Internal Search Engine Optimization
Optimizing Your Website on the Backend
Having a lot of high quality unique content on your website is the number one way to get your site ranked better in Google. However, as we have seen, it is necessary to write the content that focuses on keywords that people are actually searching for. For instance, Sery Content Development is an SEO company in Billings, MT. If we try to optimize for the keywords “Billing web presence enhancement company”, then we likely won’t draw much traffic (if you are here because you searched “Billings web presence enhancement company” then we welcome you and glad you are reading our blog!).
But writing the content, and making sure that content is search engine optimized, are two totally different things. You have to know how to perform internal search engine optimization so that the search engines will have an easier time tracking and categorizing your site.
Using Your Focus Keyword
Every page of content that you put on your website needs to have a focus keyword (or keyword string). We talked about keywords in the past when you do keyword research, and also talked about the benefits of using long tail keywords instead of focusing on the smaller ones. If you haven’t read those articles, go back and read them so you know how to find the right keywords.
But just using those keywords in your article is generally not enough. You want to make sure that you have used them enough times, but don’t overuse them so they look stuffed. While keyword density isn’t necessarily that important, it is important to know how many times you have used the words. Here is a great online tool to check your text to see how often your keywords are used.
Using the keywords plenty of times is great, but making them stand out is even better. By highlighting your focus keywords, you are giving the search engines something to grab onto. For instance, I am targeting the keyword string “Internal Search Engine Optimization” for this page of content. In order to show Google, Bing, Yahoo, and the others exactly what I am talking about, I bold that phrase.
Now we have to dig a little deeper into the backend of optimizing. The parts that go beyond what most people notice.
Titles and Headings Must be Optimized
As you can see up above, I have used Internal Search Engine Optimization in the title of this page. It is right there at the beginning of the page, and it is automatically listed in the <title> tags if you were to look at the HTML. If you use WordPress that’s all done for you.
However, what WordPress doesn’t do for you is automatically convert your headings into headings. Most people know that breaking their document up into subsections makes it much easier to read, easier to navigate, and more pleasant to look at. This is one of the basic premises behind using paragraphs. In order to break things up even more, and let the reader skip past the sections where they already know the information, most pages are broken into sub-headings. For instance you can clearly see the sub-headings of this page are in orange.
The key here is to make sure you have your document broken down into parts so that the search engines can quickly scan the document and get the idea of what it is all about. This means using your keyword, or keyword phrase, in at least one of those headings.
When you use WordPress, you have indicate which lines are headings. When you type, or copy and paste, a document into WordPress, it all transfers over as a paragraph. Just click on the line that you want converted to a heading, and choose the dropdown. You should only have one line that uses Heading 1, but you can have multiple of the other headings (think of it like an outline for a research paper).
Tagging Your Pages and Images
Tagging. When you hear the word tag, you likely think of tagging a friend on Facebook. Tagging when you do internal search engine optimization is similar to that. Instead of indicating which friend you want recognized, you indicate which keyword you want recognized.
Tagging a page only marginally helps your SEO. It is more of a categorization technique that allows visitors to quickly access pages with similar attributes. For instance, on this page, I have tagged it with terms like SEO, internal SEO, and a few others. These help to show the topic of the page and other pages with the same tags can be found on a list together.
But there is more to tagging than just the article. Images need Alt Tags on them. Most people don’t like to look at websites that are just one big long list of text. However, Google and other search engines can’t know what a picture is all about unless it is tagged appropriately.
In order to do your best job with internal search engine optimization, you need to manually put in those tags. In WordPress you simply open up the picture, and type in an Alt Tag. This should be your focus keyword. However, there is a little dropdown that allows for “Advanced Options.” Many people miss this opportunity to put a title tag on their picture. In the line that asks for “image title attribute” is an opportunity to target a similar keyword. For instance, this page is about internal search engine optimization, but the overall site is about being a search engine optimization company in Billings, Montana. So for the title tag, I will put some variation of Billings SEO.
Linking to Your Own Website
When you write your content you want to make sure to cite your sources. Just like when writing a research paper, you need to show that you’re not just giving opinion, but rather backing up your facts.
The easiest way to do this is to link out to another site that has talked about the same topic. Wikipedia is a great resource for an outbound link. If I talk about search engine optimization (SEO), I simply hyperlink over to the Wikipedia page by the same name. Alternatively, you can do an outbound link or two to another website that you manage that talks about search engine optimization (SEO).
But if you have a webpage that talks about a topic, you are likely becoming an expert if you are not one already. You are your biggest resource. So the search engines like to see a large network of links going throughout your entire site. This is why your website wants to have a menu that is accessible from every page on it. While talking about different topics, you link to other pages where you also talked about those topics. So when I talk about content being king, I link back to where I went in depth on why and how content is king.
By creating this network of internal links, you are giving Google and other search engines more mentions of your website that they can grab onto and categorize.
Bring it All Together with WordPress SEO by Yoast
Fortunately you don’t have to get into the coding of your site in order to do all of this optimization work. You can, there’s nothing wrong with doing it that way, but it takes a bit longer (of course sometimes you have to in order to truly tweak the page to look exactly the way you want it to).
There are two plugins that will help with your internal search engine optimization. The first is the one that this website uses, called WordPress SEO by Yoast.
WordPress SEO by Yoast makes it easy to define your focus keyword, write a meta description (something we haven’t covered, but you can read about it by following the link and visiting our glossary), and see how the SEO health of your page is.
After you have written your content, uploaded pictures, tagged, and optimized, save your draft. Yoast will then give you a red light, orange light, yellow light, or green light. These various lights will tell you if your SEO is bad, poor, ok, or good. You want to have a green light on every single page.
Then scroll back down to where you input your keyword, and check the page analysis. You may have missed tagging your picture, or forgot to put your focus keyword in your headings, or one other little step of the optimization process. Yoast makes it easy to see those missed steps, and help you fix up your site so that all of the internal search engine optimization is done properly.
I mentioned there were two plugins that you could use. The other is called All in One SEO Pack. Since Yoast has worked so well, I have yet to play around with this plugin. If you do use it keep in mind that you only want to have Yoast, or All in One activated; never activate them both at the same time!
Internal Search Engine Optimization by Sery Content Development
Just about anyone can perform the internal search engine optimization for their site. But many don’t want to mess with it. They have more important things going on, or they simply don’t want to take the time. That is why Sery Content Development is a search engine optimization company in Billings, MT. We take the time to make sure your website has high quality unique content; we make sure that content is optimized, and we have a proven track record of moving people up the ranks of Google and other search engines.