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Simple SEO Tips That Are East To Apply and Don't Waste Your Time

SImple SEO tips. Girl. Girl with long black hair. hair with stars. night sky. illustration 900x1102. drawing/ illustration by Katherine Kennedy

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What Is SEO?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization—the tools and methodologies content creators use to improve the searchability of content and websites on search engines like Google. Boosting traffic to your website and driving clicks, visibility, and sales. Search engines use algorithms to trawl through content, categorize it and then use that classification to decide what results to show a user.

Google bots or crawlers are the librarian's assistants, and the Google index is the librarian. The user types a query into the search engine search bar, asking the librarian to find us a specific piece of information. The search engine pops its glasses on, searches the index, and finds us the best possible answer with the information it has.

It's a beautiful system.

Don't Waste Your Time When The Return Is Minimal

SEO can be complex, mainly because we are all wandering around in the dark, trying our best to appease the search engine overlords. But it can also be overly complicated when it doesn't need to be. SEO should work on the principle of diminishing returns, managing the fine line between wasting resources for minimum results and creating new content. The more content you create, the more keywords, headings, and data the crawlers have to figure out what your site is about. The better applied the SEO, the more valuable that content.

These are a few basic principles that are simple for any creator to incorporate into their content.

SEO Cheat Sheet:

  • Always label your headings H1 or H2

  • Optimize the length of your content. 800-1200 words is a safe bet

  • Maintain keywords consistency throughout your content

  • Keep your keywords in your headings

  • Use 2 to 3 H2 headings in your content at a minimum—this will enhance readability for the user and help the algorithm to figure out what your page is about

  • Create good content that people will want to read, share and link to their own websites

Quality Content Is The Most Important Factor In Good SEO

Quality content and good SEO are always going to hand in hand. There are ways to trick the system, but there is no longevity in that strategy. Google is constantly updating its algorithm to mitigate 'black hat' SEO strategies. Things like keyword stuffing. Loading your content with keywords at the expense of the quality and readability of your content is a liability in the long term. Google penalizes keyword stuffers, plagiarizers, and nefarious methodologies. The clickbait of today that drives your content to the front page will drive all your content down later. Always stick with good, high-quality, well-researched content.

Most 'white hat' SEO strategies improve your content and deliver long-term dividends. The best SEO strategy you can adopt focuses on better content, not driving rankings. After all, what search algorithms reward today might be penalized later when they figure out that bad actors are manipulating the system.

Consider Your End User and Produce Content For Them, Not For The Algorithm

Often people forget the most crucial aspect of SEO and search engine algorithms—the end user. Search Engine algorithms do their best to follow and predict human behavior, so as long as your content appeals to readers, it will appeal to the algorithm. Think about your end user and how people like to read.

Typically people read the primary heading at the top of the page to decide if the content is what they are looking for, then we either read the first paragraph or skim the content to make sure it's pertinent to promises made in the H1. It's all about letting the reader know what the content is about and then following through on that promise.

Focus On Content Length

Search algorithms tend to reward shorter pieces that read well on tablets and smartphones, but longer pieces do better in the long term. The sweet spot is often considered to be between 800 and 1200 words. An 800 to 1200-word post is not so long that it's off-putting for the reader but not too short to be termed 'thin content.'

  • 300 to 800—great for landing pages, short descriptions, bios, etc.

  • 800 to 1200—Ideal for blogs, building your site up, and letting the algorithm know what you're all about. 800-1200 is often the sweet spot for most content creators.

  • 1200 to 2000—Above 1000 words is optimal for SEO, it's enough space to get to the meat of your subject while naturally introducing keywords, but it isn't so long that it's boring for the reader.

  • 2000 and above—Commonly indicates a well-researched, in-depth article. People who are willing to brave a 2000+ word article are normally looking for information. They are more likely to link to your article as a source, providing those sweet backlinks that the crawlers need to get from one site to another.

Use H1 and H2 Titles

H1 and H2 titles. Example. Drawing/ illustration by Katherine Kennedy
  • H1—main heading of your page

  • H2—secondary heading/ headings

  • There are also H2, H3, H4, H5, etc., headings that are used less often

H1 and H2 titles are hidden in the background of your website and are vital to good SEO. Whether you're dabbling in code <H1> or using a website builder like Wix or square space, you need to label your headings so the algorithm knows what they are.

The H1, H2, H3, etc. labels let the search engine crawlers know that your heading is a heading and needs attention. We flag the heading for the reader by altering the text size, making it bold, capitalizing the sentence, etc., but web crawlers aren't people, and it needs a helping hand.

wix SEO heading dropdown for blog content
wix heading tag drop down

Keywords Keep Content Consistent

heading tags. See. Keywords. H1 title. H1 title. Example. Illustration/ drawing by Katherine Kennedy
heading tag and keywords SEO

There is some back and forth around keywords. Some people rate google doesn't pay that much attention to them anymore. Others rate keywords are always valuable and should never be ignored. I fall into the latter camp. It doesn't really matter whether google's web crawlers are using keywords or not. They help structure your blog and enhance readability. And readability is the end goal.

Much like people, crawlers scan your content to figure out what your page is about. It looks at your H1 heading, noting the subject, marking keywords, then at all your H2 headings, comparing them to your main heading, and checking that everything is consistent and that your subject matter hasn't veered off course.

Then it checks out the body of your content, the actual words below each heading, making sure that the body of the text matches up to the H2 headings and the H1 heading. If you keep your keywords consistent, your writing will also stay consistent. You won't switch subjects halfway through, losing track of the primary point you were trying to make.

SEO Trends That Should Be Used With Care

Some SEO trends are short-lived. Others can be a detriment to the quality of your content. Always put quality first.

  • Bulleted lists. Thankfully they are usually easy to include, so I almost always do, but if it hurts the flow or quality of your content, then omit them.

  • Titles that are numbered lists, i.e., 5 tips to improve your SEO. I don't mind this so long as the content consists of five tips to improve SEO.

  • Emotive headlines. Most headline analyzers insist that you need more emotive words—preferably negative. I avoid this and only include emotive headlines if it feels suitable for the content. Too often, it is a sure sign of cheap, clickbait titles that are steadily becoming less and less popular as readers clock to the trickery.

  • Headlines that convey a sense of urgency. People are likelier to click a headline with a hard sell, but they won't appreciate the content. Save the urgency for urgent content.


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