Welcome to lesson two; let me take this moment to congratulate you on completing lesson one. I am so excited because you will be light years ahead of your competition when you finish. From here, it will only get better.
But I have to say again and will probably repeat myself many times; writing is a learned process. Everything we will learn applies to your writing and how well an article you produce will rank in the search engines.
Without further delay, let’s get rolling.
What Will You Know By The End Of Lesson 2?
- What is a keyword?
Long Tail Keywords Or A String of Words (Keywords)
- How to set a keyword-rich title
- SEO Requirements For A Ranking Blog Post
What is an SEO plugin?
Step-by-step AIO SEO setup
How to use AIO SEO plugin
How To Optimize With AIO SEO
- How to set your permalink for Google Search Engine
What is a permalink?
What Is A Keyword?
If you have taken any of my other courses, you know how often I have talked about keywords. But I’m going to talk about it again because it is the cornerstone of your writing and ranking. There are many different aspects to keywords so I will cover them more than once to help give a rounded view.
When I don’t understand something clearly I will look up the definition. For that very reason, I will give you the Definition of a keyword:t
- A word or concept of great significance
- An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.
- A word that acts as the key to a cipher or code.
A word or concept of great significance
A keyword or chain of keywords is in your title and will also appear in your written content many times. It is a significant part of your writing and designed to tell your reader what you mean.
An informative word used in an information retrieval system to indicate the content of a document.
For our purpose, the keyword is the pivotal word or phrase that the search engines will look for in your post. It is also the point of your article. The main word or words that people will search for and is not too competitive.
In other words, a keyword or phrase is a very important part of your writing.
Now I keep talking about a keyword or phrase or a chain of keywords, so let’s look at this in more depth.
A keyword is one word, but a phrase or chain is a string of words (keywords.) How often do you use one word when you search for something on the internet?
For example, gardening, if you put the word gardening in your favorite search engine, you get nurseries, how-to, tips, supplies, etc. Not to mention the search results in Jaaxy are ridiculously high. (See image below.)
For a one-word keyword, the average search is 51,057, which is way above the recommended 100, and the competitive edge QSR is 226, which is also way above the recommended 50 to 100. Which makes this one word a poor choice to rank on Google.
Long Tail Keywords Or A String of Words (Keywords)
When a person uses one word to search, they have to weed through a ton of posts before they find what they want. It is the same when using one word to write a post. It will be challenging for Google to rank your writing; therefore, they won’t.
Instead, when we use exact questions to search, it pulls up more information on what we are interested in and uses a string of keywords.
For example, I will use Florida gardening ideas as my search in Jaaxy. When I put this into the search engine, I come up with information about Florida gardening.
You should do the same when searching for keywords and use a string of words that fit what you want to write.
When I put Florida Gardening Ideas into Jaaxy, the keyword research tool, here are my results. It gives me a choice, and I chose one with an average below 100 and QSR below 50. “Florida Friendly Landscaping Ideas” is the winner.
Recap Of How To Set A Keyword Rich Title?
Again this part is a bit of a repeat, but the keyword title is so very important, and I want to make it clear from the start.
Now, what is the best way to make this a good title? There are a few things to consider.
- It has to make sense – Florida Friendly Landscaping Ideas does make sense, but one that read something like this, Florida Ideas Landscaping (even if the results are good), would not make sense.
- Your title needs to be 50 – 60 characters long – no exceptions
- Try to use how, why, what, when, or where in the title – it will get more clicks but may not be possible all the time.
- If you can’t use any of the above, then try using a number such as “6 Best” or “9 Tips”
Your keywords have to be in the order you found them – you can not switch the words around and they need to be at the beginning of the title.
Florida Friendly Landscaping Ideas – How These 9 Tips Work
- 59 characters
- Uses the number 9
- Uses the word – “How”
- Has spaces before and after the dash
- Each word is capitalized
- Long-tail keyword at the beginning of the title, Florida Friendly Landscaping Ideas
Now we have a title that will address a pain point to solve a problem and meets the requirements of the Google algorithm.
SEO Requirements For A Ranking Blog Post
For your writing to rank in Google and Bing, it needs to be Search Engine Optimized or, in other words, SEO ready. I will list a few things to look at and change when necessary, but not to worry because SEO plugins will help with this process.
