[Guide for Beginners to Earning Money Online – Part 2]
Have you created a WordPress website yet? If not, what are you waiting for?
Learn here how you can launch one for free!
You are in the right place if you have created a blog but don’t know how to tune it up for visibility in search engines and start gradually building up your site’s ranking.
You need to do some maintenance work to get your entire website ready for Search Engines Optimization (SEO). This work needs to be done only once for every new site. Then you’ll be able to focus on your content writing. While you’d still need to optimize each publication for search engines, that work will be more creative and challenging.
In this article, I’ll explain how to start SEO for a new website and address the following questions:
- What is a search engine optimization?
- How to optimize my website for the search engines?
- What tools could help me analyze my site’s performance and its audience?
- What is a WordPress plugin and All In One SEO plugin in particular?
- How do I set up my website with Google analytical tools?
Let’s get started!
What Is a Search Engine Optimization?
Once your website is built and basic design is created, your next logical step seems to start writing the articles. But wait for a second!
Who is going to read your blog? You want people to be able to find your website by searching relevant keywords in Google or other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo. In order for Google to find your website, rank your content for certain keywords and show it to people who search for them, you need to understand how to start SEO for a new website from the very beginning of your blogging journey.
You must have heard that the content is king and you need to carefully research your targeted keywords before writing a new piece of content. That’s true: keyword research is a part of the Search Engine Optimization process, but there is so much more to it! Before you begin creating the content and before I help you to start writing and optimizing your keyword-rich content, you’d want to get your entire site ready for the search engines.
The big 3 search engines are Google, Bing, and Yahoo. Google owns over 70% of all search traffic and over 95% of mobile searches. Therefore, I’ll be focusing on how to please Mr. Google, or in other words, on optimization for Google search engine. If you aim to accomplish this task, most likely Bing & Yahoo will like your site even sooner.
Search Engine Optimization is usually abbreviated as SEO. It is a process of applying certain techniques for increasing your website’s visibility in the search engines. The higher your site is ranked by Google, the more of the organic (free) traffic you get to your site. If you are planning to earn money via your blog, more traffic leads to more conversions and therefore, to more revenue.
Google’s ranking algorithm is very complicated, and it’s changing all the time to assure that the relative content is shown to the interested people. Thus, the top ranking on Google for certain keywords results not only in a high quantity of visitors but also in high quality of your traffic.
You will optimize each piece of content that you are creating for the search engines. However, before you start with the content, you need to let Google know what your entire site is about, or in other words, what your niche is.
How To Optimize My Website For The Search Engines?
- Owning your domain name relative to your niche improves your SEO.
Your domain name is playing its part in the SEO. Search Engines like niche-related independent domain names better than free websites built on subdomains. That’s why for those of you who want to become more than amateur bloggers and are serious about growing an online business, I recommend purchasing your own domain and investing into a fast and secure web hosting.
Or… a much better choice would be to get everything your online business needs in one place for about the same price as a web hosting itself. I’ve introduced Wealthy Affiliate before on many occasions, and I’ll say it again: with one affordable Premium Membership fee, as low as $30/mo if you buy a yearly subscription, you’ll get step-by-step comprehensive training, fast and secure web hosting, exceptional technical and community support, an advanced keyword research tool, many other tools and services useful in website development and analysis, and in growing your business in your chosen niche.
If you are following my publications, I hope that you’ve already joined Wealthy Affiliate for free.
I encourage those of you who want to earn real income from your website to upgrade to the Premium Membership. Do it today and receive an action-takers bonus: pay only $19 for the first month of your Premium Membership ($30 OFF). You can choose a yearly payment after this first month to save more money in the following months.
Keep in mind that you don’t have to upgrade… ever! If you are an amateur blogger and want to run a website for fun and somewhat supplement your income, a free website is good enough. But if you’re ambitious in your income goals, I strongly recommend going Premium after you’ve explored the platform, met the community and started appreciating how much WA offers for such an affordable fee.
Are you visiting my blog for the first time?
Click the button below to sign up for free Starter membership.
If you already have a WordPress website hosted somewhere else, Wealthy Affiliate awesome technical support will gladly transfer it for you to the WA platform.
- Having your site on HTTPS gives you a ranking boost.
HTTPS is a secure version of the HyperText Transfer Protocol. “S” in HTTPS stands for “Secure”. If your website is running over HTTP (http://[YourDomainName]), the visitors of your site may receive a security warning from Google. This warning stops many users from proceeding to a not-secure website. It motivates others to leave your site as soon as possible, thus increasing your site’s bounce rate.
Data sent using HTTPS is secured via Transport Layer Security (TLS) protocol. TLS provides 3 layers of protection:
- Data integrity
For your website to run over HTTPS, you’d need to buy a TLS Certificate, which costs somewhere close to $100/ year, and there might also be an installation fee.
