You don’t NEED plugins to do your own Easy Basic SEO. Just follow the check list and build the 10 most important SEO tactics right into your blog posts.
I was heavily involved in the SEO consulting business for well over a decade. Some of the small businesses I worked with grew exponentially because of their high rankings on Google.
Many of the small businesses I worked with were SO small, they couldn’t afford to have my company doing the SEO for them. Instead I acted as a coach and taught them the basics.
I had learned the basics before WordPress even existed. Everything was hand coded. SEO was very basic … BUT it worked!
Decades later …
EASY BASIC SEO still works!
Though my small business customers NEEDED to have a website, they had no time and very little interest in learning SEO.
For some, even a simple SEO plugin was beyond them. After a few “failures,” I realized that the whole purpose of a SEO plugin is to make sure each post has the basics.
So, for the technically challenged I got rid of the plugin and gave them a simple checklist instead.
Before I give YOU the checklist, I am going to tell you that IT WORKS. The basics will tell Google what it needs to know, and you may be surprised at the results.
I’ve had a small but very neglected niche website for years. A few months ago I decided to revive the blog and see what I could do with it. The important thing to note is that this small blog is in one of the highest competition niches on the Internet.
Within a month of posting some new articles I noticed a big surge in traffic. When I investigated I found one of my new articles was in the number two position on Google for my key word phrase.
At this point, I didn’t have a SEO plugin enabled. All I have done was written my article using the following BASIC SEO checklist.
- Choose a keyword phrase of three to six words.
- Use the keyword phrase IN the title, preferably near the beginning.
- Aim for an article of at least 350 words.
- Use the keyword phrase in the opening paragraph (bold it).
- IF possible, use the keyword phrase in a H2 heading.
- Choose a “key” image for the article. Name the image with the keyword phrase, before uploading it.
- When you upload your “key” image create an “alt image description” USING your keyword phrase.
- For every 250 words in the article try and use your keyword phrase once. For example, if your article is 750 words, try to use your keyword phrase three times.
- Create an internal link to one of your other blog articles.
- Create an external link.
Let’s look at each one of these in a bit more detail. I will use THIS article as an example of what I’m doing, so you can see it in action.
BUT before I start. Your most important audience is the people who read your articles. Yes, SEO is also important, but if you alienate your audience by forcing your keyword phrase into places it does not belong you will end up losing them.
Google is getting smarter and smarter everyday. It is able to detect “forced” SEO and will actually penalize you for your misguided efforts.
If it doesn’t look natural, just skip it.
SEO can be very complex and is hugely competitive. As part of a site traffic strategy it CAN get very complex.
THIS is the EASY guide. As I said above, it is possible to rank on Google using only these simple steps, so let’s get started:
- Choosing a keyword phrase. You have an idea for an article and in order to have the idea you’ve probably already given your article a “working” title.For THIS article, my idea was to write about how to distill SEO down to its absolute basics. I wanted to use the words … basic and easy. So “Easy Basic SEO” are my keywords. I added “NO Plugins Involved” onto the title, but this is NOT part of my keyword phrase.
- Use the keyword phrase IN the title. My title starts with my keyword phrase. Your whole title can be your keyword phrase. In this case I know that very few (if any), people will be searching for “NO Plugins Involved.” So I’m leaving it OUT of my keyword phrase.
- Aim for an article of at least 350 words. There is a lot of discussion over whether articles should be short, fast reads or whether they should be long and meaty.This article is already over 500 words, hopefully you will consider it to be “meaty.”
Don’t add a pile of filler words to get to 350. You are better off with a 250 word article that says something useful vs a 350 word article filled with fluff. Both your audience and Google recognized fluff.
- Use the keyword phrase in the opening paragraph. Scroll back and see how I incorporated my keywords into the opening paragraph. I also put the keywords in BOLD lettering.
- IF possible, use the keyword phrase in a H2 heading. I used the words “IF possible” for this step because it might be one of the most difficult steps to incorporate.Just using the same keyword phrase over again, looks “forced.” So unless you can create a slightly different heading that uses the same words (they don’t have to be in the same order), just skip this step.
I managed to sneak it in this time, but it took me a good ten minutes to figure out how!
Then … nirvana! I managed to use it again near the end of this article. See if you can find it.
- Choose a “key” IMAGE for the article. You really need to have at least ONE image for every article. There are dozens of “royalty free” websites that allow you to use their images at no cost.Here are three of my favorites:
If you are planning on using more than one image, each image should be named (no long string of numbers) … but only your main image should be labeled with your keyword phrase.
For this article, the image at the very top was named: easy-basic-SEO.jpg
- Create an “alt image description” USING your keyword phrase. When you upload a new image into your media files, you should include an “alt image” description in the information panel.Using your keyword phrase, create a description for your article. For this article I just played around with my title to come up with …
Set up your blog posts with all the Easy Basic SEO steps you need — NO plugins are necessary!
- For every 250 words in the article try and use your keyword phrase once. The operant word here is TRY. I’ve written 3000 word articles and only managed to use my keyword phrase 3 times.It’s harder than you think. Do your best, but don’t force it!
- Create an internal link. If there is a logical link opportunity, link from a statement IN your current article, to another article on your website. IF there is no logical link opportunity, simply create a link at the very bottom of your article.Feel free to use this phrase and link to an article on your blog that needs some attention … “IF you liked this article you might also enjoy this article about …”
- Create an external link. Link out to another blogger’s website if there is a fit, OR even better, link to an authority site such as Wikipedia or a major destination site in your niche.For example, if your website is about “cats” or “dogs,” link to a huge cat-dog website that is talking about the same subject as your article. Link directly to the article.
Scroll back to #6 to see how I used external links to my favorite royalty-free image websites.
OK, that’s it …
Easy Basic SEO in a nutshell!
The first half dozen times you do this, you may have to really think it through, but after everything clicks into place you will find yourself creating your SEO steps almost automatically.
To make things even easier for you, I’ve created a downloadable Google Docs file. Print out a dozen copies and see if you can check off at least eight boxes as you write your articles.
If you have a small, website in a competitive niche you may never get a number one Google ranking. BUT you never know … you could end up on page one bringing in more traffic than you ever thought possible.
In order to have a chance of getting ranked on Google, you need to set your posts up properly. These ten steps will make sure your articles will get ranked and hopefully bumped up to page one or two!
Like I said .…it’s EASY so Just DO It!