- Ranking long-tail keywords in the title and throughout the post
- A title that is 50-60 characters long – no longer than 60 characters
- Internal links
- External links
- Sentences 20 words or less
- Passive phrases less than 10%
- Transition words and phrases at least 30%
- Not more than 2 consecutive sentences begin with the same word
- Not more than 300 words under each heading or subheading
- A Meta description that has the Title at the beginning and at least 140 words but not than 160
- Only the keywords in the permalink
The list is not all-inclusive, and I know it appears daunting, but as I mentioned, a few plugins help by letting you know what Google expects, and the one we will use is the AIO SEO plugin.
I have used a few different plugins over the past few years. I have mentioned in some other courses that I use SmartCrawl. When I used this plugin, it was beneficial, but as Google has rolled out new updates, SmartCrawl has not kept up with the times.
So I switched to the All-In-One SEO plugin. With the switch and after the corrections to my old posts, my traffic actually increased by 100 per day and is continuing to rise.
Some other options are:
- Yoast SEO
- Rank Math
If you prefer one of these, you are welcome to use them, but I will talk about AIO SEO for this course.
All-In-One Plugin (AIO)
I will use the All-In-One plugin as a recommendation and detail how to use it.
What Is An SEO Plugin
As the owner of your website, you will want the search engines to rank your content. For example, Google has an algorithm that crawls billions of posts on the internet. The spiders or bots look for keywords to tell them what your article says.
You will choose keywords for your title, but as you write, you will also use other keywords unknowingly, and Google will pick up on those also. Google wants to give its readers the best experience possible, so they recommend posts written with good SEO in mind.
The easiest way to rank is to use a plugin that helps you optimize your page geared toward the Google algorithm. One of these plugins is All In One. It’s easy to install and notifies you of changes that need to take place.
Without further delay, I will install and set up the All In One SEO plugin.
All In One Step-By-Step Setup
Head over to your website, and in the dashboard, navigate to plugins to install the AIO SEO plugin. Follow the 6 steps in the image below.
When you click install, it may automatically take you to the setup wizard, but if not, I have a diagram here to direct you through the process.
Go ahead and click the “Launch setup” or the “let’s get started” tab. Whichever one you see on your screen. The “Launch setup” tab on the right will take you to the “let’s get started” tab on the left.
Once you click the setup, AIO will set up the necessary items to get you started. But there are a few questions you will need to answer.
Link to a free character counter – Character Counter
Page #1 setup
Page #2 setup
In the Social Media are at the bottom of the page #2 image, you may want to put in the URL of the social media accounts you have.
To find the URL go to the social media account; in this case, I used my Facebook as an example.
I clicked on my account and copied the URL from the top but make sure it does not have a slash after the account with something like this, /pages/?category=your_pages&ref=bookmarks, or something similar, behind the URL. This is the link to manage your page. Just delete the end and past the rest into the area.
On page #3, if you have the pro version, leave it as it is. If you do not have the pro (the paid version), then unclick image SEO and smart redirects. Scroll down and click save and continue.
I have included 2 footnotes at the bottom of this image.
Leave page 5 as is, but you can enter your email address if you like.
The last page is a promotion to purchase the Pro version of AIOSEO. I use the pro version, but you may not need it just yet. As your site progresses, the pro version is a huge help. Keep clicking out of the large blue setup wizard until you get to the blue tab finish button at the bottom. Click on this finish tab, and it will take you to the AIOSEO dashboard.
AIOSEO has a lot of other things you can customize, but I suggest you leave everything as-is for now. To learn more on how to set the tabs in the general section, AIO has some excellent tutorials right in the dashboard of your plugin.
How To Use AIO Plugin To Rank
When you write an article or post with the AIOSEO plugin on your site, you will have suggestions to fulfill that will help the Google algorithm find what you wrote.
One can do a lot with the AIOSEO plugin, but I will go over today what we need to do to get our content ranked.
I will use a post I wrote a while back when I was using Smart Crawl to optimize. I have not yet optimized it with AIOSEO so that we can do this together. When you write a new post, you can optimize it as you go.
The image here is a picture of the AIOSEO at work. The green box is a headline analyzer, and the orange one is the post analyzer.
As you can see toward the bottom of the image, I have some errors marked in orange that I will need to fix for this one to rank well on the search engines.
When you begin writing in your WordPress website, you can see the same thing I have here in the image.
Click on the orange errors to see what you will fix. Then follow the directions and complete the task.
As you correct the errors, your scores at the top right will increase. In the green area, I strive for a score of 100, but in the orange title area, a good score is between 40 and 60. AIOSEO suggests you should aim for 70 and above.
Once you get used to using it, you can keep the tasks in mind as you put your words down. But in the beginning, it takes a few tips to help make the transition smooth.
