Home » SEO Training Course – Search Engine Optimization – Syllabus

SEO Training Course – Search Engine Optimization – Syllabus


What is Search Engine Optimization?  Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of improving a website to make it more relevant to searchers and search engines – SEO is about improving usability on a website.

Golden Rule – Google’s primary objective is to serve their users (the searchers on Google search) with high quality relevant information – to provide them with GOOD USER EXPERIENCE!

Golden Rule – Think about what makes your website unique, valuable, or engaging. Make your website stand out from others in your field.

Golden Rule –  SEO is hard work! It is time consuming! Build your traffic comprehensively – SEO plugin, formatting pages and posts correctly; posting relevant articles; getting backlinks, bookmarking, stay updated with latest developments.

Backlinks, also known as incoming links, inbound links, inlinks, and inward links, are incoming links to a website or web page. In basic link terminology, a backlink is any link received by a web node (web page, directory, website, or top level domain) from another web node.

Note: The number of backlinks is one indication of the popularity or importance of that website or page (this is one of the factors considered by Google to determine the PageRank of a webpage). Outside of SEO, the backlinks of a webpage may be of significant personal, cultural or semantic interest: they indicate who is paying attention to that page.

Refer diagram: http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/increase-your-websites-pagerank-with-link-building

The Importance of Link Building

AdWords Training – Syllabus

AdWords Training – Syllabus

Visit the Links’ page:


A social bookmarking service is a centralized online service which enables users to add, annotate, edit, and share bookmarks of web documents.

Example of bookmarks


‘Most visited’, ‘MyBusiness Networking’

How to install Bookmarks?


Click ‘View’ > Toolbars > Bookmarks Toolbar or

Click ‘Bookmarks’ > Bookmark this Page > follow prompt

Google Chrome

Click the star icon > follow prompts or

Go to page you want to bookmark > Customize and Control Google Chrome > Bookmarks > Show bookmarks bar (must be checked) > Bookmark this page > enter ‘Name’ > click ‘Done’

Internet Explorer

Click ‘Favourites’ > Add to Favourites

Social bookmarking services include:

Alexa Ranking*GlobalUSSA

*as at 30 Dec 2014

Reddit is an entertainment, social networking service and news website where registered community members can submit content, such as text posts or direct links. Registered users can then vote submissions “up” or “down” to organize the posts and determine their position on the site’s pages. Content entries are organized by areas of interest called “subreddits”. You can say that Reddit is a bulletin board system.

To visit site:


To submit a link:


Tip: Target marketing – You need target traffic (refer AdWords Workshop)

Golden Rule: SEO is long-term financial strategy! Do your SEO before you consider embarking on a paid advertising campaign.

What SEO is not:

  • Fast
  • Guaranteed
  • Once & done
  • Free (it takes time, so much time that there are companies just specializing on SEO).

To Avoid the Top SEO Mistakes

  1. You must have a website (or a blog) (it goes without saying).
  2. Ensure your website is crawable (refer below)

2.1 Make sure your website has been verified by Google, Bing/ Yahoo, Pinterest and Yandex

2.2 Ensure your internal links are not broken.

  1. Include the right words on the page – think what the user is searching for/ going to search for and use those words. Describe what you do.
  2. Compelling content and marketing: do something there is a need for
  3. Title and Description of your pages (giving particular focus to your homepage).
  4. do not repeat the title on another page/ post
  5. Ensure the snippet people find in search is written in such a way that searchers will want to click on your snippet (people must think: yes, this is a good resource I am going to click on this snippet and find out more).
  6. Get quality links from relevant websites
  7. Has your page been liked? Have like buttons on your pages and blogs (refer below)
  8. Authorship is important – Google maintains that “if you are anonymous you are irrelevant”
  9. Make sure you use Webmaster Resources s.a. Google and Yahoo/ Bing Webmaster Tools
  10. You want people to have a great experience when they visit your website – you want your visitors to find what they were looking for and you want them to come back for more.

Golden Rule: SEO is on-going work!

