Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an internet sensation, especially in the past few years. Any marketer, blogger, or business owner is obligated to at least, know the basics of SEO as the topic is and will remain relevant for as long as the internet is here. SEO changes rapidly in this Internet of Things (IoT) world we live, therefore, the best SEO practices have to be learned and practiced over time.
However, learning about SEO for blogging purposes is much simpler than the complicated lingo that accompanies SEO. This article is meant to break down information and knowledge overload on SEO in a simple, friendly, and in the most ideal way to make it applicable to your blog or website.
- 1 What is SEO?
- 1.1 How SEO Works?
- 1.2 Ten must know tips of SEO that every blogger must know
- 1.3 First three months of blogging
- 1.4 You have Successfully Subscribed!
- 1.5 Conclusion
What is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what allows you to create or curate content that easily markets itself. In other words, it enables your content to be discoverable by your customers on the internet. Approximately one-third of traffic on company’s websites or blogs is brought about by organic search. That is more than paid-up traffic and social media traffic put together.
SEO is all about knowing a phrase, a term or a keyword to focus on that is broad enough that your target audience will search on it, at the same time narrow enough for search engines to rank you for it. Once you have your seemingly magic words, you are good to start writing.
How SEO Works?
Search engines like Google have built automatic algorithms that are used to rank your site. These algorithms send ‘spiders’ to ‘crawl’ on your site so as to determine how relevant and useful your site is. They use indicators like traffic, backlinks, the age of a site, updated content, and credibility among others to investigate and analyze web pages. Then they select the high-quality pages that fit the current search. The most popular, relevant and credible is ranked top of the list by the algorithm.
Majority of the users always trust the top results on search engines and they end up visiting those sites. As a writer, marketer, or blogger, the greatest challenge is being ranked first on search engines. Ensuring these ‘spiders’ are pleased with what they find on your site has remained a constant challenge.
Importance of SEO for bloggers, marketers, or business owners
Creating excellent content that is easily found on search engines increases your authority (credibility and trustworthiness), and popularity. It saves you on time and money. And that is why it is important to keep your website content organized and updated.
Generating a money minting site or blog
If a site is always ranked first on search engines, the traffic on the sites increases tremendously hence increasing the chances of making sales, advertising, sponsors, subscribers, etc. With more traffic comes more responsibility for maintaining your presence and that’s where the SEO helps!
Ten must know tips of SEO that every blogger must know
Good Title, Headlines and Meta descriptions
These are usually your selling points, the first things that catch a person’s eye. First impressions always mean a lot so prioritize this point among others because that’s the first thing you notice. In short, they are the butter to your bread. The automatic algorithms start the analysis from the title. So it is highly important to have your keywords in the title. Ensure your title does not exceed 66-70 characters so as not to have it cropped in the search engine results (inclusive of spaces).
Headlines may not be the same as your page title. However, they are also what people see at the top of their window browser. People can use it to make a decision on whether to click on the page or not. Therefore, a very important factor in determining your click-through rate (CTR). So your headline should be optimized to increase your CTR. Your keywords or terms should be included in the headline.
Meta descriptions are the words shown by a search engine under the search results. They are not considered in the ranking factors but like the headlines, they determine your CTR. As a blog administrator, one can input data on the meta-description to include your key terminologies.
Your headline and title should have the keywords as close to the beginning as possible. They should also be clickable (catch), to increase the chances of going viral. They should be able to engage and increase the curiosity level in your target audience.
If you do no write the meta description of a post, you will have the first few lines of the meta description which might not explain the basic purpose of your post.
2. Link Building
Links are one of the SEO key ranking factors that Google uses. It is so relevant that without them you will easily remain at the bottom of the search. They are considered like having people vouch for your character, the more you have links from high authority sites the more credible your site is ranked. You can get to build links through publishing original content like case studies for people to link back to your site, writing testimonials for people you have worked with that link back to your site, asking people to link you by creating awesome content, embedding other people’s links on your content, etc.
Backlinks are the most important and the blog or site giving them to you really matters. They are pages that mention your article. The backlinks help you create a community. Authority domains count for more rankings. The anchor texts that match the keywords also matter.
For a site to be relevant, one needs to keep producing fresh, original content. It is one of the highest ranking SEO factors. People will keep coming to your site if there is always something refreshing giving a signal to search engines that your site is relevant. Plus, content is the only place you can incorporate your keywords.
It is important to note that in the body, keywords are to appear 3 times depending on the length of the article. If there is a high density of keywords, Google may rank your article as low quality. Your best bet is the quality of your content. Originality is key.
