Most of the bloggers that I know solely rely on social media as their source of traffic. Little do they know that organic traffic can be more stable and reliable. This is why SEO for blogging should at least be considered.
The term “search engine optimization” often baffles those who are new at blogging. It’s not really all that complicated especially if you just want to make your blog accessible through Google, Yahoo, or any other search engine. Here are a few steps you can do to make your blog visible:
1. Push Out Regular Content
Google loves websites that are always updated with fresh content. It can be as frequent as one blog post per day or even just one per week. Do note that the less frequent you post, the smaller the chances of your site will be crawled by Google’s spiders.
Regular posting of content also signals that you are trying to stay relevant in whatever niche you are building your brand on. The more content you push out, the more words Google can “read” to find out more about your site.
The more Google knows about your site, the better it can distinguish what your blog is all about. If you are targeting foodies, your content should make it clear that you are a food blogger. It will then show up more when people search for “food blogs” or “restaurant reviews”, for instance.
2. Link Internally and Externally; Also, Get Links
One of the larger parts of SEO is links. I’m not going to dive down to the nitty gritty details, but here’s what you should do.
Put internal links on your blog posts. These are links that point users to other blog posts or pages on your website. For a 500-word blog post, two or three should suffice. This helps Google’s spiders to crawl your site better since they will be led to other parts of your blog.
Put external links on your blog posts as well. These are links that point users outside of your site. It’s usually easy to link outside if you are reading about something on another website and decide to write about it as well. If you are writing about a fashion boutique, you can check to see if they have their own website or even a blog. This helps you look good to Google since you are basically promoting other sites as well (aka you aren’t spammy).
Get links to your blog from other websites. This simply means that you need to get other sites to link to your content. I’ll show you how in a separate article for linkbuilding. The gist of this is that the more reputable sites point to you, the more credible you also get in the eyes of search engines.
3. Write Cohesively
This step also goes back to step one for regular content. Niche blogging is all the rage now, but for a good reason. It helps blogs rank higher for the niche and you get better quality traffic for it as well. If you want a blog about cars, write about cars. If you want a blog about phones, write about phones. You can’t just say one thing and mean another.
Most lifestyle bloggers usually get away with this since they get their traffic from social media. They can write about the latest events and even their dogs at the same time. If you are serious about getting consistent traffic, then your writing should be consistent too.
4. Write Thick, Informational Content
One of the reasons why people go online and search for stuff is because they want to know more about something. This is also one of the main reasons why Google was built. Of course, being informative is naturally a good ranking factor for Google.
What screams that your content is full of wisdom and knowledge? A large number of words. If you have a blog about interior design, it would make sense that you have one long-form blog post about choosing the right colors for your room. That particular post will rank better compared to just a short blurb about what you think is the best color.
There is no magic number for the amount of words in order to rank higher for search results. However, what is agreed is that thin content doesn’t do well compared to their thicc counterparts. If you think you’ve written everything there is to know about hamburger buns, then maybe that’s just about enough too.
Another tip is to divide your paragraphs with headings, This not only helps the user read better, but also aid crawlers in figuring out what your content is all about.
5. Be Original
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery, but that’s not the case with Google and other search engines. Duplicated content is a big no-no. It sends a signal that your blog is just using other people’s content. Google penalizes sites that copy others.
Write unique content. There are literally billions of possible commentaries on basically just about anything. Use your own style of writing and beat other’s content with better vocabulary and data.
6. Write Short But Catchy Titles
One of the major ranking factors is titles. These show up on search engine result pages (SERPS) themselves and serves you two ways.
Informative titles lets Google know what the article is about. It’s one of the most basic steps in helping grow your blog SEO. If the query of the user doesn’t really match what’s in the title or in the body, it won’t show up at all.
Titles also influence your users to click on your blog post. If the title is not at all interesting, chances are that people will just go to the next post instead. It doesn’t matter if you rank first if nobody really is enticed to click on your website in the first place.
7. Use an SEO Plugin
One of the easiest ways in making your blog better for search engines is just plain using a plugin. However, you should use it properly. It’s not enough to just install it and let it be.
Yoast, for instance, has plenty of possible options for each blog post. The most important ones are the ability to see change the SERP meta titles and descriptions. You will also be able to see whether the title you have is too long, which Google usually truncates. This plugin also reminds you if you have not placed any or too much internal and external links.
Do not put all eggs in one basket. If you have both a strong social media presence and solid SEO standing, you will get more traffic coming your way in the long run.