What Bloggers Need to Know Know About SEO: 5½ SEO Tips for Success
No matter the reasons why you started your blogging career, the main purpose of your writing is to reach your intended target audience. For some bloggers, they might just be writing just for the sake of writing, because they have passion for blogging and aren’t looking for any recognition.
But the majority of bloggers want their content to be read, shared and discussed with others online. To make content visible to their potential readers, many bloggers actively utilize social media platforms to spread the word. While there’s nothing wrong with using social media, it tends to be a limited approach to content promotion.
A blog’s SEO performance contributes so much more to the overall success of a blog than relying on social networks alone. Traffic from social media is valuable, but having only one source of traffic is hardly enough for a blog’s long-term success. Driving extra traffic never hurts your blog’s visibility, especially if you can use methods that don’t require too much technical expertise.
5½ Simple SEO Tips Each Blogger Should Know
#1 Research Your Keywords
It’s likely you are already including targeted keywords into your content while covering your niche topic. If you’re looking for a more structured approach to keyword implementation, you should do some keyword research to make sure you include terms users are searching for into your posts.
With the right targeted keywords, you can help your content perform better in search engines and attract the right type of users to your blog. Keep in mind, long-tailed keywords always perform better than short ones. Another reason to use less common terms is because it can be difficult to leverage those keywords that your competition may also be targeting.
#2 Use Keywords Wisely
Gone are the days when keyword optimization was all about stuffing content with as many keywords as possible. Bloggers should know how to strike a balance between over and under-optimization to maximize the potential of their keywords. To do so, remember to include keywords in specific content areas like:
- URLs: this is one of the first things search crawlers recognize on a page
- Headlines: remember to craft titles with no more than 65 characters to make them display in full in SERPs
- Subheadings and body: try not to overstuff these areas to provide a positive reader experience
- Introductory sentence and concluding paragraph
- Anchor text: add keywords in the text you when you add links to other pages of your blog
- Meta description: this helps both search engines and searchers understand more about what a post is about and judge whether or not it is worth opening
#3 Pay Attention to Image Optimization
Paragraphs of plain text look boring and don’t visually encourage users to stay on your page. To improve engagement rates, your blog posts should also include images. But while humans can easily recognize what’s in a picture, search engines have a bit more difficulty identifying the content of an image. That’s why they need extra assistance in the form of descriptive alt texts and file names to help categorize pictures. As search engines “read” pictures – instead of seeing them – include keywords to alt text as well as image filenames to improve your post’s visibility on search pages.
#4 Build Links
Link building as a SEO technique is still important. While everyone understands the importance of backlinks, internal links also play a vital role but unfortunately are often overlooked. Failure to link your posts internally can result in you missing out on an opportunity to increase blog pageviews, improve the crawlability of your blog and, most importantly, enjoy better rankings in search engines.
It’s never easy to receive quality backlinks, but it’s not impossible. In your posts, include links to articles of other bloggers and hopefully you can receive a link back as well. Another way to build links to your blog is through guest blogging opportunities. If two bloggers agree to post on each other’s blogs, this actually can be a win-win that benefits both parties.
#5 Ensure Good Quality Content + Proper Quantity
There are so many arguments as to whether or not a word count matters for Google, but studies have shown that the quantity of words really makes a difference to search engines. Long-form content performs better on search engines and attracts more readers on social media platforms.
This doesn’t mean you should throw all your efforts into reaching the maximum possible number of words in every blog post just because Google loves it. You should also remember that your posts have to offer value to your readers, otherwise the quantity of words doesn’t matter. A meaningful and informative article of 2000+ words is likely to fully cover the topic at hand and provide complete answers to questions that searchers ask on Google, while securing better ranking positions.
#5½ Keep an Eye on Updates
Google and other search engines are continually rolling out new updates and algorithms everyday to improve the user experience and provide even better access to updated information. That’s why you have to stay on top of search engine updates to ensure your rankings don’t drop unexpectedly overnight. What brings SEO value today may not bring the same value tomorrow. SEO rules are changing daily and you must be ready to adapt to those changes accordingly.
SEO is a hard nut to crack but with proper due diligence you can lay the groundwork to set your blog up for success. All the above mentioned SEO basics can be implemented in-house and don’t require a technical expert’s assistance. These simple SEO tips don’t take much time to get up and running, but they are worth taking a couple of extra minutes to ensure your blog receives the recognition it deserves.