Whether you’re new to blogging or not, search engine optimization (SEO) can be both simple and complicated at the same time. It’s tailored to the needs and preferences of internet users yet beneath that simple facade are intricate methods you can do to improve your SEO metrics. As for how you can implement these methods, it’s best to look at the “SEO Hierarchy of Needs.”
Now, what the heck is the SEO Hierarchy of Needs? They are a loose set of rules that many websites and blogs have invented as a guideline on SEO for each and every content. Each website has a different one but the elements that they use in the own hierarchy pyramid are practically the same. In a nutshell, they are as follows:
- Social media
- Content share-ability
- Page elements
- User experience/Design
- Keyword optimization/Indexability
- Content relevance
- Crawl accessibility
Think of that bullet point list as a pyramid where the bottom area takes priority and counts as the most important. Meanwhile, the top is also important but shouldn’t be tended to before the ones at the bottom. As such we’re going to be looking at them by order of importance in the list below. Here’s our SEO hierarchy of needs, explained:
8. Crawl accessibility
Once you’ve done your keyword research, you will then have to make sure that your site’s URL is discoverable by search engine bots. This makes indexing easier for those bots and puts you on a search engine’s radar.
In order to improve your website’s crawl accessibility, you’ll have to make sure that your site URL is not forbidden to bots. Sometimes it also depends on Google’s crawl budget for the day but there are also ways to optimize this crawl budget for your website.
Analytics might sound intimidating if you’re a beginner but it can be as simple as keyword research. That’s one of the first obvious steps you must do before making any content. Picking out which keywords are the best and analyzing their pros and cons is already fulfilling the baseline for our SEO hierarchy of needs.
Bear in mind that this step must never be skipped unless someone has already done the keyword research for you. In addition to checking out the keywords, keeping tabs on your competition websites and what they’re doing with the same keywords is also impactful in this step though not necessary.
6. Content relevance
The next step is finally making content after getting the keywords you want or need. Chances are if you chose your keywords well, then your content is already relevant. However, there are ways you can improve upon this depending on what supplemental content elements you build around those keywords.
Anything unique, made for humans, and SEO-friendly is bound to be good content that hits this criterion. This is rather easy to achieve with the right resources; Yoast’s SEO and Readability plugin, for example, can guide you through on how to hit all these checklists. The only thing needed is your creativity and effort.
5. Keyword optimization
If you’re not using Yoast’s plugin or are actively avoiding it, then there are still ways you can organically optimize your keywords. After all, Google prefers long, organic content to something that looks like it was spliced to adhere to SEO standards.
Picking out keywords that convert and are also long-tail or not the usual ones you see make for good keyword optimization. This is the next step after making your content though it’s certainly a lot less tedious than writing the content itself. It also applies to images and metadata; placing your keywords in the required fields and not just in the content can make a difference.
4. Page elements
If you’re done with the body of the content, don’t publish just yet, of course. You still have to go over some of the page elements for it such as the title or the description. The title is generally more important here since it alone can determine whether you convert your traffic or whether you get any traffic at all.
Putting the keyword at or near the start of the title instead of in the end maximizes your chances of ranking higher in Google. Your content or page URL also plays a good part in this. Generally, cleaner-looking or shorter content get better attention and reception from people. You don’t have to change the whole site URL for this, just shorten the slug or make it more concise.
3. User experience/Design
Next up in the hierarchy is tailoring your website, page, or content for user experience. Making sure that your content is not just a wall of text and has images or videos can help them internalize it better. In addition to that, how well you pick your themes and the general layout and design of your website is crucial to improving user experience.
The loading speed of your website also comes to mind. Ensuring that your content’s media is not too intrusive to the overall website performance is something that you need to do for each and every content. That means resizing and reformatting images or videos and making sure they fit in well on the page. Minimalist website designs also come into play here to improve the speed.
2. Content share-ability
Once you have all those previous methods done, it’s time to tend to how shareable your content is. Links come into mind when dealing with this. Relevant, external, internal, or backlinks to other websites can make your content or page more visible online. Additionally, your content should also be share-worthy, a criterion that’s connected to the previous method, which is content relevance.
Remember that the more people share your content, the better it will rank. Social media share buttons will also make this task easier, as well as shortened URLs.
1. Social media
When everything’s set for your content, the last thing to do is to share it yourself on your dedicated social media pages. You just can’t ignore the potential of social media no matter how few your subscribers may be. Scheduled or automated posts to social media can be a huge help to this task.
In addition, replying to comments, voting, or just engaging with your audience can further improve your content’s SEO. That’s it for our SEO Hierarchy of Needs, make sure to start with the most important parts first.