What matters for S.E.Os:

  • Words – tags are critical. Tags are keywords.
  • Headings are Important – Search engines use your headings to index the structure and content of your web pages.
  • Links between websites – the higher the number of links from other quality websites to yours the better. 1) I will add a link from WordPressTraining.com. 2) You can now see the importance of having a Business Page on well known social platforms such as Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn.
  • Words in links e.g. make the link “adoption” to link to http://adoptionservicessa.com (SEO will figure out that AdotionServicesSA is about ‘Adoption’).
  • Reputation – websites with a consistent record of fresh, engaging content + new links => rising stars
  • Make sure your website has great content – if you are blogging: The most important thing is to write quality articles, do not copy from other sites. CONTENT IS KING!

Don’t discourage Search Engines from indexing your site

Dashboard: Settings > Reading: Search Engine Visibility > keep un-checked

If you are Blogging on your WordPress website automatically notify:

  1. Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, other

Settings > Sharing

  1. Site Update Services (refer below)

Update Services are tools you can use to let other people know you’ve updated your blog. WordPress automatically notifies popular Update Services that you’ve updated your blog by sending a XML-RPC ping each time you create or update a post. In turn, Update Services process the ping and updates their proprietary indices with your update. Now people browsing sites like Technorati or Sphere can find your most recent posts!

Most people use Ping-o-Matic which, with just one “ping” from you, will let many other services know that you’ve updated. As for why, Ping-O-Matic puts it best:

So why would you want to be on these sites? One word: traffic!

What is Ping-O-Matic? Ping-O-Matic is a service to update different search engines that your blog has updated. Ping-O-Matic is all about getting your latest content out into the world and driving more traffic to your blog.


Further reading: http://blog.pingomatic.com

Dashboard: Settings > Writing: Update Services:

http://rpc.pingomatic.com/ (WordPress makes this easy for you by listing Ping-O-Matic’s server (rpc.pingomatic.com) by default. All you need to do is sit back and let it work for you!)













Pingbacks and Trackbacks


Within the WordPress interface, “ping” is sometimes used to refer to Pingbacks and Trackbacks.


Pingback lets you notify the author of an article if you link to his article

FREE WordPress Resources



Discussion Settings

Settings > Discussion: Default Article Settings:

Attempt to notify any blogs linked to from the article
Allow link notifications from other blogs (pingbacks and trackbacks)

Screen Options

Posts > All Posts > click ‘Edit’ one of the Posts > Screen Options > check ‘Discussion’ and check ‘Send Trackbacks’

SEO-Friendly – Make your website links SEO-friendly and human-friendly

Dashboard: Settings > Permalinks > Post name

Tip: Note difference between “Default” and “Post Name”.

Free Directories

  • DMOZ Open Directory


DMOZ (from directory.mozilla.org, its original domain name) is a multilingual open-content directory of World Wide Web links. The site and community who maintain it are also known as the Open Directory Project (ODP). It is owned by AOL but constructed and maintained by a community of volunteer editors.

Web addressdmoz.org
SloganOpen Directory Project
Type of siteWeb directory
Available in90, including English
Content licenseOpen Directory License,Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported
OwnerAOL, formerly Netscape
LaunchedJune 5, 1998; 16 years ago
Alexa rank 868 (April 2014)[1]

Ref: Wikipedia

www.dmoz.org > click category e.g Computers – Internet > scroll down to training > click “suggest URL

Example (to be done on your own time):


Note: To submit a site

http://www.dmoz.org > click ‘Computers: Internet’ > Web Design and Development > By Region > Africa > South Africa > click ‘Suggest URL’


Golden Rule: Links remain the most important ranking factor for websites and link building is one of the most rewarding SEO tactics out there (as long as you don’t build a bunch of spammy links for which Google will punish you).

  • Link exchanges
  • Backlinks – Post in Forums; post in Social Media (refer Google+ below)
  • YOU DON’T WANT SPAMMY LINKS (e.g. links from websites that have hundreds of links to other websites s.a. www.BuildMyRank.com ; l

Note: Google may penalize you by pulling your website from Google’s index should Google find that you are using spammy links– refer below

Plugin – JetPack

Download JetPack > setup Akismet (we will refer to Akismet in more detail later)

What Akismet does:

Comments > click ‘Spam’: http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/wp-admin/edit-comments.php

How much time has Akismet saved me?

