Maybe you’ve noticed that I’ve not mentioned one SEO plugin within this series’s last three posts yet. It’s because you should start with the factors I mentioned in this and previous blog posts instead of worrying about your keywords. Why? Because you can have the best keywords in the world. But if your visitor ends up on a crappy website, no keyword will save you. First things first, lay the groundwork and then work on your keywords.
It’s a wide array of things that require your attention regularly, and it’s the combination of all of these ingredients that make your visitors experience an exquisite one. This 4th part focuses on the details that may seem insignificant at first sight but are just as important, and you can easily implement them.
1. Menu and site navigation
I don’t think I have to go into details on where to place your website’s menu(s). Just make sure all the essential pages you want your visitors to find are actually in the menu(s) and are named logically. For example, it’s clear what to expect on a page that’s called Testimonials. But maybe not if you name it Validation, simply because it’s not commonly used.
Make the menu sticky, so it’s easy to switch to another page even if you’ve scrolled half-way through it. Or include a scroll-to-the-top button that takes your visitors back to the header menu quickly.
2. Value your visitors time
By that, I mean: Don’t bombard your visitors with words just for the sake of putting content out there. Value their time and give them a solution to their question, advice to open and step outside of their thinking-box, or showcase your knowledge in any other helpful way.
The same goes for how you structure your pages and posts, give them a kind of rhythm. That way, your visitors instinctively know where to find specific information, join your newsletter, or sign up for a consult. Don’t make them search for ages and waste their time. I don’t know about you, but I don’t go back to stores where I spend half my time looking for stuff.
A few examples:
- Have a button to sign up for your newsletter in your footer or the above-header-menu. If you have recurring visitors, they won’t have to search long. They’ll instinctively know to scroll to the bottom or top of your page to sign up.
- Put your call-to-action at the end, middle, or in the sidebar of each blog post. Just make sure you use the same logic on all your blog posts.
- Highlight your affiliate links differently, underline them, or add an asterisk.
- Add your primary call to action (mine is to sign up for a Discovery Call with me) on each page and make them stand out in some way using distinct styling or color etc.
3. Consistency for branding and user-friendliness
This part touches on branding and off-page SEO, but I think it’s important to mention. If you use the same fonts, colors, and logos on your social media posts and your website, people that click on your social media posts and then land on your website will immediately know that they’re in the right place.
It will give them a sense of security and most-likely will keep them on your site longer, and if they like the content you provide, they will click on future Social Media posts more often and come back. That, in turn, will improve your search result rankings. It will also show that you’re a professional that knows what they’re doing.
4. Categories & tags for your blog posts
I’ve seen people create categories and tags all over the place and on the fly. They’ve missed an important point: Categories and tags are about organizing your blog posts to help your visitors find what they are looking for more easily. While you’re creating them, think about:
- What kind of overall problem does it solve for them?
- How can I group the blog posts into one or more categories?
- Do those categories and tags match the kind of content I’m creating and the services or products I’m selling?
Start with the less is more approach. That means, wait until you have 3 or 4 blog posts, then decide what category and which tags make sense.
Bonus SEO Tip: Evenly distribute the number of blog posts per category. When one category gets to “crowed,” it may be time to create a sub-category! For example, if you have three blog posts in the category “Vegan refreshments” but 13 in “Vegan recipes,” you could create three sub-categories like “Vegan breakfasts,” “Vegan soups” …. I think you get the point!
5. Build a link-structure
I could write an entire series on this topic, but for now, let’s stick with what’s most manageable: internal links.
Your homepage usually summarizes the important stuff you have on your other main pages – it’s an information hub. I’m sure you’ve included some information about you, your services, testimonials, and a call-to-action on it.
So, make sure to:
- Add a button with a link to the other main pages on your homepage,
- Or a link within the text that refers to the other main page,
- Or even better, add both (a text link and a button)
The same is valid for any other page or post. Add buttons and links within the text to other parts of your website IF it makes sense. It not only helps your visitors navigate your site and find new information, but it also helps the search engines. Remember, if it’s good for your visitors, the search engines will like it too.
6. Finally, let’s REDIRECT to the last point (+ 404s)
Now, it’s normal that you’ll delete posts and pages over time. Or you may change a page’s or post’s URLs manually and not delete the content per se. When you do either of the two, you’ll have to create a redirection. A redirection tells the search engines where to find the new content or which content replaces the prior. It also sends your website’s visitors to the new content.
Why you should create and maintain redirections is because, for example:
- You have social media posts that links to the old URL or deleted page,
- Or internal links on your website to it,
- Or somebody else linking to it from another website, and so on.
Without the redirection, the visitor will end up on a 404 Error page. That – as you can imagine – is not considered to be a good user experience.
A straight forward plugin to take care of that is Redirections. Add the old URL and the new one, then save, and you’re good to go. If you’re searching for an SEO plugin that includes redirections for free, go with Rank Math (my SEO plugin of choice). You can import any redirections from ‘Redirections’ and then remove it and use Rank Math going forward.
This should be more than enough to get started with your SEO quality work, even if it’s not a complete list. Don’t miss coming back in the future to find out if I’ve added further points.
If you can think of something from the top of your head that you’d like me to add, please let me know in the comments below.