As a blogger, you’ll probably have heard quite a lot about SEO and how you can use it to expand the reach of your blog, however, there are still many bloggers who aren’t sure where they should start with their SEO, or why they should start it in the first place. Luckily, the basics of SEO are pretty simple to get your head around, and the results really do speak for themselves. As a blogger, you always want to see more traffic, more engagement and more reach, so SEO is a pretty obvious choice
KEYWORD RESEARCH & WRITING WITH KEYWORDS
Keyword research is, essentially, the practice of finding the words and phrases that Google and other search engines associate with the topic you’re writing about, so you can incorporate them into what you write and hopefully move your posts and blog as a whole up the search engine rankings when people search for the things your blog focuses on. It’s not difficult to do either – Google has its own keyword research tools and there are plenty of third party options that can help you find and utilise relevant keywords, like SEMRush and Ahrefs.
To write with keywords in mind, identify a broad spectrum of keywords that you want to target, and try to incorporate them into the content you write. Some bloggers like to do this as they go along, while others prefer to find places they can incorporate keywords after the main body of the post is written – it’s completely down to personal preference.
If you can get your keywords in important places in your content, that will only help your blog SEO even more. Keywords in the title of your post, headings and subheadings, your first and last sentences and within hyperlinks in your content (also known as anchor text) will all have a much bigger impact on your SEO than simply including the keywords in the body of your post. However, don’t go overboard – “keyword stuffing” is something that search engines will actually recognise as a bad thing, so keyword in moderation!
OPTIMISE YOUR IMAGES
As well as optimising the text in your blog posts, you can also optimise the images! When you upload a photo to your blog, make sure you include keywords in the file name, and use accurate and descriptive alt text, so even though search engines can’t see the photos you’re using, they’ll still be able to work out what they are about.
With just a bit of thought, research and care, it really is very easy to get started with the basics of SEO on your blog, and the results are certainly worth it.
Utilize keywords throughout your post:
Once you have targeted a couple of valuable, relevant keywords, it is important to place them where they will have the most impact for humans and search engine crawlers indexing your content. Try to include them in the following places:
- Headings and subheadings
- Introductory sentence
- Concluding paragraph
- Anchor text (text you hyperlink to other related pages on your site)
- Title tags and meta descriptions
A word of caution: Don’t engage in keyword stuffing, which is the act of filling your content with so many keywords that it becomes difficult to read. Not only will this irritate your blog followers, it will also get you penalized by Google. A couple of strategically placed keywords will do the trick.
Reference others with links:
When you mention another blogger or article in your blog post, include a link to the information you are referencing. Not only is it good blogging etiquette, but you may also get lucky and receive a link back. Quality links are a valuable commodity for any site looking to rank higher in search engine results pages.
Give readers the opportunity to subscribe to your blog:
Include prominently placed RSS or Feed Subscription Buttons and offer viewers the ability to subscribe to your posts via email when possible. This allows your blog followers to have instant notification of your latest posts without having to periodically check your site for new content.
Use social media to broaden the reach of your blog posts:
As a small business, you may be utilizing Facebook, Twitter, Google+, or other social media sites to create connections with potential and current customers. Why not promote your blog content on these sites for even more web exposure? Free programs make it easy to post links to your latest blog post on all of your social media sites with just a couple of clicks. You can even schedule your posts ahead of time!
Don’t use too many similar topic tags.
Topic tags can help organize your blog content, but if you overuse them, they can actually be harmful. If you have too many similar tags, you may get penalized by search engines for having duplicate content.
Link internally when possible.
Inbound links to your content help show search engines the validity or relevancy of your content. The same goes for linking internally to other pages on your website. If you’ve written about a topic that’s mentioned in your blog post on another blog post, ebook, or web page, it’s a best practice to link to that page.
Use topic clusters
The way most blogs are currently structured (including our own blogs, until very recently), bloggers and SEOs have worked to create individual blog posts that rank for specific keywords.
This makes things unorganized and difficult for blog visitors to find the exact information they need. It also results in your URLs competing against one another in search engine rankings when you produce multiple blog posts about similar topics.
By following these simple SEO tips, you can encourage higher rankings in SERPS, increased web traffic, and higher customer conversion rates.
Too busy to keep up with your blog optimization? We’ve got you covered. HelloPixels search engine optimization experts can help you get more prominent positioning on search engine results pages.