Below are some tips that will help you come up with SEO friendly content.
- Produce long content – Depth in a content is usually achieved more in long content. Long content allows you to use many keywords.
- Have a variety of different content types; videos, texts, photos, podcasts, plugins etc.
- Recreate old content – SEO is very dynamic and trends keep changing rapidly. To remain relevant you need to have content that is fresh and relevant.
4. SEO Plugins and tools
There are so many SEO plugins and tools offered that will help you with SEO. For beginners, one can start with the All in One SEO pack that is equipped with all features that help you in developing SEO content.
Other plugins like the Google Sitemap come in handy to help you when submitting a sitemap for them to have an overview of the structure of your blog. This easily helps search engines retrieve your site and notify them of new posts.
Among the top tools of SEO, I highly recommend is Long Tail Pro Keyword Research Software to find low competition, high traffic keywords to rank high on google quickly. Not only does it includes the metrics of website but also the value of each keyword you wish to add to your content.
5. Take advantage of Social Media
Social media building is one of the ways to build traffic to your site. Your posts getting attention on social media gains the attention of other bloggers and in the long run, you end up getting backlinks to your site.
Sharing of your posts on social media site is an indicator of relevance and authority of your site to search engines. You create content and other people promote it for you due to its originality and usefulness. Connect or tweet other big players in your niche and remember to share their content too. One should also add more value that is separate from their blog so as to create an additional resource for your followers to tap into.
6. A great user experience on your site
Your site has to be up to par for your users to interact with it efficiently. Google will not rank sites that have negative user experience as they have to provide the searches with the best results in the market. Sites that load slowly make users abandon them in frustration. People visit a site for information on something they are in need of and they expect their experience to be quick and simple. Most people do not care about the killer cutting-edge design on the site.
To have a site with an easy and quick user experience, one can;
- Increasing the site speed: You should delete plugins that are not in use on your site to increase the loading speed of your site. Cropping images that are of the wrong size should be done to make sites load quicker.
- Keep your site clean and simple: People get tired of numerous roadmaps that lead to a product. They need simple, uncomplicated and clear sections to get what they are looking for.
- Limited advertisements: Ads put people off a site. They should not occupy more than 30% of a page, especially on mobile phones. Pop-up ads are more annoying as you have to keep closing them as you progress.
7. Investing in your own domain
Free blog hosting never favors your SEO needs and efforts. If one is serious about hosting a blog, they should have their own domain and hosting. And I am on staunch supporter of the hosting service of SiteGround that I currently using for my own blog. It is because Search Engines Results Page (SERP) only show sites that are serious and trustworthy. Hosting your own blog is the only way that gives you authority and domination in your niche.
8. Leave comments on other blogs
Commenting on other blogs, especially authority blogs in your niche gives you more exposure and can bring people to your blog creating additional traffic. Use anchor texts while leaving comments on your sites. This also creates a relationship and gives you a community of other bloggers to learn from.
9. Utilize Webmaster Tools
You should add your blog to the Google Search Console. This enables you to see your blogs from Googles point of view. It gives you a picture of the number of clicks you got, views, and position you appear on a google search.
It will take a while to learn about the insights but in the long run, you learn how Google treats various blog aspects.
10. Mobile Responsiveness
We are in the smartphone and digital era and more and more searches are carried out on mobile phones. The relevance of mobile SEO is higher now. According to Google, 50% of the searches are now coming from mobile phones.
Your site needs to be mobile-friendly for you not to lose visitors and chances to appear on search result pages. A mobile-friendly test can be done by copy, pasting your site URL on the mobile-friendly test page and see the results. If your site is not friendly, follow Google’s recommendations and make the changes. Ensure your content is not hidden and is optimized for local SEO.
You do not need technical skills to apply any of this basic SEO guide as a blogger. Practice as it is said makes perfect so one should take matters into their own hands be the master of their own site. Start by having a fabulous title and creating engaging and relevant content. Do a keyword research if you have no clue of how to phrase your content. Start typing a word on the google search button and google autocompletes it for you, this is Google suggest working.
Pick easy to use blog platforms like WordPress that has additional SEO plugins, widgets, and apps to help you with original search strategies. Write frequently as Google ranks sites based on how regularly they are updated. Remember to use headers and subheadings to have organized content. Create content that people would want to embed links to on their articles. When linking other sites, ensure they are the authority and high-quality blogs.
Simply, be human, have catchy and descriptive titles, link others and have them link you.