If your SEO game is starting from the bottom, fear not! We all have to start somewhere and what better time than now?
For some bloggers, the mere idea of SEO seems like a bunch of tech jargon that you’ll never understand. I’m here to tell you that that couldn’t be further from the truth. With a few simple SEO tips and tricks, you’ll be well on your way to an SEO blog.
Here, we’re diving deep into what SEO is in the first place and the tools you can use to improve SEO on your blog.
What is SEO?
Let’s start with the definition of SEO. It stands for Search Engine Optimization and it’s all about driving traffic to your website or blog organically using search engines like Google. The point is to rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs) so that people searching for your expertise can find you.
Believe it or not, organic searches account for most of the traffic to any given website. That’s right – ads don’t generate nearly as much traffic. So, it’s safe to say that you should get your SEO strategy underway.
When you blog for SEO, it simply means that you’re structuring your content in a way that helps people with questions get those questions answered.
Importance of Keywords
The importance of keywords when structuring your SEO cannot be overstated. In order to come up with killer SEO keywords, first you have to identify your target audience. From there, you’ll be able to identify what kinds of questions they might be asking.
For example, if you’re a bakery in St. Louis, you may want to use SEO keywords like St. Louis bakery, bakeries in St. Louis, or best baker in Missouri. Here, you’d be taking advantage of your location and targeting your audience based on that.
Or maybe you’re a beauty blogger who has international attention and are looking to simply target the right people. For each blog post you might use different keywords. Summer lipstick shades, summer beauty, and summer styles might work for one post while day in the life, blog life, or working from home could be keywords for another post. Note: Keywords can be short phrases, too!
With that being said, there is such a thing as keyword-packing… and that’s a no-no. Google’s algorithm is able to pick up on content that seems to be loading up with keywords in an attempt to rank at the top of SERPs but with no real answers to the query at hand.
So, choose your keywords wisely and make sure your content reflects those keywords. After all, the whole point of targeting whether it’s with keywords or with audiences, you’re trying to get the right people, not the most people.
To help you with all things SEO, tools can be super helpful – especially for beginners. Ubersuggest is a fantastic free tool that allows you to search domains and keywords, giving you insight into how your SEO strategies are going and what can be improved upon. You’ll see the top pages from your website where SEO is working the most along with keyword research to help you pick the best keywords for your goals.
The thing is, not all keywords are created equally. When you think of a popular keyword, chances are – you’re not the only one. The trick is to find keywords that a lot of people are searching for but that also doesn’t have a ton of competition. Ubersuggest helps with that.
Another amazing SEO tool, for those who use WordPress, is the RankMath WordPress plug-in. When your blog for SEO on WordPress, simply add this plug-in for the latest keyword research that is sure to help you with your tactics.
RankMath is free and is a quick and easy way to optimize your entire website, giving you a better chance of ranking higher on SERPs.
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Write Quality Content
This one should be a no-brainer, but for some people, it isn’t. With SEO, let’s just say that there aren’t any shortcuts. Basically, when you blog for SEO, you need to be writing stuff that adds value or is deemed useful.
Once you have your keywords ready to go, you have to write content that actually reflects those keywords. You’ll get huge bounce rates when your content doesn’t match the keywords people are searching for. Bounce rate means someone clicked on your website and immediately hit the “back” button or closed the tab.
Another thing to note is that length matters. There is debate about the perfect word-count, but it rests somewhere between 1,500 to 5,500 words depending on the subject. Short paragraphs and infographics also makes your content more readable and therefore more clickable.
Create an SEO Title
Titles go a long way for SEO. Many bloggers use titles like “I made $3,000 in a month from freelance writing!”. Sure, it’s catchy and I’d definitely want to click on it if I saw it. The thing is, maybe people searching google for freelance writing tips won’t enter that phrase into the search bar.
Instead, they’re searching things like “how to make money as a freelance writer” or “how much does a freelance writer make?” A title like these is much more likely to get clicked on because they’ll actually show up on a SERP.
Use Alt-Text Descriptions in Images
In a blog for SEO, there are places other than just the main text that Google looks for keywords. A simple way to boost SEO from the inside out is by using alt-text descriptions in images.
Alt-text is the text that describes what a photo is in the event that it fails to load. Using this space to include related keywords is a simple way to give your posts a bit of extra SEO. Instagram recently launched alt-text descriptions, so you can use this tip for your Instagram marketing as well!
Use Internal Links
Once you’ve got someone on your blog, you want to keep them there. That’s where internal links come in. Since you’re blogging for a niche market about related topics, there’s sure to be some overlap. So, when you mention something in a new blog that you’ve written about in more detail in the past, make sure to link it and keep people on your website.
Internal links are important because when people stay on your website for longer than a few seconds, this tells Google that people found what they were looking for thanks to your blog post. It’ll then help with your SERP rankings.
Build Authority with Backlinks
Google ranks a blog for SEO based on their authority and backlinks help build that authority. Backlinks give your blog or website more credibility because many people are linking to your information. Huge blogs like The Spruce or Huffington Post are going to have a lot more authority than most, so they’re going to rank higher.
So, how do you build authority if you’re new to it all? The truth is, you just have to stick with it. Make sure your content is fire and that your writing for a niche market with amazing keywords. With some time, effort, and focus, you’ll start to get those backlinks going.
When you blog for SEO, it’s important to remember that you won’t get crazy traffic overnight. It takes a lot of work and consistency before things really start to take off.
So, stick with it, keep learning, and remember that SEO takes time.