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7 essential SEO basics I use to create high-quality content

Video transcript

Below is an audio transcription taken from the Youtube video above. This is especially useful for people with accessibility issues, or who have a poor internet connection and have difficulty viewing the video. It has SEO benefits too!


Skip to steps

  1. Establish a good heading hierarchy
  2. Be consistent with alt tags
  3. Be descriptive with title tags
  4. Be descriptive with description tags

Introduction

00:03 Hi guys, Niall here from FounderCopilot. In this quick video, I’m going to show you the 7 basic SEO steps that I use to create high-quality content which is one of the most important things that Google looks at when ranking a webpage.

00:17 So when you’re creating an article I know it can be hard to remember all of the steps I am about to show you, but just remember that by not including even some of these steps, Google will look at your webpage as a low-quality web page and you’ll notice that your rankings will kind of suffer because of it.

00:34 But it doesn’t need to be that way, with WordPress’s new block editor Guttenberg, it makes it really easy to create semantic content that has a good structure to it.

00:34 Also I know that some of you guys are already implementing these basics, but just remember by including all of the steps I’m about to show you, it will set a really good foundation for your content so that you can grow and you can build on it.

00:55 So without further delay why don’t I just show you what I mean inside of WordPress

Step 1 – Establish a good heading hierarchy

01:04 The first step I want to show you guys is a simple step but it’s super important to remember and it’s how to add headings correctly to your article using a good heading hierarchy

01:14 so you can see here in this draft article I’ve added a couple of headings here and I have some h1s and h2s.

01:21 This helps me do two things okay, it helps me to first of all flesh out my article and think about the sections I want to write about.

01:32 it also it helps me establish a good heading hierarchy. Let me just show you what I mean in a more finished version of this article.

01:42 So you can see here I’m using a H1 tag for the main heading. Then coming down and using a h2 I’ve got some content for this heading here, and then for scroll all the way down I’ve got another h2 here.

01:53 I use a h3 as a subheading for this section, so this is an example of a good heading hierarchy.

02:01 and WordPress will actually tell you if you’re breaking the good hierarchy. You can see here on this kind of little content structure tool here.

Gif showing the WordPress content structure tool displaying notifications of errors in WordPress

02:20 Here you can see all of the headings in my article and right now there a no errors showing.

02:23 However, let’s say that I came all the way back up here and I added in an h3, WordPress will tell you that you have broken the correct hierarchy and that you have added an incorrect heading level.

02:43 This is a really handy tool if you’re creating articles you can always use this tool to see if you’re making any mistakes.

02:52 However, the point for this step is it’s important to get into the habit of creating a good heading hierarchy. All good publishers practice this in all of their articles.

Screenshot of sample blog post from WordPress, highlighting correct heading hierarchy i.e H1, H2, H3

03:13 It’s very simple, but it’s important to keep track of your heading hierarchy when you’re writing your articles.

By keeping track of it, and by writing good content and creating a good structure to your headings you won’t have any problems

03:34 So the second step I want to talk about

Step 2 – Be consistent with alt tags

03:34 so the second step I want to talk about guys is adding correctly adding alt tags to your images.

03:41 So this is by far the most common thing I see when doing SEO audits on client websites, and that is having images with no alt tags, and this is a big no-no for SEO.

03:53 Especially if you’ve got lots of web pages with lots of images because it just will affect your ranking in the long run.

04:01 When you’re writing your alt tags it’s very easy to add them in WordPress. Once you add your image you’ll get this little box here where you can just describe what the image is.

04:12 it’s better to be concise but descriptive. In this case I’m just describing exactly what the image is, which is a screenshot of a Google Analytics dashboard.

04:23 I’ll show you examples here, so on another gif here, I’ve described that as a gif showing someone updating the SEO title using the Yoast snippet preview tool.

04:33 So the alt tag is essentially describing exactly what the image is, and that’s really all you have to do with your image images when you’re adding alt tags.

04:43 Just be concise but descriptive, describe exactly what the image is about. And the goal again is to give Google an idea of what your website is about when they are indexing your website.

04:58 Without Alt tags Google cannot understand what the image means or what is is about.

05:03 The Alt tag is also important for people with accessibility issues because the screen reader will read out the text description in the alt tag.

05:09 Therefore, adding alt tags adds an extra layer quality to the structure of your website, it’s HTML best practices so it is critical if you want to do good SEO on your website.

Step 3 – Be descriptive with title tags

05:33 so the title tag is one of the most important tags in SEO because it tells Google all about what your page is about

05:41 However, it’s surprising how many people forget how to or forget to update this for each of their articles, and there is a tool I’m gonna recommend to download for this which makes this process super easy.