I would like for you to take the time to go through some of the tutorials on the AIOSEO page. Knowledge is power, and the more you know about what the AIO plugin is looking for, the higher you can rank on the search engines.
Go to your dashboard and click on the All-In-One heading under the settings tab for more information. On the All In One dashboard, you will see links to tutorials, user guides, and even an area for beginners.
Tips And Tricks
There are some tips and tricks to keep in mind that will help you along the way. I will list some here before I post images with instructions.
- Google likes to see a percentage of transition words in your writing. I made a list of transition words and phrases you can have handy to refer to as you write.
- Your title needs to be 50-60 characters long, and there is a built-in character count in the title area.
- The title analyzer gives you ideas to increase your score on the orange box. Some of these are common words, emotion words, and power words. Here is a list of power words by Jon Marrow as a reference. Remember, do not rearrange your keywords to fit in an emotion or power word. These words go after the keyword in your title.
Note: The tabs at the top for “headline analyzer” and for “post optimizer” change colors when you fix the issues. The “headline analyzer” and the “post optimizer” are orange, but they will both turn green when you fix the issues.
OK, let’s begin with some images to help optimize my example post.
How To Optimize With AIOSEO
I click on the orange tab at the top of the right sidebar to see AIO’s suggestions for my post. As you can see in the image below, transition words and consecutive sentences need fixing. It tells me what I need to change, and the numbers will change as I improve my post. Any of the others may need repairs on a post you are writing, but they will appear red just as mine did.
It may say images if you have not put any images into the post yet or if you have more than 300 words in one section; it will tell you, in this case, put in a subheading, H3, to break it up.
Sometimes, my Flesch Reading Score is too high, and in that case, I may need to leave it as is. For instance, if I am writing about a complex subject, I may not be able to dummy it down to match the AIO needs.
These images are just examples of the fixes for the post I am using. I suggest you look at each one because it gives some excellent information on what Google’s algorithm looks for.
As for the title, the “H” tab will analyze your title to let you know if it is good.
Now let’s look at the “H” tab, which analyzes your title. It may be a bit confusing because I corrected the title suggestions, so I now have a green tab.
In other words, as mentioned above, when you fix the errors, all tabs will turn green. As you can see in the image, I now have a green “H” tab.
I have each section in this image side by side, but in your dashboard, under the orange or green tab with the “H,” you can scroll down to see all of these parts.
The most important thing here is your headline score. As long as it is between 40 and 60, your title is a good one. No one can meet all of the “Word Balance” requirements, so it is best to make sure your title makes sense and all of the keywords are together at the beginning of the title.
One more thing I would like to mention. Under the “General” tab at the bottom under “AIOSEO Settings” under “page settings,” You will see “site title” and “separator.” (See image) If you leave these 2 tabs where they are, AIOSEO will automatically put your site name after your blog post title, which will make your title more than 60 characters long. Follow the images here to remove these 2 tabs.
Result of removed tabs.
Some sites do use their site name after the title but not many, so for you, I suggest not to add it to the end.
I could probably talk all day on AIOSEO, but you get the basic idea of using the SEO plugin.
Please feel free to reach out to me if you need assistance with this area. I am here to assist and clarify any concerns you may have.
How to set your permalink for Google Search Engine
What Is A Permalink?
Some interchange the term URL with a permalink, but they are different. A URL is an address that leads to any webpage, such as https://thelauramethod.com. A permalink or slug is also a URL, leading to specific content on your WordPress site. It is a permanent address or link, thus named permalink.
You must set your permalink correctly for the search engines to pick up your keywords.
For Example, in a recent post, I wrote the title as Elementor Cloud Hosting Review – Is It The Solution?. But I don’t want to set the whole title as the permalink. So, the permalink or slug is Elementor Cloud Hosting Review.
Let’s take a look at the image of a permalink. Under the toggle wheel to the left of your post, click on “post,” then scroll down until you get to “permalinks.”
The title of this post is Elementor Cloud Hosting Review – Is It The Solution?, but we don’t want all of this to show up when Google Crawls the post.
We only want the keywords to be in the permalink. The complete title will show in the slug area when you assign a title to the post.
So, to take care of this problem, just go to the permalink or “URL Slug” area and delete all but the Keyword. What I have left is “elementor-cloud-hosting-review.“
Be sure to hit “save draft” to save your new permalink.
Note: Once Google or Bing has indexed your post, you cannot change your permalink unless you redirect it. You can change the title but make sure the permalink stays the same.
We have completed Module 2 of our 5 part lesson. Be sure to contact me with any questions. We can not move onto Module 3.