Are you trying to rank better in google? When you hear people talk about SERP or SEO what do you think of? Does it seem like no matter what keywords you use, you just don’t rank high in Google? Have you thought about your page speed?
Table of contents
What are Meta Tags?
Meta tags are HTML markup that tells search engines and social media networks what you want them to show. They also help you rank better in Google. Without these tags other websites use your first image and the first few lines of your blog post. But what if that isn’t what you want your potential readers to see? How do you use meta tags and where do they go? To learn more about meta tags read What are Meta Tags post. There are various plugins to help you insert the right meta tags. I will only focus on the 2 that I like to use. Each plugin I use has it’s own advantages.
- Yoast SEO Premium
- Yoast SEO Premium plugin has the most editable features. It allows you to change the title that bots and spiders see without actually changing the blog post title which will help you to rank better in Google. It also allows you to set the snippet preview that search engines see. As well as set up meta titles, descriptions, and images for Facebook and Twitter independently. Another noteworthy feature that Yoast has is the shows you the readability of your blog. The readability ranks your post using 6 characteristics. They rank you in the amount of transition words used, sentence length, as well as the Flesch Reading Ease scale, and more.
- SEO by Squirrly
- Secondly, lets talk about the SEO by Squirlly. They also have a meta tag editor, however, it doesn’t include separate editors for Facebook and Twitter. What I do like about this plugin is that is has a keyword optimizer. It does keyword research and gives you a list of pictures to use matching your keyword. Using these two plugins will help you start to rank better in Google, but they are not enough to get on page 1. All of my readers will get 25% off their monthly membership to Squirrly premium by clicking here.
Do You Know Your Website Speed?
If you haven’t checked your page speed chances are it is really low. The only way to rank better in google with a low page speed is to have a great traffic rate. If you are not ranking in the top 3 pages of Google search, you should check your page speed. To check your page speed you can use Google PageSpeed Insights and enter the URL of the page you want to test. You can also use Gtmetrix.com. There are 10 key factors that slow down your site. You can click on each topic to see what needs to be addressed as well. The 10 topics are:
- Server response time
- The time it takes for data to be sent from your computer to a server then back to your computer.
- Leverage Browser Cache
- Render-blocking java script and css files
- Any JS or CSS files that are required to load fully before your website will show are render-blocking.
- Prioritizing visible content
- Visible content is the top of your page that is in view first.
- Minifying JS, HTML, and CSS are all the same concept. It means to take your long Style css and compress it to a smaller size to use less data.
- Minify HTML
- See above.
- Minify CSS
- See above.
- Landing page redirects
- Landing page redirect is when you visit a page from search and it automatically redirects to a different page.
- Compression takes all of the data from your website and removes any whitespace and unnecessary data before transmitting it to the reader.
- And MOST importantly Optimized Images
- I believe that images have the most impact on your page speed. This is due to the shear size a single image can be. When I use my Nikon D3200, I can have an image that is over 32MB. Even with high speed internet that’s a lot of memory to be downloaded to show a single image. I like to keep my images under 80kb. That is 99.75% reduction from the original file size.
Is Your Site Mobile Friendly?
Does your site look good on a mobile device like a tablet or smart phone? With the search percentage of 29% users using a form of mobile device, you will not be seen by them if your website doesn’t scale effectively. You need a mobile optimized theme to rank better in Google. Ways to create a mobile friendly site are:
- Using a theme that is responsive
- There are a lot of themes to choose from. Some are free and others cost money. The most important aspect of the theme is it’s responsiveness. However, if you find a theme you absolutely love that isn’t responsive you can create a child theme from it.
- Creating a child theme that is responsive
- Some themes have fixed positions and sizes of objects such as header and sidebars. When using these types of themes the site will zoom out so far that the words are not legible. For this we can create a child theme and turn all fixed object positions to relative.We can also float the object left or right, and set image size to 100% with a max width. This can be tedious and tricky since your website has more than one file and probably over 10,000 lines to scroll through. If you are uncomfortable doing this or do not have the time view my services for prices or contact us for a quote.
- Using plugins to switch to a mobile site
- There are plugins that will use a standard theme like the Jetpack mobile site extension. These do not offer your readers a very good viewing experience in my opinion. I like my readers to see the same look on mobile as the do on desktop. If you are using these plugins and would like to switch to a child them we can help.