Go to Admin > Jetpack > Akismet: All time Spam blocked: 703 (refer below)

FREE Google Resources



Use WordPressTrainingJohannesburg page ‘SEO Training Course’ as an example:


Do you need an SEO?

  • Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.
  • No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.
  • Be careful if a company is secretive or won’t clearly explain what they intend to do.
  • You should never have to link to an SEO – Avoid SEOs that talk about the power of “free-for-all” links, link popularity schemes, or submitting your site to thousands of search engines.
  • Choose wisely.

Webmaster Central Blog: Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index


Discussion Forum/ Post a Question



Webmaster Guidelines: Quality guidelines – basic principles



Webmaster Guidelines: Quality guidelines – basic principles



Webmaster Guidelines: Quality guidelines – specific guidelines


How to decide which Plugins to install

Plugins: Jetpack by WordPress

Dashboard > Akismet > click ‘Akismet’:


  • All time Spam blocked: 533; 636; 703 (13 Feb 2015)
  • 37 sent to Spam folder

Also refer to ‘Comments’:

Dashboard > Comments > Spam: example: louis vuitton handbags

Dashboard > Plugins > Add New > JetPack by WordPress.com


Jetpack > Settings > Likes: Activate

Plugins: WordPress SEO by Yoast

Plugins Add New > Plugin WordPress SEO by Yoast > Details > Install > Activate


  • Verify Alexa > Method 2: once you register to Alexa, your Verification ID will be on display – apparently no longer free
  • Verify Bing
  • Verify Google
  • Verify Pinterest (on your own)
  • Verify Yandex (on your own)


  • Configure My Site > Sitemaps
  • Configure My Site > Submit URLs


  • Crawl > Sitemaps
  • Crawl > Fetch as Google

Titles & Metas > General

Titles & Metas > Home

Social > Facebook

Social > Google+

XML Sitemaps

Permalinks >

Internal Links >


Create a new Post or Page

Posts > All Posts > it shows you whether your SEO is bad, poor, OK or good.

The same for Page

Pages > All Pages > …

Example: http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=207&action=edit

Exercise: on an existing Page or Post check your SEO rating.

Google Keyword Planner (refer also AdWords Training)


Signin to Google AdWords > click “Tools” >

Click ‘Search for new keyword and ad group ideas’

  • enter you product or service: ‘AdWords Training’
  • enter your landing page: ‘wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/adwords-training
  • enter your product category: Internet & telecom > Telecom > Web Design and Development
  • targeting: Johannesburg, Gauteng + nearby (19 selected locations) > English > Google > Negative keywords?
  • click ‘Get ideas’

I had the wrong category. Delete the ‘Product category’ and click ‘Search’. Much better?

Targeting: New York, Luanda, London

Note: Keywords can be ‘paused’; new Keywords can be added:

One of Tony’s silly mistakes:

https://adwords.google.com/cm/CampaignMgmt?__c=1882540872&__u=5379306312&authuser=0&__o=cues#&app=dashboard > scroll down to ‘All non-active keywords’ > ‘Training’

Note: Keyword Planner is an excellent tool to find out the keywords people are searching for!

A very useful tool: Search Terms Report

(your) Campaign number > Keywords > Details > Search Terms All

Example: Test Keyword Planner for your homepage.

8 Alternatives to Google Keyword Planner

Below are four free alternatives and four paid alternatives that you may consider adding to your resource and research routines.

Free keyword tools

My favorite paid options

Plugin: TinyMCE Advanced

Note: You don’t need TinyMCE Advanced if you already have the Twenty Fourteen Theme or any other theme that allows you to choose H1 to H6.

Pages > All Pages > Edit (or click link below)


TinyMCE Plugin install and activate > settings > TinyMCE Advanced

  • Paragraph
  • Font Family
  • Font sizes
  • Table

H1, H2, H3…. H6

Golden Rule: Names and descriptions on your photos are beneficial for Search Engine Optimization. ‘Alt Text’ is a MUST!

Go to SEO > Dashboard > Webmaster Tools

  • Alexa >
  • Bing Webmaster Tools >
  • Google Webmaster Tools > HTML tag

Golden rule: it is important that you have a business page on Facebook, LinkedIn, FREE Directories and link these pages to your website.


