Something that we often come across as a website development company are businesses that do not understand why they are on the 6th or 7th page of google when you use key terms to search their company. Now, there might be numerous reasons to why this is, such as your competition, number of webpages, website speed, and even mobile friendliness. However, for some businesses, all of these factors might be in check and yet they still found in the dusty back pages of search engines. You might be reading this and thinking ‘I have the exact same problem!’ When this happens, websites are often handed over to us to fix, and one small scan through their website finds the problem immediately.

Firstly, the pages will lack header tags (h1). Simply put, these are your HTML headings on your web pages. Now, the header is usually the title of the post or emphasized text on the page. These tags are ranked h1 to h6, with h1 being the most important header and h6 being the least important header. Every page should have at least one and only one h1 tag, and this should be descriptive and right at the top of the page. You can have multiple h2 to h6 tags, as long as they are also descriptive and come after the h1 tag.  However, if these are tags are misused, or not used at all, then search engines will not be able to find the pages.

Though this is one of the more important things to do for search engine optimization (SEO), other important steps is to create meta tags, place strategic search engine phrases for each page, keep posts long and descriptive, etc. Sounds complicated right? People who have a limited understanding of how websites and search engines work often have a lot of problems solving this issue. What’s more is that, even if they have made these changes to each page, there’s no way easy way to know if this was done correctly unless you constantly monitor your search engine positioning. So the question is this: is there a simple way to optimize my website for search engines and know that I have done everything I can to boost my ranking?

Basically, yes, there is! Install the plugin Yoast SEO to your WordPress site. Yoast SEO is a brilliant plugin which acts as a checklist to create better content and improve your ranking on search results. It does this by having you choose a focus keyword and ensuring the keyword is used appropriately in the article you are writing. Page analysis feature checks if you have used the focus keyword everywhere on the image alt tags, meta description, headings and the post as a whole. Further, it suggests you properly set up the text and images for better usability and visibility for search engines.

But what makes this plugin truly great is because of its usability. Everything is placed into an easy-to-understand set of instructions so you know exactly what to do to improve your web page layout and SEO. Better yet, the plugin uses a traffic light system that is simple to understand. Each suggestion Yoast SEO makes will be labelled red, orange, and green for bad, okay, and good, respectively. So if something is red, then tinker around until it becomes orange or better yet green. Once the whole post has a green light then it’s good to publish!

If you think your website could benefit from this awesome little plugin, then be sure to visit the Yoast website and download it for free: https://yoast.com/wordpress/plugins/seo/