You have been working the night away writing a great post/content/recipe that you think will be a big hit! But here is the truth, unless someone can find it, they won’t read it. And for someone to read it, that means it has to come up on search engines like Google. For that to happen, your post has to be SEO friendly. Now what the heck is SEO? This just stands for search engine optimization and means optimizing your content/website so it shows up on search engines like Google (aka making Google happy). We aren’t experts on SEO, but we do have some tips that might help you avoid the pitfalls we faced along the way.
Rich results are simply those fancy cards you get at the top of a Google search that usually shows a picture, description and rating of some sort. These are shown at the top of the search bar and ideally, that’s where you want to be!
One thing to note is that SEO guidelines for rich results depend on what kind of website you are running. For example, the guideline needed for a food recipe website like ours is different than a product review website. You can find Google’s requirement here if you are interested, but what we recommend is to use a tool/plugins that handles all this for you. There are free ones that are great and there are paid ones with extra features, but they all should work in a similar fashion. You just fill out all the information for each post, and the tool/plugins will automatically write the code to make Google happy.
Note that not every kind of website will have the option to show rich results. For example, a travel website doesn’t qualify for rich results, so this section wouldn’t apply to those websites.
Word Count, Keywords
How Google exactly determines whether your content is good/high quality is beyond us (we believe there are over 200 factors with most of them being a secret), but the ones we do know about are keywords and word count.
Keywords – keywords are the words someone types into a search engine to get to your website. You don’t want to overstuff these keywords but definitely include them where they organically flow into the sentences of your post. Google is very smart, so they will know if you are overstuffing keywords or if your content isn’t covering the indicated keywords. And once you get on Google’s blacklist, it’s pretty hard to recover from so the best thing is just don’t do it in the 1st place.
Word Count – believe it or not, this is a factor in SEO ranking. We’ve heard minimums of 500-2500 words, but we believe this depends on your website. For example, a food recipe website like ours would probably be around 500 words whereas a travel website would probably require something on the higher end of 2500 words. So next time you are wondering why a food website always has so much wording before actually providing the recipe, you will know that they are just trying to cover the minimal word count so that it’s SEO ranked and their recipe will show up in the first place. Funny, isn’t it?
A picture is worth a thousand words and that cannot be more true for websites! Like we touched upon in Step 3, every website is going to use images. The reasons are 1) images can illustrate complicated concepts simply 2) images can provide a better user experience 3) images in itself are great content! So make sure to include some images to break up the blocks of text in your posts!
Now go ahead and start writing away while keeping all the SEO points we discussed in the back of your mind! In the next Step 5, we will elaborate how to take great pictures that will supplement your website’s awesome content!