Over 3000 views (3455 views)! An effective way of getting your message out there.

Check if your site has been indexed – see how much Google has crawled your site:

Go to www.Google.com  > in search bar type:  ‘site.yoursite.com’ e.g.


2 Sept 2014: 7 results only – very new site!

30 Dec 2014: 293 results

February 4, 2015: 354

Check if your site has been indexed for images: site.yoursite > images

Do a search on Yahoo for WordPress Training Johannesburg

Do a search on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com for WordPress Training Johanneburg

On the a.m. page click on “Recent Updates” and see how many impressions and clicks

Bing Webmaster Tools

  • Dashboard
  • Configure My Site > Submit a Sitemap*
  • Configure My Site > Submit URLs Test: Submit your homepage
  • Configure My Site > Block URLs
  • Diagnostic & Tools > Fetch as Bingbolt

* https://www.bing.com/webmaster/configure?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com%2F  

Google Webmaster Tools – Search Console


Add/ Test sitemap: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/sitemap-list?hl=en&siteUrl=http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/#MAIN_TAB=0&CARD_TAB=-1

Fetch as Google: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/googlebot-fetch?hl=en&siteUrl=http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/

Site dashboard: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/dashboard?hl=en&siteUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com%2F

Search Appearance > Data highlighter


Search Traffic > Search Queries > Top Pages

Search Traffic > Links to your Site > www.InternetShort… > click Google.com > click > click and get to Google+

Internal Links > www.WordPress and www.Internet >

Google Index

Index status

Content Keywords

Click “WordPress” > Google found the keyword wordpress on these top pages: wordpress-training-course/

Remove URLs


Crawl Errors

Crawl Stats: Pages crawled per day – you can see that the average is much higher than 16 pages a day.

Golden Rule: If your site has fresh AND good content Google will crawl your site often

Golden Rule: time spent downloading a page: not much higher than 200 milliseconds

Crawl > Sitemaps > Test Sitemap / Add Sitemap

Crawl > Fetch as Google

Security Issues

Site Speed (Google Analytics)

Site speed contributes to your Google ranking. Go to Google Analytics > Behaviour > Site Speed > Page Timings (try and improve on those URLs that have a red bar).

Referrers – Total Links Referred by Links to WordPressTrainingJohannesburg

Search Traffic > Search Queries

WordPress Training Johannesburg got 63 clicks and 3045 impressions on Goggle search (organic):


Question: where do I get more customers from?

Answer: WordPress Training Johannesburg gets more clicks from Google AdWords

Admin > Jetpack > Site Stats > Referrers


Golden Rule: Verified sites show up on profile and in search results

Go to:

Click a few boards > click ‘follow’ > click your business name (top right hand corner) >

click ‘Edit Profile’ and follow the prompts (incl. verifying the website) >

  • confirm your email (check your inbox).


Add a site:

http://webmaster.yandex.com/site/?wizard=add.site > add URL > new page opens: click ‘meta tag’ > copy meta tag and paste on your website’s Dashboard Yoast page >

Return to Yandex and click ‘check’

Well done!

Golden Rule: Related Posts (Google Analytics) In this way you alert visitors to relevant pages and you benefit because you keep your visitors on your website longer.

Jetpack > Settings > Related Posts

Golden Rules – Repeat and a few more:

  • The number of relevant, quality links pointing to your site.
  • Show ‘share buttons’ on your Website: Jetpack > Settings > Sharing
  • The importance of regularly posting fresh content.
  • Diversify – don’t rely 100% on Google – keep in mind other search engines such as Bing/ Yahoo and Yandex.
List of Most Popular Search Engines In the World (Updated 2019)
  • Google
  • Bing
  • Yahoo
  • Ask.com
  • AOL.com
  • Baidu
  • Wolframalpha
  • DuckDuckGo

Source: Top 10 Search Engines In The World

Golden Rule: SEO is on-going work:  Optimize > Measure > Optimize > Measure…

Additional Reading (Google references):

Top SEO Mistakes:

  1. Not having a website
  2. Not making your Website crawable

Settings > Reading: uncheck ‘Discourage search engines from indexing this site’.

