SEO Basics for Bloggers: How to optimise your blog for search engines
I know a ton of bloggers are not tech savvy and have probably wondered what the buzz about SEO is???
Well, I’m here to give you a breakdown and share some SEO basics for bloggers. I’ve tried to make these tips as simple as possible and relatively easy – so that those of you that don’t speak tech can still understand it. Sounds good?
Awesome, let’s move on.
What’s is SEO again?
SEO stands for search engine optimisation – it is basically optimising your website for search engine visibility, by creating content that essentially markets itself by itself. People use search engines like google more than almost any other website on the internet for basically 3 things:
- *Find Information
- *Solve a problem
- *Research or buy a product
All three of this reasons are perfect opportunities to get organic traffic. Search engine traffic contributes a huge amount of traffic to your blog if done right and can also boosts your presence online. But how?
To put it simple, you have to create content that is more easily found via search engines amongst millions of other similar contents.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) may seem confusing, but once you get a hang of it, you’ll see that it isn’t so difficult – and will really drive traffic to your blog.
Without getting too techy, here are some tips for making your blog SEO friendly:
In this case, Keyword is king!
Keywords are the words or phrases that people will search for to get to your blog post. The topic you choose to write will determine the keywords that will be included. Your goal should be to create massively relevant content that solves a problem or offer advice to any problem – people search to get answers. At the same time, you shouldn’t over do it because keyword stuffing…
Keyword stuffing is when you include your keywords multiple times throughout your post with the sole purpose of gaining ranking in organic search. Avoid throwing keywords around like an overzealous flower girl as this act will cost more harm than good to your SEO. Google considers this as keyword spamming… and well, spammers never get anywhere in life.
How do you find the right keywords?
Research, research research…There are different tools you can use to find the appropriate keywords for your content. First, before you decide on a content to write, you should consider its relevance to your niche – this could be a little tedious, however it’s an indispensable part of finding the right keywords.
There’re a lot of tools for finding the right keywords – personally I use google keyword planner, BuzzSumo, Quora (to find what my niche is searching for) and Ubersuggest.
Where do you add your keywords?
There five main places where search engines look for keywords:
#1 Post title
Your post title is more or less the foundation of your blog post. You should include your keywords in your title as it’s a determining factor of your post relevance by search engine’s and your potential readers. For the longest time, I kept naming my post whichever way I felt was cool but my blog wasn’t generating any organic search traffic.
My old title: A bodycon dress. I mean, nobody will just go on the search bar and type a bodycon dress. I was like a lost sheep until I found the light and started optimizing my blog properly.
New post title: How to wear a bodycon dress to work, a date and casually.
My keyword for this post is ‘bodycon dress’
Meta description is simply ‘information about information’. The little description that shows up under your post title and URL when your post comes up on the search. This description gives search engines and your reader’s information about your blog post’s content. Notice how google bold your keyword hence drawing attention to your reader.
Your URL is one of the first things search engines look out for so it is necessary to always have your keyword in your URL. You have the opportunity to optimise your URL on every post, as every post has his own unique URL. You should keep it within 5-6 words.
My Mistake: Notice how I forgot to change mine and make it 5-6 words short. The proper link should have been – bodycon-dress-work-date-casually. But I had already shared it across social media before I realised my mistake. Moral of the story: always proofread and make sure everything is in place before you hit publish. You’re probably wondering why I can’t go back and just change it.
Be warned: You don’t want to change the old permalinks because then any backlinks you have will be broken. This simple means when people click the post link you’ve shared, it will no longer be available because the url has been changed.
#4 Optimise your images
Ever wondered how images pop up on the google image search? Through proper image SEO optimisation – If you optimise your images for SEO, they may come up in image searches and will also be beneficial your SEO on Pinterest.
Three things you should keep in mind are: image alt tags, image title and image file name. One of the mistake I made was naming my post image using numbers. I have all my blog pictures in one folder and I named them 1,2,3… I uploaded them to the posts without alt tags, title and file name. If you are also a culprit, change your ways from hence forth. Better late than never!
Take Note: Instead of 456.jpg, it should be bodycon-dress-work-casually-date.jpg
#5 Post content
Your aim should be to produce the best blog posts that you can. Your posts should be creative, informative and even more throw in a little bit of humour here and there. You don’t wanna bore your readers. Just be the best at what you do! The best way to increase your SEO it to write original content that provides value to your readers consistently...emphasis on consistently. You should structure your posts to have a logical flow from beginning, middle to end. And most importantly do not forget to include your keywords in the post.
All this may seem a little too complex and overwhelming for you – sorry Hun, but nobody said the road will be easy, you’ll definitely get a hang of it. The good news is – if you’re a WordPress users, there are tons of SEO plugins you could use to ease up this process and make your life easier. You see why I highly recommend WordPress!
Yoast SEO Plugin
SEO by yoast plugin helps you write an SEO-friendly blog post. You start by choosing your keyword. It basically takes everything I have said and automates it for you. if you don’t have it, download it right away and thank me later.
Inbound and Outbound Linking
The best way to build quality backlinks is to write relevant quality content and request to blog post on the best blogs in your niche. I mentioned guest posting as one of my 2017 blog goals HERE.
It is also essential to backlink your OWN content that is relevant to the body of your post. Notice I just added a backlink of an old post in the paragraph above? Those count too! It not only increases your SEO, it also increases your page views as perhaps, your readers will be more likely to go to your other posts. Recommended reading below your posts is also not a bad idea.
- * Use your own domain name and hosting. I spoke about the importance HERE.
- * Make sure your blog theme is optimised
- * Comment on other blogs and leave your blog URL to build your backlinks. Do not spam!
- * Build your social media
- * Make sure your blog is mobile friendly aka responsive
- * Never stop learning
And that’s it! I hope this provided you with the basics of SEO. I’m not an SEO expert but I have seen great results using this few SEO tips. I’m more than confident that you are ready to start optimising your blog for search engine.
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If by some unfortunate circumstance you get stuck or have any questions for me about SEO, just get in touch with me or leave a comment below. I’ll get back to you shortly.
Also, feel free to share other SEO tips you are using for your blog.
If you’re new to the blogging tips series, make sure to check out the other posts HERE.