The good news is that if you followed my advice and created your site at Wealthy Affiliate or transferred your existing blog to WA, your site is secured at no additional cost for you.
The free websites at WA reside on the SiteRubix subdomain, which has TLS installed.
The URL of the free website I built at WA in front of your eyes in the “How To Create a Free Website” post is https://buildblogdemo.siterubix.com
All Premium Members at Wealthy Affiliate who own domain names get TLS installed on their websites for FREE.
- A website running over HTTPS can securely accept payments.
- A site with TLS adheres to Google Webmaster Guidelines. It helps to gain a higher level of trust.
- Search engines give preference in ranking to the sites served over TLS.
- Your WordPress Design Theme Must Be Mobile-Friendly
In my previous post, I’ve shown you how to change and customize a WordPress design theme. When choosing your theme, in addition to exploring the theme customization options, you need to make sure that the theme is mobile-ready. A lot of traffic nowadays comes from mobile devices. You know it, and Google knows it. Google will take your credits away in ranking if your site is not mobile-friendly.
Most, but not all, WordPress themes are designed to load fast and display your content nicely on the desktops and on mobile devices. Before finalizing your theme choice, you need to verify that the theme is responsive to any screen size.
You can find this information in some theme descriptions. Use the “Theme Details” button on the installed themes or for the new themes that are not installed yet, use the “Preview” button. See if it says something like “responsive WordPress theme” or “works great on any device”.
If this information is not mentioned in the documentation, you’d have to install, activate and publish the theme with your sample content, and then use an application, such as Mobile/Responsive Web Design Tester extension for Google Chrome to check whether it is responsive.
Don’t experiment on your live site that already has actual content. Instead, create a test website for this exercise!!!
WA Premium membership includes web hosting of 10 websites of any type. Build a free site on the SiteRubix subdomain to experiment with.
Starter members only get 1 free website. Therefore, if you decide to experiment with a theme when you already have much content on your website, make sure that you run a full backup of your site just before you start changing the themes.
- Set Meta-Title and Meta-Description for Your Site
In the Search Engine Results Page (SERP) Google displays Title and Description by using values provided in the Meta Title and Meta Description Tags. You need to set them up for your website, and later for each post or page you’ll be publishing.
Imagine that you entered a keyword in Google, and the results you received in response had no words that you were looking for in the excerpts displayed on the page. Would you click on these results? I doubt it!
In turn, Google is not going to bring back those sites that don’t have the keywords you were looking for in the title and description.
Therefore, in order to rank, your Meta Title must include a keyword. Since at this point we are talking about your website as a whole and not a single publication on it, this would be your main niche keyword or key phrase. This keyword should also be included in the actual Title (or Name) of your website, and preferably, but not necessarily, in your domain name. The domain name, even if not exactly matching the title, must still be relevant to your niche and somewhat close to your site’s name.
It’s also helpful to have this keyword in the meta description of your site, but only if it fits naturally in a sentence and is easy and appealing to read.
These rules will also apply to every single article.
I will show you how to set up these meta-tags shortly after we talk about WordPress Plugins and activate All In One SEO Pack.
- Set Up Your New Website In Google Analytics
Google Analytics is Google’s user-oriented tool that provides information about your website visitors. This tool is free.
Google Analytics helps you analyze the traffic volume, who your visitors are (age groups, gender ratio, geographical location, etc.), and what their behavior is on your website such as landing pages, site navigation, the time they’ve spent on each page, and more. This data is very helpful in comparing your targeted audience with an actual audience and fine-tuning your content to minimize this difference, attract more visitors, engage your readers and keep them longer on your site.
Google Analytics also provides the Realtime view where you can see who is on your website at the present moment, what pages they are viewing and where in the world they are located. The image below shows 4 users browsing the site within the last 30 minutes, and 1 active user at the moment of this screenshot being taken. In the table, you can see what content they are/were viewing.
- Set Up Your New Website In Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a search-engine focused tool, which is very helpful in identifying and improving your site’s ranking and visibility.
Using Google Search Console you will speed up the process of Google finding your site and each new publication on it. You’d be able to see what keywords are ranking, what your position in SERP (Search Engine Results Page) is, how many impressions your site gets for certain keywords, and what the click-through rate is.
“Impressions” is how many times Google has shown your site within the search results. Users don’t click every single result on the page, they choose one or a few and only click on those. Your Click-Through Rate (CTR) is the percentage of actual clicks of the impressions your site received. 5% as it states in the Search Console Performance screenshot below is pretty common for CTRs.
Before I show you how to set up your website with Google analytical tools, I’ll explain the WordPress plugins.
We are going to verify with Google Analytics our ownership for the new website using the help of one of these plugins.
What is a WordPress Plugin?