  1. not having the right architecture – have the correct navigation
  2. not including the right words on the page – think of what the user is going to type
  3. link building/ compelling content and marketing – not just bulding links; talk to people in the community; attend business networking meetings, post on forums
  4. Title and Description of your important pages – the description is what is going to show up on your snippet (refer to SEO by Yoast)
  5. not accessing resources: i) you re attending a SEO workshop – good 2) access resources on the web e.g. Webmaster Resources – http://www.google.com/webmasters , Bing/ Yahoo, others!

SEO-Friendly Website Links in WordPress

Settings > Permalinks: check ‘Post name’

How Much Does a Domain’s Age Affect Its Ranking?

Not much. Google may show how old your website is but it won’t rank it higher on account of age. RATER WORRY ABOUT YOUR SITE’S CONTENT! What really matters is the quality of your website and the number of quality links pointing to your website.

What is the Ideal Keyword Density of a Page/ Post?

There is no hard and fast rule! Avoid Keyword stuffing – it starts damaging your rankings. The solution: write a sufficiently long article and include keywords naturally. Read loud to make sure it sounds ‘natural’.. it sounds ‘right’. In summary: Ensure the words you have on your page/ post read ‘naturally’. 2.5% is a good keyword density.

Have a Question?

Ask in Google’s Webmaster Forum:


Ask in WordPressTrainingJohannesburg.com:


How Can New Pages Get Indexed Quickly?

Quick answer: Get more links. Get enough links so that Google thinks you are a useful site – Google will then go back to your site pretty often.

Golden Rule: make sure your content is sooo interesting that people WANT to know about it.. that’s all it takes: content that people WANT to know, then Google will find it.

What Impact Does Server Location Have on Rankings?

Server location does have an impact on Google rankings. If your website’s server is in South Africa you may be ranked higher in a Google search done in South Africa and lower on a Goggle search done in the United States for the same keyword.

If you type ‘bank’ on Google.com.au you will have different results than if you type ‘bank’ and do the search on Google.co.za. Google tries to get the most relevant results for each user in each country and server location in terms of ip-address is a factor in that.

How to Make my Site Get More ‘Discoverable’?

Download ‘Related Posts’ on Jetpack. It will help people find related articles as well as help Googlebot find new pages on your site.

Also use widgets such as ‘Popular Questions’ if you have a Q&A plugin; ‘Top Posts and Pages’ or ‘Top Rated’ widgets. These will all help your website be more discoverable by people and by Googlebot.

Does Google use data from social sites in ranking?

Google states that they use Twitter and Facebook links as a ranking signal. But Google also tries to establish the reputation of the author in Twitter and Facebook.

If Google cant’ access the page – will not be able to rank the page

PageRank depends on:

  • number of links as well as
  • on the quality of those links

Note: Google does not disclose PageRank. If you stumble upon a website claiming to show you your site PageRank rather ignore the site

Note: Links from people and not from a robot/ software program.

Read the article by Danny Sullivan: http://searchengineland.com/what-social-signals-do-google-bing-really-count-55389

Google’s Data highlighter

Data Highlighter is a webmaster tool for teaching Google about the pattern of structured data on your website. You simply use Data Highlighter to tag the data fields on your site with a mouse. Then Google can present your data more attractively — and in new ways — in search results and in other products such as the Google Knowledge Graph. Note that Data Highlighter can only access pages that have been crawled by Google recently.

You want to have a rich snippet when people do a Google search:

Go to Webmaster Tools > Search Appearance > Data Highlighter


Rev March 27, 2015

Bing Webmaster Tools

Submit multiple URLs to Bing

Bing Webmaster > Dashboard > Submit URLs


Your Top Keywords from Organic Search > Clicks from Search

Laura Leigh photography

Inbound Links

This feature displays the inbound links, Bing is aware of, pointed at URLs on your site. These are links from websites external of your own, that have been pointed to your content.

Bing Webmaster > Dashboard


Bing Webmaster > Reports & Data > Inbound Links


Pages that link to your Homepage

Bing Webmaster > Diagnostic & Tools > Link Explorer


SEO Analyzer – Discover which areas of your page may need work to comply with SEO best practices

Diagnostic & Tools > SEO Analyzer


Revision  March 28, 2015


From an authority perspective, an article (post) will be considered problematic by Google and other search engines when it is written by an unidentified author (“admin”).