DO YOU HAVE A GOOD USER EXPERIENCE?
Google ranks your user experience on mobile devices with 7 categories.
- Flash usage
- The majority of mobile devices do not support flash. With that they can not load any media that uses flash to load animations, navigation, images, videos etc.
- Viewport not configured
- Your site will be seen by a variety of devices with varying screen sizes. Your pages should specify a viewport using the meta viewport tag in the head section of your theme. This tag tells browsers how to adjust the page’s dimension and scaling to suit the device.
- Fixed-width viewport
- This report shows the pages with a viewport set to a fixed width. Some web developers define the viewport to a fixed pixel size in order to adjust a non-responsive page to suit common mobile screen sizes. This can also be fixed by using child themes as well.
- Content not sized to viewport
- This happens when you have your viewpot tag set, but your pages or images are set to an absolute value that are larger than the screen. This causes a horizontal scroll bar.
- Small font size
- Mobile devices are already small enough so if you use a font size that is smaller than 12px, it may look good on a computer but when viewed on a smaller screen you have to zoom in to read it.
- Touch elements too close
- When your buttons are too close together or too small, it makes it hard for your readers to tap the appropriate link. This may lead to them leaving your site.
- Interstitial usage
- Interstitial refers to app popups. A mobile device screen is limited. When you have a tiny popup it covers the whole screen. This can be very intrusive for some readers and will lead to a high bounce rate. If you are using popups for your site be sure to only allow them on desktop sites.
ARE YOU USING GOOD KEYWORDS?
Are you using only 1 or 2 keywords? Google performs better when you have 4 or more keywords as a statement. Think about when you are searching for something. Do you only use 2 words to find it? More than likely you try to be descriptive to narrow your results. Keywords work the same way. I’m not saying to use a full blown sentence, just good descriptive words. Try searching for your blog post topic with several phrases and see what the results are. Google is your friend here so use it. If you buy SEO premium by Squirlly they have a built in keyword optimizer that helps do keyword research for you. But I have found that using Google search along side it will give you a more realistic viewpoint.
DO YOU USE GOOGLE SEARCH CONSOLE?
Google search console offers a lot of valuable resources such as:
- Structured data tester
- Rich card tester
- Search analytics
- Google index
- Google crawl
- Security issues
The most important one that I use is the crawling feature. Here you can have Google fetch your page to show the updated version. Once you fetch the web page it usually takes about 2 days for the search to update. This is useful when changing your SEO meta tags. I will also fetch any new post that I have made to hurry up the process of crawling the site. Doing so will generally get your page indexed in the search within a couple of hours of posting.
ARE YOU USING SOCIAL MEDIA
In 2018, it is estimated that there will be around 2.67 billion social network users.I go without saying that social media is important to rank better in Google search. To get the largest footprint on the internet you will need to use as many social media networks as possible. I know keeping up with one or two takes a lot of work. To learn how you can easily manage several social networks with minimal work read The Best Social Media Automation Program. So why is social media important?
- Drives Traffic
- Every time your site is shared on social media it gets in front of more potential viewers. Think of it as a numbers game. If 10% of your impressions turned into a page view then having more impressions results in more page views. The higher your traffic is, the higher you rank with Google.
- Creates Backlinks
- Every time your site is shared it creates a backlink. Yes I know these are no-follow links. However, Goolge has stated that they are still following no-follow links and are passing link juice. Check your backlinks using Google Webmasters and see who links to you.
- Creates a Brand Presence
- When you set up your social media you should use your website name. This will create a brand for your site and give you an online presence. You will need to be active on all social media networks to get the largest presence. People will get to know you as your site and therefore be more likely to visit your site. They will also be more likely to talk about your website with others.
When you hear SEO what do you think? If you have made it this far I hope you have a better understanding of the full range of what SEO entails, as well as how to rank better in Google. SEO is much more than just adding a title and description. It takes a lot of work and planning to land on page one in search. Some people will tell you that it takes time, sometimes years to hit page one. However with these techniques you will be on your way to the top in no time. I have seen a blog post reach rank #4 within two hours of posting. And that was with a low traffic site that only gets about 4000 page views a month. Better is always possible with the right mindset and the right knowledge.