SEO: How I doubled my visibility in the Google search results within 7 months

Google Search Console impressions graph
How satisfying. The increase in impressions during 2022 as seen in Google Search Console.

When you are self-employed, quieter times are never truly “quiet”. You might not have any paid work to do but there are always numerous admin jobs and business development projects to be getting on with to keep the show on the road.

With the economy being as unstable as it was last year, there were a few quiet periods for me as a translator in 2022. Starting in June, I began looking into what I could do to optimise my website from an SEO point of view and so boost its rankings for my chosen keywords.

Because I did not have any subscriptions to more sophisticated tools such as SEMRush, Moz or Ahrefs at the time, all optimisations were done using the free versions of Yoast SEO and RankMath that are available on WordPress. These offer a limited range of functions and insights, but with their help, I’ve doubled the number of impressions for my website in the search engine results pages within 7 months and have achieved first-page rankings for several of my target keywords.

I have to admit that looking at the results on Google Search Console is pretty satisfying. Seeing the purple line trend upwards consistently in line with my optimisation efforts…now that’s the best of cause and effect!

Here are a couple of the changes I made to get there.

Because I operate in a niche market (legal translation, and specifically for the language pair DE>EN), the volume of search enquiries and the number of target keywords which are relevant and useful to my business are quite limited. This, in turn, restricts the scope for SEO optimisation on my website.

But it makes sense to exploit whatever potential there is, so I started out by investing several hours in keyword research on Google’s Keyword Planner tool. At the end of that, I had a number of target keywords which were a) relevant to my business, products and target markets, and b) had an attractive search volume*.

Because I did not build my website around keywords initially, I assigned my chosen target keywords to the relevant existing pages, adjusted or rebuilt these pages around them, or created new pages based on them.

[* Search volume = the number of users who are entering a certain target keyword into search engines to look for a given product/service. Logically, the greater the search volume, the higher the number of potential customers behind it is — it’s their attention you need to be getting!]

When optimising/creating pages around target keywords, the volume of text on the page is an important SEO factor. After all, Google tends to reward long-form content with better rankings.

Other, more sophisticated SEO tools/plugins (i.e. Keyword Surfer) are able to analyse the length of texts on other websites which are competing for rankings on the same target keyword. That gives you a rough idea of how much you should think about writing to keep up with the competition and be in with a chance of a valuable top-ranking.

Unfortunately, the free versions of tools on WordPress are quite restricted in this respect. In essence, they operate by a simple rule of thumb which holds that texts should be at least 600 words long, with longer texts being given progressively better ratings. When the tool thinks that your text is long enough, you will be rewarded with a green dot for your efforts.

The lists of issues to address which are provided by Yoast SEO and RankMath in the WordPress dashboard set out clearly where your focus keyword should be inserted — it’s largely self-explanatory so I won’t go into the details here.

My dashboard is in German, but here’s part of the RankMath issue list from one of the pages I optimised. Check out all those lovely green dots!

Initially, it is tough to craft sentences/texts which include your keywords in an appropriate position which don’t exceed the character limit AND say what you want them to…but practice makes perfect. My persistence paid off!

Again, the free versions of tools on WordPress don’t give you an awful lot of guidance on how to structure your URLs or how to approach this complex, quite technical aspect of SEO. There’s a ton of information about this on the internet which you can read if you want further information. Click here to get into the nitty gritty with Neil Patel!

For the purposes of the free versions of Yoast and RankMath, try to pack your primary focus keyword/keyphrase into the respective page URL, with dashes separating the words. Keep the overall URL as short as possible while still ensuring that it adequately describes your page content (URLs help to tell web-crawlers what your page is about for the purpose of indexing).

Videos and pictures enhances user experience because the information they contain is more attractive to users and is easier for them to digest than masses of text. Therefore, including media like images and videos on your website will improve your SEO ratings in Yoast and RankMath. You may need to shrink images so as not to compromise page speed — another ranking factor. WordPress has several free plugins you can use to do this.

Don’t forget to add alt-texts to images that include your primary keyword/keyphrase.

User experience one of the leading ranking factors in SEO. Therefore, it is important to make sure your texts are accessible to readers and don’t scare them off. If your website is full of vast walls of impenetrable prose or contains too much industry jargon, users will likely take one look and bounce right off. You’ve lost the chance to turn them into customers just like that!

Therefore, keep your language as simple as possible, use short sentences and “open up” the body of the text using headings and plenty of paragraph breaks. From an optical point of view alone, texts which are structured in this way are far less intimidating.

Try and pack only one thought into each sentence you write. Feeding the user such “bite-size” pieces of information increases the chance of them absorbing the message conveyed by your lovingly written content.



Geriatric millennial writing on Medium. Read my blog, The Middle-Aged Millennial, at

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Katharine Eyre

Geriatric millennial writing on Medium. Read my blog, The Middle-Aged Millennial, at