Ensure you add:

  • a featured image (1)
  • an image to the ‘Visual’ section of your Blog’s content (2)
  • the ‘text’ in the ‘Alt Text’ in (1) and (2) above is the same as your ‘Focus Keyword’.

Content Quality in Bing Ranking


Google Webmaster Tools

Select Target Country

Search Traffic > International Targeting

Users & Site Owners

Submit a Sitemap

Crawl > Sitemaps


Settings > Mobile Theme > Activate

Introduction – SEO Best Practices

Even though this guide’s title contains the words “search engine”, we’d like to say that you should base your optimization decisions first and foremost on what’s best for the visitors of your site.

We’d love to hear your questions, feedback, and success stories in the Google Webmaster Help Forum.

Search engine optimization affects only organic search results, not paid or “sponsored” results such as Google AdWords.

Create unique, accurate page titles

Accurately describe the page’s content – choose a title that effectively communicates the topic of the page’s content.

Create unique title tags for each page – each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site.

Use brief, but descriptive titles – titles can be both short and informative. If the title is too long, Google will show only a portion of it in the search result.

Create unique title tags for each page (p5)

Each of your pages should ideally have a unique title tag, which helps Google know how the page is distinct from the others on your site – don’t use the same name for a page and for a blog or for a page and a Q&A

Mobile Friendly Test


Anchor Text

Anchor text is the clickable text that users will see as a result of a link, and is placed within the anchor tag.

Optimize your use of images

Images may seem like a straightforward component of your site, but you can optimize your use of them. All images can have a distinct filename and “alt” attribute, both of which you should take advantage of.

Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text.

Use heading tags appropriately

Heading tags (not to be confused with the HTML tag or HTTP headers) are used to present structure on the page to users. There are six sizes of heading tags, beginning with <h1> the most important, and ending with <h6> the least important.

Headings Are Important

Use HTML headings for headings only. Don’t use headings to make text BIG or bold.

Note: Search engines use your headings to index the structure and content of your web pages.

Users skim your pages by its headings. It is important to use headings to show the document structure.

h1 headings should be main headings, followed by h2 headings, then the less important h3, and so on.

Combat Comment Spam

Golden Rule: Linking to sites that Google considers spammy can affect the reputation of your own site.

Combat comment spam with:

  • “nofollow”
  • By using CAPTCHAs and/ or
  • turning on comment moderation
  • use Akismet

Yahoo Site Explorer/ Microsoft/ Bing Webmaster Tools

LinkedIn Recommends Boosting your stats with these tips

  • Write about what you know

Get inspiration from your professional life. Use LinkedIn as a sounding board – share your ideas, then get feedback to refine your topic or just have a friendly debate.

  • Write often

Publishing shorter posts more often is better than waiting for the “perfect” draft to come along. Get your thoughts out there, then let the comments you get help craft your next big idea.

URL-Permalink Structure

Settings > Permalinks > ‘Post name’

Optimize your Titles for SEO

The difference between ‘snippet’, ‘title’ and ‘permalink’


Golden Rule: For titles the following are important:

  1. They should always contain your brand, preferably at the end, so people may recognize you in consecutive searches.
  2. They should always contain the keyword you think is most important for the current post or page, which we’ll call the focus keyword from now on. The focus keyword should preferably be at the beginning of the title.
  3. The rest of the title should entice people to click.


Although most themes for WordPress get this right, make sure your post title is an <h1>, and nothing else. Your blog’s name should only be an <h1> on your front page, and on single, post, and category pages, it should be no more than an <h3>. Your sidebar shouldn’t be crammed with <h2> and <h3>‘s either etc.

Linking to Related Posts

One way of getting search engines to get to your older content a bit easier, thus increasing your WordPress SEO capabilites a LOT, is by using a related posts plugin. These plugins search through your posts database to find posts with the same subject, and add links to these posts.

Go easy on the Tags

One of the most common issues we encounter on sites in our website reviews is the overuse of tags. Note that a tag in and of itself does not improve your SEO. The only way it improves your SEO is by relating one piece of content to another, and more specifically a group of posts to each other.