A WordPress plugin is a relatively small application that can be added to your WordPress environment and installed to complement your website in one way or the other. It is coded to perform a certain task or a set of relevant tasks.
WordPress is an open-source project, which means that the software developers all over the world are able to contribute to it, and they do. Therefore, WordPress offers thousands of design themes and plugins. For any function you wish your website could implement, there is probably a plugin that does exactly what you are looking for.
Be careful, though… Among many well-coded and valuable plugins, you’d find some that don’t work very well or may even cause security issues. I advise before installing any plugin, check its star-rating and how many users are actively using it. 5-star plugins used by the thousands of people are safe to install.
I have another warning for you: don’t get too hooked on the plugins.
As I said earlier, there are plugins for almost anything you can think of but don’t install too many plugins to your site because they may (and lots of them together definitely will) slow down the loading speed of your blog. The site’s load speed is an important factor in your SEO. You want your website to load fast on any device, mobile included.
Installing and Activating All In One SEO plugin.
In the video below, I walked you through the process of installing and activating the All In One SEO Pack plugin and showed you how to use it for creating Meta Title and Meta Description for your new website.
There are several plugins that you could utilize for optimizing your site and pages for the search engines. Two of the most popular are Yoast SEO and All in One SEO Pack. I’m using All in One SEO on all my sites. It’s easy to use, and I know this plugin well – so, I can share my knowledge with you without creating any confusion.
All In One SEO plugin is designed by Michael Torbert to help you boost SEO for your website. It doesn’t free you up from doing your manual part of SEO, but it performs all the “dirty work” behind the scenes.
It has over 2 million active installations, a 4.5-star rating and is being used since 2007. You can be assured that this plugin is safe to install and it works well.
If your site is created and hosted at Wealthy Affiliate, All In One SEO plugin is preinstalled for you. All you need to do is activate it and make a few customizations to its configuration. In your WordPress back office go to “Plugins” and then “Installed Plugins” menu (see Figure 3). In the table on the next screen find All In One SEO Pack and click “Activate” right below it as shown in Figure 2.
If your site was created elsewhere, you need to install this plugin first and then activate it. To install a plugin, In the “Plugins” menu select “Add New” (see Figure 3)
On the next screen, type “All In One SEO” keyword in the search field at the top. In the returned selection, find “All In One SEO Pack” as shown in Figure 1 above and click the “Install Now” button.
Once installed, the button will change its caption to “Activate” and you can activate this plugin without leaving the screen.
Or, you can accomplish the same task by returning to the “Installed Plugins” screen, and activating All In One SEO Pack as shown in Figure 2
Here is the screen you’ll see after installing and activating this plugin:
Once your All in One SEO plugin is activated, its name also appears in the Main Menu of your WordPress Dashboard.
There is also a Pro version of this plugin, but you won’t need it because the free version is sufficient for our needs.
Feel free to review the Documentation and visit Support Forum if you wish. Though, if you are a Wealthy Affiliate member, their Support team will take care of any trouble you might have with your website like nobody else can. WA Support team is unbeatable and they are open 24/7/365.
Next, we’ll be working on the SEO Settings…
Setting Up Meta Title and Meta Description Tags with the Help of All In One SEO.
All in One SEO can perform many functions. At this time, we’ll only use it for setting up the Meta Title and Meta Description of your website. We’ll explore some other features in future training.
Meta Tags do not appear on your website; they are called “Meta” because they are placed in the code (the SEO plugin will do it for you behind the scene) and are being used by the bots. Search engine bots read these meta tags and display the content on their results page in response to users’ requests.
If you are still in the Installed Plugins view, click on ‘SEO Settings’ to open up the options. Another way of accessing the same options is by clicking on ‘All in One SEO’ title in the Main Menu, or on the ‘General Settings” just below the title. Scroll Down if necessary and find the Home Page Settings section. That’s where we are going to type in the Title and Description for the corresponding Meta Tags.
The recommended length of the meta title is 57 characters – that’s how many characters most search engines will display on their SERPs. It should reflect the actual title of your website. If your meta title is longer, it will be truncated. Or, you’d have to tweak your title to include your key phrase and yet make it shorter. If your website’s title is shorter than 57 characters, you still have space to add something catchy and make it a little more interesting.
I am continuing working with the free website I’ve created in my first video tutorial. I called this site “Build a Blog Demo” and thus, I’ve included this exact phrase in the meta title – see the screenshot below. Since my title was short, I also added a few words to make it more appealing for human readers.
For the meta description, search engines will display a maximum of 160 characters. I’ve included the key phrase used in the title once again, but this time I had to make it naturally fit in the sentence. In the case of the meta description for the entire site, this was pretty easy to do by repeating the name of the site while describing its purpose. You can do something similar.
