SEO is a huge part of creating a successful (and profitable) blog.
For a lot of people, SEO is pretty mysterious and, for the most part, completely overwhelming. As a blogger, you’ve probably heard the term SEO being used a lot. But what does it actually mean?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Which, according to dictionary.com is:
“the methods used to boost the ranking or frequency of a website in results returned by a search engine, in an effort to maximise user traffic to the site.”
Sounds fairly straightforward, right? But if you’ve ever Google “SEO tips for bloggers” or similar, you will have found millions of results. Probably all with 10+ tips in each. It’s hard to know where to start so here’s 8 simple SEO tips.
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1. Make Your Site Mobile Friendly
A lot of people will be reading your blog posts on the move. In fact, just under 50% of my traffic comes from people viewing on their mobiles or tablets. So it’s important that your site looks good and actually works on mobile devices.
Google also penalises websites that aren’t responsive on mobile devices so it’s not just about your readers’ experiences. Think about this when choosing a theme for your blog too. Most blogging platforms, including WordPress offer responsive themes so check that the theme you want to use is responsive before applying it to your blog.
The theme Flourishing Freelancer uses, is from Nose Graze and, not only is it completely customisable but also fully responsive!
2. Submit an XML Sitemap to Google
A sitemap is a file that allows you to list the pages on your site that help tell search engines about your site content.
Here’s how to submit your sitemap to Google:
Submitting Your Site Map to Google
Before you can submit your sitemap to Google, you need to verify your site with them:
- Sign into your Google account and select the “Google Webmaster Tools”
- Select “Add a Site” and provide the URL of your site to the box. Press continue.
- On the next page, press the button next to “Add Meta Tag”. Copy the Meta Tag and save it somewhere for later in the process
- Open a new tab in your browser and open your site
- Select “More Actions” and click “Manage the Site” from the list of actions, then select “General”
- Paste the Meta Tag you copied at step 4 into the verification box and save the changed
- Go back to the Webmaster Tools page where the Meta Tag was copied from and select “Verify”.
Now that your site is verified, you can submit your sitemap following these steps:
- Go to the Webmaster Tools Site and select the site of the sitemap
- Click Site Configuration and then Sitemaps
- Click Add/Test Sitemap in the top right corner
- In the box that pops up, insert the following: /system/feeds/sitemap
- Submit the sitemap
And that’s it! You’re all done.
3. Post Quality Content Consistently
You’ve heard it before and it’s true. It’s all about quality over quantity. With the added ingredient of consistency in this case.
Google’s current algorithm focuses on the actual content you’re posting and the quality of that content. Whilst the length of your post still plays a part, your posts won’t rank highly if you’re rambling, repeating yourself or sharing content that’s not engaging your audience.
Posting high-quality content will not only help your ranking with Google but it will also help with your organic traffic growth too. If you’re posting great content, your readers will keep coming back time and time again.
The regularity of these posts is important too but only if it’s of a high quality. So bear this in mind. It’s much better to post 2-3 times per week with amazing content than posting every day with half-hearted posts.
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4. Use Keywords Carefully
Choosing the right keywords to use for each post is essential for SEO. A keyword is a word or phrase that people will be searching for on Google to get to your post.
You should be using your keyword in the blog title, the URL, the main body of the text and ALT Tags on your images (I’ll go into more detail on this below).
The best way to choose the right keyword for your post is to use Google Adwords Keyword Planner. Here you can see how well certain search terms are performing and decide on your keyword based on the average monthly searches and the competition.
5. Make the Most of Internal Linking
Make sure that you are linking related content throughout your blog. For example, if you’re writing about setting up a sign-up form on MailChimp and you have a post already on your blog about creating Opt-Ins and Lead Magnets, you could link the two.
Linking to your own content is a great way of demonstrating to search engines that your content is relevant, trustworthy, and worth viewing.
There’s also the added bonus of keeping readers on your site for longer. If you are highlighting relevant and useful content and providing your readers with a direct link to it, they’re likely to click through and read another of your posts.
Editing and Formatting
6. Use Headings
Using the H1, H2, H3 etc. functions on your blog can help your SEO ranking. It enables search engines to identify the searchable results under each heading. Google ranks the contents of those headings with H1 being the most important, to H6 being the least.
Not only does the use of headings help with your SEO ranking but it also helps your reader’s experience. A lot of people simply scan content online before deciding whether or not to read it in depth. Using headings within your blog post will help your readers scan your post and identify the key information they want to read in more depth.
7. Optimise Your Images
You’ve probably spent hours curating the ideal layout, taking photos and editing them. Once you’ve got those perfect photos together, don’t waste them.
If you’re looking for amazing stock images for your blog, you can check out my list of providers here.
Rename your images something relevant to your post and add ALT Tags in the same way. Doing this will increase the chances of being listed highly on both Google’s main searches and also on Google images.
8. Get Yourself an SEO Plugin
This will help you with the use of your keywords and in creating a search-friendly URLs.
There was a time when I thought that SEO was all about picking a keyword and putting in my post as much as possible. That’s not necessarily true. The main places your keyword needs to be featured is your post title, the URL of the post, a few times in the main body of the post and as the alt text for any images you use in that post.
So, where do SEO plugins come into this? Well, once you’ve chosen your keyword, a plugin such as Yoast SEO (which is what I what I use) will ensure that your keyword is being used properly.
A Word of “Warning”
Implementing these SEO tips (or any others that you find online) won’t magically change your ranking overnight.
But these things take time so don’t feel disheartened if you don’t notice any changes for a while. Stick with it.
Also remember that, as with most things linked to your blog, you get out what you put in. So make sure that you’re checking your SEO with each and every post that you write using these simple SEO Tips.
And there you have it. 8 simple SEO Tips that you can start implementing today. It might seem like a lot of work but you’ll soon get into a rhythm of doing these things every time you create a new post.
Do you have any other SEO Tips to share? Let me know in the comments.
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