Gif showing user entering title to the Yoast snippet preview

05:54 The tool is called Yoast, which is a free plugin for WordPress. I’m gonna assume you’ve got this already installed but if you don’t go to the plug-in manager in WordPress and search for Yoast.

06:06 Now I’m gonna come up to the Yoast icon and open the snippet preview.

06:20 You’ll notice I have already added a title, so I will delete that. Now I will show you what happens when I enter in a good or bad SEO title.

06:32 If I enter the word SEO, You can see that the strength meter is red and is just telling me that the title not long enough for a good descriptive title tag.

Yoast snippet preview in WordPress

Screenshot showing Yoast snippet preview tool

06:43 However, if I am more descriptive about my title tag and I say so in this case for this article, I enter the title “A Beginners SEO in 2020”. Notice the way the strength meter tells me that the title is strong as the strength meter is green.

07:03 So this is a great way of keeping track and adding and updating the various tags, and again, by not updating your title tag you’re just missing out on an opportunity to add more keywords and tell Google what your paid web page is about.

Step 4 – Be descriptive with description tags

07:44 so just like the title tag the Meta Description tag is super important to update and again a very good opportunity to add relevant keywords about your article.

Screenshot showing Yoast meta description preview

07:55 And again, Google looks at the Meta Description tag to find meaning about your article so again the same idea with the the title tag try and add a descriptive and concise explanation on what your web page is about.

08:15 So again, with the Yoast Snippet tool, once you add your description, Yoast will again tell you the strength of your entry

Step 5 – Edit your post / URL slug

08:39 So the final section in the snippet preview is the slug or “post slug” which is what WordPress refer to it as. In simple terms, this is the end part of the URL of your webpage.

08:50 This is just another opportunity you can have to edit the slug in whatever way you want.

09:03 WordPress gives you a kind of a recommended URL slug but you can edit this whatever way you want. You can shorten it, add keywords.

Step 6 – Create links from keyword-rich text

09:30 so the next step is a simple step but it can be very effective especially if you’ve got lots of web pages with lots of content and it’s how to add or create links from your keyword-rich text or your content.

09:48 this can be called anchor text, however, in this context, I’m just gonna call them text links just to avoid confusion between anchor links. When you creating text links it’s good to create links from the actual keyword rick text itself.

10:03 The opposite of this would be in this case if I was to create a link and just call it “show more” or “click here”. This is a generic text link it doesn’t tell the user what the link is about or where the link is going. Therefore this is not good for SEO.

10:23 So when you are creating a link, it’s good to be explicit about where the link is linking to. It is going to be better for SEO if you’re more descriptive with which your text.

Step 7 – Manage 301 redirects properly

10:54 So the last step I want to show you guys is how to properly manage 301 redirects, and this is great for SEO because it helps prevent duplicate content issues.

11:06 so for those of you who aren’t familiar with 301 redirects, with 301 redirects it’s essentially directing or redirecting an old version of the web page to a new version of a web page.

11:13 If you don’t have a tool like Yoast the process can be quite a technical process, because you need to create a 301 redirect file on the server which I won’t go into detail on that but here.

11:29 However with Yoast it’s super easy, you can see here on the interface here it’s as easy as installing the plugin. This redirect feature is a premium feature so you will have to pay for this one.

11:40 However if you’ve got lots of web pages and you don’t want to handle the technical side of setting up and managing redirects on a server, I can tell you it’s worth it.

11:50 So you can see here on the actual settings page for Yoast you can simply enter an old URL and create the new version of that URL.

12:05 Also, when you delete a published page either intentionally or accidentally, the tools will actually ask you if you want to redirect to a new version.

12:24 For example, if I put this article into trash, it will ask me do I want to redirect it to a new URL so in this case I don’t want to do that right now because the article is actually it’s ready to be published.

12:40 However, as you can see it is a fantastic tool and highly recommend it as it takes the pain away from managing redirects.

Conclusion

Ok guys, thanks so much for watching I hope you’ve enjoyed the video and if you like what you see please subscribe and check out my website FounderCopilot.com. Have a great day and I hope to see you again soon.

Niall Conway

Niall Conway

Founder & Marketing Director
FounderCopilot.com

I am an online entrepreneur who helps people build, launch, optimize and monetize their online business with Wordpress, SEO, Affiliate Marketing, Adsense and a whole lot more.

On my website and on my Youtube channel, I share the skills and insights I have built up over the last 10+ years while working as a freelance designer/developer and while founding several digital businesses of my own. Read more...

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