use of headings throughout your text pleases both people and search engines. People like them because they break up your content into manageable chunks and search engines like them because they’re yet another indicator of what your content is about.
HTML offers six different heading tags, <H1></H1> through <H6></H6>, and in their default state, H1 is the biggest font-size-wise, and H6 is the smallest. Your theme may override their sizes, and that’s ok.
Search engines don’t care how big the font is (because they don’t have eyes to see it the way we do), but to the search engines, H1 is the most important, H2 is the next most important, and so on down to H6, like in an outline. It’s this hierarchy of importance that’s meaningful to search engines, so remember that as you use headings throughout your content. H1 should be reserved for the title of your page or post (this is set in your theme), so you’ll use the other five.
Main Purpose of SEO
While these things may sound small and trivial they do have a huge purpose. Search engines use algorithms that use your title, URL, description and headings to direct related and relevant traffic to your site. So, spend the time while creating your content to put basic SEO in place.