Conversion Optimization – Get your Readers to Subscribe and Keep them in the Conversation

  • Notify me of follow-up comments by email (buttons)
  • Notify me of new posts by email (buttons).


  • Join Our Mailing List


Comment Optimization – Get your Readers Involved

Comments are one of the most important aspects of blogs. As Wikipedia states:

“The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs”.

Comments are not only great because people tell you how special you are, or that you made a mistake, or whatever else they have to tell you. Most importantly they are great, because they show engagement. And engagement is one of the most important factors of getting people to link to you: they show you they care, and they open the conversation, now all you have to do is respond, and you’re building a relationship!

Bond with People who leave a Comment – ‘Yoast Comment Hacks’ Plugin

Activate plugin.


Create a Links Page on your site for all your business contacts. Note: Your ‘Links’ page does not have to show to the public – it will show to Google and other search engines.

I will also add your link to my site:


Off Site Blog SEO

Go out there, and talk to people online.

Follow your Commenters

Follow your visitors! Go to their websites, and leave a comment on one of their articles, a good, insightful comment, so they respect you even more.

If you think that’s a lot of work, do realize that, on average, about 1% of your visitors will actually leave a comment. That’s a group of people you actually have to take care of!

Find Related Blogs, and Work Them

If you want to rank for certain keywords, go into Google+, and see which blogs rank in the top 10 for those keywords (enter the keywords in the ‘search bar’ of Google+). Read those blogs, start posting insightful comments, follow up on their posts by doing a post on your own blog and link back to them: communicate! The only way to get the links you’ll need to rank is to be a part of the community.


or join a ‘WordPress’ Community:


Measuring Results

A good SEO campaign relies on not only implementing changes but also measuring the impact of those changes, seeing what works and doing more of that. Google Analytics is highly recommended.

Another great source of data is Google Webmaster Tools.

Google Ads

Consider having a R200/month Ads Campaign.


Post a question on Google Webmaster Help Forum!


Post a question on WordPressTrainingJohannesburg


An example of good SEO

I got a green dot for the following page:  https://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/seo-training-course/

Click on the screenshot below to enlarge it:

SEO Training Course - Search Engine Optimization - Syllabus - Good SEO

This is very important:

Bing Webmaster Tools

Old: https://www.bing.com/webmaster/home/mysites

New:  https://www.bing.com/webmasters?siteUrl=https://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/

  • Dashboard
  • Configure My Site > Sitemaps > Submit a Sitemap*
  • Configure My Site > Submit URLs Test: Submit your homepage
  • Configure My Site > Block URLs
  • Diagnostic & Tools > Fetch as Bingbolt

* https://www.bing.com/webmaster/configure?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com%2F  

Google Webmaster Tools – Search Console


Google Search Console


Google’s New Search Console




Add/ Test sitemap: Crawl > Sitemaps


Fetch as Google: Crawl > Fetch as Google


Fetch as Googlebot: The Fetch as Google tool enables you to test how Google crawls an URL on your site. … Fetch and render: Fetches a specified URL in your site, displays the HTTP response and also renders the page according to a specified platform (desktop or smartphone).

Search Traffic > Links to Your Site

https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/external-links-domain?hl=en&siteUrl=http://www.wordpresstrainingjohannesburg.com/&firsttier.r=0&firsttier.s=25 >

Copy the a.m URLs

Copy the a.m. URLs onto a word doc for future referral.


Install and setup Akismet.


Create a Profile on Gravatar:

http://en.gravatar.com/tonyjoburg >

Link Exchange

Note: Create a ‘Links Page’ (whether on the menu or not – it is entirely up to you to decide) and do link exchanges with friends, suppliers and customers. DO NOT allow spammy links on your website.

Note: Have the courtesy to inform those you did link exchanges with should you delete your website or change your website’s name.

If I link to Chris’ website and he changes the website domain name, my link to Chris’ website will show as broken – Google does not like websites with broken links.

Likes Exchange

  • Homepage
  • One other page

Update 1 – 10 Tips for an Awesome and SEO-Friendly Blog Post

  1. Think before you write!
  2. write down the structure of your blog post. Make sure you have: an introduction, a body and a conclusion
  3. use paragraphs
  4. use headings (and sub-headings should the need arise)
  5. use images with the focus keyword and alt text
  6. let other people read your post
  7. optimize the length of your article:

Ensure your articles have a minimum of 300 words. Google likes long articles, if your article is too long though, it might scare away users. So try to stop at around 700 words. And, as a general rule of thumb: try to put your search terms in about 1 to 2 percent of your text. So in an article of 300 words, you should mention your search terms 3 to 6 times.

8.  link to previous content
9.  add content regularly
10. use your Yoast SEO plugin

Read full article: 10 Tips for an Awesome and SEO Friendly Blog Post >

Update 2 – Can I Source on Google, Free Photos for my Website?

One of the questions I get the most often is: “Can I source on Google, free photos for my website”. The answer is: yes, you can!

Read the article >

Update 3 – What is the Best Free Online Editor?

Another question I often get relates to photo editing. What is the best online photo editor?

The probability is high that Adobe Photoshop has the world’s best imaging and photo editing software. But it is not free and it has quite a steep learning curve.

There are a number of free online photo editors, one of the best-known being Canva. Besides being free, Canva is easy to use.

Read more >

Update 4 – What Happens when you Re-Blog Someone Else’s Blog?

Assuming you are re-blogging a quality article:

  • you help the person who posted the Blog (by sending traffic to his/ her website)
  • you give yourself more visibility (in the example below I increased the visibility of both my main website as well as my hobbies website) thus potentially increasing traffic to both of my websites.

I re-blogged Caroline’s post to FitandFunNow.com and in so doing I got links to both websites of mine.

https://fitandfunnow.com/2018/05/15/my-10-perfect-moments-in-argentina/ >

https://writzofpassage.com/2018/05/08/my-10-perfect-moments-in-argentina/ >


Update 5 – Jetpack Known Issues

Some plugins, themes, and hosting providers are known to conflict with some of the features implemented in Jetpack. Until these conflicts are resolved, you can check this list to find out what to do:

https://jetpack.com/support/getting-started-with-jetpack/known-issues/ >

Update 6 – How Long Do Users Stay on Web Pages?

Summary: Users often leave Web pages in 10–20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people’s attention for much longer. To gain several minutes of user attention, you must clearly communicate your value proposition within 10 seconds.

How long will users stay on a web page before leaving? It’s a perennial question, yet the answer has always been the same:


  • Not very long.

The average page visit lasts a little less than a minute.

As users rush through web pages, they have time to read only a quarter of the text on the pages they actually visit (let alone all those they don’t). So, unless your writing is extraordinarily clear and focused, little of what you say on your website will get through to customers.

However, while users are always in a hurry on the web, the time they spend on individual page visits varies widely: sometimes people bounce away immediately, other times they linger for far longer than a minute. Given this, the average is not the most fruitful way of analyzing user behaviors. Users are human beings — their behaviors are highly variable and are not captured fully by a single number.

Read full article >

Update 7 – Site Speed

To help increase site speed, compress your images. A very useful plugin to have is ‘Resize Image After Upload’ by ShortPixel.

This incredibly useful plugin automatically resizes uploaded images (JPEG, GIF, and PNG) to within a given maximum width and/or height to reduce server space usage. Additionally the plugin can force re-compression of uploaded JPEG images, regardless of whether they are resized or not; and convert uploaded GIF and PNG images into JPEG format.

Refer to ‘Settings’ on the screenshot below (in your Admin Area after installing the plugin, go to ‘Settings’ > ‘Resize Image After Upload’):

Update 8 – Mobile Preview and Mobile View after Publishing

  • Preview your page or post (before publishing)
  • View your page or post (after publishing)
  • Check ‘Mobile Usability’ in Google Search Console


Yoast SEO


General > Features


XML Sitemap


General > Webmaster Tools


Search Appearance

Search Appearance > General


Search Console

Search Console > Settings: Authenticate with Google



Social > Accounts


Recommended Reading

15 Ways to Get High-Quality Backlinks to Your WordPress Site > 

How to Choose Keywords that will attract Traffic

Keywords Research – The Ultimate Guide >

10 Tips for an Awesome and SEO Friendly Blog Post >

Thanks for attending ‘SEO Training Course-Search Engine Optimization’!

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