Don’t forget to save the changes you’ve made!
Scroll down through the long list of other setting options and find the “Update Options” button at the bottom of the page. Click it to save your meta title and meta description.
Let’s now use the help of All in One SEO plugin to set up your site in the free analytical tools offered by Google.
How do I set up my website in Google Analytics and Google Search Console with the help of All In One SEO plugin?
You must have a Google account in order to utilize these tools. If you don’t have it already (such as created with Gmail, YouTube, or with any other Google application), create your free account now.
In the video below I walk you through the process of adding a website to Google Analytics and Google Search Console. You can continue reading, or/ and watch the video – whichever option suits your learning style better.
Adding Your Site to Google Analytics
Click here to open up Google Analytics. If you are not already signed in, you’ll be prompted to either sign in or sign up.
Once you’re logged in, you’ll see the following screen if you don’t have yet any websites set up in Google Analytics. Click the “Set up for free” or “Start Measuring” button. The caption of the button could be either one.
Then, you’ll need to complete these 3 steps:
- Creating a new Google Analytics account
- Note that the Account Name doesn’t have to match your website name. You can have multiple websites under one account.
- The data sharing options on this page you can leave ON or uncheck. I don’t like sharing my data with anybody, even with Google – so, I uncheck them. But, it’s up to you.
- Note that the Account Name doesn’t have to match your website name. You can have multiple websites under one account.
- Telling it to measure your website (not an App!)
- Setting up property (your website)
- Enter Actual Name of Your Website
- In WordPress where we left off, click “Visit Site” in the top menu, copy site URL in the browser, paste it to “Website URL” on this Google Analytics page. This method of copying/pasting will eliminate any typos. Then delete https:// or http:// part from the editable field and select an appropriate protocol from the drop-down box. If you’ve created your blog at Wealthy Affiliate, your website is using a secure protocol, and you’ll need to change the default “http://” in this drop-down to https://
- Select Industry Category. There are not too many options in the drop-down list – choose the closest to your website niche; it doesn’t matter all that much.
- Set your time zone
- Click the “Create” button
- Enter Actual Name of Your Website
Once you read and accept the Terms of Service in a pop-up window, your account will be created and your website will be assigned a Tracking ID.
Grab this Tracking ID (Highlight and Copy).
If at this point you click the Home icon in the top left corner of this page while visiting your own site in a new browser tab, you won’t see your visit in the Realtime view. That’s because your ownership of the website has yet to be verified.
Do NOT close the Google Analytics tab in the browser yet and head over to All in One SEO in WordPress, back to the General Settings Options.
Scroll down to find Google Analytics Section. Paste your Tracking ID into the Google Analytics ID field:
Scroll down to the bottom of this page and click Update Options button to save your changes.
Now go back to the Google Analytics page and test your website either by viewing it in another browser tab or by clicking “test this site” button in the Google Analytics Admin area. Once on your website, click the Home icon in the top left corner -> Realtime -> Overview, and see one active user on your website.
Your website was successfully set up in Google Analytics. If not, let me know in the Comments field below what went wrong, and I will help you to resolve the issues.
Assuming that Google Analytics has verified your site, you are ready to set it up in the Google Search Console.
Adding Your Site to Google Search Console
Follow this link to access Google Search Console and click the “Start Now” button on the page.
On the next page, for the property type select “URL prefix” and enter your website’s full URL starting with https://
In the “Verify Property” window, find the Google Analytics section, expand and click the “Verify” button. Click “DONE”, and you are done. It’s that simple!
In this article, I’ve walked you through the one-time setup; you won’t need to do it again until you decide to create your second website.
We prepared the entire site for the SEO. All the boring configurations are done!
Here is a summary of what you’ve done to get your new site ready for SEO:
- Learned what SEO is and how to start SEO for a new website. We discussed:
- Importance of niche-related domain name in your ownership
- Selecting a mobile-ready design theme
- Creating Meta Title and Meta Description for your website
- Setting up your site with user-oriented Google Analytics free tool
- Setting up your site in search engines oriented Google Search Console free tool
- Installed and Activated ‘All in One SEO Pack’ plugin.
- Created Meta Title and Meta Description tags for your website using this plugin.
- You set up your site in Google Analytics and verified your ownership using All in One SEO.
- You added your website to the Google Search Console and verified your ownership via your newly created Google Analytics account.
Good job! The place is now well organized for your visitors.
From now on, you’ll be focusing on your content and SEO for each new publication. It’s not easy, but it’s also not boring. After today, all the work you do to grow your site and your audience will be creative.
Was this tutorial helpful?
Please share this post in your social networks, with your fellow-bloggers and with everyone who could benefit from this training.
In the Comments field below, please give your feedback, let me know if you have any questions or encounter problems while getting your blog ready for SEO.
You May Also Like: