27 Dec Learning SEO 101: URL Structure
Who hears the word SEO and immediately shuts down? Or maybe you automatically think that it’s too hard? Or that you don’t understand so it goes to the bottom of your to-do list? Well I’m here to help, this is the beginning of a series to explore in depth SEO, in a way that is easy to understand and accomplish!
So what exactly is SEO and why should you pay any attention to it? Today there are hundreds of thousand of websites across the world. Everyone and anyone can get a website. I mean almost everyone in my family has a website!
So let’s say you are starting a website about…lawn maintenance. You have it all set up and it looks great, but how are people going to find it? When a potential customer searches for a lawn care business how will that search connect to your website? That is where SEO (search engine optimization) comes in!
Whether you are just starting a brand new website or you are sprucing up an existing one, SEO is a long term relationship. You don’t go through it just once, it is an ongoing routine that you should get in the habit of. I am going to walk you through some great SEO tips and tricks I have learned along the way to help boost your SEO rankings
SEO through your URL
Take a look at the url of this blog post: http://heatherhannay.com/2016/12/27/learnseo_101/
You can see that my slug is located after my domain. This section as it is a blog is broken down by the date of the post and then the title – /2016/12/27/learnseo_101 specifically states the purpose of this page. I made sure when I wrote this post, to make the URL SEO friendly.
If you are working in WordPress, this is an example of where you can physically change your URL handle or slug.
This url plays a part in my SEO and it also teeters on that line of front end and backend as it is something that users can see but you control on the backend. Why is picking your url address important through? This page is related to SEO, if I titled my url something related to design or random like books, it won’t populate in a search for SEO tips
Tip #1: Make sure that your URLs are related to your content
*Also make sure that your urls are short and easy*
SEO through title, description, and keyword
Yoast SEO is a highly recommended SEO agent, if you are working on a WordPress platform. An agent is a device that is available to help assist you with your SEO process, they help simplify the process and are often plugins or are a part of your existing theme, etc.
You can see through Yoast that you can control your title, your slug (which we discuss above), your meta description and finally your keyword.
When you search for a website or a topic, typically the title of the article or the page will show up. That is what the SEO Title is. What is the difference then between the Title of your say blog post and your SEO title?
Whatever you decide to title your page or your blog post explains the post/page to your users visually on your website, while the SEO title explains the post/page through…well…seo. Let’s say you have a brand new blog post of, “My 10 favorite desktop backgrounds for spring”. On your website that title is fine but for you SEO title it is pretty long and might get cut off. You could then change it if you would like to let’s say, “Top 10 Spring Desktop Backgrounds”
By shortening the title, you can also see that our recommended “green bar” through Yoast went down. Keep in mind that the green markers is a recommendation for Good SEO.
Similar to the SEO title, when you are searching for something online and when looking at the search results the description below the title and hyperlink is your Meta Description. The first paragraph or so of text on your page/post is auto populated as the Meta Description if you chose not to input your own. It is best to write a brief summary about the page and what it is in relation to.
This is one field that people often love or hate really. You are basically summarizing your whole page/post into one word or phrase that people will associate it with.
Yoast will evaluate your page and provide suggestions of what improvements you can make and what areas are doing well. As I mentioned before, SEO is not a one stop shop. It is something that you will need to do consistently for all new content to further enhance your site. Developing a long term strategy or implementing an SEO portion of your daily website maintenance is a great way to make sure that you stay on top of SEO.
Be sure to stay tuned for the next session 🙂