Welcome to the #sbs club, Dean Beaumont and Daddy Natal!
Dean Beaumont, the only fully qualified male Antenatal Educator in the UK, provides unique targeted support for expectant and new dads, through his business Daddy Natal: Antenatal Classes for Men run By Men.
The Basics of Search Engine Optimisation
Regular readers of my #sbs SEO freebies will know that search engine optimisation can be broken down into three areas: on-site SEO, code and off-site SEO.
‘On-site SEO’ concerns all of your content, covering page titles, meta descriptions, keywords, text, images, video, maps and anything else you can squeeze into a webpage. ‘Code’ acts as a facilitator, ensuring your content is displayed in a logical fashion and can be picked up by the search engines. ‘Off-site SEO’ is the way in which you interact outside of your own domain.
In respect of DaddyNatal.co.uk, my observations are as follows:
My primary concern is the lack of of page titles or meta descriptions.
Taking your ‘About Us’ page as an example, this is the information being presented to Google:
<meta name=”keywords” content=”Mantenatal, daddynatal, expectant father, baby, dad, pregnancy, antenatal classes” />
In essence, you are giving Google a list of keywords to regarding the content on that particular page. This technique is outdated and you would gain much more benefit from defining page titles and meta descriptions.
For your Home, About Us, classes, Dads’ info centre, Media Centre and Work With Us pages this needs to be done manually.
Simply open up the code in your chosen editor (notepad works just fine) and add in the following:
<title>Describe your page in 70 characters. I always like to put the company name at the front.</title> <meta name=”description” content=”Enter an easy to read, 160 character summary of the content on that page.”> <meta name=”keywords” content=”Enter 10-30 comma separated keywords. I like to put general terms at the front and specific terms at the end”>
For your About Us page this could be something along the lines of:
<title>DaddyNatal – Support For Expectant and New Dads – About Us</title>
<meta name=”description” content=”Daddy Natal offers unique, targeted support for expectant and new Dads. Find out about us and our services here.”>
<meta name=”keywords” content=”DaddyNatal, Daddy Natal, Expectant Dads, Expectant Father, New Dads, New Fathers, Antenatal Classes, About Daddy Natal, About Us, About Dean Beaumont”>
I would suggest using the “DaddyNatal – Support For Expectant and New Dads” as a prefix to all of your page titles. Similarly I would go with the same set of keywords, replacing “About Daddy Natal, About Us, About Dean Beaumont” with appropriate terms for your other pages.
Thankfully you only need to do this manually for the pages mentioned above. For your blog, there is a much easier solution.
Allow Custom URLs
Log-in to your WordPress admin area and navigate to Settings on the left hand menu. From there, click on Permalinks. In the page that opens, select the “custom structure” option and enter the following:
Then click save.
From now on, all of your posts will be given an SEO friendly url as opposed to the “?id=postnumber” you are getting at the moment. If you want to customise URLs even further, there will now be a space directly under the post title (when creating/editing an entry) which allows you to manually choose a URL.
WordPress – /%postname%/
Allow Custom Meta Descriptions
On the left-hand menu, navigate to plug-ins and then select “add new”. Search for “All In One SEO pack” and click download, then install. Once the plug-in is activated you will note three new boxes beneath the main content area whenever you create/edit a post.
If you can’t see additional ‘title’, ‘description’ and ‘keyword’ boxes then you need to enable them in screen options. To do this, create a new post and from within the editor scroll to the top of the page and click on screen options and tick the box next to “All in One SEO Pack”.
You will then need to go through all of your old posts and create a 160 character page description. Leave the title and keyword boxes blank.
As a quick fix for your page titles, navigate to Settings > All In One SEO pack from the left hand menu. Under “Post Title Format” enter the following:
%post_title% | %blog_title%
This will append the name of your blog to all of your post titles, so you don’t need to edit them manually. If you prefer to have your blog title at the front, simply change this to:
%blog_title% | %post_title%
Play around and you will soon get the hang of it. You can’t really break anything through this menu.
Start sharing your articles on social media sites like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn. To make your life easier you can add social media sharing buttons on all of your posts and pages.
To do so, navigate to the plugins > add-new menu from within WordPress. There are hundreds (thousands?) available but I like to use Sexy Bookmarks. Type that in the search box and hit install: it’s that simple.
Adding in social media sharing buttons also increases the chances that other people will share your content, which is effectively outsourcing our own link building efforts.
Once the page titles and page descriptions are tidied up I’d take a look at your image names – as per the instructions you noted on this post for Alyssa Smith.
When all of that is taken care of I’d suggest your get yourself a sitemap. I cover the importance of these, and how you register them with Google Webmaster Tools, in this #sbs SEO freebie for FrenchPolishes.com. To do so just go to your plugins menu > add-new and search for “Google XML sitemaps”.
Install the Google XML sitemaps tool and run it once to generate your sitemap files. Once up and running, this will update automatically every time you edit your content. You will note a space for “additional pages” in the settings > xml-sitemap menu. Make sure you add in your non-Wordpress pages here (home, about us, etc)!
Unfortunately I didn’t get into the tricky 404 search plug-in I mentioned in my response to your comment on the #sbs SEO freebie post but that can wait for another day. I’ve dealt with the important stuff first.
Should you have any questions please feel free to drop them in the comments below. Good luck!